It was a game they had to win, not just to stay in the hunt for Premier B in 2020 but to salvage some pride after a recent visit to Monash Uni. And most of all for their milestone team mates. The win gave Guy Gorilla a lump in his throat as photographer Peter Casamento captured all the best bits.
Football mirrors our daily life in so many ways. There are
good days at home and work, and there are bad. The trick is
to limit the bad. Saturday afternoon at Brunswick Street was
good, better than good. It provided so much of what the club
The 2s let one slip, one where they were 3 or 4 goals up at
one point. Credit to Monash who persisted, and the performance
of the jex-head in light blue wearing 23 put us away. Coach
Carter blamed me for the loss in bringing attention to him
in the last Red Roy mail. Humility is a saving grace.
Sunny Brazier had a spell from his dizzy heights, demolished
three bowls of carbonara at the Gorilla Cage on Friday night,
and rolled up for the Roys on Saturday. A nervous Darcy Lowrie
emerged from the 19s for his senior debut. Jabbing Jock Green
and the hobbled Luke Baker were out. The challenge for the
side was to turn around the shocking result from our previous
meeting with Monash at Clayton. Their size was always going
to be our biggest problem.
It was clear from the outset that we had to negate their strengths,
win the ball at ground level, make the most of our opportunities.
Doc O'Donnell was killing them like he did last time at Monash.
We were having trouble clearing effectively from defence, then
Harrison Grace snapped our first. We missed five gettable shots
and were down 15–11 at the first break.
The coach wanted us
to pin them in, watch their reverse and sideways breakaways,
and for us to use the ball with precision. We were going well
at the stoppages with the Claytons, Grace, Toohey and Kyroussis
Monash kicked the first of the second stanza, Sunny was personhandled,
and kicked our second. Ted Clayton kicked a left foot screamer
from the flank near the hill, and we hit the front. Jack Dalton
was providing a real small man presence up forward. His experience
coupled with the youthful mix is invaluable. Monash then kicked
a string of behinds – it was a hard slog. We are pretty good
sloggers, most of the time.
End to end from a kick in by the superb Nathan Ligris found
the Penders Grove teacher Dalton. “C'mon Jacky D, put it through”
screamed Kerry from her position at the barbecue. And he did.
Probably too scared to miss. Our pressure and tackling was
telling, Gracey kicked one after a 50, Ted Clayton another
after a free, and then Toohey found his buddy Sunny on the
lead for another. Aiden Lambert was providing breath-taking
run, but some sloppy disposal in the mix. Speed sometimes kills.
It was 49–33 our way at the half, we had to maintain our high-octane
attack on the ball and the man. Our blokes on the deck were
doing a great job despite Monash’s ruck and height dominance.
Dalton took a screamer early in the third, and seemingly snapped
truly, only to be denied. Of course, Monash then kicked a couple,
and it was a dour struggle. Ligga was playing a great game
in defence, the sublime left-foot half back. Ted Clayton then
bulled and willed his way to get it to Lambert for a goal,
and it was 58–49 our way at the final break.
“Cut off their shorts” (pretty damn sexy, coach), “stand their
outsiders”, “don't overhandle”, “gain territory” were the instructions.
Our hunger and integrity were to be tested again. Will the
desire of a suburban club reign over the university talent
pool? I've often wondered how difficult it must be to create
spirit and long-term feel for the club in a disparate and changing
environment like a university. Anyway, the game.
It was an intense arm wrestle. It quickly became a 2-point
margin, and doubt crept in. They then hit the front after poor
marking in defence. Momentum had switched. Where would we find
the answers? Nathan the Nomad finally got free over the back,
Gracey found Sunny for another, and Toohey marked, milked a
50 and picked up a hammer with his right hand, nail in his
left, and secured the Monash coffin. Ted Clayton then did a
coffin inspection, barged in for another 'too high', and spread
the margin to 26 points at siren time with a superb out swinger.
The scenes coming off
the ground made a hard man find a lump in his throat. Misty
eyes for Nathan and Matty K as they were chaired off by the
19-year olds. The old and the new. All to rapturous applause.
Darcy Lowrie, who acquitted himself with cool and calm aplomb,
must have wondered how good this could get. It got better as
he was thoroughly drenched in the rooms. The support and acclaim
players receive at this club is without peer. The song was
sung with gusto. The coach lauded those who had jobs to do:
Mad Max Davie, Jack Hart, Bronco Bill Clayton, and the Silent
Assassin, Max Ellis, who put another high-profile gun to the
sword, slicing him up, quarter by quarter.
