Triple header at BSO as the Premiership flags find their home
Remember that fabulous day in September last year when the Senior Men could do no wrong and the Reserves stopped all of our hearts with a last minute victory out at Trevor Barker Oval?
Tomorrow is the day we briefly relive those past glories and
acknowledge the huge effort that goes into winning premierships.
They don't come often and they take an enormous commitment
– and more than a little bit of skill and good luck – right
across the playing group and beyond, to the volunteers, the
families, fans and sponsors. Everyone in!
This is the day we unfurl those two flags and pause for a
moment before the new season's battles continue.
The newest Fitzroy side, the Under 23s, will get their turn
to run on to BSO tomorrow from 9.20am. It might take a while
for them to find their rhythm but they are up for the battle.
The Reserves and Seniors take on Uni Blacks, who have come
down from Premier division and don't intend to stay in Premier
B for long.
Come down to Brunswick Street and help us celebrate. The BBQ
is back and the footy will be fierce. Great Football, Great
Community, Great Culture. Fitzroy Forever.
Alexa dons the cap
The latest player to receive a Fitzroy past-captain’s cap
is Fitzroy-ACU inaugural captain, Alexa Madden.
Alexa was presented with her monogrammed cap by ACU Sport’s
Georgia Dyer at the ACU Women in Footy lunch on Saturday.
This follow’s last year’s presentation to all the former senior
male captains of Fitzroy since the club’s merger in 2008. Gemma
Minuz, you’re next!
Joan Eddy explained the origins of the cap (yes Rory Angiolella
is somewhat responsible) and that from now on, all Fitzroy
senior captains will be presented with their personalised caps
– including nickname – once they step down from the captaincy.
Alexa joins the illustrious company of Jimmy O’Reilly, Rory,
Will Fenton, Sam Baker and Daniel Bisetto.
Alexa captained Fitzroy-ACU in 2015 and 2016, which included
a grand final appearance. She is now a VFLW player with Essendon
and will play games with both clubs across the season. On Saturday
she told the Women in Footy lunch attendees that she plans
never to leave. Excellent news Lex!
Check out Alexa's star turn on our Women in Football panel
in the video highlights below.
Photo by Ellie Mitsch
Scotch bring the rocks
Guy Gorilla found it tough going as the senior men's squad took to the road for the first game of season 2019. But we can turn the tide.
I overheard the boundary ump talking to Ms Gorilla
before the main game against Scotch on Saturday: 'Dunno
what you're gonna get today – one down from A, one
up from C.' Problem was the one up from C, the
Roys, only included nine of last year's premiership
side. And the former A side, were on their game, big
The 2s battled manfully, but the turnover of players
was greater there, and they were overwhelmed by a superior
We were camped near the old Ladies' Pavilion; not
a lady in sight. Not like the 80s when Keka coached
Camberwell. The stand was full of them. Not in 2019.
The larger stand above the change rooms had signs banning
the consumption of alcohol – it was amateur before
its time – and another that proclaimed 'children remain
seated and under the strict supervision of adults at
all times.' Camberwell was not and is not Fitzroy.
Our first quarter was pronounced by tight marking,
fierce tackling and endeavour, not to mention willpower.
Speaking of, Will Symons’ attack on the ball and all
in its way was inspiring. Harri Grace was Mr Everywhere
in his second senior game. Rosco Borland's positioning
made up for the lack of inches, and the defence and
those with jobs to do were cohesive. A late rubbish
goal to Old Scotch took the wind out the sails, but
23-7 wasn't too bad. At the huddle, the coach was rapt
with adherence to the game plan, the endeavour, but
bemoaned costly turnovers. 'Make sure we get into a
spot to reload, but above all, be brave.'
The second session revealed that the lack of size
was starting to tell. We made costly turnovers, and
there was less time to plan and reflect at this level,
and against this opponent. Fitzroy was scoreless, with
a portent of floodgates opening. Inside at the break,
it was noted that the endeavour was 'super', that we
were a bit over anxious, but that we must remain positive.
In the third, we defended heroically; Ligris, Hart,
Ellis, Symons, and Doc O'Donnell inspirational. Nathan
J kicked a beautiful goal, Toohey continued to add
to his tackle tally. Or maybe it was 'Rocky' Humphrey,
the Tackle Twins. Sore body count mounting, a superior
opponent was getting its act together.
