Oh Roys family. This is tough. We're devastated to be back in lockdown, and for both our Thirds teams to be missing their Semi Finals this weekend. But we've been here before and know what to do to keep everyone safe.
All home and away VAFA matches scheduled for the weekend of August 07/08 have been cancelled in line with the VAFA Conditions of Play in a COVID Environment Policy.
As previously communicated on July 23, Men’s Thirds Semi-Finals and Women’s Preliminary Finals can be rescheduled if government restrictions permit. Both competitions' finals series must conclude by the weekend of August 27/28.
The VAFA’s intention is to play as soon as restrictions allow.
We'll keep you all updated as soon as more information comes through from State Government and the VAFA.
There are few more popular players at the club than Nathan 'Ligga' Ligris. On Saturday against Parkdale, he led the club out in his 150th, and was eventually chaired off by a couple of fellow old blokes, mates, Jack Dalton and Toby Hudson-Bevege. The young blokes looked on in admiration. Earlier in the day, Ligga chalked up his normal 30 plus possies, sure hands, and lovely left shoe.
Ligga has played at the Roys since he was 8, in his words, “his whole life”. He played his first senior game in 2014, kicked a goal with his first kick under Michael Pickering, but lost to Uni Blues by 150. He has really responded to 'Pickers' and current coach Luke Mahoney, “great with players, always extracting the best. They always want to take you to the next level.”
In his first game under Mahns in round 1 of 2018, the coach asked Ligga to “show me what you've got”. He did, got sent off and was rubbed out for 2 weeks. A few years earlier, he was sent forward in a game against Old Brighton, kicked 2 in a minute, lined up for his third, was copping a spray from the southerners over the fence, and flipped the bird. Umpire saw it and sent him off. We lost the game.
The plumber-cum-carpenter is still only 26, has had no serious injury, but is starting to feel a little older when often half the side is under 21. You hear this from time to time, but he genuinely loves his club. “Everyone is welcomed with open arms, a family club, new recruits are blown away by the club culture, simple things like first gamers getting a club beanie.”
As for the future, he simply wants to play 200 and win another flag. He is an affable, warm, laconic, engaging character, who happens to be a champion on the field as well. A younger teammate described him as “committed, team first, a loveable character.” Sums him up I reckon.
Well done from all at the Roys Ligga, plenty more to come.
Congrats to these Roys who reached significant milestones over the past few weeks in-between lockdowns! Congratulations Nathan Ligris, Kai Menzies and Ross Bartel! Thank you all for your outstanding contributions to our Club!
Senior Roy Girls season review
By Fitzroy-ACU Seniors coach Bronte Ryan
I’ve been trying to find the words that accurately express my feelings on Season 2021, and I’ve come to the realisation that words alone will never quite do it the justice it deserves.
But here they are anyway.
Marking 713 days off the calendar without a win and to finally be able to draw a line through that number to have Joan Eddy serenade me on that fact is a moment I’ll never forget. With tears in my eyes, the coaches, the players and I embraced each other that day, knowing we had something very special.
It was the culmination of a disappointing year away from the game, some incredibly tough training sessions in pre season, some unstoppable energy and above all the will to win, to get ourselves over the line in the first round. This year has been in so many ways rewarding, but has not been without its challenges. Each time the group was presented with one, they took it head on and came out stronger and more united than ever.
At times, the stop/start nature of the pandemic threatened to pull the very fabric that is community footy apart, but to see the team persevere through it all shows that the true spirit of the Fitzroy Football Club is alive and well amongst this group.
Amongst these challenging times, we’ve also seen some great ones as well.
The Pride Game in round 4 saw us coming together with Melbourne University to celebrate the wonderful diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community and raise some funds for Queerspace.
We also witnessed a record number of talented, incredible women make their debut for the club including some former members of the Fitzroy Junior Football Club, which shows that our pathways will only continue to strengthen.
Sarah Lynas and former captain Jess AKA Lenny Hayes played their 50th games for the club.
We also saw Erin Gogerly take multiple contenders for mark or the year and she also gave us many contenders for goal of the year as well!
I would be here all day listing the countless things we have to be proud of as a club, but the thing I am most proud of is that week in, week out, our club show up for each other and continue to drive a culture of inclusiveness and positivity. Our club is a very special one, and this team is no exception, this team of women is one I’m very proud to lead.
They’ve given their all this year and that was well and truly on show in the twilight semi final they played on Saturday night in the wind and rain against a very good Beaumaris side.
From the first bounce of the game we came out swinging and did not stop until the final siren. We played in true Roys spirit to fight and claw for every mark, kick and goal. Ultimately, we fell just six agonising points short of an underdog victory, however it did signal to the rest of the competition that the women of Fitzroy are no pushovers, and above all, gives us great confidence that we can go further in 2022.
If I can be indulged to also give some thanks they’d be as follows,
To the leadership team. Cass, Lex, Whitey, Mia and Hils. The work you have done behind the scenes this year has been phenomenal. What people see on game day and at training is just the tip of the iceberg and I cannot thank you all enough for all of the ways you have helped me, the playing group and the coaches this year!
To the coaches. Harps, Mel, Ollie, Jacko and Nath. You are a well oiled machine and a team within the team! Working alongside each of you has been an experience like no other, the strength we have amongst this group is a truly exciting prospect. Thank you for challenging me and supporting me every step of the way.
To the squad as a whole. thank you for embracing me as one of your own, there really is no club like this one and that all comes down to the amazing energy you bring and the positive culture you inspire in each other.
To the many support staff, trainers and runners. The game does not go ahead without the roles you play each week and for that we are truly thankful. Special mentions to Mitch McWhinney, Rachael Telfer and Roger Atkinson for their efforts on game day.
Finally to Gemma Minuz. Your perfectly timed words of wisdom and your perpetually calm nature on the bench and running the board will make you a fantastic coach one day. I hope there are many more playing days before that time comes though.
Once again, thank you everyone, and here’s to being better, faster and stronger in 2022.
We know in the current circumstances it's hard to celebrate, especially with both our Thirds team unable to take the field this weekend to play their Semi Finals, but we want to shout out to our Gold Thirds who are Div 2 Thirds minor Premiers in 2021!
In their first season, and under new coach, Cameron Ball, this side has shown incredible skill, talent and determination and we're very proud of what they've achieve this season.
Well done Gold Thirds!
Support the Roys while we can't take the field
Show your support for the Roys while we're at home to stay safe - buy some raffle tickets!
We know that the Fitzroy community loves a challenge, let's see if we can beat last year’s raffle effort. We are closing in on the amount raised in 2020, so it would be great if we can smash that total! Please encourage friends and family to buy a ticket or two to support the Roys!
Tickets are only $5 each, with three brand new Toyotas up for grabs!
If we all pitch in and buy a few tickets each, we’ll move up the leaderboard and raise the funds we desperately need to get our players out on the park each season.
The Good For Footy raffle officially closes at 12pm on 10 September, but if the total is reached earlier, it will be closed off before that. So time is of the essence!