Nothing to lose against Scotch next week. Nothing.
There was a fair bit of additional coverage of the game which
is worth a read:
Around the grounds Finals-bound Thirds play Friday night under lights
After their stunning win to take a share of top spot in the
Thirds Division 1 competition last week, the Fitzroy Thirds
kick off Round 11 footy with a Friday night game against Monash
If you get a chance, head out to see Fitzroy's best performed
team as they face the home side at Frearson Oval at the Monash
Uni campus in Clayton, with the game to start at 7.30pm.
Last week, captain fantastic, Tim De Natris, kicked five goals,
in what is becoming something of a standard performance, as
the Thirds inflicted the first loss of the season on Caufield
Grammarians at Ramsden Street.
The victory could have been far greater, with a final scoreline
of Fitzroy 10.21.81 to 8.6.54. Matt Gloster, Bryce McAdam and
Kai Menzies led a strong team performance, with McAdam kicking
three goals for the day too.
Caufield had previously taken all before it, including a hard
fought win over Fitzroy when they met at Glenhuntly Oval earlier
in the season.
Wasn't coach Trent Coleman thrilled (and exhausted) when he
arrived at BSO to share the news on Saturday.
We can safely say the Thirds will be playing finals and are
likely to be our only side in that position.
The Under 19s seemed to turn up a bit late to their contest
with Uni Blacks and paid the price. Fitzroy gave away a five
goal start. By quarter time the margin was four goals, which
is what it rermained at the end of the day: 12.10.82 to 8.10.58.
The Unders have another early game tomorrow, hosting St Bede's/Mentone
at Ramsden Street before they head over to BSO to see some
of their team mates in action for the seniors.
Unfortunately, due to illness, injury and unavailability across
our senior men's squad, the Fitzroy Under 23s have forfeited
tomorrow's game. Expect to see some new faces at Brunswick
Street Oval tomorrow as we take on Old Scotch.
The boys will need a lot of support.
There is no lunch tomorrow, but with a fantastic afternoon
tea, BBQ and burgers on offer, it will be worth a stroll down
to the beautiful ground to support some of the players of the
Facing relegation, the Roy Girls stick together
Another close loss, the story of an oh so close, but oh so
far season for the Fitzroy-ACU Senior side.
Struggling to get enough fit players on the park, it’s a credit
to players, coaches, trainers and everyone involved that the
heads have stayed high and the results have remained close.
Fitzroy-ACU travelled to Ferndale Park to take on St Mary’s
Salesian. This week it was Fitzroy who was off to the slower
start, goalless at half time, but coming home strongly with
goals to the ever-reliable Liz Olney and captain Jess Hayes
(more on that later).
The final score was 3.9.27 to 2.5.17. In a season where the
little wins count, outscoring the opposition in the final quarter
was important for morale.
The Fitzroy-ACU Reserves side again had barely a bench to
speak of – with 29 of our 70 players registered players available
– went down 5.5.35 to 1.3.9. Pia Bertrand was the goal kicker
and Lauren Atkinson was welcomed back from her trip away, with
a best on ground performance.
With four games to go, this weekend is another big challenge
as Fitzroy-ACU plays host to Kew at Ramsden Street tomorrow.
In the Premier Women's competition, Fitzroy-ACU currently sits
second last, three wins and precentage behind Kew. It's all
about playing for pride now.
It’s been a challenging first season at the helm for Fitzroy-ACU
Captain Jess Hayes, but there was at least one great moment
of joy as she landed her first ever goal on Saturday. Necessity
is the mother of invention and with players missing, the defender
was moved into the midfield and kicked her first goal from
51 (54, 55, maybe more) metres out and her team mates loved
it. The modest leader said the distance was exaggerated but
it was still a big thrill.
Now she’s got a taste for it, she’s aiming for more.
Check out more of what Gray and Jess had to say about season
2019 in the story about our sponsor networking night below.
Meanwhile enjoy the great shots and celebrations of Jess’s
first goal by photographer Peter Harrison.
Bill and Ted's excellent adventure
You've got to understand,
part of the joy of doing this column is the opportunity to
meet and converse with Fitzroy people, all a bit younger than
me, who are part of the fabric of the club. Bill and Ted Clayton
are two such characters. Separated in age by only a few minutes,
at 20 the twins are mature young leaders, great performers
on and off the arena.
