Captain Jack ticks all the boxes on the way to 150 games
Man bun. Check.
Rides a bike. Check.
Passion for his footy. Check.
Great bloke. Check
Jack Atkinson ticks every single box for all things Fitzroy.
On Saturday, the Reserves’ captain will run out for his 150th game for the club.
A long-time defender, “Atko” has risen to become one of the club’s most respected blokes and his hard work and effort over many years has resulted in his appointment to skipper for season 2017.
Atko has grown into one of the first blokes picked in the twos each week after several seasons split between the Reserves and Thirds.
A hard worker on the track, 2016 coach Sam Buckley told “Atty” that he would remain in the side for several weeks regardless of form, giving him the confidence to attack the game without worrying about selection.
And it worked. Atko had a stand-out 2016, taking his form into this year.
Buckley, who is also a former teammate, says Atko is a pleasure to coach.
“He absolutely gives his all for the jumper and has improved as a player year-on-year for the last five years,” Bucks says.
“He is one of the terrific blokes at the club and a guy that you just love playing football with. It’s great seeing the leader he has become and he’s doing a stand-up job captaining the twos.”
High school buddy and fellow defender, Jono Anderson, says he has a huge amount of love and respect for Atko.
“We became best mates on day one of high school and stuck with each other the whole way through. It was actually a happy birthday Facebook post from Atko that got me back down to the club a few years ago,’’ he says.“
It’s great to see Atko captain the Reserves this year. He’s always led by example on the field, but he’s also taking on the off-field leadership role really well too. I think he’s getting some confidence from the role because he’s playing some awesome footy.”
Sunday special for Women 1
It’s a big weekend for women’s footy at Fitzroy with the annual Women in Footy lunch on Saturday at BSO and Fitzroy-ACU Women 1 taking on Old Xaverians at Xavier College on Sunday.
The Roy Girls are nicely placed for a finals berth in the VAFA’s first year of women’s footy. They sit in second place on the ladder, just one win behind SKOB Saints and one in front of Marcellin. Such is the closeness of the competition they cannot afford to drop a game.
The last time the teams met at Ramsden Street in round 6, Fitzroy scored a massive 85-point win, with Annabel Watson kicking four goals.
Last week’s home win against Melbourne Uni was just as comprehensive; 9.13.67 to 0.2.2. Alexa Madden and Tash Ross-Harris, fresh from her star turn with the Big-V, were the best players. Last week’s goals were shared around with two each to Tasha Kroussov, Lauren Carlin and Hillary Grubb.
It will be the final game under Lauchlan Dalgleish, who has been doing an outstanding job as stand in coach for Mick Symons, who returns from overseas next week.
If you get a chance, head over to Xavier College at 12pm on Sunday and take a look at the Women’s 1 team in action in a rare Sunday game.
This is the second last round before the women’s finals start on 5 August.
It was a case of oh so close for the Fitzroy-ACU Women 2 team on Saturday with a three-point loss to local rivals, the Brunswick Renegades. Leading at half time, 2.5.17 to 1.4.10, the Roy Girls just could not find a way to score in the second half and went down narrowly despite a very strong effort. Bridie Murphhy was best for the Roys, with Madeline Hogan and Tess McDonald the goal kickers.
The close game will give them plenty of momentum as they face Canterbury tomorrow, who sit one above them on the ladder.
Ligris sprints to 100 games
It’s been a lightning-fast journey to 100 games for long-time Royboy Nathan “Liga” Ligris.
The 22-year-old midfielder will reach the milestone this week at Brunswick Street Oval against Mazenod.
Liga debuted with Fitzroy Football Club in the Under 19s in 2012, after playing 63 games with the Fitzroy Junior Football Club.
Both Fitzroy coach Nick Mitchell and captain Rory Angiolella agree that Nathan has racked up his 100 games quicker than most footballers.
Nick thinks Nathan’s biggest achievement in football so far is the consistency of his performance so early in his playing days.
e has barely missed a game in the last six years, and the last three years have been in the senior side since graduating from the Under 19s,” he says.
“Finishing runner up in our 2016 best and fairest in a very talented side is also a wonderful effort. I’m certain there is a senior best and fairest just around the corner if he keeps working as hard as he has been.”
Rory is similarly impressed by what Nathan has accomplished already. “His biggest achievement has been consolidating himself as a really integral part of not only the senior side, but the wider football club at such a young age,” he says.
