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ACU-Fitzroy Senior Women's Coach John Mustafa's 2020 Season Review 

Last edition of the RedRoy, Fitzroy Senior Men's coach Luke Mahoney gave us his 2020 Season review. If you missed it, you can read it here.

This week Fitzroy-ACU Senior Women's coach John Mustafa wraps up his first season at the Roys in a year that he'll never forget.



Incredible. This is the word that most resonates for me across this wonderful football club. From the Board, to the players, coaches and volunteers alike, thank you for your hard work to make the most out of a situation which no one has experienced before. The structure and culture around the place has made the transition into the role, in the most trying times in our history to say the least, smooth and easy and I felt I could be myself all while still enjoying football.

We started the pre-season in November with a burst of energy and willingness to learn and we quickly ballooned from 24 girls a night to 50-55 come Jan/Feb. This flowed into our pre-season camp which was quite enjoyable for the day I was there. Our main session was good fun and allowed me to understand the girls and the team more. The boot camp (which I missed the memo to compete in!) was gruelling, challenging and impressive when you saw the mental grit within the group.

The buy in was tremendous from the players. The drive to be successful and improve on the previous season spread through the group faster than a Usain Bolt 100m sprint. We bolted towards our intra club at Vic Park which continued to build on the momentum built at camp and the desire to get on the park and play footy.

Preparing for our next game, the girls wanted to rip the Latrobe grass up. But it was not meant to be. Unfortunately, Sharon gave me the call that the practice match was off and that the season might follow as the threat of coronavirus pandemic came into our lives . Where to next? The club swiftly rose to action to help us move forward; Constant calls and online meetings gave us clarity and comfort as we tried to do everything to keep the girls informed and engaged.

This is where I want to thank the Leaders of the group along with my coaches. The extra responsibility they took on to not only reach out to all of our girls to let them know what was happening with the club, but also check on their personal welfare, helped keep the team together at a trying time. Furthermore, the culture around the group kept the players motivated with a clear vision for the group to keep fit and engaged, ready for the chance to play if it ever came.

Moving to virtual training was a great learning curve for me and coaches. The ability to translate learning from a physical basis to an interactive, verbal, format was challenging. Luckily enough we have some amazing teachers within the group who helped with feedback to improve the sessions, engaging with the football IQ to help us all work in this new environment.

The hard work of the club, the league and players allowed us to see some in-season training which was a phenomenal result. The reaction from the girls, again was impressive. We were able to run sessions with groups of 10 then groups of 20 which allowed us to expand our drills further and engage with more of the team at one time. Being all together, seeing everyone with their mates, it really drove the group forward. The standard at training after being in isolation for so long was at a high level and it was fantastic to see everyone complying to the protocols and taking it seriously. 

Unfortunately, with the spike in numbers and restrictions reinforced, it wasn't safe for us to continue which saw the season cancelled.

Despite all this, it's been an awesome year for me. To see the development of our girls, they have been a pleasure to coach, honesty throughout the time we had in person and in our online session, the coaches and playing group have not only developed as better footballers but I've continued to see them develop as people and as strong leaders in such a trying time, and that is what we're all about.

Stay safe everyone, try to enjoy the year off and come back refreshed and excited and ready to go next season because these Roys are dangerous and ready to grab the opportunity to get back out there.

Go Roys,

Online/Physical ACU-Fitzroy Senior Women's Coach

John Mustafa

Fitzroy featured in the latest VAFA 'Clubs in Focus' podcast

We were thrilled to be the latest club to be 'in focus' in the VAFA's excellent podcast series. This is a great listen for all Roys fans and footy lovers to learn a bit more about our history, reminisce about some of the great moments, celebrate the achievements of our current men's and women's teams with plenty of laughs provided from these special guests!

Join Joe Pignataro and Nick Armistead as they delve into the history of Fitzroy with the greatest Roy of all, champion Kevin Murray, former Reds greats Ross Stevenson & Peter Hille, current captains Julian Turner and Jess Hayes, and President Joan Eddy!

Listen to the podcast here


Joan Eddy – 14:40

Peter Hille – 25:20

Ross Stevenson – 38:00

Kevin Murray – 55:40

Jess Hayes – 1:22:00

Julian Turner – 1:32:00

Ross Stevenson, Uni Reds & their Coolaroo Rovers experience

"20 clubs have come and gone for just the one season over the course of the VAFA’s history, but none have left their mark quite like Coolaroo Rovers."

The VAFA's Nick Armistead also wrote this piece on the back of recording our edition of the 'Clubs in Focus' podcast after speaking with Ross Stevenson and learning about his experience with the infamous Coolaroo Rovers while playing for the Reds. It's a great story! 

Read the article on the VAFA website here. 

The lockdown version of our song!

Thanks to Life Member Janet Graham for penning this for us - a 2020 version of our Club song to get us through this tough time.