They've lived in Westgarth most of their lives, even house
swapped from number 22 to number 7 in the same street at one
point. They attended Spensley St Primary as youngsters. Bill
remembers lunchtime soccer every day, and they both refer to
a learning environment a bit alternative, a bit more freedom,
a bit different, but very beneficial. It was a 'Ban NAPLAN'
kind of school. 'All my friends from that year level are achieving
great things in life', noted Ted. Principal Maureen Douglas
left a great impression on these boys – ‘the best ever'.
Soccer suited because tackling was banned, the Clayton boys
were too big, too rough. Make up real football games at Oldis
Garden after school every night, with trees as goalposts are
etched in the memory, Mum watching for hours, only taking them
home when a draw satisfied the competitive instincts. The whole
street of kids played there.
Auskick at Clifton Hill,
with Andy Roberts in charge, started when they were still in
kinder. The Fitzroy identity kicked in at Under 9. Nino, as
in Lazzaro, is their biggest memory of that time. Team camps
at Lorne, in the surf, coaches Graham Jorgensen, Paul Broderick
and Monty Stuart later in Colts. They dominated under age,
but in their latter under age and Colts years, their teams
probably underachieved. Strange haircuts before grand finals
then became an outlawed tradition.
They moved to the 19s, but were quickly drafted into the seniors.
Bill played in the 19s for about half a season before moving
up; Ted with the big boys all year. Twin separation, but only
for a little while. In one game against Old Melburnians,
nine Under 19 players represented the senior side. Been senior
players ever since. And leaders in style, demeanour and performance.
Fitzroy means so much to them.
At Northcote High, academic performance was coupled with strong
friendships. Ted the more outgoing of the two, Bill kind of
tacked on. 'Ted's the social leader', quipped Bill. 'I leech
off him a bit.' The friendship group of 20 sat in a group of
5 seats in the Northcote High courtyard-that area became known
as The Pentagon. They loved Northcote High.
The twins excelled ATAR
wise, gaining identical scores in the high 90s, but interestingly,
in different disciplines. Bill's the scientist, Ted the History/Politics
kind of guy. This is their most significant point of difference,
if you don't count Bill as the ruckman/defender, Ted the midfielder.
'Bill watches documentaries on mega factories, I'm reading
20th century history.' They both do restaurant work at Entrecôte
in South Yarra, mainly back of house with the snails, the veal
and the pomme frites. The University of Melbourne mixed with
a bit of South Yarra, some Westgarth, and a lot of Fitzroy.
So where to now my boys? As of Monday, Ted heads to Lisbon,
Spain, tours around a bit, and meets up with Bill and about
30 friends at a music festival in Berlin. This is all starting
to sound very horribly Fitzroy. Ted studying in Prague for
about four months at Charles University, as you do, Bill in
London at Queen Mary University of London. My offer to carry
their bags hasn't been taken up yet.
To say this is exciting for them is an understatement. 'That's
a fair assessment'. They'll be catching up with Fitzroy mates
like Toby and Sammy B, and Mum will be expanding her expertise
in Community Housing with a work visit to the continent and
catching up with her boys. Industrial lawyer Dad will be in
regular contact. Mum and Dad both great ‘Roys supporters.
Both are unsure of what the longer-term employment future
holds, classic Fitzroy heads. Ted will see what unfolds, Bill
keen on engineering and specifically mechatronics. Yes mechatronics.
They cannot see themselves
playing football anywhere else. 'No amount of money would drag
me away', said Ted. Bill noted that it would have to be a ridiculous
amount, but even then, they couldn't leave behind what they
have. 'We will definitely be playing at Fitzroy'.
'There's too much invested in it, our young group is coming
through together, we love what Mahns is creating. We want to
build on our section of the Fitzroy legacy, a legacy that is
owned by us and our friends, our teammates.'
No doubt, we'll miss them on and off the field for the remainder
of the season. But the club knows the quality of the people
we have, the future they can create, and the stamp they put
Have a good one boys, see you soon.
Quiet achiever Indi reaches 50 games
A footy club needs its
Tomorrow as Fitzroy-ACU runs out to face Kew at Ramsden Street,
the next Roy Girl to hit the 50-game milestone will be one
of those who prefers to be in the background, Indi Benjamin.
