Welcome to the first Red Roy Mail for 2019. The players are
back into pre-season training, there are big numbers on the
track and the enthusiasm levels are high.
February is membership month at Fitzroy and we have a special
prize on offer for one lucky fan – could be the only way to
get hold of one of these fab player training singlets. Read
There was a very special event at Edinburgh Gardens for one
of our beloved Roy Boys, which we want to tell you about.
And check out some important dates for your diary – Golf Day
on Sunday 24 March and Season Launch on Saturday 30 March –
and in the next edition we’ll have some big news about Round
Photo: Fitzroy-ACU Senior player Alice Batterton leading out on a training run. By Peter Harrison.
Chesh goes out on a high – on life, love and football
If you believe in karma
– and most rusted-on Fitzroy supporters profess to that faith
– it was only fitting that one of our favourite and most loyal
sons be repaid in kind when he married the love of his life
late last month.
So after days of sweltering summer heat, the weather turned
soft and sweet and a gentle breeze and some cooling drops of
rain floated over Edinburgh Gardens as Tom Cheshire and Ella
Hempenstall wed in the heart of North Fitzroy.
It’s fair to say that Chesh’s miraculous last-minute goal
in the semi-final against Williamstown in the wet (one of the
VAFA highlights of the year),
was pivotal in securing the 2018 grand final, the first senior
flag for the Club since the Reds and Fitzroy merged in 2008,
and the most senior victory in the Club’s amateur history.
And fitting that this stellar effort, followed by an equally
impressive finals campaign, was Chesh’s swan song to a long
career as a faithful Fitzroy footballer – from baby Auskicker
in 1995, through the Fitzroy Junior Football Club ranks from
1998 and, from 2007 until his retirement at the end of the
2018 season, in the U19s, Reserves and Seniors as a gritty
and influential midfielder and inspirational leader. Throughout,
Chesh has been a mainstay for the Roys, staunch through thick
and thin for over 23 years.
So much so, in fact, that Chesh has not only played for the
full 10 years of the modern Fitzroy's existence, but holds
the record for most senior games of any current Fitzroy player.
Such great service to the Club has not been restricted to
playing footy but taken into the professional realm of Chesh’s
life and work.
Selfless like his mother (many of you might not even be aware
that our President Joan Eddy has that honour), self-deprecating
like his father Frank, and socially-minded like them both,
Chesh has always hidden his light – and accomplishments – under
After studying a Bachelor of Youth Work at RMIT and a Masters
of Education at La Trobe University, Chesh has spent the past
few years working for the Department of Education – teaching
a combined curriculum to primary and secondary kids who are
incarcerated in Victoria’s juvenile justice system. While he’s
taught in three different centres, Chesh spent the past year
at Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre.
Chesh’s partner Ella also works in the caring professions.
A qualified occupational therapist, Ella will be leaving her
job in orthopaedic rehabilitation at Epworth Hospital where
she helps patients recover from back, hip or knee surgery,
when she and Chesh head off on their next adventure to live,
work and travel overseas together.
And so, happy for them and sad for ourselves, we say goodbye
and good luck to Chesh and Ella, knowing that our loss is the
wider world’s gain.
Photo top right Happiness personified: Tom Cheshire and Ella Hempenstall beneath the grand old grandstand at Brunswick Street Oval on their wedding day. Photograph Emily Weaving
Photos below: Top left: Support reciprocated – career-long team mate and life-long friend Rory Angiolella (left) and Jack Parkinson accompany the groom through Edinburgh Gardens to the wedding ceremony. Photograph Phyllis Quealy
Top right: No occasion too grand for a Fitzroy beanie but what was Rory thinking with the 1970s visor?
Bottom left: We’re all fans of #10! Photograph Phyllis Quealy
Bottom right: Chesh in action during his best-on-ground performance in the winning 2018 semi-final against Williamstown. Photograph Phyllis Quealy
February is Fitzroy membership month – join in the fun!
