Next up in our Stand By Sandy series is Club Chaplain, Steve Enticott.
Steve Enticott has been Sandringham’s Club Chaplain for two years now and in that time has had a significantly positive influence on the players, staff and fans of the football club.
The role of the Chaplain is to provide spiritual and pastoral care but according to Enticott their “number one job is to listen”.
“To be the safe ear, part of, but separate of the Club,” he said.
“To be available is the key, to be consistent and to be available at all times.
“We all have problems, but not everyone has someone they can easily reach out to. We’re there for the people that don’t have a great support network around them.”
Enticott’s journey into the role began about four years ago when, as a man of faith, he decided to undergo Chaplain’s training. From there he was just waiting for an opportunity to be involved and Sandy proved just the right fit.
“I live across the road from the Sandringham Football Club and one of my senior accountants working for me had approached Sandringham to do some sponsorship of the Club there and then I enquired, ‘Does Sandringham have a chaplain?’ ” he said.
“And there was a retiring Chaplain, so the pathway was opened up and Cam Butler went out and I came in, so it was a very smooth transition.”
So far Enticott has found the whole club to be “exceptionally welcoming”, especially in the high value it places on mental health. In particular, he appreciated how welcome former Head Coach, Aaron Hamill, made him feel in his first year as Chaplain.
“He (Hamill) was brilliant, as he brought me into the team meetings right from the first night and made me feel part of the Club and the coaching team even though I don’t know too much about football,” he said.
“In fact, I think that’s been an advantage knowing very little about football, because you can’t upset anyone, because I don’t really understand the game other than being a supporter.
“I think the biggest thing that’s kicked into my life is I grew up a St Kilda supporter, but I haven’t really been overly passionate about football, but people now ask me who do you barrack for in the footy and I now say Sandringham.
“I’ve completely forgotten about the AFL, because you get so involved with a group of players and a group of people at the Club; that’s who you support. So I support Sandringham.”
Outside of footy, Enticott is quite the busy man. He holds a Doctorate of Finance and owns his own accounting firm, which he admits hasn’t been too badly affected by the Covid 19 lockdown.
“Accountants are like cockroaches, you can’t kill them, we’re always needed,” he joked.
His sporting background is in Ironman triathlons which have taken him to all parts of the world, including Hawaii in 2019 where he competed in the coveted Ironman World Championship.
During the Covid 19 lockdown Enticott, like most has had to make sacrifices. He can’t go for his normal two or three hour training sessions and, without football, has realised how much he now loves it.
“I didn’t know if I really loved football until it was taken away this year,” he said.
“I’m really missing that relational and sport element of our game.”
As for some advice to Sandringham players and fans who might be struggling at the moment, Enticott had this to say.
“The story I use all the time is the AFL Tackle Your Feelings program and I’ve done this with the players as well,” he said.
“So you describe life as a football field. The ball is meant to be in defence and you’re meant to struggle. The ball is meant to be in offense and you’re meant to be kicking goals. That is normal life.
“If you’re stuck in defence for an extended period of time, more than two weeks, then you need to reach out. Likewise, if you’re speaking to someone who is always up all the time you need to ask them if they’re ok. Because no one’s up all the time.
“So my advice to people who are stuck in defence at the moment is it’s ok to be stuck for a week, its ok to be stuck for two weeks. This is a pandemic, we’re not meant to be up all the time.
“That’s fine, that’s normal, but if you’re stuck in this state, then you need to reach out to a family member, you need to reach out to a friend, you need to reach out to a Chaplain, you need to reach out to a mental health worker, you need to reach out to your GP, you need to reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14. You need to reach out to someone. It is not acceptable to stay low for longer than a week or two, you have to reach out.”
If you or anyone you know needs support call Lifeline on 131 114, or Beyond Blue's coronavirus mental wellbeing support service on 1800 512 348.
Written by Matthew Hughes - Sandringham Football Club Media