Nick says that Nathan is “very coachable.” “Watching him grow from a quiet, skinny kid with ability, to a confident, resilient footballer who is still improving week to week with no ceiling evident has been an enjoyable experience,” Nick says.
“He is keen to be the best version of himself and has been very proactive working on his deficiencies, to now be able to say they are a real strength is his footy DNA.”
Rory says that Nathan is respected for his dedication to the club. "He's always on time to training, he always puts in on the track, he comes to all the functions and is always willing to put his hand up to chip in, which is really important at a club like ours."
The club captain says he also enjoys catching snippets of Nathan's "sledging talents" on the field. "He's quite often trash talking and I always get a laugh when I hear what he is saying," Rory says.
Nick and Rory both have messages for Liga on reaching 100 games.
“Congratulations Nathan,” Rory says. “Few players would have reached 100 games as quickly or as young. It's a real testament to your durability and work ethic on and off the field. Enjoy the day and I'm sure the boys will do everything to make sure it's a memorable one!”
“Congratulations Liga,” Nick says. “You have worked incredibly hard on your fitness and craft since I came to the club. Well done on a great first 100 games at our wonderful football club. May your next 100 games be littered with Premierships.”
Nick and Rory emphatically agree that Liga should have no worries reaching his next milestone.
"I think he’s got at least 200 left in him if that’s what he desires," Nick says.
Thirds break the scoreboard!
Playing the main game at Brunswick Street Oval certainly suited the Fitzroy Thirds, which scored one of the biggest wins in the club’s history on Saturday and now sits nicely in the top four.
The win over bottom placed Parkdale Vultures resulted in an incredible 37.27.249 to 1.2.8 scoreline, with dual spearheads, Tim Denatris and Simon Heather kicking seven goals each.
Milos Zika, Ben Frazer, Keith Dimech and Owain Dunn were in danger of suffering from leather poisoning by the end of the day.
This weekend’s game against De La Salle, who sit a couple of games ahead of Fitzroy in third position on the ladder, will prove a far tougher test.
With the promise of finals on the horizon, the Thirds have been training the house down and coach Trent Coleman is building the momentum nicely.
Under 19 2 belt out the club song after first win
Fitzroy’s U19 (2) team finally broke through for their first win of the season last Friday night out at La Trobe University, with the win also moving them off the bottom rung of the ladder.
And it was a big win too, defeating the home side 13.21.99 to 4.3.27.
Coach Greg Coleman said it’s been a tough season of heavy defeats and struggling for numbers, but it all came together with an accomplished, four quarter effort from an even spread of contributors. “The team cohesion was quite remarkable given a quarter of the team were playing their first game in the 2s.”
The core playing group was reinforced by a motley crew of some regular U19 1s doubling up and some current and past Fitzroy juniors who answered the call to help out with numbers. James Ziemkiewicz was best on ground and also kicked three goals. Tane Buchanan also chimed in with three.
Greg said he couldn’t have been more proud of the way they held their defensive structures and cracked in for the contest, but it was the spread and vision to use team mates out in space that was most telling. “We’ve been working towards playing that sort of footy, so it was great to see it finally click and give them the win they so deserved. You don’t hear the song belted out much louder!”
Disappointment at the Snakepit
It may have been a happy hunting ground for coach Nick Mitchell in his playing days, but his former club didn’t do him any favours on field last Saturday.
The Snow Dogs flexed their collective muscle and have now put Fitzroy in danger of relegation with a thumping 129-point win.
It was the 15-year reunion for the St Bernard’s 2002 premiership team, captained by Nick Mitchell, and the home side celebrated, defeating Fitzroy 26.15.171 to 5.12.42. Aiden Lambert and Ross Borland worked hard all day with Fitzroy on the back foot right from the start, after an 8 goal first quarter from the Snow Dogs.
It wasn’t a whole lot better for the Reserves, who also went down 21.12.138 to 11.3.69. It was a very promising return from key forward Corbin Stevic who kicked six of Fitzroy’s goals.
The Reserves sit on equal sixth spot, two wins and percentage out of the four.
Fitzroy faces Mazenod at home tomorrow and it’s a game we must win. The team sits in eight place on the ladder, one game ahead of Parkdale, and with everything to play for to stay in Premier B in 2018. Go Roys!