Fair to say we were happy to see the end, but the
effort never fell away. We achieved little wins, but
it was hard to stem the tide. We now have to make the
tide turn. Total club support of the players and coaches
will achieve results. Sure, one down, a tough opponent
this week, but fortune favours the bold, especially
on our own green pasture.
Photos by Phyllis Quealy
Emcee Kasey Symons hosts Fitzroy's Women in Footy panel, featuring player and former captain Alexa Madden, Senior Coach Gray Barton and President Joan Eddy.
Women in footy lunch reminds us of the joy in community football
Freelance writer and PhD candidate in sport and gender, Kasey
Symons, provided the opening address and hosted the panel for
Fitzroy’s fifth Women in Football lunch at BSO last Saturday.
She told lunch guests that the culture of women’s footy is
helping her face her fears. For a fantastic read,
head to our website for a full transcript of her story.
The first lunch at women's game at Brunswick Street brought
out a terrific group of first-time Fitzroy lunch attendees
who heard from a panel of our own – inaugural Fitzroy-ACU captain
and Essendon VFLW player, Alexa Madden, Senior Women's Coach,
Gray Barton, and Fitzroy President, Joan Eddy.
The theme was culture; what kind of a culture is conducive
to helping female footballers thrive, how does the AFLW perhaps
reflect some of the culture of community football and, closer
to home, what have we done well and what could we do better
to ensure our culture is welcoming.
Play the video for some highlights of the discussion.
Thank you to everyone who came along, particularly players'
family members, and a huge thanks to Kasey, who did a beautiful
job of preparing and sharing her own personal story. You can
be a Roy Girl any time.
Photos below: Kasey Symons and Yarra Mayor, Danae Bosler, with their new Fitzroy beanies. Top right; the grandmothers of Fitzroy-ACU Reserves captain, Mia Sutherland. Bottom left; ACU's Georgia Dyer, Alexa Madden and Joan Eddy. Bottom right: The women who have inspired the best and fairest perpetual trophies for Fitzroy-ACU; first female Director at Fitzroy, Elaine Findlay, and former player Janet Graham.
Saints power home to rain on Roy Girl parade
In their season
opener at Brunswick Street Oval the Roy Girls were
determined to put on a great display and the large
crowd on hand enjoyed what they saw… until perhaps
the final quarter.
Things were going to plan in the Premier Women’s game
until just before the three quarter time siren when
a late goal to the SKOB Saints – in fact their first
– completely turned the momentum and they didn’t look
The fast-finishing Saints ran away in the final quarter
to win 4.7.31 to 2.5.17, having trailed at three quarter
There was plenty to like about the determination of
the Fitzroy-ACU side and the return of Tash Ross-Harris
was noticeable on a number of fronts; her marking was
a feature in a best on ground performance, and it also
freed up fellow ruck Beth West to get around the ground
more using her height to great effect.
The other pre-season performer, who took her strong
form into Round 1, was Theresa Zampaglione, who kicked
the opening goal of the season.
With captain Jess Hayes and vice captain Gemma Minuz
to come back into the side this week, there is plenty
of upside going into Round 2 against Kew.
The Reserves finished stronger than they started with
a highly changed line up from last season, taking a
while to gel. In fact the team had quite a few first
gamers and a number of the leaders in other roles.
New captain Mia Sutherland and former captain Rachael
Telfer had the call up to the seniors, along with one
of 2018’s stand out players, Bridie Murphy. Vice captain
Freya Shearer is still some weeks off playing with
a broken finger.
SKOB Saints meanwhile, were well drilled and showed
they will be a force to be reckoned with in 2019.
Despite not scoring in the first half, the Fitzroy-ACU
Reserves kept the Saints to 2.3 at half time. The third
quarter was where it got away with five goals to one.
There is always plenty to learn from a game like this
and the Roy Girls are up for the challenge.
Tomorrow’s opponent Kew is also a well-structured
side and will present another good challenge for Simon
Jackson’s charges, who will welcome Emily Aitken, Emily
Fitt and Sutherland back into the side.
One was playing
her 50th game and another two their first; the Fitzroy-ACU
squad featured six sisters who pulled on the red, yellow
and blue on Saturday.
