2021 Honorary Life Members with former President Joan Eddy and incoming President David Leydon. Photo: Chris Hornsey.
The 137th Annual General Meeting of the Fitzroy Football Club was held at Brunswick Street Oval last Sunday 13 February.
While most AGMs serve to only meet the requirements of constitutions in presenting reports and nominating directors, this meeting was special in also giving us the chance to celebrate some exceptional people in our community.
In 2021, nine members of our club received Honorary Life Membership, recognising 10 years of service as players, volunteers, coaches and directors. Congratulations to Dave Barnes, Ross Bartel, Toby Hudson Bevege, Nathan Ligris, Raph Lloyd, Bryce McAdam, Kai Menzies, Michael Pickering and Nathan White.
Longtime volunteer Dave Barnes had the room on the edge of tears as he spoke of the honour saying, "I never thought I'd be a life member of the Fitzroy Football Club, you don't know how much this means to me." Senior Men's player Nathan Ligris and former coach now Director of Recruitment and Player Wellbeing Michael Pickering also spoke beautifully on behalf of the life members. Pickers spoke about the club's culture and the people in our community.
"We're about making this place a really welcoming and supportive environment and also getting some good footy in and some wins along the way. I love being involved and I love the people I see are totally committed here."
And the love was certainly shared when it came time to farewell President Joan Eddy and Director Kate Nolan as they retired from the Board. For Michael Pickering, Joan was a big part of his coming to the Roys and we know he is not alone in benefitting from working with Joan.
"Joan's been heading up the show the whole time I've been here since when I came on board as a coach and definitely was one of the reasons I was keen to coach in the early days."
Joan Eddy and Kate Nolan. Photo: Chris Hornsey
The emotion in the room was evident when our newest life members spoke and the tears spilled over as Joan and Kate gave their thanks and goodbyes. But thanks to the great thinking of incoming President David Leydon and our friends at Starsub Apparel, the tears turned to laughter when Joan's celebratory guernsey was revealed.
One for the poolroom!
David Leydon presents Joan's jumper. Photo: Chris Hornsey
While we're sad to say goodbye, Joan and Kate will not be strangers to the club and we look forward to seeing them on game days this season. We're also excited to welcome new directors to the Board and announce new positions for the club's leadership.
David Leydon was nominated and voted in as President at the Board meeting following the AGM with Gabrielle Murphy elected to fill the position of Vice President.
We welcome two new directors in Emily Andersen and Corbin Stevic and we look forward to re-introducing these returning Roys to everyone in their new capacities at the club in the coming weeks.
Hello to all players, members, volunteers and supporters of the Fitzroy Football Club and welcome to the fast-approaching 2022 season.
Last Sunday at the club’s Annual General Meeting, I was very pleased and extremely proud to accept the nomination for the position of President of the Fitzroy Football Club.
In saying that, it’s very important for all of us at the club to thank and acknowledge the enormous and sustained power of work done by our retiring President, Joan Eddy. In very simple terms, the modern Fitzroy Football Club is as magnificent as it is because of Joan. Reflecting on her 12 years as president gives me, and all of us, an outstanding example of what a real leader is.
We also farewelled another of our much-loved Board members in Kate Nolan who, over the last seven years, has been the most energetic and incredibly innovative force behind the Fitzroy Football Club. These are very big shoes to fill but, we are very lucky to have such a dedicated Board of Directors who will continue to work hard and serve our wonderful football club.
Outside of my beautiful family, I love the Fitzroy Football Club more than anything in this world. The history of our club dates back to 1883 and over the years, we have had many great moments and also many challenges. I understand the great responsibility associated with the role of being the club’s President to honour our history, and ensure we have a bright future. I will work as hard as I can to continue to make our club a great place to be.
As I mentioned to the big crowd at the AGM last Sunday, the club’s greatest assets in equal parts are our players, our members, our supporters and volunteers. Our people are vital in keeping the place ticking and we’re blessed to have a large and diverse group of members who make up our great community. Whether like me, you’re from the old Fitzroy VFL/AFL days, were part of the mighty Reds, have come up through the Junior Club or simply found your way to Brunswick Street Oval and never wanted to leave—we all love the Fitzroy Football Club.
Whether it was Kevin Murray, Billy Stephen or Bernie Quinlan that drew you to this club, or that stirring 2016 Fitzroy-ACU Women’s team Grand Final that reeled you in, the place is full of history-making moments, and wonderful people.
In 2022, we’ll continue to build on that history and make some more of our own. Our senior Men’s team was on a huge upward swing last year when they hit sixth spot on the ladder after that amazing after-the-siren goal against St. Bede’s at Brunswick Street Oval and the away victory a few weeks later against Ajax just before COVID-19 drew an end to the season. The Men’s Reserves were sitting in the top four at the same time.
Our two Thirds teams both had great seasons. The Thirds Gold claimed the Premiership and our Div 1 Thirds team made the top four for the fourth successive season. Our Under 19s were outstanding to watch and now has a number of players moving up this year into the senior ranks.
One of the best games I watched in 2021 was the Fitzroy-ACU Women’s semi-final at Beaumaris. Against a very highly rated opposition, the Roygirls were gutsy, determined and magnificent all night and went down by a solitary goal. We were all so proud of them.
With all that in mind, 2022 now emerges as an extremely exciting year for all our teams who are just itching to get back out to play some games of football. Our wonderful coaches have done a power of planning and hard work to prepare them well.
We now want everyone—players, coaches, members and supporters—to continue to enjoy the Fitzroy Football Club, the historical Brunswick Street Oval and most of all each other’s company as we look forward to some big moments in 2022 and being back at the footy as a community.
We are the boys and girls from old Fitzroy, forever.
Fitzroy Football Club incorporating the Fitzroy Reds
The FFC Business Directory is another initiative that sees us supporting the businesses that support our great Club and its players. The support of our sponsors, partners and members is what keeps us going on and off the field. Fitzroy has a unique history and place in the hearts and minds of our loyal and inclusive community. Which is why we know we're stronger when we all support each other, especially during this time.
Fitzroy has one of the largest followers and interaction on social media in the VAFA and as of January 2022, our Facebook page has over 5100 followers and 2800 Twitter followers. That’s a lot of people who are regularly coming to us – you don’t have to chase them to deliver your message. That’s a lot of friendly buying power! Find out more about our strong digital audience here.
The Fitzroy Football Club Business Directory is an opportunity to connect our people with the businesses and services in our community. If you're a business looking for new ways to reach an audience, create meaningful offers and build more connections to the local community, get in touch, we'd love to hear from you!
We're open to discuss your needs, budget and options—let's chat about what works for your business and how we can work together.
Know someone who wants to pull on the boots in 2022?
We're keen to hear from passionate amateur footballers, ready to step into our Senior Women's or Men's team. Email or call our Director Player Recruitment and Wellbeing, Michael Pickering at Player_Wellbeing@fitzroyfc.com.au or call on 0419 849 662 to get information to come down to pre season training!