A huge thank you to Women 2 Captain Michelle Booth who was the driving force behind Saturday’s successful Reds Ball at the Melbourne Zoo.
Special thanks also to Tom Cheshire for co-organising and ensuring the high quality music and so many players in attendance, and to Louise Maniatakis for keeping track of all the numbers and names.
Well over 100 players and friends of Fitzroy attended the function at the Zoo and the costume effort once again was a highlight.
Best dressed for the Fitzroy-ACU Women was Lydia Hobden, fabulously ensconced in a full cardboard crocodile body suit, painted green, egg cartons for scales – amazing.
For the men, it was a dead heat; we couldn’t split Nathan Ligris as Dora the Explorer and Tim Denatris as The Supreme Jungle Adventurer.
Honourable mentions to the whole Irwin Family, Poison Ivy, Rafiki the wise from Lion King, Axel Rose and crew from Welcome to the Jungle, and Rumble in the Jungle protagonists, Mohammed Ali and George Foreman.
Win the inaugural Bowling Lions trophy
Register now for Fitzroy Victoria Bowling & Sports Club’s new knockout bowls competition and discounted social membership just for Fitzroy players, sponsors, and supporters.
Book your team of three in for a fun morning of social bowls, a lesson, plus a free BBQ.
The competition will take place on Sunday 30 July from 11am to 1.30pm at the Fitzroy Victoria Bowling & Sports Club on Brunswick Street.
Book your place by 26 July by emailing your team name, and names of the three team members, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mixed teams are fine.
The cost of only $5 per person includes coaching, bowls competition, BBQ lunch, tea and coffee.
Drinks will be available at the bar, and participants can pay their entry cost on the day.
Are you our 2017 winner?
For those who have not purchased their raffle tickets, don’t miss out on a $3000 travel voucher, AFL finals series tickets or $500 worth of petrol.
These are the fantastic prizes up for grabs at just $10 a ticket.
This Saturday is the final BSO home game prior to the draw on 12 August, so you have just two more chances to go into the running.
You can purchase tickets from any Fitzroy player, at home games at Brunswick Street Oval, and via the Fitzroy website.
Tickets must be purchased by 5 August 2017 and they will be drawn at 6pm on 12 August 2017 in the Community Rooms at Brunswick Street Oval during the post-match presentation after Fitzroy takes on Old Carey.
Thank you very much to the sponsors of this raffle, the Brisbane Lions Football Club and Caltex Australia.
To all of our players, who have been doing a great job selling tickets, please get your sold books and money back to the club ASAP. You can bring them to games or training and hand them to one of the club Directors. Please put your name on the front cover of the raffle booklet.
Get fit for spring with pilates
If you’re looking for exercise that promotes fitness and strength, in a studio carrying the very Fitzroy smells of coffee and Aesop products, there’s only one place to go.
das Studios pilates on Smith Street, a Fitzroy sponsor, is offering members of the FFC community a special deal to get fit and improve flexibility and strength.
Fitzroy supporters can access a 20% discount on either of the start-up packages that das Studio offers, until 31 December this year.
Helen Saniga from das says pilates is a brilliant and accessible method of exercise that releases, mobilises, and strengthens, as well as toning and buffing the body
You may even end up practicing pilates alongside a Fitzroy player, as players from all levels of the club have been visiting das Studio this year.
If you’d like to try out pilates at das, contact Helen on 0412 503 771.
This week's games
De La Salle vs Fitzroy Thirds – VAFA Premier B Thirds – Waverley Oval, 9.20am, Saturday 22 July
Canterbury Football Club vs Fitzroy-ACU Women 2 – Development Division 4 – Canterbury Sportsground, 11.20am, Saturday 22 July
Fitzroy Reserves vs Mazenod – VAFA Premier B Reserves – Brunswick Street Oval, 11.40am, Saturday 22 July
Fitzroy Seniors vs Mazenod – VAFA Premier B – Brunswick Street Oval, 2.00pm, Saturday 22 July
Fitzroy U19 (2) vs Aquinas OC – Holmesglen U19 Section 5 – Ramsden Street Oval, 11.40am, Saturday 22 July
Fitzroy U19 (1) vs University Blacks – Holmesglen U19 Section 2 – Ramsden Street Oval, 2.00pm, Saturday 22 July
Old Xaverians vs Fitzroy-ACU Women 1 – VAFA Wilson Women Premier – Xavier College, 12.00pm, Sunday 23 July