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



In an emotional presentation to the Men’s playing group before training last night, Luke Mahoney announced that after six years at Fitzroy, he has made the difficult decision to step down from the senior coaching position.

Luke explained that his decision is not outcome-based. But with family and work commitments ever increasing, realises he can’t meet the effort required in 2024. And that if, as he hopes and expects, the club makes it into A Grade, he would expect more of himself. 

This is the mark of the man.

Luke with wife Jody and children Max, Audrey and Lucy at their first Fitzroy lunch at the beginning of the 2018 season

The news was greeted by his players with a stunned silence and at the end, prolonged applause for the man who has led Fitzroy so honourably and, in football terms, so strategically and successfully over the past six years.

Under Luke’s leadership Fitzroy has enjoyed its greatest achievements of the modern era, including the 2018 Premier C premiership, enduring and coming out of COVID stronger and better, avoiding the drop back to C Grade in 2019 and, last year, making Premier B finals for the first time in the club’s history. Most importantly, under the influence of his coaching and mentorship, the young men of Fitzroy have grown and developed as respectful, honourable people we are all so proud of.

Coming off triumphant with President David Leydon and players after a win against St Bedes Mentone at Brunswick Street Oval on 30 July 2022

Football matters and undisputed success aside (including Mahns’ own extensive and distinguished record in the VAFA and VFL as a player and coach and as current AFL Senior Community Coach of the Year), we have basked in the knowledge that with Mahns as our senior coach, Fitzroy has earned the highest reputation for great play and good sportsmanship in the VAFA.

This has been achieved through Luke’s leading by example, his calm and considered interaction with players, supporters and game officials and his quiet, respectful demeanour. Over these past six years Luke has rarely raised his voice, opting instead for clearly and concisely outlining game tactics and focussing on players’ individual skills and abilities.

Two-way listening and learning with Donovan Toohey

In his address to the players last night, Luke said he has been privileged to have led a fine group of young men and will forever be grateful for the relationships, friendships and bonds he has made during his time at Fitzroy.

And as he also said, Fitzroy still has a job to do, one that he’s one hundred percent committed to finishing, following the team mantra of hunger, humility, sacrifice and pride.

The Fitzroy Board knows it speaks for the entire Fitzroy community in thanking Luke from the bottom of our hearts for his hard work and dedication over his six years at the club.

Images courtesy Phyllis Quealy

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