MY WYNDHAM: John Costa is a director of Costa’s Mitre 10 in Hoppers Crossing, and is the new president of Hoppers Crossing Football Club. He chats with Alesha Capone.

Tell me about the history of your business.
My father and uncle started the business 50-odd years ago. It started out in Francis Street, Yarraville and 29 years ago, they brought Powells in Werribee, then opened this place (Costa’s Mitre 10) in 1986. Probably around 13 years ago we were at our biggest with four stores, in Campbellfield, Brooklyn, Hoppers Crossing and Werribee, and nearly 200 employees. My Dad Mario passed away around that time. Uncle Gerry was a partner, he is still involved in the business. My sister Vitina and I are joint directors, along with Gerry’s kids. The business has changed in the last three, four years. We’ve diversified and moved more into building, and less into retail. I love talking to customers, I’m pretty hands-on.

 

Photo by Damjan Janevski.

How did you become involved with Hoppers Crossing FC?
I played senior football there from when I was about 18 or 19, for 10 years almost. I finished in the seniors and came back as an administrator. In 1992 we won our first senior premiership. I then left and concentrated on work, getting married and having a family. I became involved in the club again during 2001. I became vice-president, which lasted two years. We oversaw another premiership in 2002, and it was fantastic to be part of that as an administrator. About seven years ago, I was asked back at Hoppers Crossing Football Club as a selector. Then I was asked if I would consider becoming president, to help the club out.

What are your plans for the club’s future?
I’ve been doing my homework since August, looking at what we can do better, to turn the club around and look at where we want to get to. We plan to make Hoppers Crossing great again. We will develop a strategy in the next two to three weeks, with the executive committee including vice-president Karen Kitchen, a life-long member of the club. We also have a director of football on board, who was involved with the club in 2001-2004, Charlie Bonanno. Our senior coach Steve Kretiuk is an ex-Bulldogs player. For the past seven years he has been in the job, we’ve taken two runners-up and been in the finals every year he’s been here. Due to the great work of the committee during 2019, we have some great initiatives coming up – our girls’ senior team will launch in 2020. For my wife Jenine and I, it’s a joint project, we’re in it together. As well, my oldest son Lachlan, who is 23, is playing senior football for the club and my 17-year-old daughter is doing her IB next year.