Fitzroy Football Club: Great football, Great community, Great culture.

2022 Gold Thirds season review


By Fitzroy Gold Thirds coach Silvano Inserra

The final siren sounds…we exhale, the season is over.

Kane and I look at each other, and then look at our men. They have given their all. They are exhausted, dirty, bruised, but you get the sense that they would not want to be anywhere else but together.

All we wanted was one more week. One more week to train, to dream and simply, to compete again. But this is not the case, our season is over…the proper way… by a result on the footy field rather than a lockdown.

From where we started at the beginning of the season compared to where this group has landed cannot be ignored and needs to be celebrated. It epitomises the unique spirit that the whole club has created this season.

The legacy of last year’s interrupted season lingered into the start of this one with uncertainty around whether we’d have an under 19s team. We held onto hope, desperate to recruit players, knowing that the introduction of youth to the club is its very lifeline. After social media posts, poster drops and many phone calls, it was evident that we had to (yes, I’m going to say it) pivot.

So, it was decided to put together a development team in the Division 2 Thirds competition thinking that this would be a way to keep the younger players engaged, exposed to bigger bodies and fast track the growth and development of players.

From pre-season right throughout the year, players and coaches alike have remained focused on hard work, growth, connection and an unwavering desire to be competitive and work towards a common goal, to provide an environment where both players and coaches can be challenged.

With a combined squad of young and more seasoned players, the team dominated the first five rounds to the point where the club requested a transfer to a higher division. This was a player-driven initiative, supported by the coaching group and the club.

So off to Premier Division we went (two grades up). The group adapted to the increase in standard quickly and were competitive in every game, never being overrun by our opposition.

Players were given the opportunity to play reserve grade football and did not appear overawed by the step up, with some representing the club at senior level. Over the season we had almost 50 players roll in and out of our side. From Senior players returning from injury to young players from Colts grade football, this movement of players allowed the formation of a closer bond between players across the entire men’s playing group.

Qualifying for finals in this division was an opportunity to dream and see how far this group could go and winning our first semi against Old Scotch (at their ground) was a well-deserved accomplishment, validation that this group belonged at this level.

Kane and I are proud of the achievements attainted this season, we are proud of the playing group’s commitment, hard work and the drive to better themselves and the club. Most of all, we feel that the club has embraced this season as an opportunity to invest in its youth and we are sure the club will benefit from this in the years to follow.

Boys, be proud of the season. We hope you all enjoyed the ride, got something out of the experience and felt that sense of connection. We’re all looking forward to watching your football journey next season.

Thank you all for making this season a memorable one. Thank you for your hard work, enthusiasm and contribution. We would also like to thank Sophie, Halli and Dave for their help in allowing us to do our thing. Without these people – the Board and volunteers – none of this is possible.

Till pre-season.

On a personal note...

During this season, we were fortunate to play a game at BSO one Saturday morning and I arrived at the ground early. The oval was amassed with hundreds of little kids running around with their footy jumpers on, not feeling the cold, having the times of their lives. It brought me back to where my football coaching journey began at Fitzroy Auskick all those years ago.

I must admit it brought a tear to my eye as this ground (our ground) has been a part of my life for so many years. I have made lifelong friends and have been honoured to be part of the lives of so many young people in our community.

Ironically, I came across this photo the following week. I paused and took the time to reflect on how fortunate I am to have found the Fitzroy football community. Everything I have given has been returned 10-fold and it has kept me grounded, connected and as a result, very thankful.

I am very proud of the three young men who represented the club at senior level this year. Can you pick which ones they are?...and yes, evidence of me with hair although the hair line is retreating faster than the Italians during WWII.

Auskick at BSO circa 2005

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