All home and away VAFA matches scheduled for this weekend 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. Hopefully we're getting closer to being back, but we'll continue to keep doing what we need to do to keep our community safe.
We've made the VAFA's favourite stories & highlights from 2021 (so far!)
Well... Donovan Toohey has! Great to see this moment included in the VAFA's highlights of Season 2021!
Events update - Reds Foundation Lunch, 21 August - Cancelled
Unfortunately due to the uncertainty as to when the current lockdown will end, and whether football and crowds would be allowed even if it does end next Thursday night, the Reds Foundation lunch has been cancelled.
We will be in touch directly with those who had booked tickets for this and earlier cancelled lunches.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The famous fog game: August 1971
As we face another week of cancelled VAFA games, we take a look back at a Fitzroy game that could have been cancelled 50 years ago, way back in August, 1971 – the infamous fog match.
By David Leydon
Photo: Umpire Bill Deller checks the state of play with the Goal Umpire
It’s 50 years ago this coming week since one of the most bizarre games ever of VFL/AFL football.
Deep in August of 1971, Fitzroy were playing in the Round 21 game at their then home ground, the Junction Oval in St.Kilda, against reigning Premiers Carlton.
It was an important game for both teams. Carlton had to win to keep their finals hopes alive and the Roys, in their first season under coach Graham Donaldson, were starting to build a team that was on the improve and hopeful of bigger and better things in the years ahead.
Playing in front of a good crowd of 22,413 the game started in sunshine at 2pm. The Fitzroy team included the legendary Kevin Murray and experienced players like Norm Brown, Russell Crow, Alex Ruscuklic and John Murphy. But it was also a very young Roys team with Harvey Merrigan, Warwick Irwin and an 18 year-old bloke by the name of Renato Serafini playing his first game of league football at the top level.
The Carlton team, who had won the previous season's Premiership, and would go on to have huge success in the ensuing years, was full of stars. Jesaulenko, Doull, Serge Silvagni, Nicholls, Crosswell Gallagher and Southby were all there to name a few.
It was always a great thing as a Fitzroy supporter in these years when we played against our local, traditional rivals in Carlton and Collingwood. It didn’t matter where we were on the ladder, you always knew the Roys would bring themselves up for a big game against these teams.
This game back in 1971 was no exception.
The Roys were well in it early after Carlton kicked an inaccurate 3.7.25 to lead us by 9 points at quarter time. Then Fitzroy turned the game on its head and shocked Carlton with a 7 goal second quarter to go in at half time with a 25 point lead.
It was in the second half that the bright sunshine was replaced by a huge fog that came straight off the nearby Port Phillip Bay and completely blanketed the ground. Players couldn’t see more than a few metres in front of them, the scorers and timekeepers couldn’t see the game and had to rely on the emergency umpire to relay details of what was happening out on the ground to them.
Fitzroy ruckman Norm Brown recalled that, “visibility was down to zero and all you could hear was thunk, thunk, thunk of the ball and then it would suddenly appear out of the fog”.
Carlton made the most of the changed conditions and reduced the commanding lead the Roys held at half time back to just 6 points at three quarter time. But in the true spirit of the old local rivalry, the Roys were determined not to let this game slip, and kicked 4 goals to Carlton’s single goal in the last quarter to run out comfortable 23 point winners.
Photo: 38 Paul Shanahan (Fitzroy) and 20 Geoff Southby (Carlton)
The icing on the cake came late in the game when frustrated Carlton defender Vin Waite belted Norm Brown right in front of Umpire Bill Deller close to Fitzroy’s goal. Deller awarded a free kick to big Browny who goaled and ended Carlton’s charge towards the ’71 finals.
There were of course some funny stories that came out in the years after this game. Carlton had dropped ruckman Peter “Percy” Jones back into a spare man in defence role in the last quarter to try and negate a surging Fitzroy team. As the ball was apparently coming down the ground no one in Percy’s area knew where it was until he suddenly pointed and yelled “There it is!” only to watch champion Roys centreman John Murphy get there first and kick the goal.
