Thick & Thin round – some wise words on mental health
You wouldn’t meet a more unassuming champion of the game than former Carlton great, Ken Hunter. Perhaps it’s because he’s been through life’s ups and downs and knows mental health challenges can happen to anyone, that he’s put a lot of his post footy energies and effort into raising awareness and helping others. And in his own words “this is nothing to be ashamed of… you can get through it”. He spoke at our pre-game lunch the other week and he was so good, this week we had him down to speak with our players in the lead in to Thick & Thin round. Here are some highlights of his recent chat with Danny Wilson at BSO. Thank you to Ken for sharing his story.
You will see the VAFA players and other officials this week all wearing double blue arm bands signifying this year’s Thick & Thin theme, raising awareness of mental health, encouraging conversations, reducing the stigma and showing support: #TapeUpForYourMates
Video by ACU intern, Ellie Mitsch
Oh what a night!
The new 100 lux lights are up at Brunswick Street Oval and they are being put to good use.
A bit of drizzle and cold did not get in the way of the carnival
atmosphere when the Fitzroy Youth Girls and Under 15s took
the field under lights at BSO last Friday night.
The Fitzroy-ACU squad formed a guard of honour for the Youth
Girls, as they ventured out under the lights against Surrey
Hills in a first for Fitzroy women. In fact, a first at BSO.
With new lights, courtesy of the funds from the State Government’s
Pick My Project funding round and the hard work of the City
of Yarra, the Fitzroy Junior and Senior football clubs came
together with the community to celebrate.
State Planning Minister
and Member for Richmond, the Hon Richard Wynne MP, and Councillor
Danae Bosler, Mayor of the City of Yarra, spoke passionately
about the growth of women’s football and their commitments
to providing the opportunities for those keen to play to follow
Fitzroy President Joan Eddy and Fitzroy Junior Football Club
(FJFC) President, Phil Murdoch, thanked all the contributors
towards this milestone, whilst Vice President of FJFC, Maree
De Bondt, reminded every one of the importance of seeing young
women playing the sport they love and that yes – women are
Member for Melbourne, the Hon Adam Bandt MP, also joined the
party along with plenty of players and parents from the senior
and junior clubs.
This is just one of many steps towards equality on our playing
Our huge thanks to Director, Gabrielle Murphy, who has done
a power of work on the initial submission and all the follow
up to get us to this stage of the project.
Photos by Phyllis Queally.
A week is a long time
A trip to Monash University did not make for pleasant viewing. And Guy Gorilla says only 100 per cent commitment both physically and mentally will turn things around.
On the back of a great win at Mentone, there was a
great opportunity to go back to back as the Fitzroy
Senior Men made the trek to Monash. The 2s also had
a great opportunity for their first win of the season,
but basically blew it.
I stood there watching the last quarter of the 2s
with five or six first choice crocks and wondered how
the backline would cope given the outs. Grace returned,
along with Keehan for his first game, and Richardson.
Ligris, Hart and Green were all missing from the defence.
I looked across at Ross 'The Viking' Borland warm up
and wondered about the merits of the spinning wheel.
Contrasting with this bit of fun, it was clear that
the coach wasn't happy with pre-match attitude.
We commenced with the breeze, were reasonably competitive,
and Ted Clayton kicked a dribbler for our first at
Clayton. Apart from that, Monash looked more threatening
with a dominant ruck and a strong marking centre half
forward. He posed a threat for the whole game, although
Max Ellis did a great job under enormous upfield pressure
in quelling his influence after half time.
In the first quarter, there were too many spectators,
and too many broken tackles, clear evidence of poor
mindset. Two and a half down at the break, but as the
coach explained, could have been much worse. It was
not 'kick to kick in the schoolyard'.
Monash were all over us in the second, until Luke
Baker presented strongly for a goal. It was 10 shots
to two at the 12-minute mark. Captain Turner was trying
to stem the tide, winning plenty of the ball, and Doc
O'Donnell was as resilient as ever. The forward line
was largely ineffectual. A Monash end-to-end goal from
a kick-in rubbed salt into an already gushing wound.
The question at half time was 'How would we respond
to a 7-goal deficit'? Attitude is not something that
can be turned on and off at a light switch.
A few structural changes were made at the long break
– Gaitor to the ruck, Bill Clayton forward, Grace to
half back. There was increased vigour in our effort,
and Bill goaled. O'Donnell, Deasey and Long were giving
their all in the back half, and Ellis smothering their
key danger man. The problem was they were killing us
in the air, and there were constant repeat entries
in their attacking zone. O'Donnell's inspiration led
to an end-to-end goal finished off by Sean Laidlaw,
but, despite the improved effort, we were still 45
points down at the last break.
The coach recognised this, acknowledged the lift in
intensity, and sowed the seed for a comeback.
The less said about the last quarter the better. A
117-31 score line is not pretty, not good enough, we
were largely undisciplined and error prone in the last.
I wonder how
many players turned up on Saturday thinking that they
only had to show up to win. This kind of attitude among
a few spreads like a killer disease, and becomes obvious
for all to see; teammates, coaching staff, supporters
and most importantly, the opposition. They sense and
feel the lack of intensity.
We are not a team that can achieve our goals without
maximum input, fuelled by proper preparation pre-game.
This preparation starts after the final siren from
the previous week. There is an obligation to give yourself
the best chance of being 100 per cent prepared physically
and mentally. That must be the message in the lead
up to Beaumaris at home next Saturday. It is not like
a ballot paper where you can personally tick and number
whatever you choose. This requires a collective commitment.
