Freshened up from the timely final round bye, the Fitzroy-ACU Reserves Women will head into their first ever finals series brimming with confidence.
The final round results meant Saturday’s opponent Caulfield Grammarians finished just 2.98 per cent ahead and as the third-placed side choose the venue.
Semi Final 1 of the Premier Women’s Reserves competition will be played at Glenhuntly Oval at 11.20am on Saturday. With the senior and reserves men’s teams having the bye this weekend, there should be a big Fitzroy contingent along to check out the action.
The Fields are a tough team to match at their large, sloping ground but the Roy Girls have done it before.
In their first meeting at Ramsden Street back in April, Caufield was a comfortable winner. By the time the teams met again in June, Fitzroy-ACU won by over four goals…. at Glenhuntly Oval.
This is a team which has improved enormously over the course of this first season with coach Simon Jackson and there is nothing to fear in this final.
“In many ways it’s business as usual and they should continue to play the way they’ve been playing,” Simon said. “But it is a final, so we know the tempo lifts and the game goes up a notch because there is more at stake. We really need to be switched on right from the start.
“The team has been training with good energy which we can take into the game.
“We’ve talked about the fact that not everyone gets these opportunities – finals don’t happen often – so we need to be ready and make the most of the opportunity,” Simon said.
It’s all or nothing. Go Roy Girls.
(With thanks to Peter Casamento for the photographs)
Hearts ‘torn’ as Mick bids farewell to the Roy Girls
After the final Premier’s women’s home and away game on Saturday, Mick Symons told the Fitzroy-ACU Senior Women’s team he was stepping down as their coach after two years at the helm.
Captain Gemma Minuz told the RedRoy Mail what Mick has meant to the playing group.
“Mick joined the Roy Girls very late in the preseason of 2017, and almost immediately won us over with a combination of footy smarts and dad jokes. From the start it was plain to see that he was a fair and understanding man who loved his footy and doesn't do things by halves. He jumped wholeheartedly into his role as senior coach and has dedicated an enormous amount of time to the squad and our development as individual footballers and as a team. Over his two years as coach he has gone over and above, ensuring that every senior player who has played on the weekend receives written feedback after each game detailing something that we have done well, and something that we should continue to work on.
“He has kept training nights interesting, bringing new 'trademarked' drills to training each week and guiding us through them with enthusiasm. But both his passion and respect for his players are best displayed on game day where his animation on the bench is always carefully managed at quarter time breaks and translated into a calm and polite message to his players. This respect is reflected back in our eagerness to listen (some better than others), learn and strive to implement what he has told us.
“One of the reasons that Mick quickly earned the respect and admiration of his charges is due to the fact that he never takes himself too seriously, jumping on board with themed training nights and regularly joining in on pre-game sing-a-longs, belting out every word of a very eclectic soundtrack including tracks such as Mr Brightside and My Heart Will Go On. He will go down in Fitzroy folklore for his flawless rendition of Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn, upon the shoulders of his team after his final game as coach of the Roy Girls on Saturday at Trinity.
“We cannot thank Mick enough for the time, effort and passion that he has put in over the last two years as our coach and for helping us to be our most 'bodacious' selves.”
President Joan Eddy echoed Gemma’s thoughts and said the club would greatly miss Mick.
“Mick stepped into the coaching role for our Senior Women late in the piece in 2017, with only a few weeks to go before the start of our season. It wasn’t long before his great communication skills, love of the game and wonderfully daggy sense of humour had all the players on board.
“Mick emphasised the team-first approach, first to the ball, first to encouraging your team mates and the rewards that come with a commitment to improving your game. He has a consistently positive attitude and that has been a wonderful thing our players have been able to rely on. We will miss him greatly on the coaching crew.”
The team didn’t finish the season the way they would have liked against Old Trinity on Saturday. Fitzroy-ACU would have gone into this game the more fancied team given ladder position, but Old Trinity put up a very strong performance and had more avenues to goal. They won 8.8.56 to 3.1.19.
