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

Fire in the Fitzroy belly


Alexa Madden, Lex to her mates, is one of the experienced heads and key conspirators in the Fitzroy Senior Women’s side. Remember, this side is currently second on the ladder, two and a half games clear of third, and aiming for the ultimate prize. Without getting ahead of themselves, that’s where the focus of the side is, something in its relatively short history that the Fitzroy female is yet to achieve.

Lex is a first-year firefighter stationed at Bundoora. She busted a boiler to become one, and sees it as a lifelong career. Simply put, she absolutely loves the job, the community of her work colleagues, the fact that everyone is on the same page. A bit like a successful football team really. She has a background in Exercise Science and Business from ACU, a major club sponsor. And it was at ACU that the opportunity to play women’s football first came to light.

For years growing up, Lex watched her brother play football every week. She was always the keen sportsperson, but knew that footy was not an option. It was never listed on the menu for girls. When ACU participated in an annual football tournament, friendships developed around a shared passion to play the game, and in 2015 or 16 (she can’t really recall), Lex headed off with a few mates in the direction of the Brunswick Street Oval for the first training session. There were seven or eight on the track, all were excited to be able to play, and a session in the Bowling Club after training confirmed the passion. It was two weeks before the first game, under the coaching stewardship of John Marshall. 

“In the second year, we got to a grand final, but unfortunately fell short.” The foundations had been laid however, and there has been growth in numbers and ability year upon year. “The growth has been crazy, now everyone I know is a footy head, all my connections are through the Fitzroy Football Club, and the skills of the junior girls are starting to flow through.”

It is worth remembering however that the whole comp is also improving. She should know, she’s a seven-year veteran.

In 2022, with two senior women’s teams, there is stronger sense of identity within the club as a whole. “The club is so accepting, but the competition has a way to go in terms of delivering fairness and equality.” As an example, Lex cites the reporting of women’s games as being far inferior to that of the men’s in the VAFA Record. “We train the same, we play the same, we want the exposure to be the same.” Given the growth of the women’s game, that will be a given, I hope.

In the meantime, Lex is comfortable with her job, her football, and limited home habits, like walking the dogs. She is a mad Bombers fan, but in the current climate, that IS mad. All her friendships and conversations are centred on the wider Fitzroy Football Club. And on the ultimate prize this year. “If ever there is a chance, it’s this year. We need to have stronger first quarters, to switch on earlier, and not leave everything till later.”

With that sort of thinking and commitment, I’m sure all members and supporters are on the same football fire truck.

Guy Gorilla

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