With the season fast approaching, we're kicking things off with a great day out and some top class football at Brunswick Street Oval on Saturday 6 April for Round 1.
You're invited to join the Fitzroy faithful for lunch to celebrate the first game of the 2019 VAFA season at Brunswick Street Oval, as Premier Women's sides Fitzroy-ACU and SKOB Saints meet in a double header.
The ACU Game will feature the inaugural lunch at a Fitzroy-ACU Women's game and it's the fifth year we've celebrated women in football during our pre-game lunch series.
Hear from Fitzroy's new Senior Women's Coach, Gray Barton, Fitzroy President, Joan Eddy, and other guest speakers, who will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Kasey Symons, one of the editors of the Women's Footy Almanac 2018, freelance writer (you can see some of her women's football coverage in The Guardian) and PhD candidate in sport and gender, will emcee the lunch and no doubt touch on some of the hot issues in women's footy right now.
On field, the ACU Game will see rivalries renewed between the Saints and Fitzroy-ACU in the Premier division of the VAFA Women's Competition, this year sponsored by William Buck. The Reserves start proceedings at 12 with the Seniors following at 2pm.
A superb lunch featuring roast meats, vegie dishes and salads, followed by a cheese and sweets platter, starts at 12. The bar will be open in the community rooms under the Brunswick Street Oval grand stand. The bar will be open and there's a great view of the ground. Drinks are at very reasonable Fitzroy prices! By VAFA rules, the bar will close at 2pm in time for the Senior game.
You can book individual seats or in tables of up to 10 people. Bookings are open now and close on Wednesday 3 April. Book and pay online: https://fitzroyfc.worldsecuresystems.com/BookingRetrieve.aspx?ID=106462
Update on lighting and scoreboard upgrades at Ramsden Street and Brunswick Street ovals
We thought it timely to provide an update on progress with our Pick My Project activities, with more news to follow in the coming months.
When Fitzroy was successful in securing state government funding as part of ‘Pick My Project’ late in 2018 that was just the start of some positive changes for the club over the coming years.
But like all good things, they don’t happen overnight.
The funding will see upgraded lighting and a new electronic scoreboard at Brunswick Street Oval, along with the construction of new light poles at Ramsden Street, where the Fitzroy’s women’s teams, Under 19s and Thirds train and play many of their home games.
Fitzroy Football Club is working closely with the City of Yarra to upgrade the lighting at Brunswick Street Oval (BSO) to expand the number of games Fitzroy teams can play there.
Better lighting will enable twilight games and triple headers at BSO which will lead to more women’s football being played at Fitzroy’s main ground and traditional home.
Since the funding was announced, the Club has been working over the season break to put things in place to make these upgrades possible, including meeting and liaising regularly with the State Government funding body, officers at the City of Yarra, the President and Committee members of the Edinburgh Cricket Club, potential scoreboard suppliers, and consulting with other Clubs with similar equipment.
A lot of work still needs to be done, not to mention consultation with our local communities. That said, we are confident that work on upgraded lighting at Brunswick Street will be able to commence in the coming months and the new scoreboard at BSO will follow (once the preferred supplier has been identified and appointed).
The construction of new light poles at Ramsden Street Oval is also in the planning phase as part of this funding, with work also due to start this year, in readiness by next season – at the latest. This will enable better, safer training facilities.
In the meantime, the first Fitzroy-ACU women’s game for 2019 and the first Fitzroy FC game-day lunch for the season, will kick start the season on Saturday 6 April at BSO.
Fitzroy President, Joan Eddy, said “significant effort went into securing the ‘Pick my Project’ funding from the state government late last year to allow greater access to BSO. We’ll continue to work hard with the City of Yarra to make this happen. I can’t wait to see triple-headers played at Brunswick Street Oval in front of a large Fitzroy crowd.
“We’re very excited to also be working with a range of Edinburgh Gardens Sporting precinct partners to be planning the new community facilities at Brunswick Street. These are fantastic long-term projects, which will continue to maintain BSO and Edinburgh Gardens as a wonderful inner-city sporting and community facility.
“It’s challenging for amateur sporting clubs, run by volunteers, to make such huge strides, but with the hard work of our directors and partners and the support of the State Government, City of Yarra and funding partners such as the Community Bank, we’ll achieve these changes for the benefit of the local community.”
In the meantime, as well as the season opener at Brunswick Street Oval, our women’s teams are playing two of their home games this season on Victoria Park, a ground which is at AFLW standard and also attracts a strong Fitzroy crowd when we play there.
Top class competition to tune up for the season
A tough hit out against St Bernards for our Senior Men and Women and our Reserves Men last Sunday, will be followed up with practice games against the University of Melbourne tomorrow.
Fitzroy’s Men’s teams will be playing University Blacks at Victoria Park:
Under 19s – 4 x 15 minutes starting at 9.30 am
Thirds – 4 x 15 minutes starting at 11 am
Reserves – 4 x 20 minutes starting at 12.30 pm
Seniors – 4 x 25 minutes starting at 2.25 pm.
The surface at Victoria Park is looking fantastic and this is a great opportunity to test ourselves against one of the likely pace-setters for Premier B (our Round 2 opponent).
The Fitzroy-ACU squad will be playing Melbourne University at Kevin Bartlett Oval:
Reserves – 4 x 20 minutes starting at 9.30 am
Seniors – 4 x 20 minutes starting at 11.30 am.
The first test on home decks is on Saturday 30 March, with all teams playing Marcellin throughout the day, in the lead up to our season launch that evening at the Fitzroy Victorian Bowling Sports Club.