Three in a row for Under 19s
The Fitzroy Under 19s
are riding high, winning their third game in a row on Saturday
against Collegians and moving into equal fourth on the ladder.
Pasquale Curcio continued his excellent form in front of goal
with a six-goal haul as Fitzroy ran out winners 14.20.104 to
4.5.29 at Ramsden Street Oval.
Liam O’Connor, Nick Andrews, Charlie Johnstone, Charlie Faubel
and the captain Darcy Lowrie, all had strong games.
The challenge is pretty clear this week as they head down
to Brighton Beach Oval nice and early tomorrow to take on one
of the top three sides. In fact the Roy Boys face all top three
teams in the next three weeks – a very good test of their metal.
Peter Harrison took the photo of Jonathon Zapantis flying
high for a mark during last week’s game.
The Under 23s keep on with their stellar
efforts despite injuries and still searching for their first
Coach Tony Keehan said it was the best game they’d played
all year: “We were in it all day against a quality side, second
on the ladder.”
St Bernard’s took the points, 13.9.87 to 10.3.63.
Tom Hall kicked four goals for Fitzroy and was best on ground.
The Under 23 leadership group has also been named but injuries
have already hit! Ezra Darby is the new captain, with the leaders
named as Matt Bell, Daniel O’Connor, James Gosling and Eddie
With Ezra and Matt on the medium to long term injury list,
James Gosling will captain the side until Ezra is back.
Thirds take the home ground advantage
The Fitzroy Thirds
are sitting just nicely in second spot on the Division 1 ladder
after a 10-goal home ground win over St Bede’s Mentone at Brunswick
Street Oval last Saturday.
With their one and only 2019 game scheduled at BSO, the Thirds
were always a going to put the pedal down early and their fast
start happened courtesy of two quick goals to captain Tim De
By quarter time the lead was out to three goals and there
was a sense this was going to be a good day. But coach Trent
Coleman was guarding against any complacency.
It was another four goals for Fitzroy in the second quarter
and by the long break the margin was out to 33 points. A six
goal third quarter put the opposition away, despite neither
side troubling the scorers in the last. A 10-goal win
is a pretty handy day’s work. The final score was 14.15.99
In a very even team performance, Ross Bartel and Oliver Good
were Fitzroy’s best players, whilst De Natris finished with
four goals and Simon Heather kicked three.
There will be no letting the guard down against this week’s
opponent, Monash Blues, who sit just one game behind in third
spot on the ladder. It’s the early game at Ramsden Street if
you feel like an early start at 9.20am.
Photos by Ellie Mitsch.
Roy Girls give it all
Fitzroy-ACU is facing
a tough battle as it takes on Marcellin tomorrow at home.
Sitting second last on the ladder with a significant percentage
gap to the next group of teams, Fitzroy needs to start winning
to keep the season – and their ranking in the premier competition
This is a winnable game against a side just above them on
the ladder and the effort last week against top side, West
Brunswick, should give every confidence.
Coach Gray Barton felt the main difference between Fitzroy-ACU
and West Brunswick was the finishing polish and ability to
take advantage of forward 50 entries. That’s something to build
on tomorrow, with patches of great footy definitely matching
it with the opposition.
West Brunswick ran out
winners, 5.6.36 to 3.1.19. Teresa Zampaglione (pictured left)
and Emily Goegan were the goal scorers for Fitzroy.
Emma Delaney, Amelie Lay, Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Zampaglione
were named as the best for the day.
There were several shining
lights but one that caught the coach’s eye was Eloise Ashley-Cooper
(pictured), one of our VFLW listed players with Essendon, who
pulled on the boots for Fitzroy-ACU for the first time and
lit up the park – she showed she will add plenty when she’s
not playing for the Bombers.
For the Ressies this week, it’s the grand final replay and
they will be looking for a strong performance to take it up
to a talented and tough side, who sit a game and percentage
above them on the ladder in fourth spot.
Last week’s game against West Brunswick was a very tough affair
and the final result was 5.13.43 to nil. Emily Fitt was best
on ground and will play her 50th game tomorrow (see the story
Photos by Ellie Mitsch.
Fifty for Fitty
Roy Girl Emily Fitt
reaches the 50-game milestone this weekend, as the Fitzroy-ACU
team faces Marcellin in a grand final rematch.
She might be quiet and unassuming off field, but coach Simon
Jackson says Fitty is having an exceptional year with great
attack on the ball, one of her stand-out qualities.
The midfielder is really making her presence felt with her
ability to break the lines, Jackson said.
Captain Mia Sutherland says “Fitty is one of those players
that you genuinely love having around the club. She is always
ready with a smile and always gives 110 per cent.
“On the field she just runs and runs and runs. She somehow
manages to get to every contest and have an impact and she
never seems to need a rest. She also has great taste in dogs
and keeps us entertained with cute pictures of her border collies.”
Congratulations Fitty! Another call up to the Seniors cannot
be that far away.
Big prizes for the Fitzroy Trivia Night
Start studying your
bands from the 80s, your Oscar and your Brownlow winners, as
you warm up for Fitzroy's trivia night on Saturday 25 May in
the community rooms at Brunswick Street Oval.
Did we mention the first prize is $500 for the winning table?
Word on the street is our Senior Assistant Coach, Michael
Manley, runs a pretty mean trivia night. He kept our teams
on their toes at the pre-season camp, but this trivia night
is open to all.
Get your teams and team names ready and book in early to avoid
disappointment. This is a great night for players, supporters
and friends to engage in a little friendly competition, with
a wide range of questions to test your trivia game.
Tables of 10 make up a team, but you can book individually
too. We have only 100 seats and some excellent prizes, so don’t
miss out. Last year it was a sell out.