Tomorrow Fitzroy is back home at Brunswick Street Oval for
a men's triple header and another game under the bright lights
as part of our Jellis Craig Round.
The Seniors and Ressies will be lining up for the grand final
replay against Old Geelong at the traditional times, while
Fitzroy's Thirds team will play the first men's game under
lights as they take on rivals, Ajax, starting at 7.30pm.
It promises to be a great day with lots of footy action on
field and a huge sellout lunch off it. Literary luminaries
Dr Clare Wright, George Megalogenis, Christos Tsiolkas and
Dr Chris McConville will keep guests entertained in the lead
up to the main game.
There will be an extended post-match celebration after the
Senior men's game, in the lead up to the first Saturday night
game played at the ground.
Make sure you join us if you can or keep across scores for
the day on social media. The results will have a significant
bearing on our season's ambition of remaining in B Grade.
Ressies at 11.40am, Seniors at 2pm and Thirds starting at
7.30pm. Go Roys!
Rouge et Noir marquer deau
It was always going to be a tough ask for the Roy Boys as
they took on one of the three ladder leaders, Uni Blacks, on
their own piece of privileged Carlton. Magnificent club rooms,
stately honour boards with many top end luminaries listed,
a highly talented playing list. Variable conditions, sunny,
but windy, heavy under foot. A wind probably favouring the
western end, the end where it was easier to walk to the front
bar at Naughton's rather than attend another Economics lecture.
Back in the day… ah, those were the days.
Large scale changes since our last game which seemed like
about 3 or 4 months ago. Out were the two Claytons, on the
continent, Symons in Scandinavia, Jumeau injured way out west,
Lazzaro with the Bombers, and Faubel to the 19s. Big, big outs.
In came Glen Burns, on debut I think, Dalton, Turner and Baker
back from injury, Bernie Wright and Lachie Henderson.
We were under siege for most of the first quarter. They were
clearly 'on' for the occasion; memories of last time when they
beat us convincingly but came away pretty sore. We had the
play for sporadic periods, but our errors and their intensity,
led to a 44-8 score line at the break. As I remarked to Ms
Gorilla earlier, after three pesky teenagers left the back
seat of the new Ford, parked in the disabled spot at the city
end: 'Dunno where we're going to find five goals today.' She
nodded like she knew. I hoped I was wrong.
The huddle was good. Clarity: we had to slow them down, can't
let them play the way they want. The had double the inside
50s. Coach Mahoney's young bloke was keenly focused on the
match ups on the whiteboard. A prodigy. Very strong contributor
to canteen takings as well; a big strain on the coaching fee.
I advised Luke post-game to factor this into his next contract
The second requires only brief commentary. It was 58-8 halfway
through. Ellis, Ligris, Long and Hart were doing their best
to stem the tide, but to no avail. We were scoreless for the
quarter, 71-8 at the main break. I didn't go near the change
rooms. Snuck in the back way to the $5 arvo tea. Uni boys can't
really provide home cooked cakes. Woolworths chocolate cake,
lamingtons, party pies, but a very nice ambience, dominated
by Fitzroy folk. Stole a few lamingtons – about half a dozen
What would the second half provide? They were dominating the
air, the run, their forwards playing to a plan. Like Bob Seger
once said, we were 'Against the Wind'. We showed great endeavour
for Baker to goal, and were stemming the tide, damning the
floodgates, all those other water analogies. Curly O'Donnell
got sat on his back, called for an operating table, and instantaneously
performed his own recovery operation. Burns kicked a couple
out of mid-air, must have done ballet as a youngster. It was
two goals to one for the quarter, their way: 89-16.
As is his trait, the
coach relied on the positives. Praising Harrison Grace's 10
tackles, he was vibrant, even had a smile on his face as he
delivered the pearls. Slow them down, win the quarter, use
positive pressure. A constant source of inspiration.
The skipper missed an opportunity for the opener, and the
resultant kick-in went end-to-end for a goal. Toohey, who had
been at the bottom of most packs, kicked one, and we were bent
on aggression and resilience. We seemed to be keen on breaking
a tackling record, taking inspiration from the Grace reference.
Bernie Wright took a mark, got a 50 and goaled. But in the
end, we ran out of gas, certainly not the fight, just the fuel
required for the contest. 122-28, not good, but c'est la vie.
It will not be c'est la vie tomorrow against OGS. If you have
spare time this week, away from work, study or training, go
to a GRUNT shop, and buy a trolley full. Bring it to Brunswick
Street, and unload on the enemy. Fierce, ferocious, forever,
Photos by Phyllis Quealy
Roy Girls head into final Premier round
A tough season and two years in the VAFA Premier Women's division come to an end this weekend, but the Fitzroy-ACU team bonds are as strong as ever.
