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An open letter of thanks to the SKOB Community from Stephen Gilham

To everyone in the SKOB community, I would like to sincerely thank you for the love and

support you have shown me and my family over the last four years. These last few years of

footy were some of the most enjoyable I have had in my career.

From my first training session at the College in Dec 2014, I began to fall in love with SKOB.

After knowing 1 player at that first session, I now have hundreds of close friends, some of

them have become my very best mates, friends I will have for the rest of my life.

I feel incredibly lucky to have come along when I did.

Iʼm so grateful that I will be forever linked to the club through playing in the B Grade flag in

2015. I will never, ever forget that day. It is now my most treasured memory from my playing

career. I have never felt as happy for a group of people as I did that day. I am aware of the

pain the club had felt for the previous 10 years prior to that, and to see what it meant to

everyone involved was so fulfilling.

I didnʼt taste defeat at SKOB until we had made it back to A Grade, where we belong, in 2016. It was a tough year for me personally and for the club, but we avoided relegation and

consolidated our place in A Grade.

Again, 2017 was a challenging season for me as I battled injury, and ultimately missed out on

playing in the clubs first ever A Grade flag in 70 years. I had mixed emotions, but my

overwhelming feelings were of joy and happiness for the boys, and the club.

Missing out in 2017 made me even more committed and determined to reach the ultimate

goal of winning back to back A Grade premierships. It was always going to be my last year of

playing, win lose or draw. Unfortunately, again I fell to serious injury in the second semi. It

wasnʼt meant to be. Footy can be so cruel sometimes. Thatʼs why you have to make the most

of any opportunity you get when it presents!

I will now turn my attention, effort and energy to do everything I can to help the club and

make sure we have sustained success, on and off the field.

Lastly, I would like to especially thank the people in my ‘inner sanctumʼ. Without these people, and you know who you are, I wouldnʼt be where I am today. I canʼt thank you enough for the support, care, love and guidance you have shown me. I will be forever indebted to the SKOB community. I will endeavour to pay it forward over the coming years, helping the club and the players wherever I can.

See you at The King.



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