The ability of any country sporting club to function effectively can be crippled by any number of issues.
Usually these are out of the organisation’s hands, with location, declining population and even drought some of the driving factors behind the struggles of small country clubs.
But when uncertainty is brought on through wrongdoing — that is when it really hurts.
Katandra Football Netball Club has been the victim of foul play, with its trainer trailer stolen during Picola District Football Netball League south-east division grand final week.
‘‘We noticed it missing on the Thursday, we noticed it was there on the Tuesday night and then was gone on the Thursday when we came back for training,’’ committee member Leigh Simpson said.
With Katandra Recreation Reserve playing host to the league’s deciding contests it was assumed one of the members with keys to the lock had taken it home for safe-keeping.
But when the dust settled after the mayhem it was realised that the trailer was not where it was supposed to be.
‘‘We thought someone had taken it home, but when we asked about it no-one had seen it,’’ Simpson said.
‘‘Then we reported it to police and have had no luck in finding it so far.’’
Police investigations have not unearthed a culprit as yet, with Simpson hoping members of the community have seen or heard something in recent weeks.
‘‘At this stage there have been no leads, so we’re looking for some public help, I suppose, in trying to track it down,’’ Simpson said.
‘‘If anyone who has seen or heard anything could contact police, that would be more than helpful.’’
While the missing trailer may seem insignificant to some, the club would not be able to complete its necessary tasks on game day without one, and will need to find the funds to replace it if it is not found.
‘‘It’s obviously utilised pretty heavily throughout the footy season and almost every football and netball club has got one these days, a small trailer to cart all of their gear around in, so we’ll obviously miss ours badly,’’ Simpson said. ‘‘We’ll have to replace it if we can’t find the one we had.’’
The trailer may have already been repainted or on-sold, with the time it was last seen now approaching a month ago, but Simpson believes the club’s livery would still be distinctive enough to recognise.
‘‘It was a small builder’s trailer, I think you’d still be able to see the imprint of the sign writing,’’ he said.
‘‘It was padlocked when we did keep it at the ground so it’s a bit disappointing, someone’s obviously gone to a fair bit of trouble of cutting the padlock and taking it.’’