It was also later suggested that Fitzroy, who were kicking to the city end of the Junction Oval in the last quarter, turned on the lights of the scoreboard which was just behind the goals so that the Roys players had some idea of where the goals were. Very well done whoever thought of that idea!
There was some talk at the ground that the game should have been called off under such conditions, but there was no fog at any of the other league games that day so it would have been a disadvantage to both Fitzroy and Carlton had such a decision been made.
Thus became the legend of ‘The Fog Game”.
Match details: Saturday 21 August, 1971 – VFL Round 21. Played at the Junction Oval, Attendance: 22,413, Umpire: Bill Deller
The Fitzroy team: 23 Norm Brown, 32 Russell Crow, 7 Warwick Irwin, 36 Harvey Merrigan, 22 Shane Molloy, 5 John Murphy, 1 Kevin Murray, 14 Barry Padley, 15 David Rhodes, 8 Laurie Richards, 18 Leigh Robertson, 13 Alex Ruscuklic, 12 Ray Sault, 34 Doug Searl, 47 Renato Serafini, 38 Paul Shanahan, 24 Bill Sykes, 21 Alan Thompson, 33 David Wall, 11 Noel Zunneberg.
Thank you sponsors and partners!
It takes many contributors to keep a sporting club alive and thriving.
We would like to take the time to recognise our great partners and sponsors in Season 2021 who have helped us do just that in another trying year. Our partners are your partners, and we're all in this together. Please support our sponsors when you have the chance and keep our community and club thriving!
ACU: Thank you for the great continued support of our Women and Under 19 teams. As announced in the RedRoy earlier this year, we are very pleased that ACU have agreed to extend their support of FFC until the end of the 2023 season. The Exercise Science program for the Senior Women’s player has been greatly appreciated and has definitely kept the players' fitness levels up. Thank you Tristan, Georgia, and all at ACU for your continuing support.
The Community Bank – Clifton Hill / North Fitzroy (Bendigo Bank): Thank you for the ongoing support from your Grant Program and your COVID support grants which have enabled the club to deliver several Player Wellbeing initiatives in 2021. If you are looking to either refinance your property or take out a loan, contact the team at the bank who are there to help you with a great deal. There also could be a referral fee paid to FFC . Contact Lee Chia, email@example.com , to find out how they can assist you
FitzroyIT: Thank you to Tim and the team for all your support, also a long term supporter of the club. The assistance you provide to the club behind the scenes is making a fantastic contribution to the club. They are currently working with us to develop the new FFC website that will be released soon, an example of the great work FitzroyIT provides to their clients. If you are looking for a digital solutions team that helps you manage your business contact Tim Jenkinson to find more on 1300 FITZ IT.
Jellis Craig Inner North: Thank you to Rob, Damian and the team for your continued support in what has been a trying year. They have been long term sponsors of our club and if a member of the FFC community sells their property with the team at Jellis Craig Inner North, a referral fee is given to our club. Contact Damian to find out more firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Derby Hotel and The Stolberg Preston: How good will it be when we can socialise at two of our favourite watering holes in the local area again! Make sure you take the opportunity to drop in and see Kane and his team to enjoy some hospitality when we're able to!