Anyone who signs up
for a Fitzroy membership before the end of February will go into the draw for our prize
pack, which features the new FFC players’ singlet and a voucher
from Bontempo Pizzeria.
We’ve had a lot of interest in these singlets and the only
way a non-player can get one is to win this prize!
There are some other great parts to the package too. Our friends
at Bontempo Pizzeria on Brunswick Street will provide a $50
voucher to the winner. And although it might be hotter than
hades right now, a hand knitted Fitzroy beanie will come in
handy in mid-June; there's a brand new batch and they're looking
good. So this prize has you covered all year round. There might
be some other surprises too.
This year we have some new member benefits, designed to encourage
people to come down to Brunswick Street and join in with the
after-match festivities and/or the famous barbecue. Check out
the membership packages on our website. There is also a business membership package.
And fear not if you got in early. If you already have your
membership for this year, you’ll automatically go into the
All you need to do is pick the best membership for you, sign up and pay online by midnight on Thursday 28
The winner will be drawn and announced at the season launch
on Saturday 30 March at the Fitzroy Victoria Bowling Sports
Book in for the Fitzroy Golf Day – 24 March
Bookings are now open for our 2019 Golf Day and this year we’re heading out to Freeway
Golf Club in North Balwyn.
Join our players, supporters and sponsors on Sunday 24 March
for a bit of fun in a friendly two-person Ambrose format starting
You can book online for yourself and your partner or book separately. We can partner
you up if you want to book as an individual.
There'll be prizes for the winner, the longest drive and closest
to the pin. The Fitzroy IT team are very keen to defend their
title, so take them on and see if you can knock them of the
D Squad works to build bigger bodies
Fitzroy’s Fitness Coach, Steve Hurl, has expanded his team and with the addition of Todd Finn from the Northern Knights, their work with the senior men’s development squad is bound to reap benefits as the season goes on.
We caught up with Steve about his plans for the pre-season and how things are shaping up. (Read carefully and take note of Steve's warning for the whole playing group in relation to this month’s training camp at Portsea!)
What did you identify as the key things the teams needed to work on in the pre-season to improve? As a collective, with a young group, it was identified the
players needed to develop an increased overall running capacity
(endurance and speed) and increase strength levels to match
it with the bigger bodies and higher game speeds seen in the
Premier B competition.
Have you sought to create a more structured pre-season this year? What are the teams doing differently? With the club moving up to Premier B this season we've sought
to add more structure to our pre-season. The addition of Todd
Finn has allowed us to carefully create a structured periodised
training outline to maximise our training and help reduce injury/prevent
fatigue. This season all players have access to a strength
training program which aims to increase their strength levels,
prevent injury and allow the players to undertake the on-field
training necessary to be successful. Throughout the season
we'll look to have a very structured recovery protocol to ensure
players are at their best each week.
Tell us about Todd Finn – what’s his background? How will he be helping Fitzroy this year? Todd comes to us from the Northern Knights Football Club where
he has spent the last two season working in rehabilitation
with the 18s and overseen the physical preparation of the Under
Todd has previously assisted in the physical preparation and
rehab of the Melbourne University Blacks in their last season
at Premier level. Adding Todd to the fitness team has allowed
us to be more structured with our training, taking some load
off me with programming and other areas such as load monitor/GPS
Together we'll be helping to implement the fitness program
throughout the pre-season, assisting on matches days, helping
with the in-season preparation of players and helping to monitor,
assess and design rehabilitation programs for injured players,
to allow them to get back on the ground as soon as possible.
Fun Fact about Todd: Todd has a family connection
at the Fitzroy Football Club with his grandmother, Esma Griffin,
being a lifelong supporter, and his cousin Ben Finn having
played football for Fitzroy.
I understand you’ve been running the D Squad at your gym (with Nathan Ligris and Max Davies as mentors). What extra has the squad been doing? Who has impressed you? Boys are adding extra kilos in the gym and increasing their
strength levels and improving their boxing skills and the fitness
demands that come with boxing!