Thirds give their fans a big win
Thirds Fan Day at Ramsden Street was something to behold. From the banner honouring Adam Taib for his 43 games featuring the line ‘You can’t polish a Third’ to the individual playing cards and badges of each player, there was plenty of colour and movement capturing the essence of Fitzroy Thirds footy.
One gets the impression that they’d like the fans to appreciate it, but if they don’t’ it doesn’t really matter… the most fun is to be had in the creation of such an occasion.
As the club song blared out, with the waft of souvlaki in the air, and the aforementioned banner was shredded, the risk was the team might lose sight of main objective of the day…. win the footy.
But after a slightly patchy start, it was pretty clear that once they crossed the boundary, it was all business.
The victory was an impressive one. The first half was close and tight, with Williamstown getting on the scoreboard early and Fitzroy having to play catch up. By half time Fitzroy had just put a small gap on the visitors and led by 9 points. Fitzroy edged further in front by three quarter time and then showed superior pace and fitness in a seven goal to nil final quarter. The final result made the game look a lot easier than it was; 19.13.127 to 9.8.62.
The goals were shared around with Harald Jorgensen and Tim de Natris kicking four each and Simon Heather chiming in with three. Will Symons, recently back from overseas, showed his drive and class out of the middle and hit the scoreboard a number of times.
The four from the captain means he’s now just one behind the leading goal kicker.
The imposing number 7, Nathan Grimshaw, seemed to mark everything in his vicinity and was named in the best players, along with Hugh Morris-Dalton, Bryce McAdam and Rhys Dolby.
Off field the organisation and effort was just as good. A huge thanks must go to everyone who helped create a great fan day with a particular mention to Jenny de Natris and Eric Grimshaw, who made everyone happy with their superb canteen work, particularly with the souvlaki preparation.
Amazingly, while Fitzroy was putting the sword to Williamstown’s finals chances in the final quarter at Ramsden Street, De La Salle lost its first game of the season to Beaumaris, which means Beaumaris is now in the second spot with a likely double chance.
With just one game to play in the home and away season, the Thirds travel to Monash University to take on the Blues on Saturday morning. The second, third and fourth sides are all on 40 points and the most likely outcome is that Fitzroy will stay where they are in third spot (with a gap of nearly 7 percent) on the ladder and host a home elimination final next weekend. Then again, a mighty big win would give them a crack at the double chance.
It’s been an impressive and exciting season for the Thirds so far under the stewardship Trent Coleman; let’s see what the final round holds.
(With thanks to Ben Frazer for the photographs)
Now it’s a lock!
We probably went a bit early… but now we can say it for sure: the Fitzroy Senior side cannot be knocked out of the top two in the race for the minor premiership after a win over Old Mentonians on Saturday.
Fitzroy overcame a sluggish start and built throughout the game but without the same flair and run that featured the previous week. There were some anxious moments when the home side got to within 14 points in the third quarter, but two clutch goals from Rory Angiolella and some encouragement for his team mates to lift their voices and their intensity, switched the momentum.
The Panthers were unable to capitalise on their forays forward and Fitzroy’s seven goals to nil in the final quarter made sure of the result 21.12.138 to 9.12.66.
Andrew Pettigrove played his best game for the club, combining well with the midfield when he was in ruck and going back and taking some strong marks to keep Old Mentone at bay. With strong four-quarter efforts, Ted Clayton was just everywhere, and Mitch McWhinney also had a strong game in the lead up to his 100th.
The win was largely achieved without full forward Nathan Jumeau, who pulled up with a hamstring injury in the second quarter. The club will be hoping its leading goal kicker can get his troublesome legs right before finals.
There were two very handy ins up forward and they made their impact on the scoreboard. While it may not have been the most convincing of outings for Nino Lazzaro in the air, he made his presence felt with some strong chasing and tackles and you’d take three goals each any day of the week. Sam Baker featured strongly both with his wily clearance work and three goals of his own.