Fitzroy Victoria Bowls Club: Thank you Sam, Peter and all at FVBC for your continued sponsorship of our club. This has been a long standing partnership between our two great Edinburgh Gardens sporting clubs. With the restrictions on the use of the Community Room at BSO this year due to COVID, it has been great that we have been able to use FVBC to hold many functions there, including post match functions for the Senior Women’s team. If you are thinking of holding a function or taking out a great value FVBC Social Membership, contact Venue Manager Rob Jones to find out more on email@example.com
Dimpat: Not only have Bevan Dimeck and his team come on board this year as new sponsors of FFC, they also employ four of our Senior Men’s players to work on their construction sites, providing the players some extra physical training! If you are looking for someone to successfully deliver complicated, challenging and detailed construction projects, have a look at www.dimpat.com.au to see how they can assist you. Alternatively reach out to Bevan at bevan@dimpat,com.au
Keiser Fitzroy: Welcome to a new sponsor of FFC in 2021! Thank you for supporting our club Keiser! Jess Hiew and her team, including our senior Women’s Vice Captain Alexa Madden, provide integrated physiotherapy and strength and conditioning programs in their clean bright, uncluttered space on Brunswick Street. Thank you also for all the physiotherapy support you have provided our players to get back onto the field as soon as possible! Contact Jess them to find out more about their special deals for the FFC community at firstname.lastname@example.org
Goodlife Health Club Fitzroy: Welcome to another new sponsor of FFC in 2021! Henry Jacob, Club Manager, approached the FFC earlier this year as he recognised their purpose - moving people to achieve great things, whether it’s finding a better work life balance, creating healthy habits or training for a significant sporting event, was very closely aligned to FFC. Thank you, Henry, for reaching out to us, we look forward to continuing the partnership in the years to come. Contact Henry at email@example.com to hear about the special FFC community deals he can provide to help you stay fit and healthy.
Bontempo: We all know Joe and his team make the best pizzas in Melbourne and our players really appreciate winning Bontempo game day award vouchers to pick one of the great meals on the Bontempo menu. Thank you to the team at Bontempo for your ongoing support of FFC. Make sure that when you drop in to pick up a takeaway meal or dine in at Bontempo to mention that you are part of the FFC community.
Latrobe Golf Club: It is great to have LGC onboard with FFC in season 2021 providing match day awards to both our Senior Men’s and Senior Women’s teams. We look forward to building on the partnership between our two great sporting clubs. If you are interested in becoming a member of LGC, contact Tony Craswell, LGC Club Professional, at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about the FFC introductory offer to join LGC.
North Fitzroy Cycles: It is great to have the team at NFC onboard in season to 2021 to provide match day awards for various FFC teams. They also very kindly provided us with 100 new water bottles that enabled the RoyGirls and RoyBoys to be ‘Covid safe’ when taking the field in season 2021. If you are looking to upgrade your bike or looking for any cycling accessories, drop in and see Luke Maher, Manager, and the team at 256 St George's Rd, Fitzroy North. Mention you are part of the FFC community for a FFC discount.
Concave: It was great to welcome Concave on board in 2021 as the official boot sponsor of FFC. Thank you also to James and team at Concave for generously providing the ‘Pre season Champion’ award gift packs to our Senior Men’s and Women’s squad and providing a discount to our players on the great Concave boots and apparel. As part of our exclusive partnership with Concave, when members of the FFC Community visit www.concave.com use the code FITZ20, you get 20% off your purchases. This will also provide a rebate to the club.
A big thank you also to the following businesses who very kindly donated prizes for our various raffles this season – Endota Spa Fitzroy, Cinema Nova, Palace Cinema Pentridge, Rock Paper Scissors Fitzroy and Cyclebar Fitzroy.
We are always on the lookout for new club sponsors, so if you are aware of any organisation that would be interested in taking out Sponsorship or a Business Membership with FFC, please let Robert Olney – Director Sponsorship, at email@example.com or talk to any of the Directors about these organisations and we will have a chat with them.
Last chance for raffle tickets!
The total ticket allocation for the Toyota Good for Footy raffle is almost sold out! This is your last chance to grab some raffle tickets to support the Roys and have your chance to win!
Tickets are only $5 each, with three brand new Toyotas up for grabs!
The Good For Footy raffle officially closes at 12pm on 10 September, but if the total is reached earlier, which it looks like it will soon, it will be closed off - so what are you waiting for?!