It perhaps reflected the turnover in the Reserves’
side but also the pulling power of the Roy Girls that
Alexia Kroussov joined sister Tash and Nina Coffey,
joined Hannah, for their first games at Fitzroy. Tash
and Hannah have both been playing for a while and their
sibling recruitment efforts during the off-season are
to be applauded.
Meanwhile Chrissie Atkinson (ressies) and Lauren Atkinson
(seniors) did what they’ve done for a long time and
rocked up to Brunswick Street for another day of high
quality play. It was a big one for Lauren, who joined
an elite group of Roy Girls with a 5-oh beside their
names. For the Atkinsons, it’s not just about sisters
as Jack is the captain of the Reserves and dad, Roger
made his debut as team manager. Julie Atkinson had
the right idea; she came to the women in footy lunch!
Anzac lunch open for bookings
As is tradition, Fitzroy will host an Anzac ceremony at
half time during the Round 3 game against Caufield
The club will honour its fallen at the sportsman's
memorial at Edinburgh Gardens which was beautifully
done up last year.
Fitzroy has a
new Director, with the Board appointing Health McDonald
Heath brings a wealth of experience with AFL clubs
and other high profile sporting bodies. He is a local
and loves nothing more than walking his dogs around
Brunswick Street Oval.
Heath is Professor of Marketing, and Head of the School
of Economics, Finance & Marketing, at RMIT University.
His research work focuses on the field of customer
acquisition and retention, particularly in subscription
markets (e.g., season tickets, memberships). Major
sporting leagues, including the AFL and BBL, have used
this research to drive growth in fan and member numbers,
to inform pricing decisions and evaluate stadium design
He currently consults on fan behavior matters to 28
different professional sport teams across AFL, Cricket,
Soccer and Rugby. He recently co-authored the book
"Sports Consumer Behavior: Marketing Strategies" published
by Routledge. Professor McDonald sits on the editorial
boards of five international journals, is a lifetime
Fellow of the North American Society for Sport Management
(NASSM) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute
of Company Directors.
Kate Nolan has been in the Marketing and Communications
role for the last four seasons and will gradually hand
over to Heath so she can have a focus on events.
Thanks to all our wonderful volunteers
At the end of
our first week of the 2019 season, RedRoy sends a shout
out to our band of fabulous volunteers. We always say
we couldn’t do it without you. And we couldn’t. It’s
a fact of life – and community football. Season-in,
season-out, your support and hard work sees all our
teams hit the ground running, kitted out, watered,
umpired, and just generally nurtured.
Very special thanks to Roger Atkinson, Camille Augustin
(pictured) and Tim Bell who’ve respectively taken on
team management of the Women’s Reserves, Senior Women’s
and U23 teams for the first time. It’s a huge job and
according to Sharon Torney, done perfectly by all.
Meeting the VAFA reporting requirements and earning
Sharon’s praise is no mean feat! Thank you.
We can never have enough volunteers, so if you're
still keen to get involved, there are still plenty
of opportunities. Get in touch with Gabrielle Murphy
at email@example.com if you want to talk about options.
This weekend's games
Fitzroy Under 23s vs Old Camberwell –
VAFA Under 23s – Brunswick Street Oval, 9.20am, Saturday
11.30am - Premier C Reserves Premiership flag unfurled, Brunswick Street Oval
Fitzroy Thirds v Old Trinity – VAFA Thirds
Division 1 – Ramsden Street Oval, 11.40am, Saturday
Fitzroy Reserve Men v Uni Blacks–
VAFA Premier B Reserves – Brunswick Street Oval, 11.40am,
Saturday 13 April
Uni Blues v Fitzroy Under 19s – Holmesglen
U19 Division 1 – Crawford Oval, 11.40am, Saturday 13
Kew AFC v Fitzroy-ACU Reserve Women –
VAFA Premier Reserve Women’s – Victoria Park, Kew,
12pm, Saturday 13 April
1.50pm - Premier C Senior Premiership flag unfurled, Brunswick Street Oval
Fitzroy Senior Men v Uni Blacks – VAFA
Premier B Seniors – Brunswick Street Oval, 2pm, Saturday
Kew AFC v Fitzroy-ACU Senior Women – VAFA
Premier Women’s – Victoria Park, Kew, 2pm, Saturday13
There will be no RedRoy Mail over the Easter break. The next
edition will be out on Friday 26 April.