A stalwart of the Fitzroy-ACU Reserves side, Indi is always
there doing whatever is needed for the team – running water,
helping with events, providing moral support.
One of the original Roy Girls, Indi had been a little bit
of a footy nomad before making her home with the ‘red, yellow,
blue, my Fitzroy-ACU’ (thanks to team mate Tess Plant Thomas
for the use of those lyrics).
However, it was an earlier encounter with Giants AFLW star,
Alicia Eva, long before she became a Giant, who was one of
Indi’s first major influences in the game.
Indi’s junior football was with North Brunswick for three
years from 2004. After a break from the game, she took it up
again at Melbourne University in 2012, where Eva was both team
mate and coach.
Current captain, Mia Sutherland, who has played with Indi
for her four years at Fitzroy, says “Indi is one of those players
you need around the club. Off field she is quiet and unassuming,
but happy for a chat and always ready to get around the girls.
“On field she uses her voice to great effect, whether it be
demanding the ball, directing traffic or supporting her teammates
– exactly what you need from a key forward. Indi's commitment
to footy and Fitzroy is amazing. She bleeds red, yellow and
blue. Congrats on 50 ripper games!”
One of the huge benefits for footy for Indi has been the opportunity
to run “and get my frustrations out.”
When asked to name what she loves about Fitzroy, there isn’t
just one thing: “everything, it’s a great club and a great
group of girls.”
In a team which is struggling for full numbers right now,
Indi is there every week. Best of luck tomorrow Indi and congratulations
on 50 games.
Sponsors get the inside word
Sharing a sense of community is part of what makes our club
so special – it was a key theme at our first 2019 Sponsor Networking
event at The Royal Derby Hotel this week.
After an introduction from Sponsorship Director, Rob Olney,
Senior Coach Luke Mahoney and Captain Julian Turner were the
first to address the gathering.
Luke spoke about the challenge and change from this time last
year and reflected on the new young players coming through,
discovering new talent and the benefit of having a new Fitzroy
Under 23 team, giving players who would have missed out previously,
the opportunity to stay connected with the club.
He also spoke of the new players wellbeing program, being
put in place by Michael Pickering, which is all about supporting
young men and women when they need it, with a focus on mental
health and resilience along with practical life skills.
“The fact that we have a number for former players getting
involved and developing a detailed program, with a lot of care
going into the preparpation, speaks to how people view our
club when they leave.”
Julian also said he was so happy to be part of developing
the new wellbeing program. In terms of the on field results,
he talked about the excitement of seeing the week to week improvement
in young players despite the bumpy start to the season. “I’m
very proud to be the captain of this team.”
He thanked the sponsors for their great support and indicated
the p alyers were very aware of what it meant.
The Senior women’s coach, Gray Barton, spoke about the rapidly
improving standard of women’s football that we’ve all witnessed
as the game grows at record pace.
“We are playing good footy and other teams are too. For the
first time we are starting to see juniors who have played footy
all the way through and we need to think about how we integrate
players coming up from the junior club.”
As a first-year coach with Fitzroy FC, Gray said he was tremendously
impressed by the sense of community and diversity at the club,
with people from all walks of life made to feel welcome. First
year captain, Jess Hayes echoed the sentiments of her coach
saying the club was inclusive and welcoming to everyone.
With four games left to play, the Fitzroy-ACU senior women
are facging relegation with just too many games this year where
they have been on level footing with their opposition, only
to be overrun in final quarters. There haven’t been blow outs,
just close losses.
“We’re not quite getting the wins,” Jess said, “but we don’t
give up. We keep working so hard. I’m very excited to be the
captain of this wonderful team and for the rest of the season
we’re aiming for four big wins.”
Thank you to everyone who came along to the Royal Derby on
Tuesday night and heard a bit more about the season so far,
with a particular focus on our new player wellbeing program.
We will be bringing you more detail on the program in coming
The support of our sponsors is invaluable, on and off field.
In the room on Tuesday were representatives of: Jellis Craig
Inner North, Fitzroy IT, Clifton Hill / North Fitzroy
Community Bank Branch (and some of their partners and clients),
Student Flights Australia, Bontempo, Business Member Sarah
McKinna, Jess Hiew from Kieser, Lindy Murphy from the Melbourne
University’s Lightening Club, Abdulmalik Abdurahman from Fitzroy
Stars, along with reps from other community and sporting organisations.
