History was made when Fitzroy took out the Premier C senior and Reserves flags against Old Geelong at Trevor Barker Oval on Saturday.
It was 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.
It was the first Reserves flag since 2012.
The Fitzroy Reds won a senior flag in 2005 to be promoted to C Grade for the first time.
For the old Fitzroy fans, you have to hark back to 1944 when both Seniors and Seconds won their respective VFL premierships.
In front of a very large crowd, Fitzroy burst out of the blocks and had just about put the result beyond doubt at quarter time with a blistering eight goal to nil first term.
By quarter time the score was 8.2.50 to 0.3.3 Nathan Jumeau (2), Aidan Lambert (2), Ted Clayton, Tom Cheshire and Sunny Brazier (2) all keeping Dave Barnes (in his new role as scoreboard attendant) very busy.
The pressure, run and carry and kicking accuracy in extremely windy conditions, were all first class.
Despite the swirling conditions, all day the city end of the ground proved to be the scoring end and with their turn to run that way, Old Geelong pushed back hard and generated plenty of scoring shots and by late in the second quarter, with four quick goals, the margin was back to 28 points.
Brazier’s hard-fought team goal just before half time, and the long-range running shot from the centre square by Matthew Gaite, to score the first goal after the long break, broke the opposition’s momentum.
Injuries cruelled Old Geelong’s run and ability to apply pressure in the second half. There were several lengthy injury stoppages and at some stages they couldn’t get the full contingent of players on the park. In stark contrast it was one of the few days this season Fitzroy finished with a full complement of fit players at the end of the game!
The final score was 16.11.107 to 5.7.37.
The emotion of the day was captured by an impromptu singing of the club song out on the oval with the spectators joining the players.
Rory Angiolella was presented with the VAFA’s Michael Ritterman Medal for best on ground and was his usual tough, relentless self, creating many centre clearances. 18-year-old Donovan Toohey, in his first season with Fitzroy, took the best on ground honours from the coach for being a ‘competitive beast’ in his work across half back.
It must have been nigh on impossible to leave anyone out of the best players with such an even performance across the board. With Luke Mahoney just asking everyone to play their role, instructions were followed to the letter. The best players were named as Toohey, Angiolella, Cheshire, Gaite, Bill Clayton and Tom Biscaro. Max Ellis set up several of the first eight goals, while Jack Dalton also partnered with Rory in setting the tone with pressure and clearances out of the centre in the first quarter. A special mention to 100-gamer Tom Biscaro, who was the general down back and took some great marks under pressure. And what a luxury to have a fit Aidan Lambert (two goals) alongside Nathan Jumeau (four goals), Brazier (three goals), Ellis, Sam Baker and Captain Julian Turner - a powerful forward set up and one that proved hard to stop!
If you see nothing else of this game, check out the passage of play set up by a steal from Bill Clayton in the backline to a running Ellis and Baker, resulting in one of Sunny Brazier’s three goals - champagne football (you’ll have to forgive us for becoming cliché central at Fitzroy this week)!
The premiership medallions were presented by Fitzroy Vice President Michael Smale, who was the University Reds Inaugural Premiership Captain and two-time Reds Best and Fairest winner.
But best of all is the highlights package from the Risk Care Financial team, which can be seen below and featuring the best footage of the day – the singing of the song out on the ground as captured by 150 gamer and 2017 Fitzroy Reserves Coach, Richard Willingham.
Risk Care Round Up Grand Final edition
Reserves set the day up for a fairy tale
If you’d written a script before grand final day you’d have thought perhaps the Seniors and Reserves had picked up each other’s notes!
The Reserves, who had been the clear favourites and best performing side all year in the Premier C Reserve grade comp, had to fight out a thriller against a strong and disciplined Old Geelong line-up.
Fitzroy maintained some dominance in general play for a lot of the game but could not put it on the scoreboard leaving the door well ajar. Geelong also had opportunities and failed to convert in the flukey conditions, with a goalless first half and one in the third quarter.
Fitzroy looked well set up going in to the final quarter leading by 20 points in in a low scoring game, 5.3.33. to 1.7.13. But the pressure soon ramped up a notch. Old Geelong piled on three goals and had the Fitzroy players and fans nervous and under the pump as they pulled to within a point.
The Roy Boys held their nerve and despite missing a couple of shots, finally got the job done.
Usually a dead eye dick in front of goals, the conditions did not help full forward Will Pickering, who came into the game under an injury cloud and missed several set shots he would usually get. But he found a way to redeem himself when he kicked the sealer in the final quarter, running into goal on the end of a terrific train of team play (take a bow Sam Batterton, Noah Wright and Sean Laidlaw) to put Fitzroy nine points up with seconds to go.
The final score was 6.6.42 to 4.9.33.
Cailean Moore was awarded ‘Roy’ as the best player by his injured teammate Michael Cussen and Will Fenton took the coach’s award and the Bontempo voucher. Sean Laidlaw, Ross Borland, Luke Edwards, Drew Olarenshaw, Gus Richardson and Jack Atkinson all shone, with Shae Skipper also doing some great work down back.
