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



With Senior Coach Nathen Jumeau’s exhortation to “end with a bang” ringing in their ears, the Roy Girls Twos hit the ground for their final game of the season with fierce determination and characteristic zest.

To the delight of the large crowd gathered at the Brunswick Street Oval to watch this final foray, the Twos absolutely turned it on for the last three quarters, reversing a slow start and finishing off with some spectacular highlights.

Watching in the stands, Christina Kelly’s baby Marlow saw her mother goal from 65 metres. Not bad, you’d have to admit, for a Canadian-born in only her second season of footy. And while this spectacular feat from the Moose elicited the loudest celebration from players and supporters alike, Liz Olney’s bag of three accompanied by bicycle kicks that would make the Matilda’s blush, was also given due congratulations all around the ground.

Steph Amy’s solid performance in the backline helped keep the opposition off the scoreboard, the consistent contests by Emma Bourke and Elyse Campbell underlined what they have been able to do all year, and Lily Prowse-McKeown’s relentless toughness kept the opposition in check and Roy spirits high.

Summing up his inaugural season, Coach Jason VaIastro said he is so proud of the Twos’ development as a team and can’t wait to see what they can do together next season.

“New faces, first year players and skill level challenges have not beaten us,” Jase said, “and the growth and competitiveness have just gotten better and better.”

For Senior Coach Nathan Jumeau, the occasion just couldn’t have have been bettered.

“What a day,” Ju said. “To see so much of what we’ve worked on throughout the year come together was amazing. Before the game, we talked about winning at the contest and being physical against Collegians. 

"And we definitely did that – all game long.”

During the first quarter, the senior Roy Girls were matching it pretty evenly with Collegians. But with the opposition managing to kick three with the breeze, Roy supporters would have been forgiven for thinking the recurring story of the season might hold sway. (Constant readers of JGG will know what that story is, but for those coming in from the cold, it goes like this: great play not converted to the scoreboard.)

The coach and his charges weren’t having any of it though.

“At quarter time we talked about getting the ball out wide to our runners,” said Jumeau, “and it was great to see the girls following instruction to the letter.”

Working hard through the midfield, Simone Mooney, Amelie Lay, Alessia Francese and Robyn Randell were superb in feeding out from the inside to our runners on the outside in Steph Pitt, Sunday Brisbane and Gina Bennett.

But this was a true team game and Pitty, Sunday and Gina were joined in effort and skill by too many others to mention.

“Our ball movement was the best all year,” Ju said, “changing the shape and lowering our eyes. 

"Erin (Gogerly) wound back the clock, kicking three goals in quick succession, and Chloe (Haritopoulos ) and Mia (Sutherland)'s pressure up forward was amazing all day, leading to goals from Chloe and Simome.”

At half time coach and players talked about adjusting a few things from the first quarter where Collegians had been able to capitalise on the breeze and following that planning to a tee, restricted them to one miserly point.

At the final break Ju urged the Roys to take the 20 minutes left of 2023 footy to honour the four retirees and finish off the game. This they did in style, with another great quarter of footy culminating in the final goal of the year slotted by Alessia against her old side.

“It was a great team effort today,” Ju said, “with the backline playing really well as a core, the midfield working hard all day, and the forwards finishing off that hard work on the scoreboard.

“Simone and Mia played probably their best games of footy for the year, Erin and Chloe were both lively up forward, Pitty, Sunday and Gina provided great run and pressure on the wing, and Jaime (Nelson) and Eliza James rucked really well all day.”

The song rang out, the girls ran in, and the crowd crowed with delight. 

All in all, having again experienced what Premier footy throws up, the Roy Girls showed us exactly what they’re capable of. And we can’t wait to be part of the action!

JG Gorilla

Image caption:
Joining some of their foundation Fitzroy-ACU team mates, retiring Roy Girls Cass Blake, Erin Gogerly, Lucy Kerr and Luci Murphy celebrated their final game with an impressive win against Collegians.

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