The Fitzroy-ACU teams head to Bulleen tomorrow morning to
take on Marcellin in the final game of the VAFA women's season.
With last week's loss to bottom side Melbourne University
still stinging, the Senior Roy Girls will be out to play a
full four quarters and see if they can translate strong field
play to scoreboard pressure.
Last week they welcomed back Erin Gogerly from her VFLW duties
and put a strong field on the park. The pattern of the game
was somehow familiar this season, but the commitment and effort
After a promising first quarter – just three points down at
the break – the Muggars got on top in the middle part of the
game and Fitzroy couldn't find a way to goal. Fitzroy scored
again in the final quarter but just couldn't get close enough,
finally going down 4.5.29 to 2.4.16.
Gogerly featured in the
best players, with Alexa Madden taking top honours, alongside
Lucy Kerr, Hannah Martin, Teresa Zampaglione (one goal) and
Alex Montiero, who has quietly gone about putting in an excellent
Fitzroy-ACU and Melbourne Uni will finish as the last two
sides in the Premier Women's competition, which means relegation
and a new grade next year for the whole squad.
In the Premier Women's Reserve competition, Melbourne University
showed its strengths, keeping Fitzroy scoreless and scoring
3.7.25 in the windy conditions, to maintain second spot on
the ladder. Emma Delaney made a welcome return from travel
with a strong game, alongside Hannah Coffey, Emily Fitt and
To prepare this week,
the squad got together for their annual team colours night
(see above) and took in some top tips from guest coach, Collingwood
AFLW Assistant coach, Chloe McMillan.
Chloe spoke about tactics, player match ups and how to analyse
the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent, but the best
advice she gave the players was 'back yourself!'.
Best of luck for the final game, Roy Girls. Remember, season
2020 is just around the corner.
Fitzroy-ACU’s journey woman, Shannon Alexander, has just passed
the 50 VAFA game milestone and this week notches up 100 games
of football – quite an achievement by any measure.
The face of our Pick My Project campaign and a member of the
grand final reserves side in 2018, Shannon has this year joined
the Fitzroy-ACU leadership group and its been a revelation,
mostly to herself!
“Shannon has really embraced the leadership role,” says coach
“She’s positive, brings an upbeat energy and is always supportive
of her teammates. It’s great to see her step up to that responsibility
Jacko says Shannon reads the play well from half back and
has a strong kick.
We reckon Jacko would be pretty thrilled with Shannon’s faithful
recall of his messages about the three phases of play – when
they have the ball, when we have the ball and when the ball
is in dispute. “That’s when I defend first, but I take the
game on. Jacko has given me free reign to do that …
to come off my player and turn defence into attack.”
It was a fateful few
days at the University Games in Sydney in 2017 when Shannon
made the choice to come to Fitzroy.
She had met some of the Roy Girls as part of the ACU squad
and despite tearing her ACL in the bronze medal game, thought
to herself “this club is a good fit for me. The girls are great
and the uniform is great too! I thought ‘F… it, why
Shannon did her recovery and then started with Fitzroy-ACU
last year. Shannon’s football career – “a complicated football
journey” – started in her home town of Ballarat, where she
played for Ballarat Youth Girls aged 17 and 18. She then had
stints at Ballarat Swans and Lake Wendouree clubs. As a Youth
Girl, Shannon was selected in the TAC Rebels squad and along
the journey met the coach of the Geelong Women’s VFL side and
was asked to come along and play at Geelong. “It was very scary
playing at that level but I’m glad I challenged myself to do
it. It was a very high standard and I learnt a lot.”
Before coming to Fitzroy, Shannon also played in VWLF with
Golden Point and Redan.
Shannon, who is a graduate
nurse at The Austin hospital in cardiology and thoracics, just
loves footy. “It’s the greatest sport in the world. It’s just
very enjoyable. You can have fun, but it has a huge competitive
element – and I like to win and do well. I like the teamwork;
working together to get the results.
“On field I’ve always been vocal and encouraging, it’s very
natural to me. But now I’m in the leadership team I had to
ask myself ‘how do I take that into the off-field role, to
get the best out of others?’
“So, I challenged myself
to be more involved off field. It’s taught me I can do it!
My speeches have definitely become better. You don’t know until
you try. And everyone has been so encouraging and supportive
of me. Fitzroy has great people.”
In a tough season, it’s so refreshing to hear about the positivity
within the group and Shannon’s perspective of what’s next for
a squad about to face relegation.
