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



Having set up his customarily irresistible merch offerings in front of the Kevin Murray grandstand at the Brunswick Street Oval, business was brisk for the Comrade President as the Twos arrived, calm and casual, for their outing against the Melbourne University Women's Football Club (something they abbreviate to MUWFC, but known to the rest of the world as the Mugars).

The new old-style corduroy caps in particular found favour and were spotted not only across the BSO but on the heads of numerous FFC men who made their way to the De La ground to play or support.

Coming up against arguably the most established side in the Women’s comp, it was always going to be a tough ask for our valiant Twos, especially having endured some pretty bruising weeks’ in the run up.

But someone – in fact probably everyone – forgot to tell them that.

Nursing her broken hand in a tailor-made protective glove, Lex Madden was joyous on return and running effortlessly above the ground, even before the first ball was bounced. Ably assisted by longstanding, experienced and elite FFC founding team mates of the likes of Hillary Collett, Gemma Minuz and Liz Olney, the Twos dominated from the get go.

In fact, the play of the day came in the first five minutes of the first quarter with Liz Olney clearing from the opposition inside 50 with a huge boot to Jess Anticaglia, hitting her squarely on the chest. Without a second’s hesitation, Jess kicked on down the line to Gemma Minuz, who deftly marked on the forward flank. Taking a moment to reset, the Gem then found Lex Madden whose run through the centre found an open hole at the top of the square. Mark, goal!

“Play sequences were clean and courageous,” says coach Jason Valestro. “For the first time this season we weren’t just bees to a honey pot. Making good their self-nominated promise to attack the footy pre-game, the ball carriers were courageously protected with each disposal.”

From then on, this became the style of the day, making it a challenging task for those making best-on selections. As the coach summarised after the game, every player who stepped foot on BSO for the Twos was outstanding.

When pressed though, Liz Olney’s domination – finishing up with six superb goals – was deemed best on ground, not to be overshadowed by Rhi Sgarbi’s awe-inspiring second-quarter 55 metre sausage roll from her own crumbing of the ball also drawing his praise. Not to mention Jess Anticaglia who continued to show her leadership and experience and ending up with three majors of her own, along with Pip Poole whose lovely shot seared through the big sticks. And let’s not forget Aspen Wagner whose impressive start to the season continues unabated.

“Overall a fantastic day” Jason says, “I’m very proud of all the girls for taking on the instructions discussed throughout the week and delivering on a much-deserved and outstanding performance.”

For the Ones, Sunday Brisbane fully realised her obvious talent, playing her best game so far for Fitzroy. Coming from Hawthorn’s VFLW side, Alessia Franchese was impressive in her first game for the Roys, with Zara Flanigan, Eliza James and Jaime Nelson also playing great games, and Erin Gogerly standing up up forward (kicking two). As usual, Lauren ‘Jacky Fowler’ Atkinson and Sarah Lynas were great down back.

Falling short by a respectable 20 points against tough opponents, the Ones were stalwart and courageous in defeat.

But I’m sure they won’t mind me saying that the day belonged to the Twos, whose amazing 63-point drubbing and first win for the season put a huge smile on the faces of Fitzroy supporters club wide.

J G Gorilla

Image caption:
Two great Fitzroy captains who ran out the game in more ways than one.

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