Box Hill United’s 2024 Season Launch a motivational night for men’s and women’s teams

Box Hill United FC welcomed members and guests to the 2024 Season Launch at Box Hill United Golf Club.

On a captivating night that brought together players, coaches, sponsors and members of council – Michael Zappone led the proceedings which involved former Socceroo & Football Coaches Australia President Gary Cole and fellow Socceroo & Box Hill United legend Scott Patterson.

A view of the Box Hill Golf Club course.

Our major sponsor, Golden Age Group, was represented by Chief Investment Officer Bing Chen. As part of an introductory speech, Box Hill United President George Petheriotis shared his appreciation for the front-of-shirt sponsor, while attendees were updated on a significant housing project named Wembley Hill.

Set to be built in the first half of 2024, Chen outlined more information on the development after a video on the designs was displayed.

“It’s fantastic to be partnered up with Box Hill United again this season,” he said.

“The atmosphere for games I went to was fantastic with people screaming and showing their passion.

“2024 is a big year for us with many things going on in Box Hill – one of those being the Wembley Hill project.

“We have great support from the council to get the construction underway within the coming months.

“Golden Age looks forward to continuing on long-term with Box Hill United, having a great relationship with the team here.”

Bing Chen shaking hands with George Petheriotis.

Following on from the exciting developments, Gary Cole joined up on stage to present medallions to coaches and officials from men’s and women’s teams.

Before then, Cole reflected on the history Box Hill United possesses, where he faced the Club in league competition en route to his Socceroos cap.

“My fondest memory dates back to my playing days with Ringwood City and travelling to Wembley Park for a match day,” he said.

“It used to be a smooth and big pitch – if you were the away team, you always got to play uphill, into the wind and with the sun in your eyes.

“I was blessed to know a number of people from here including Scott Patterson – it’s a club that has a great track record in bringing young players through.”

Making his Socceroos debut against Greece in June 1978, Cole shared a funny tale about what the experience can be like when heading to the international stage for the first time.

“Melbourne’s the second largest Greek city in the world, and that’s where I made my first appearance for the Socceroos,” he said.

“I proudly wore the green and gold, only to find that we were booed onto the pitch!

“It was the most friendly booing you could get, knowing that the same people would be back supporting their local clubs.

“I got to play 40 times for the Socceroos and every time the national anthem played, it got the hairs on the back of the neck standing up and it was an incredibly proud moment.”

Gary Cole speaking with Michael Zappone.

The man that Cole referred to, Scott Patterson, is someone that did it all in his career – starting out at Box Hill United and becoming a National Soccer League star. His tenure at the Club saw promotion from the Metro First Division into the Victoria State League.

Patterson spoke with Michael Zappone on stage and provided words of wisdom to dream big, with his entire family affiliated with Pythagoras.

“Greg McLeod and I grew up in Box Hill and Wembley Park was our home away from home,” he said.

“It was very much a family-oriented club and invested a lot into the junior programs and coaching which was a great culture to be part of.

“To all the young players, one thing from my experience is 20% of it is talent, then 80% is hard work,

“If you have the talent that’s great, but it doesn’t get you there – you need to work hard, I wish you all the best for the season.”

The Patterson name lives well and truly with Box Hill United.

As the night drew to a close with the unveiling of the raffle winner and confirmation of highest bids in a silent auction, attention now turns to our men’s and women’s season openers on March 8 and 15 respectively.

Special thanks to Michael Zappone as Master of Ceremonies and MSE Events Group Director Daniel Bellissimo for putting this event together.


Images credit: Joao Tam