“Sometimes failing together allows you to bring one another
“I think we’re a very resilient group. The more we stick together
and play for each other, we will grow and improve. I see the
promise. It’s very positive and encouraging and if we take
the small wins it will happen. It’s just so close.
“Great things don’t happen overnight. It’s been a long season,
but we’re a tough group and we will make it work.
“I’d really love a win this weekend!”
And we’d love it too, Shannon. Congratulations on your milestones.
Fitzroy does have great people and you are one of them. Go
Around the grounds...
Last week's big winners were the Thirds,
who gave their opponent, De La Salle a big head start and then
stormed home with the last five goals of the game to win by
What a great way to lead into tomorrow night's big clash with
Ajax at BSO.
The Fitzroy boys would admit they were very, very lucky as
De La was wayward with the goal kicking, resulting in a final
scoreline of 6.16.52 to 8.5.53.
Daniel Beacom with three and Kai Menzies with two goals, led
the attack. Tom Grbac, Gizzy Mills and Menzies were recognised
for their efforts by coach Trent Coleman.
The narrow win keeps the pressure on Caufield, which holds
top spot by percentage only.
The Under 19s played a more disciplined brand
of football this week at Ramsden Street but went down to second
side Mazenod, 8.9.57 to 12.10.82.
Hugh Mitchell kicked two goals, with the rest shared around,
and Marcel Laidlaw continued his strong season, taking out
the Student Flights best on ground award.
Giving away a six goal to nil first quarter was probably not
the way coach Tony Keehan (pictured above) would have wanted
the Under 23s to start the day against Old
Brighton on Saturday.
However, he would have been thrilled by the effort and energy
in the fightback, reducing the margin from 40 at the first
break to 16 points at the end of the day.
At a wild and windy Brighton Beach Oval, hats off to home
team forward Jack Rutter with six goals! For Fitzroy, Dan O'Connor
kicked two and Paul Vassilacos was best on ground.
Tomorrow both Unders teams play away at the 2pm time slot.
Photo of the Under 23s (above) by Ellie Mitsch. Photos of the Under 19s (below) by Peter Harrison.
Mel, mum, mentor, model – marvellous!
Mel Story is Assistant
Coach of the Fitzroy Under 19s. She is also Vice President
and Under 15s coach at Northcote Junior Football Club.
She has three boys; two play at Northcote with mates, and
the eldest Tom is a young buck with our 19s. She is also completing
a Dual Diploma in Sports Development and Leadership and Management
at RISL through Richmond Football Club, hoping it will open
up opportunities to build on her sports coaching background.
My question was: 'Where the bloody hell do you get the time?'
It's a big juggle most of the time – a teenage family, with
a commitment to meals at proper times, getting to places, homework
and so on. She sets the boys and herself short term goals,
accomplish the accomplishable, build on your life skills.
Mel came to the Roys in Tom's Auskick days, was always a parent
helper, then became a line coach in his Colts time. This year
she was waiting to see who would be appointed coach of the
19s and when Monty Stuart got the job, she was quickly at the
keyboard offering her services. She mentors, nourishes, insists
on positive relationships, and 'attempts to look after the
forwards'. Being positive in everything she does. She is not
from a playing background, although she had a crack with the
Roys last year. A crack, no – a long-term Lisfranc injury.
Moon boot the result.
She sees challenges realistically in her role. Big on individual
development, reading moods, assessing niggles and the possibility
of the big night out, she asks questions and helps the Roy
Boys find solutions. Mel doesn't have a 'win at all costs mentality',
is more on development, 'it's not just skill, it's personal
development. You apply the same football principles to the
workplace, family, relationships, travel. Football and the
club can provide that.'
Into the future, she wants to extend her coaching experience,
work with development, foster pathways. Interestingly, she
has only ever coached boys. A couple of noteworthy observations:
'I am often referred to as the Team Manager by the opposition.'
We as a club, as a society, must change that stereotype. Mel
makes a beeline for the opposition coach at the end of the
game to engage in conversation, let them know who she is and
what she does. Proudly, and educationally. She wants them to
Also, think about how elite, and not so elite, female football
is overwhelmingly male coached in the current environment.
That must change.
'I want my boys to
know that if they interact with a female in a traditional male
domain, the female should be valued. And I don't mean just
my boys, I mean 'my boys' more broadly.' And she hopes to stay
involved with Fitzroy into the future.
A person of that pedigree, that enthusiasm, that respect,
is someone to be taken seriously.
Photos by Peter Harrison.
New Fitzroy supporter gear goes on sale
New Fitzroy supporter gear is set to hit the market tomorrow.
