Love of football a family affair for the Allens
WHEN you mention the Allens to anyone within the North Coast Football community, a warm smile usually washes over their face.
Whether they're behind the barbecue, baking cakes for the canteen or washing the team jerseys, John and Joy Allen have built a reputation over the past seven years as the mainstay of the Maclean Bobcats Football Club.
"It's been a family affair since day one,” Joy said.
"We were originally from Stanthorpe and when we moved up here, we just had the butcher shop until the boys joined up to play for Maclean.”
With sons Ryley and Mackenzie (Macca) playing in the junior squads, and John's previous role as president of the Stanthorpe junior club, Joy said it was inevitable the whole family would eventually don the Bobcats colours.
Seven years on, John has offered to help wherever the club needs it, from coaching, playing, bookwork, right down to ensuring a first
aid kit is ready to go for games.
Meanwhile Joy took on the canteen, administration and uniform maintenance.
"Between Ken Folds and I, in those early days he washed the A-Grade jerseys and I'd wash the Reserve Grade jerseys,” she said.
For her efforts, Joy has been presented with Club Person of the Year for the past three years.
However, Joy is renowned for her cakes and biscuits which she sells in the club canteen.
"My hummingbird cake seems to be the most popular, followed by the jam drops,” she said.
The pair also established a Friday night barbecue for visiting clubs.
"We started it up because there were lots of people coming from Grafton for a game in the evening and once they arrived to the grounds, they were looking for dinner,” Joy said.
"There isn't usually anything open nearby so we felt it was the least we could do to provide dinner for our football families.”
Dinner is of course, followed by dessert, which Joy said she took pleasure in making.
"I do a special on Friday night for the 15s/16s teams who have a game that evening. It's usually chocolate or cream,” she said.
"It doesn't take long for visiting teams to find out because after they play there a few times, they start to come straight up and ask what special treat is on tonight.”
While some might find running a club canteen to be a lot of work, Joy loves the learning opportunities it provides for the younger generation of Bobcats.
"I usually try and encourage them to come
in and help with the money so that I can teach them
how to count change,” she said.
"Some of our young ones have come a long way with their maths, which the parents are grateful for.”