Committee

2024 season Polecats Committee members.

CLUB PATRON: JIMMY TAGGART
Jim TaggartJim’s career began as a Teacher and a Deputy Principal of a Catholic High School. Since entering the field of financial planning in 1987, he has successfully developed his businesses to service nearly 6,000 clients in which his organisations provide advice on General Insurance, Personal Insurance and Superannuation.

Also during this time Jim has completed another Masters Degree in Commerce, majoring in Financial Planning to add to his other qualifications of Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from Macquarie University. Jim is currently completing his Doctorate in Business Administration.

Jim is a Certified Financial Planner with the Financial Planning Association of Australia. Jim is a Representative of Taggart Nominees Pty Ltd, an Australian Financial Services Licensee. Jim is also a Representative of The Taggart Group Pty Ltd, an Australian Financial Services Licensee. Jim has lived in the Hills District at Kellyville for over 26 years.

Jim has been actively involved in community activities such as: -Salvation Army – Chairman of the Red Shield Appeal (Western Sydney). Vice President of Regional Chamber of Commerce 1999 – 2000 Past board member of Gilroy College and Marion College Past Chair and current member of the Hills Excellence In Business 355 Management Committee Current Chairman of the Advisory Council for TAFE NSW Western Sydney Institute Jim is married and has four children. Jim has been fortunate to speak at offshore conferences in the areas of Financial Planning and Motivation in such countries as Switzerland, New Zealand and U.S.A.

In 2005 Jim was awarded the Zurich/AFA Financial Adviser of the Year award, and in January 2006 Jim was awarded the 2006 Baulkham Hills Shire Australia Day Community Service Award. 

PRESIDENT: BENJAMIN CARTER

Jim Taggart

After serving 2 years as Polecats Secretary and many more on the general committee, Ben Carter has been president at the Polecats since the 2022 season. Ben has promised to build on the success and great contribution and legacy of outgoing president’s Peter Lamey who served for over 5 years and Rob Weisback who also served for over 8 years. Since Ben’s appointment in 2022 the Polecats have returned to 2 grades after a 2 years with 1 senior side. In 2024 the Polecats are looking beyond and hope to field 2 open men’s grades an under 21’s and a women’s league tag team. This year we are hosting a new tertiary round robin against all the active NSW tertiary sides as well as participating in the Saturday metro competition.

Ben has worked with and maintained the relationship with TAFE NSW which is now coming up to its 10th season, continuing the tertiary affiliation the Polecats were founded on in 1971 at what later became the Australian Catholic University at Castle Hill. Ben has been playing for the Polecats since 2006 without missing a season . Ben first came across the NSW Tertiary students league, whilst studying at Western Sydney University in late 2003.

After playing for 2 years at Western Sydney University Nepean Eels’ as vice president, Ben came across to the ‘UWS Nirimba Polecats’ after UWS EELs team folded. Ben has played for the Polecats ever since. Ben has represented Country and NSW Students and Universities against Queensland, Great Britain and Northern Territory. Most importantly Ben played and won first grade grand finals in 2012,2015 and 2019. As President Ben oversaw the 2022 fist grade silver premiership which marked the first year the Polecats played in a non-tertiary A-grade combined metro competition.

Over the the years Ben has been the recipient of some of the most prestigious Polecats awards. Including the Pinder cup 2 consecutive years, 2 Presidents awards, clubman of the year and the Tony Gatt best back award the same year as receiving a Pinder cup. 2024 marks his 19th season with the club.

 

VICE PRESIDENT: KIERAN SHANAHAN
Kieran Shanahan

Kieran Shanahan (Shano) joined the Polecats in 1990 and whilst typically playing half back, hooker or lock was not blessed with speed, acceleration, a kicking game, a good temper or good looks but survived on a workaholic attitude. He was the Mister Perpetual Motion of the Polecats in the mid 90’s as he would regularly play 2 games in 1 day. In 1990 at Macquarie Uni he achieved the rare feat of playing in all 3 grades. He has also thrown his hand in to assist with Registrar and Treasurer duties over the years.
 
His career highlights include 2 clubman of the year awards, kicking 6 from 6 in a 2nd half drubbing of Hornsby Tech and winning the 1996 2nd Grade Grand Final alongside the other Shano brothers, Chris Shano and Marty Shano.
 