The Fitzroy-ACU women’s sides and Thirds will be at Ramsden Street (details to be confirmed), while over at Brunswick Street, the Under 19s, Reserves and Seniors (and possibly Under 23s) will feature.
Thanks to David Leydon for the photos below from last week's practice matches at Tullamarine.
The photo at the top of this story was shot at mixed preseason training at Vic Park by Peter Harrison.
Help spread the word, one street at a time
Fitzroy's Director Member and Sponsor Relations, David Leydon, has some new postcards to deliver to the letterboxes of Fitzroy and surrounds and he'd love your help.
The beautifully designed new membership postcard, featuring the elation of grand final day, encourages the local community to come out and see Saturday afternoon footy as it's meant to be. It also encourages people to sign up for a 2019 Fitzroy membership.
David will provide the postcards, carry bags and maps of designated areas. Ideally the deliveries will be made during the week. What a perfect activity to kick off Active April.
Season launch all set for Saturday 30 March
You're invited to the Club's season launch on Saturday 30 March at the Fitzroy Victoria Bowling and Sports Club from 5.30pm.
Hear about our plans for a new tilt at the silver wear, meet the new players and coaches and find out who'll lead the sides in 2019.
The launch will follow a full day of practice games against Marcellin.
Check out the form at Ramsden and Brunswick Street Ovals and then wander over to the Bowling Club for a nice, informal opportunity to chat and mingle with players and fellow fans.
Everyone is welcome, entry is free and the chef will have a select menu to choose from so get in and order early. Check out the food options here. Drinks at the usual Bowling Club prices
If you purchased your Fitzroy membership before 28 February, you may also be in the running for our great prize, which will be drawn on the night.
Uniting the Pride at the Royal Derby
Our home away from home, the Royal Derby, is throwing out the red carpet for both of its beloved teams on Friday 29 March at an event called 'Uniting the Pride'.
The Derby will hold a football launch for the Brisbane Lions and Fitzroy fans and sponsors, featuring past Fitzroy champions Chris Johnson, Laurie Serafini and Greg Swann.
Tickets ($25 covers speakers and finger food throughout the night) are available online and can be purchased from the hotel bar. The night will kick off at 6.30 for 7pm.
Partnership to build our profile
Joining us to ramp up our communication activities as well as our partnership with the ACU, digital media students Ellie Mitsch and Juliette Fava have taken up internships with Fitzroy for 2019.
So expect to see these two smiling faces around the club over the next little while, although mostly behind the camera!
Ellie and Juliette will have a big focus on ensuring we get some additional coverage of the women’s games this season as well as introducing some more video and visual interest to our social media channels across the board.
Ellie, who is skilled in video production, editing and photography said “I am from a rural town and grew up being a part of a netball and football club in Albury… I love the sense of community they bring and the spirit that surrounds sporting clubs.”
Juliette, who also loves her football and lives just a stone’s throw from Brunswick Street Oval, says it will be a great opportunity to work to help the football club and build the connection between Fitzroy and ACU with one of her fellow students.
The two third year students put their hands to get involved with the club after Directors Kate Nolan and Gabrielle Murphy engaged with the ACU about expanding on the partnership with the club.
Say hello when you see our new interns and if you would like to volunteer with the club in any number of roles, please get in touch or see the story below!
Calling all volunteers!
As always, we'd love to hear from anyone who'd like to offer their time to help us get our teams on the ground this season.
If you can donate a little time, or a lot, please email or call our Director of Volunteers, Gabrielle Murphy, to discuss how you can become part of the team.
We're particularly interested in hearing from supporters who'd like to take up team management roles for our Women's and Under 23 teams. It's a great role – apart from coaching or playing, you couldn't get closer to the action!
The Fitzroy Football Club will be getting behind an AFLPNG and AFL South Pacific Kick Start Program and collecting old football boots for those who might like to give the game a try.
Men’s and women’s boots that are no longer required here, will be shared with PNG, Solomons, Vanuatu, Nauru, Fiji and Tonga under the AFL South Pacific Development program.
Fitzroy Under 19 player, Callum Harrison – who is eligible to play in the International Cup for PNG next year – and his parents Peter and Helen, are heavily involved in the development of the game in PNG and are planning on taking the boots over to the South Pacific in April.
Once we get back to BSO, in the fortnight leading up to the season, players will find a box in the changerooms where they can leave their boots.
It'd be great to help the development of the game in the South Pacific in some small way, so have a hunt around in the bottom of the cupboard and find those boots!
Photograph of the Binatangs team (PNG) 2015, by Peter Harrison.
Flying the flag
In what was a great day for Irish sport, Tom O’Donnell and Emma Delaney played for the VAFA in last Saturday's international rules games against the Victorian Gaelic Athletic Association.
The VAFA didn't quite get over the line, suffering narrow loses in both games, but Curly and Emma represented the club with pride.
Thanks to Bridie Murphy for this shot of Emma looking the part in her VAFA international rules guernsey.
Saturday 23 March: pre-season games v Uni Melbourne at Vic Park from 9.30am (men’s teams) and Kevin Bartlett Reserve, Burnley from 9.30am (women’s teams)
Saturday 30 March (day): pre-season games v Marcellin at BSO (men's teams) and Ramsden Street (women’s teams and men's under 19s).
Saturday 30 March (pm): Season launch, Fitzroy Victoria Bowling Club, 5.30 – 7pm.
Saturday 6 April: Round 1, 2019 – Women in Footy lunch at BSO as Fitzroy-ACU hosts SKOB Saints.
Saturday 13 April: Round 2, 2019 – Unfurling of the 2018 Premiership flags as Fitzroy's Senior and Reserve Men take on University Blacks in their first home game at BSO. Game day lunch details coming soon.