And a big thank you to the team at The Royal Derby Hotel -
not just great sponsors, but great hosts too.
A special word of thanks to Director Member and Sponsor Relations,
David Leydon and Director Sponsorship, Rob Olney, for the preparation
that went into Tuesday night's event. Another great team effort.
Eat your fill of cake tomorrow afternoon at half time!
Fitzroy will host its annual afternoon tea at half time in
the game against Old Scotch at Brunswick Street Oval tomorrow.
For those baking and/or dropping off food, please make sure
it's on a disposable plate, with the ingredients noted and
drop it off in the community rooms between 10.30am and 2pm.
Love your work!
$5 will get you entry into the best afternoon tea the VAFA
has to offer.
Reds Ball–coming soon!
Keep an eye on the
website and our Facebook page for details coming soon.
All-star line up for literary lunch
You’d be hard pressed
to find a stronger guest speaker line up than what we’ve got
planned on Saturday 27 July.
FFC footy mum, historian and award-winning author, Dr Clare
Wright, will host “The Football Solution” and she has put together
a panel of three of Melbourne’s most distinguished thinkers
and writers to discuss the sex, politics and religion of Aussie
This is also the Jellis Craig Game, which
has a tradition of being a sell-out and coincides with the
grand final replay against Old Geelong. The Fitzroy teams will
have a point to prove on the field and off the field many points
will already have been shared before the siren sounds, with
this top-class panel of minds. Bookings are now open
to get your seat and share a few stories over lunch with:
George Megalogenis – journalist, author and one of Australia’s most respected
political commentators. His book The Australian Moment won
the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and
the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis
for the ABC documentary series Making Australia Great.
His most recent book is The Football Solution: How Richmond’s Premiership Can Save Australia.
Christos Tsiolkas is an award-winning novelist, playwright, essayist and poet.
Two of his best-selling books, The Slap and Barracuda,
have been adapted into ABC television drama series. Christos
has a longstanding interest in the convergence of sport and
literature. He barracks for Richmond.
Dr Chris McConville is
an historian, Victoria University academic and former member
of the Coodabeen Champions. His fields of expertise include
urban history, sports history and the history of gambling in
Australia. Chris is a Fitzroy local and an often be found
lurking in the BSO Grandstand of a Saturday arvo. He also barracks
Dr Clare Wright is an historian, author and
broadcaster. Her books include The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka and You Daughters of Freedom, the first two instalments
of her Democracy Trilogy. She is the host of ABC Radio National’s
history series/podcast, Shooting the Past. Clare is an
Associate Professor of History at La Trobe University and the
mother of Bernie, Noah and Esther Wright. She barracks
for whoever her kids are playing for. Go Roys!
(Photo of Clare Wright by Susan Papazian and Christos Tsiolkas by John Tsiavis)
Saturday 27 July Brunswick Street Oval community rooms 12pm
Major Raffle – buy early, buy often!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
No Red Roy Mail next week
With a full VAFA bye next weekend, there will be no Red Roy
on Friday 5 July.
The following week, the Fitzroy-ACU Women's teams, the Under
19s and Under 23s play, but the senior men have two bye weeks
and will be back in action on 20 July.
This weekend's games
Monash Blues v Fitzroy Thirds – VAFA Thirds
Division 1 – Frearson Oval Monash Uni, 7.30pm, Friday
Fitzroy Under 19s v St Bede's Mentone
– Holmesglen U19 Division 1 – Ramsden Street Oval,
9.20am, Saturday 29 June
Fitzroy Reserve Men v Old Scotch – VAFA
Premier B Reserves – Brunswick Street Oval, 11.40am,
Saturday 29 June
Fitzroy-ACU Reserve Women v Kew–
VAFA Premier Reserve Women’s – Ramsden Street Oval,
12pm, Saturday 29 June
Old Scotch v Fitzroy Under 23s – VAFA
Under 23s – Camberwell Sports Ground, 2pm, Saturday
29 June - FORFEIT by Fitzroy due to lack of available players
Fitzroy-ACU Senior Women v Kew – VAFA
Premier Women’s – Ramsden Street Oval, 2pm, Saturday
Fitzroy Senior Men v Old Scotch–
VAFA Premier B Seniors – Brunswick Street Oval, 2pm,
Saturday 29 June