His fondest memories are of fundraising nights in the Polecat Clubhouse, Bathurst Bus Trips and Post Grandfinal Parties at the Vicar. Kieran Shano played many grades and many positions before retiring in 2000, but has made numerous comebacks in 2006, 2007, and most memorably 2010 at the ripe old age of 39 where he finished the year on the wing in the 1st grade grand final.
 
In 2016 Shano celebrated a playing career spanning 26 years with the Polecats with a celebrity appearance on the wing for 1st grade scoring 2 tries and played 2nd grade when they won the major semi final against Canberra Uni, pulling off what some would say was the tackle of the season.
 
Shano has now officially retired (again). Rumour has it that his rego papers have now been stamped “Never to play again”. His role at the club now includes chief pace setter at training to keep the young blokes honest, cooking the BBQ, and beer taster. Kieran recently took part in the 2022 Nines and embarrassed many of his younger counterparts with superior fitness and skill. 

TREASURER: BOB LENNOX
Bob Lennox

Bob Lennox’s involvement in rugby league pre-dates the digital media so a google search will only uncover the bare basics of an illustrious rugby league career from representing Asquith in the 1976 North Sydney A-Grade Grand Final through to coaching the Hills C-Grade to grand final victory in 1987. From Hills C-Grade Bob progressed on to coaching roles with Pennant Hills in the early 1990’s before returning to Hills to coach their A-Grade team in the mid-late 1990’s.

1998 was a year of turning points for both Bob and the Polecats. The Polecats only fielded 1 side for the first time in decades and without a succession plan for the 1st grade coach (who was ready to retire) they played the season with the catch phrase of ‘The Last Stand’ assuming that this was to be the clubs final season, and failed to make a grand final in any grade for the first time since 1981 (a 16 year grand final streak broken) so things were certainly at rock bottom. The club even produced memorabilia in honour of the final season of this once great club.

Fortunately, across town, at the end of the 1998 season, Bob was shown the door as A-Grade coach and a former NRL first grader appointed in his place. Bob was soon headhunted to take over as coach at the Polecats. As testament to Bob’s ability to draw players in and build morale within a club, without a single phone call or conversation to poach players away, within 3 weeks more than 15 players chose to come across and join the Polecats for the 1999 season.

This was a major turning point for the Polecats. With 2 sides in 1999 the club went on to make the grand final in both grades and took out the 1st grade premiership in a hard fought battle with Canberra University. 1999 kick started a golden run for the Polecats with the club going on to win 6 1st grade grand finals out of 13 appearances across 17 seasons. A strike rate of 46% in grand finals. Bob’s role at the club throughout this period was pivotal to the Polecats success.

Bob has in recent years handed the coaching reins to Dan Jackson but still plays an active role in the club and is the Polecat equivalent of ‘The Honey Badger’ with more sayings and one liners than a fortune cookie factory, making sure every player, and every minority group feels equally loved amongst the Polecat fraternity.

SECRETARY: JOSEPH WEHBE
Joeseph Wehbe

Known around Polecats as Mclovin after his uncanny resemblance to the character from the hit film SUPERBAD, McLovin has always had great enthusiasm and commitment with the Polecats. In 2022 Joseph Wehbe stepped up with his role at the Polecats to not only secretary but after a calf injury became the team manager for the majority of Polecats games for both grades and assisted greatly with registrations.

It is for this reason that McLovin is such a well loved member of the Polecats fraternity and will be assisting with IT skills in 2024 as well as taking the field for another season.
 

GENERAL COMMITTTEE /SOCIAL MEDIA: ROB WEISBACK
Rob Weisback

Rob Weisback stumbled across joining the Polecats in season 2006 after an invitation from Polecats second grade coach Darren Hardman.
 
In round three of that year he decided to make a comeback to rugby league after a 10 year break from his last junior club the Mascot Jets, In his first game he suffered a torn calf muscle, which put himself out for ten weeks, knowing only a handful of people at the club, he decide to stick around and help out where he could and subsequently becoming a trainer and chef for the Thursday BBQ’s.
 
In 2007 Rob became the treasurer, registrar, first grade trainer, officer for food and beverages. He also played 10 games for the second grade side until injury ruled out his season playing season once again.
 