For those who don't know, Janet is trailblazer of women's Aussie rules footy, playing in the 80's and is a founding member of the Victorian Women's Football League. Our Women's Reserves B&F award is named after her to honour her service to the club, and the women's game and now we can add 'song writer' to her list of talents!

Great stuff Janet!

We are the young and old Fitzroy,
We are in lockdown, marooned and blue.

But this virus won’t claim victory,
We will see this iso through.

Keep our fitness, that’s our task,
Social distance, wear our mask.

Fitzroy, Fitzroy, the club that gives us cheer,
See you all again next year!

Wear a Mask - FFC masks still available!

Our FFC mask orders have been filled and there are still some available for sale if you're yet to place an order.

Thank you to everyone who has already placed an order and supported the club.

The sales of these masks have really helped us to fundraise in a tough year while ensuring we can show our FFC pride while staying safe. Thanks for showing your support and doing the right thing.


Thanks Dave Barnes! You’re a real life saver.

By Gabrielle Murphy 

Whether he’s waving the flags and geeing on the Twos, helping out around the ground or on the barbeque, Dave Barnes exemplifies a generosity of spirit that marks all those who can’t help but help out.


Rumour has it that after Dave Barnes saw the boys from the Fitzroy Footy Club playing at the famous Brunswick Street Oval from the tram, he hopped right off and has hardly missed a game since.

Dave Barnes’ seminal tram ride was in 2011. Three to four weeks later he arrived at the game a little early and was asked to take up goal umpiring duties for the Seconds. He’s done that week in, week out ever since. Not to mention working on the barbeque after the Twos and during the Firsts, and setting up and returning game paraphernalia for every home game (goal pads, siren, speakers, fence signs, chairs and tables etc).

In recognition of our love and appreciation, Dave was awarded the Fitzroy Football Club Volunteer of the Year in 2014. And he hasn’t missed a beat either before or since.

In his day job Dave can be seen navigating the hills and dales of his Eastern suburbs postie route. Just as it was in war time, Dave’s job is deemed as an essential service in these dire days of COVID-19. Dave just wishes he could mix it up a bit with the odd footy match. And maybe a drink or two after the game.

Thank you Dave. We wouldn’t be where we are without you and your fellow volunteers.

And who knows how many other good souls you’ve saved, and will keep saving, along the way.

Go Roys!
You could say that Dave Barnes gives blood
for the Club, even when he’s giving blood!

An Onomastic Study of Player Nicknames

We'll continue to bring you our player ISO profiles so you can get to know our players a bit more during this time of no footy. But we're also going to mix it up a bit!

Max Davie and Luci Murphy are giving you the onomastics (it's ok, we've googled that word for you: relating to the study of the history and origin of proper names!) of some of our Royboy and Roygirl nicknames. Ever wondered how some of the names came about? Let Max and Luci give you the rich history behind some of the most creative nicknames going around! 

Here's part two!


Alasdair Mulligan - Red Dog (woof woof)

It wasn’t all that long ago that Red Dog was just called Mullie. It seems hard to imagine now; I had to ask a mate what his actual name was to write this post. The genesis of Red Dog was a sunny day down in Peninsula. A haggard red-headed bozo collected a touch on the near wing and we heard his Pirate teammates calling ‘Red Dog’ at him in hope of receiving a helicopter-pass. Sh*t, we collectively thought. We need a Red Dog! Casting our gaze across the field, there was only one genuine Fitzroy candidate. The best Thursday night dinners are when Red Dog is the last name read out on the team sheet – attendees to a man erupt into a chorus of barking hounds in celebration of footballer’s camaraderie and the joy of loud noises.

Erin Gogerly - Leather Poisoning

Erin Gogerly is well known for her intercept marks along the half back line and getting a coaches shoutout at every huddle has clearly pumped her tyres one too many times. As a result of this, Erin thought it would be appropriate to caption a photo of herself on her socials with the sentence “all smiles before the leather poisoning kicked in” thus crowning herself Leather Poisoning. The jury is still out on why she posted such an outrageous caption.

James Graham Trunt

Until the birth of Trunt, the English language was missing a crucial onomatopoeic term for the sound people make when they collide flesh-ily together. No longer. The mouthfeel of ‘Trunt’ is almost as satisfying as the experience of witnessing him smoosh opposition defenders back unto the earth from which they came. Be well advised to stay out of Trunt’s road on the football field – the good news for wiry midfielders like yours truly is that the ‘trunt trunt’ of his tree-trunk thighs clapping together as he approaches is usually sufficient warning to avoid the full-bodied TRUNT of being shunted clean free of the contest.

Rachael Telfer - TEF

After living on this earth for 26 years, it would be safe to assume Rachael Telfer has had at least 20 years experience spelling her name correctly and can now do it flawlessly. But you assumed wrong. Rachael sadly misspelled her own name earlier this year, sticking herself forever with the new name of TEF. An easy mistake to make...

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