All smiles when Zoe Hargreaves ran onto the ground with teammates, including one of her Fitzroy Junior U16s coaches, Hilary Collett. Photo: Peter Harrison
At Fitzroy, we’re lucky to have a raft of players who exemplify the club mission of leading the competition and showing just how good community football can be – on and off the field. That leadership was amply demonstrated last Saturday when our senior women hit the field against Brighton. Take a bow Erin Gogerly, Hilary Collett and Indi Benjamin!
By Gabrielle Murphy
When Zoe Hargreaves played her first game as a senior Roy at 16 years and 15 days, she became the youngest-ever Fitzroy player to do so – eclipsing the records set by previous Fitzroy 16-year-old debutants Kevin Murray (16 years and 323 days in 1955), Gary Pert (16 years and 325 days in 1982), and the youngest of all Andrew Kuka (16 years and 46 days in 1967).
But she didn’t do it without some pretty impressive coaching and teaching by three of our women’s star players and Roys veterans Erin Gogerly, Hilary Collett and Indi Benjamin. And the support and encouragement of the whole team.
We like to keep it local at Fitzroy.
Erin teaches physical education at Northcote High School and Zoe is in her Year 10 Footy for Girls elective subject. And Hilary and Indi coach Zoe in Fitzroy Junior Football Club’s U16 side.
Zoe says that their support and leadership, and being able to train with Fitzroy women’s squads throughout the 2022 season, has made the transition to senior footy pretty easy and, more to the point, really enjoyable. And those of us who were lucky enough to catch her first game will agree that she looked entirely at home in the senior ranks.
But I’m sure you’ll also agree that maintaining the right balance between teaching and coaching and being a teammate wouldn’t necessarily be a run in the park.
“Finding that balance is actually a learning curve for me too,” Erin says. “Zoe’s a great kid, a great footballer and a great person to teach and coach, but I’ve had to put some thinking into how to approach this unusual situation.”
“In the end, Hilary and Indi and I have just tried to maintain our professionalism first and foremost, and bring that professionalism to the training track and, on Saturday, to the game.
“Essentially, this relies on open, honest communication and knowing what the boundaries are, and keeping to them in a reasonable way when we train and play together.
“To be honest though, once we hit the field, we just enjoyed the freedom of playing footy together and having fun.”
Enjoy your spot in the history books Zoe. We wish you a long and successful career at Fitzroy.
We’re pretty sure your record will take some time to be broken!
Zoe on the go! Photo: Peter Harrison
Get to know one of our fabulous photographers – Peter Harrison
2017 - the Flames stand for the national anthem
We’re very lucky at Fitzroy to have so many talented photographers who volunteer their time to take some amazing snaps of our Roy Boys and Roy Girls. Peter Harrison, father of Thirds Gold player Callum Harrison, is one of them.
Peter takes excellent photos of our Thirds Gold side, and any other side he can get to watch play. What you might not know about Peter is that as well as being passionate about the Roys, he also does some incredible work to help grow our great game in Papua New Guinea!
“I officially became involved with AFLPNG in 2013 through a good mate, Scott Reid, who was the driving force behind AFLPNG since the late 1990's.
"It is a natural progression as I married into a "motu-koitabu" clan (Port Moresby) in 1993 with my wife Helen, and have a love of Aussie rules footy. You could say I understand the culture and traditions.”
AFLPNG is designed to discover raw talent and develop the game of Aussie rules footy in the greater South Pacific region, with recruitment to the AFL and AFLW a potential outcome.
2017 with a few mozzies & Darryl White. Peter Harrison far right.
“We all know the benefits of club sporting activities and giving opportunities to all boys, girls, women & men to develop their footy skills and life skills.
“The equivalent of Auskick runs throughout the South Pacific as well as junior and senior competitions. AFL Queensland will also have a hand in future development and currently the Gold Coast Suns can pick players into its academy and onto the rookie list.
“PNG talent is massive in some ways, and it is untapped. But there are many hurdles to overcome to get players into Australia.”
Peter has got to experience some special moments in his role at AFLPNG like being involved as a tour and media manager in two International Cup wins in 2014 and 2017 and watching the Mosquitoes (PNG senior men's team) do their "war cry" before each game. And the style of footy is something Peter loves.
“The kamikaze style of football PNG players instinctively play at all ages—you don't have to teach PNG players how to tackle, if anything we sometimes during pre-match often tell them to not go out and hurt opposition players too much!”
Another highlight is watching the fruits of the program come into the elite environment and there is someone we should keep our eyes on!
“Watching current Gold Coast Suns rookie Hewago Paul Oea (or Ace) is exciting. He came from a village outside Port Moresby and has grown into a role model for others in PNG, he is on the edge of senior selection at the Suns.”
Thanks for all the work you do to capture our Roys sides with your lens and grow our great game in the South Pacific Peter!
Hewago Paul Oea (Ace ) & Peter
Have a great trip Jaime!
You know you've made it when you have your own cheer squad!
It was a beautiful sight on Saturday down at Brighton Beach Oval to see some of the girls from the Fitzroy Junior Football Club make the long trek on the bus to support their coach, and star Roys ruck, Jaime Nelson.
The girls wanted to show their support to their coach who was playing her final match before heading off to Europe for a bit of adventure. The juniors were a welcome addition to the away-game crowd and certainly brought a lot of energy to the outer! We love seeing these connections between FFC and FJFC — so many great pathways and opportunities for our players on the field and off.
All the best in Europe Jaime!
Reds Foundation Lunch with Jon Faine
Lawyer, broadcaster, writer, and North Fitzroy local Jon Faine will join us at Brunswick Street Oval for this year’s Reds Foundation Lunch.
Jon became a favourite broadcaster in this city after hosting ABC Melbourne’s morning program for over 20 years until 2019. He now writes regularly for The Age and is a Vice Chancellors Fellow at the University of Melbourne for 2022 and 2023.
Jon will reflect on his career in media and law, talk about his passions, and share his thoughts on current political, cultural, and social issues.
This lunch, hosted by Peter Hille, will take place before the Fitzroy Senior Men play AJAX at Brunswick Street Oval.
Please join us on Saturday, 16 July for our Reds Foundation Lunch with Jon Faine.
Date: Saturday, 16 July Time: 11:45am for 12pm start Cost: $45 for lunch (roast meats or vegetarian/vegan option, vegetables and salads, and
cheese platter). Drinks at bar prices. Where: Community Room, Brunswick Street Oval
Plan your EOFY — donate to our Australian Sports Foundation Operations Fund and get a tax deduction!
Fitzroy is a strong, vibrant community club with a proud history that we are passionate about preserving and strengthening as we pursue success on and off the field.
To continue to strive for success and deliver the best football club experience to our community, the club established an Operations Fund where donations will be used to support the day-to-day running of the Club. This is facilitated by our partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation, which allows all donations to the Fitzroy Forever Operations Fund to be fully tax deductible.
Coming into June 30 it’s a good time to do some tax planning – why not make a contribution to help the club remain strong and vibrant and get a tax deduction as well!