Rob Weisback created a milestone in Polecat history becoming the first member to ever win the clubman of the year trophy twice consecutive years. And in 2008 he has accepted the position as club president taking over the reins from Polecats 25 year life members John McMartin.
 
After 8 years as President of the club, Rob decided to step back in his role and spend more time with his young family. Rob is still an active committee member and an integral part of the Polecats club and culture.
 

LEAGUE DELEGATE: BEN KEARY
Ben Keary
Ben finally made the decision to join the committee in 2022 after working out the league meetings were only down the street from his house. Ben has been playing with the Polecats since 2008 and has had much success with the club winning the first grade 2008, 2012 and 2015 grand finals. Ben is a welcome addition to the committee and gives great insight to the club.  
 
 

GENERAL COMMITTEE/CANTEEN: SCOTT BROWN
Scott Brown
Scotty Brown has been a popular team member for many years with the Polecats and has always helped out the club anyway he can including winning clubman of the year, Scotty once scanned an entire rugby league field with a metal detector looking for the presidents wedding ring only for the it to be located at his house. Scotty is always known as one of the last men standing at end of season celebrations and is master fire keeper at these events.
 
 
 
 GENERAL COMMITTEE/CANTEEN: KEITH WESTON
Scott Brown
Keith has had along association with the Polecats but is a known for switching to arch rivals UTS and back again many occasions. Keith became so well known in the league that a trophy was named in his honour for every game played against POLECATS And UTS.In season 2021 Keith was officially the oldest player but maintained a starting spot in the first grade side. Known for his fitness and toughness he had a serious leg break which forced his retirement. It is good to see Keith returning to where he belongs and this year again at the Polecats he will be assisting with the coaches in both grades for 2022.

 

 GENERAL COMMITTEE/GEAR STEWARD: TIM CURLEY
Tim Curley
Tim has been a stalwart regular First grade starter and rep player at the Polecats since 2015. Tim Played at Many other A grade clubs which saw success prior to his Polecats debut, most notably Hill’s Bulls and Lalor Park. This year Tim has joined the committee to contribute in a new ways giving a unique insight from a players perspective whilst continuing his playing career.

Tim is also the very popular Thursday Night football technician for the club to enjoy with the BBQ after training. 

 
COACHING COORDINATOR/SOCIAL MEDIA: DAMIEN RIDDLE

Damien Riddle aka ‘Dingo’ came to the Polecats as player back in 2002 and after a few years spent many years playing and coaching with the Quakers Hill

destroyers. Damien returned to the  Polecats in 2022 as second grade coach and took on a mammoth task and coached both grades in 2023 taking the Polecats to the second grade grand final and finished the year winning the clubman of the year award. Damien brings his many combined years of experience to the committee as the 2024  coaching coordinator and Social media officer.

SPONSORSHIP MANAGER: BRETT MURRAY

Brett Murray first came across the Polecats as a manager for his son Joash Murray looking for a new team in 2021, the following year Brett came down out of

retirement completed the dream of playing opens rugby league alongside his son as hooker. Brett has a love for Rugby League and an extensive background

as a public speaker and he is an Author, Producer and Activist. Brett is also the CEO of the world’s most effective bullying education and prevention charity, Safeheart Foundation through the ‘Make Bullying History’ program. and it was these skills which The Polecats approached Brett to get involved in the sponsorship management side of the organisation. Brett is 5 x nominee for Australian of the year and was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2024 Australia Day Honours for service to children

Brett has since secured The Vicar as the home of the Polecats in 2024 and gold sponsor and many years to come.

 

PATRON and life member: JOHN MCMARTIN (vale 1944-2018)
John McMartin

A veteran of thirteen seasons, John McMartin was one of New South Wales top hookers during the 1970’s. After staring for Parramatta for 160 games (making him the 13th most capped player for the club), John moved to the shire based Sharks where he played an integral part in their 1978 campaign which saw the club make the historic drawn Grand Final.

Unfortunately for John, injury ruled him out of the replay against Manly, but he still made enough of an impression within the club to be named in the recent St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, best players over the Sharks 40 years.

After retiring from top grade football, John has contributed significantly to the Polecats club, playing, coaching and helping administer the club for the past 25 years. John has also been heavily involved in the administration and coaching of the NSW and Australian Tertiary and University sides over that time, helping a number of now current NRL players make their first representative honours. John is honoured by maintaining his place on the committee page after his passing in 2018.

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