We might not be running out the race at BSO to take the field, but our return to training is something we're very excited about.
It's still going to be pretty tough - we have to manage many protocols and ensure everyone is safe and well. But we know it will mean the world to our players to start to run and do some drills in groups with real-time feedback and guidance from their coaches after all this time in isolation. And hopefully it's just the beginning as we move towards bigger training groups and full-contact training.
The club's COVID-19 working group has been working very hard to ensure we meets all the protocols and has COVID safety officers at every training session. The coaches have been busy too, organising their squads into their smaller training groups and developing non-contact programs.
This has been an all-hands-on-deck approach and we thank the coaches, player leadership groups and directors for all their work through this time.
Particular thanks must be given to Club Secretary and Director of Football Operations, Sharon Torney.
As many of you know, throughout the season, Sharon keeps the wheels on the bus with the work she does managing our teams and keeping us all organised. She's done double the work during this time, guiding the Club through all the protocols, documentation, compliance and different scenarios we need to consider. Thank you Sharon!
We look forward to bringing you preliminary training reports from next week and we hope to have more news about our season and the VAFA's next steps soon.
Fitzroy-ACU Women's senior coach John Mustafa on coaching during COVID-19
Newly appointed Fitzroy-ACU Women's senior coach, John Mustafa, knew he was in for a big season with the Roys. After all, he was coming into a new club, having to learn names, faces and the strengths of his new squad before he could even hit the park. But no one could have predicted what John's first season would look like, and while we're yet to take the field, that hasn't stopped him from going all out to coach his team in ISO.
Over to you John about how you’ve been coaching, how the team has been going. and what's to come as formal training begins June 1.
First of all, I want to thank Fitzroy for the welcoming environment the Club has already put around me. From top to bottom, everyone has been super supportive (especially in Zoom meetings, HA!).
Before COVID-19 decided to rear its head, I was honestly blown away by the drive and motivation of the group, consistently averaging high 40s even 55+ was truly a remarkable turn out, so kudos to the girls for getting along to those early 'pre-COVID' sessions. And thanks to the fantastic leadership group.
The immediate effects of the coronavirus lock-ins and shut-downs was heavily felt as social groups were minimised. I was proud to see the group pick each other up, dust off, reset and have an attitude of “let's hit this bang on the head”, so when we come back, we’re ready to do what we set out to do.
Our first instalment of DIY home activities led us to kicking goals and being super creative whilst doing it! We had some players like Gemma Muniz and Hannah kicking goals into a bucket, Julie Meldrum (Yoshi) kicking goals into bins whilst others (cough – Tess Young – cough!) kicking goals into windows using a full-sized football in the house!
We were off to a flyer, like our normal season would have been, and I could tell these girls were willing to do anything to succeed.
Moving forward we understood that we had to deliver training methods online, Nathan Jumeau was a massive help. He and I were able to break down specifics of the game and tailor it to the needs of the group. Defence, Midfield, Forwards were the focus of the teaching because footy IQ is the most important part for our group moving forward.
Along with our game plan and structures, Simon Jackson (Jacko) was pumping the adrenaline with his online classes every Monday. Players got a mix of training whether high intensity, or strength, or dying on the mat (yes Lenny, I'm referring to you!). We also got fantastic support from ACU with Argell’s Thursday night training sessions for strength and conditioning.
Having such a wide range of women with different jobs or having unfortunately been made jobless in the current climate, meant that this pandemic would effect many of the team differently, but this led to brilliant ideas from the group to keep morale up.
Sam Hood incorporated her running group to a Zoom session so everyone could continue to enjoy how much they didn’t enjoy running together. Luci Murphy decided we also needed a bit of fun so created a quiz night which was a huge success. She also coordinated a painting day where our players got their paint brushes out to create some masterpieces.
After all this time these girls have stuck strong. They are united as a group. And moving forward, are hungrier than ever to succeed.
So this is only a temporary restraint to our path to glory, and now we’ve had some restrictions lifted and can work on training in small groups again come Monday, we are excited to get back and show that we are a powerhouse.
Check out our new scoreboard!
Thanks to Phyllis Quealy for snapping this photo of our brand new electronic scorboard at Brunswick Street Oval. It looks fantastic!
We can't wait to put this to use hopefully soon!
ICYMI - President Joan Eddy interviewed by Jake Niall in The Age
The piece that ran last Sunday details the importance of community level footy to the growth of the game and it was great to see Jake reveal his passion for Fitzroy and the role the club plays in our local community.
As EOFY approaches, consider a tax deductible donation to support the Roys
The Fitzroy Football Club is a strong, vibrant community club with a proud history that we are passionate about preserving and strengthening as we pursue success on and off the field.
As tax time gets closer, our fully tax deductible fundraising channel through the Australian Sports Foundation is up an running if you'd like to make a donation to the club.
Our club is doing what we can to manage during these times and we're playing our role to stop the spread of the coronavirus and keep our community safe. We’re a strong and resilient club. We're going to get through this.
But we also need as much help as possible to keep thriving and come out the other side of this in a position that allows us to continue at our best.
We know it’s a hard ask, but for anyone who is in a position to, we have the Fitzroy Forever Operations Fund up and running for any donation, big or small.
In an exciting partnership announced at the end of 2019, we have connected with the Australian Sports Foundation, which allows all donations to the Fitzroy Forever Operations Fund to be fully tax deductible.
Any donation will help the famous Fitzroy Football Club come through this crisis and allow us to continue bringing our community together through football.
We are so appreciative of any support and can’t wait to be back at the football again with you all.
Thank you for your support and stay strong Roys family.