James Butler (pictured on the track, top right) dropping
big bombs! Plenty of lip service from Ligger. Clayton boys
are very dangerous. New-comers Harrison Grace and John Jorgensen
are on fire! And Max Davie is as solid as a rock.
We’ve purchased some new training equipment, which means we now have some equipment at Ramsden Street and BSO. How is that helping? The addition of the new equipment has been instrumental in
allowing us to have more options when designing or training
for the squads. The addition of this new equipment will allow
us to take the players to the next level and allow us to better
rehab our injured players in a timely manner.
Is there anything exciting in store for the pre-season camp? Bootcamp will be the toughest yet! We're not heading to Portsea
for a picnic, so be prepared ladies and gentlemen.
Bontempo continues to back Fitzroy
Bontempo Pizzeria, who provided our best-on-ground awards
to all teams throughout the 2018 finals’ series, has
come on board in a big way for 2019.
Joe Kavanagh from Bontempo on Brunswick Street has
generously agreed to provide the first ever best-on-ground
awards to both Fitzroy-ACU women’s teams for 2019 -
$60 vouchers for the best player each week.
Not only that, but Bontempo will also provide the
one-percenter awards to the Men’s Senior and Reserves
Since opening, the local restaurant has also backed
the junior club in a big way, with awards for their
Thanks for following
Thanks for getting on board and following our social media
channels in record numbers in 2018. Winning a premiership
or two didn't hurt!
The annual review of Fitzroy’s social media numbers
showed very strong growth in Instagram followers and
Red Roy mail subscriptions after the process was made
easier by Fitzroy IT.
2018 by the numbers:
Red Roy Mail: 750 subscriptions (includes members,
players and coaches, plus those signing up via
the website) – up approximately 50 per cent
Facebook: 4100 followers, up 12 per cent
Instagram: 1170 followers, up 74 per cent
Twitter: 2560 followers, up 6 per cent
Website: over 120,000 visits and 200,000 page views
The introduction of the Risk Care Round Up in 2018
helped attract a strong weekly following and contributed
to the Facebook and website numbers.
With AFLW Season
3 set to start tomorrow night, there'll be a couple
of familiar faces involved on and off field.
A huge congratulations to Ash Riddell, who'll debut
with the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos side when
they take on Carlton on Sunday. Ash played with Fitzroy-ACU
in its inaugural season and came back to speak at our
women’s footy lunch last year. While at Fitzroy she
took out the Debbie Lee Medal for best first year player
in the VWFL and it’s great to see her stepping up into
the big league.
Fitzroy-ACU Senior Women’s Assistant Coach, Maeve
Barton, is part of the support crew with the North
AFLW side too.
Our very own Sam Batterton will also be behind the
scenes with the Melbourne Football Club’s AFLW team,
working as a rehab coach. And Sam reminded us that
we should look out for the progress of former Fitzroy
junior, Maddy Guerin, who's on the Melbourne list.
Good luck to all! There are sure to be many Fitzroy
connections and they're bound to grow as the competition
We'll bring you more on VFLW-affiliated players as
the season gets closer.
Season launch all set for Saturday 30 March
Saturday 30 March will be a stern test for the full club
as we take on Marcellin in all grades at Brunswick
Street Oval -- a nice curtain raiser to the season.
The games will be followed by a season launch at the
Fitzroy Victoria Bowling and Sports Club from 5.30pm.
Hope to see you there as you meet the new coaches
and hear about the season ahead.
Friday 15 to Sunday 17 February: pre-season training camp
Sunday 17 March (TBC): pre-season game v St Bernard’s (men’s
Saturday 23 March: pre-season game v Uni Blacks (men’s
Sunday 24 March: Fitzroy FC Golf Day, 1pm start.
Saturday 30 March (day): pre-season game v Marcellin at
BSO (men’s and women’s squads)
Saturday 30 March (pm): Season launch, Fitzroy Victoria
Bowling Club, 5.30-7pm.