As a measure of the closeness of the contest, Old Geelong player Antonio Tripodi was awarded the VAFA’s medal for the best player.
New clubrooms in sight at last
Since the beginning of the season, Fitzroy has been working with the other clubs that call Brunswick Street Oval home to build new clubrooms we can all share and enjoy.
Tuesday was a red letter ‘night’ when members of the Edinburgh Gardens Sporting Community attended the City of Yarra Council meeting in support of a motion that will secure the first round of funding needed for new community and clubrooms to be developed at the Brunswick Street Oval.
The Edinburgh Gardens Sporting Community, or EGSC for short, is a coalition of the Fitzroy Football Club, the Fitzroy Junior Football Club, Fitzroy Tennis Club and Edinburgh Cricket Club. As we know, our clubs are crucial contributors to the sports-loving communities who live near, play on and love the Brunswick Street Oval.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by each club president committing EGSC to work together to complement each club’s work to fully develop their potential to foster and grow community participation, to resolve issues of common interest regarding the delivery of community sports at the Edinburgh Gardens precinct, and to develop a vision for ‘fit-for purpose’ facilities that will be a leading example of community sport in Victoria.
Now, in one of the EGSC’s most important moves to date, the Fitzroy Tennis Club has offered to reallocate funding of $50,000 – originally granted by the Council for a redesign of their clubrooms – to the Edinburgh Gardens Sporting Community towards planning for new shared club and community rooms at BSO.
This reallocation was approved by Council on Tuesday night.
The EGSC is also working to secure funding from government and business towards the initial planning phase. Details will be announced in RedRoy as they come to hand.
So, it may still take a while yet but we’re on our way at last to realising our dream of having clubrooms of our own where we can meet without having to set up and set to rights each time we want to use the rooms, where we can display our memorabilia, and where we can share with our neighbouring clubs to the benefit of the entire sporting community in and around Edinburgh Gardens.
Thank you to our sponsors
We don’t get a chance to win one, let alone two, flags without so much help and support on and off field.
Thank you to our fabulous coaches, volunteers, support staff, parents, fans and sponsors and partners. There are so many people who have made their impact throughout the year.
We really want to make special mention of The Royal Derby Hotel (who hosted the celebrations all weekend and beyond), Jellis Craig Inner North, Australian Catholic University, FitzroyIT, Clifton Hill/North Fitzroy Community Bank Branch, Fitzroy Victoria Bowling & Sports Club, Das Studio Pilates, The Reds Foundation, APS Benefits Group and Risk Care Financial Services.
This one’s for you too!
Fitzroy, a love story
At the end of a fabulous 2018, RedRoy celebrates more than just goals and points and looks to the love we all feel at the end of what poet John Keats has called a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.
Phyllis Quealy’s talents as a master photographer are undisputed and universally admired, but with this beautiful portrait you might be forgiven for thinking she had poet John Keats words in mind when she captured the moment two of our favourite people shared a special kiss to cap off a game and season that delivered a precious premiership.
Thanks Phyllis, thanks Lauren and Gaiter!
Val gets her wish
In the lead up to the grand final, we asked Fitzroy Life Member Val Allpress what it might mean to her for Fitzroy to win the flag. She said 'At my age it might very well be the last one and I very much want it'.
There was no bigger smile at The Royal Derby Hotel on Saturday night, when she got to take a sip from the cup.
By the numbers
It’s not often you can tick over the premiership count on the website, but this week we did. Woohoo!
It’s a measure of the interest the Fitzroy name generates, that the club’s wins on the weekend were reported on Channel 9 news, 3AW, ABC radio, SEN, the Brisbane Lions’ website and in the lead up in the Herald Sun, Coodabeen Champions and more.
Some of the social media numbers may also be of interest. In the week of the grand finals, Fitzroy’s Facebook page generated 125,000 impressions and Instagram was also prominent, generating 54,000 impressions (ie the number of times the posts were seen).
And in their first year of the VAFA Podcast, the team from the VAFA reported Luke Mahoney’s appearance earlier in the season, was the most listened to interview of the year!
All Redlow bookings should now be in and we look like having a very big event!
Just confirming the details are:
Date: Friday 5 October
Time: 6.30pm -11.30pm
Venue: Regal Ballroom, 216 High Street Northcote
After party with DJ at The Royal Derby Hotel from midnight to 2am.
Annual General Meeting - 2 December
A reminder that the club’s annual general meeting is scheduled for Sunday 2 December at Brunswick Street Oval Community Rooms at 2 for 2.30pm.
Watch the club’s website for details about director vacancies and how to nominate in the weeks leading up to the meeting. Nominees must be members of the club. The Notice of the AGM together with the 2019 membership renewals will be sent out in early November.
Everyone is welcome to attend the AGM.
The RedRoy Mail will now go into ‘off season’ mode and come out on an as-needed basis. We hope you’ve enjoyed it this year.