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

Celebrating women – in silence and song


You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Ressie Roy Girls had their work well and truly cut out for them on their return to the Brunswick Street Oval this weekend against traditional foes Beaumaris.

Again, only a portion of their full squad were able to be fitted into the team. They didn’t have the benefit of tried performance leading in (given Mazenod forfeited the week before). Their warm up was lengthened due to confusion about start time and having to wait for the umpires to arrive. And to complicate matters, an untried coach – new to the club and the team – had been called on to take over the reins.

Not to mention that our opponents were coming into the game with an eye-watering percentage of 2500 and only nine points scored against them in their previous three outings.

The final score line – 91 to 11 to the Roys’ favour – completely and spectacularly dispelled any doubts the players or the supporters might have been harbouring.

“It was a complete team performance from the first bounce,” said Mick McFarlane, a work colleague of Gemma Minuz who stepped up from assistant coaching duties to take over while her day job took her out of town.

“All 21 players who got the call can be proud of their individual moments through the game.”

Mick highlighted the rolling 1 percenters of the backline for setting the game up and establishing the team standard. And not just for this game against Beauy, but for the next few rounds.

When pushed, Mick pointed to new recruits Gab Treacher, Gif Hassan and Maren McLachlan and ably supported by Chloe Haritopoulos, captain Emma Bourke, and the amazing Christina Kelly whose forward-line heroics continue to light up the crowd.

Between the opener and the main game, and before they headed back to the rooms to belt out the victory song, the Ressies formed a guard of honour to recognise Umpires Appreciation Round. 

Then joined the umpires and the full Fitzroy and Beaumaris squads in a circle in the middle of the ground to acknowledge the horrifying and growing numbers of women who’ve lost their lives to domestic violence within Australian families and communities.

After such an emotional and thought-provoking lead up, it wasn’t surprising that the Seniors started off slowly. “But they worked their way into the game really well,” coach Nathan Jumeau said.

“It felt like we were running on top of the ground in the last 30 mins of the match. And to kick four goals in last quarter was reward for the excellence of our play in the last half.

“I’m looking forward to seeing us put together a four-quarter game soon.

As for individual plaudits, Lauren ‘Jacky Fowler’ Atkinson and Maddi Carter were great down back. Tess Young snuck up forward to kick a delightful goal, Gina again led in the midfield, Sunday Brisbane and captain Stef Pitty got plenty of the footy on the wing and, Nessa Cooney Hunt played a starring role in what was her best game yet for the Roys.

Next week the girls head out to Masons Road Oval to face old rivals Aquinas. And continue on their spectacular winning way.

JG Gorilla

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