Storm legend steps away

Bob Kunesevic, Melton councillor Justine Farrugia and Warren Hackney. (Supplied)

Sydenham-Hillside legend Warren Hackney has announced he will step away from his major responsibilities at the club.

For the past 17 years Hackney’s influence has spilled out across all aspects of the club, but next season Hackney will no longer act as head of cricket or senior coach of the senior men’s team.

When he arrived at the club in 2008 Sydenham-Hillside had never made finals in the top league of the North West Metropolitan Cricket Association.

Since then the club has won multiple premierships and last year made the move to the Victorian Turf Cricket Association.

As a player, Hackney is the club’s all-time leading run scorer and has been part of four first premiership winning sides.

Last year after a lengthy career as a player and a two-year stint as club president Hackney took up the role of head coach of the senior men’s side while also acting as head of cricket.

It was an impressive first season for Sydenham-Hillside in the VTCA senior division, as Hackney led the team all the way to the grand final.

Hackney’s long time friend and current Storm president Bob Kunesevic said no one had done more for the club.

“What he’s done no words can describe, we owe him a great debt,” he said.

“When he started we’d never made a finals series, so to now be playing in a VTCA final is a real testament.

“He’s done a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes… he just works hard every day from every aspect of the club.”

Kunesevic said some of Hackney’s most profound contributions have come through his work as an administrator, including his work to build the women’s program from scratch.

“He went and started a program by himself, running clinics in the local community and come-and-try days in local cricket centres,” he said.

Hackney also contributed to the club’s efforts to refurbish its pavilion at Hillside Recreation Reserve as well as pushing for funding the improve the training nets.

In a social media post made by the club, many people from the community have paid tribute to Hackney’s contribution to the community.

Kunesevic said Hackney’s tireless efforts as a senior official will be missed, but that he will remain a presence at the club.

“Everyone understands it’s family time [for Hackney], he’s really dedicated and sacrificed his private life for the club, especially over the last six or seven years,” he said.

“Great thing is he won’t be a stranger, he’ll still be around the club.”