With the popularity of
the new player hoodies, the club's Director Member and Sponsor
Relations, David Leydon, has been working overtime to bring
Fitzroy fans some new options to wear on the sidelines.
The following options will be available:
adult hoodie (pictured): $60 + postage and handling
children's hoodie: $50 + postage and handling
polo: $45 + postage and handling
long sleeve t-shirt (pictured): $40 + postage and handling
jacket: $90 + postage and handling
The gear will go on sale at Brunswick Street from tomorrow.
Thank you to Will Zahgis and Rachael Telfer for their oustanding
Postage and handling will apply to online orders only, so
buying at the ground will be the best option.
Keep an eye on the website for online options.
Save the dates
The social activities continue apace for the Fitzroy Football
Mark the following in your diary and keep an eye out for tickets
to go on sale:
Satuday 10 August – Fitzroy IT lunch before the St Bede's
Saturday 24 August – Reds Foundation lunch at the final
men's home game
Saturday 24 August – drawing of the Fitzroy Major Raffle
after the game and a post match function for the players
Friday 4 October – Redlow.
More details will be coming soon.
Hero or villain? Sometimes it's hard to tell
Was he a hero or was
he a villain? We all know what we think of the PTV authorised
Martin Deasey, however, was just on hand with a helpful message
‘When travelling with a Myki, remember to touch on and touch
Let’s hope he wasn’t also responsible for the PSO’s hitting
the headlines this week!
In his carefully constructed authorised officer uniform –
not to be confused with the behavioural awareness officer version
– the quiet, but assured Deasey, took the votes for the best
dressed at the Heroes and Villains themed Reds Ball on Saturday
The Stranger Things party took out best dressed in the group
Parting the ways and healing the injured was Mother Theresa
(Razor), there was Monkey (yes, Luke is magic), and there was
a President (her name is Joan), the Power Rangers seemed to
be multiplying, some Lone Rangers and some Musketeers looked
In the heroes category, there was a strong theme of Australia’s
world-beating sports women, with Elise Perry, Sam Kerr and
co entering the venue without fuss (as they would). Nobody
saw Ash Barty, but she would want it that way.
The Red Roy’s favourite was Daisy Pearce, complete with Melbourne
footy jumper and twins on board; a giant balloon with Sylvie
and Roy named in texta on the pregnant belly for good measure.
Nice work Freya! There were so many good looks.
Huge thanks to the Red team, led by Julian Turner and Gemma
Minuz, for all their organising, decorating and wrangling.
You’re our heroes! Special mention also to Mike Humphries for
sorting the DJ and equipment for the night. Great team effort.
Major Raffle – you could see every finals game!
Fitzroy's annual raffle is even better in 2019.
The winner will take out the best footy prize going around:
tickets for two to every game in the 2019 Toyota AFL Finals
Series (including the Grand Final), again generously donated
by the Brisbane Lions (GFAFL19/49).
Second prize, kindly donated by David Leydon, is a framed
Fitzroy Team of the Century guernsey featuring Roy legends
including Hadyn Bunton, Mick Conlan, Bernie Quinlan, Paul Roos,
Allan Ruthven and Garry Wilson, and beautifully autographed
by the great Kevin Murray.
And this season Student Flights Melbourne have come on board
to offer a $500 travel voucher.
Tickets are only $5 each. You can purchase them at home games,
from any of our players, from the Directors of the club and
if you can sell tickets, please contact Helen Manoli, who can
provide you with books of 10. Email her at email@example.com
This weekend's games
Marcellin v Fitzroy-ACU Reserve Women –
VAFA Premier Reserve Women’s – Bulleen Park West, 9.40am,
Saturday 27 July
Marcellin v Fitzroy-ACU Senior Women –
VAFA Premier Women’s – Bulleen Park West, 11.40pm,
Saturday 27 July
Fitzroy Reserve Men v Old Geelong – VAFA
Premier B Reserves – Brunswick Street Oval, 11.40am,
Saturday 27 July
Old Xaverians v Fitzroy Under 23s – VAFA
Under 23s – Stradbroke Park, 2pm, Saturday 27 July
Old Ivanhoe v Fitzroy Under 19s – Holmesglen
U19 Division 1 – Chlesworth Park, 2pm, Saturday 27
Fitzroy Senior Men v Old Geelong–
VAFA Premier B Seniors – Brunswick Street Oval, 2pm,
Saturday 27 July
Fitzroy Thirds v AJAX – VAFA Thirds Division
1 – Brunswick Street Oval, 7.30pm, Saturday 27 July