Swung forward after the injury to Jumeau, fullback Max Ellis also kicked a couple of goals.
This weekend’s bye leads into three very important weeks in the lead up to finals, with two home games against Old Ivanhoe and PEGS, who are still in the finals mix, and the big trip to Williamstown on 18 August to take on the competition leaders.
The coaching team will be sweating on the progress of a number of injuries to senior players and hoping there are enough weeks left to get some game time into players like captain Julian Turner, Jumeau, Toby Hudson Bevege and Tom Biscaro.
And Phyllis was also in fine form with the camera. Check out this fabulous gallery of the Seniors and Reserves games at Keysborough.
One-way traffic for the Ressies
A 35-goal win to the Fitzroy Reserves still didn’t give coach Bernie Carter complete satisfaction.
In fact their coach was somewhat disappointed with the scoreline that read 33.32.320, wondering what might have been if they’d straightened up the kicking for goal.
For Old Mentone that probably doesn’t bare thinking about. To put the win in some context the home side struggled to field a full side and started with just one on the bench.
It was a long four quarters. Fitzroy’s twos started out of the blocks with a seven goal first quarter and as it turned out that was the lowest scoring quarter.
Enjoying his late recall to the Reserves, Dylan Patcas was best on ground and kicked five goals, while Liam Sugrue kicked six. Michael Cussen on his way back from injury also slotted three. Chris Brown and Bernie Wright performed strongly in a dominant performance.
Unders take over BSO
With a rare opportunity to play in the main game on Brunswick Street this Saturday, the Fitzroy Under 19 side will be looking for an improved performance as it plays host to University Blacks.
Last week’s 95-point loss to Uni Blues will be one the team will want to put behind them quickly and see if they can build some cohesion and positivity in the final three rounds of the season. They sit just above the Blacks on the ladder.
One of the positives to come from the season so far has been the form of John Jorgensen, who kicked three goals of the team’s four last weekend and is third in the competition goal kicking; a fantastic performance in a side which will not make finals this year. Noah Wright was best on ground last week and will no doubt come back into contention for a senior call up if his strong form continues.
Bontempo awards the best
Bontempo Pizzeria on Brunswick Street has come on board to award our best players in the upcoming VAFA finals series.
With four sides in the finals, Bontempo will provide the best on ground award for all four teams, starting this weekend with the best player for the Fitzroy-ACU Reserves Women.
Bontempo has been supporting the Fitzroy Junior Football Club best players for a while now and we are thrilled to have them on board with the Senior club too. Thank you to Joe and all the crew. You can support them in turn by popping in and checking out their great menu at 416 Brunswick Street. They are open 7 nights from 5pm.
Sign up for lunch with Dan and Dave, one not to be missed!
After years serving in the Australian Defence Force, including stints in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dan Cairnes and mate and fellow serving officer Dave Farrell are rebuilding their lives in Australia and assisting other military veterans to do the same.
On Saturday 11 August, at the lunch that precedes Fitzroy’s match against old foes Ivanhoe, you’ll have the privilege of hearing from veterans Dan Cairnes and Dave Farrell.
Dan and Dave will share their experiences of life during and after their distinguished military careers, and explain how their work as founders of social enterprise, Veterans in Construction, is assisting returned servicemen and women at one of the riskiest times in their lives, ironically, their return home.
Some people casually liken the football field to a battle ground. But in their heart of hearts they know that such a comparison is as fake as anything Trump and his detractors could trump up.
Dan Cairnes thinks there are some comparisons that pass muster though. “The leadership and resilience displayed in football definitely has crossovers into your professional and personal endeavours,” he says.
“The military trains its people hard, often to failure. The reason for this is that you learn by your mistakes.
“When the time comes for you to do it for real, worst case it doesn’t come as an absolute shock. Best case, it’s easy.”
Dan says that following Aussie Rules while in the Army was hard at times, particularly in the northern states where Rugby and League have a greater following.
“But communication for deployed personnel has improved dramatically these days,” he says, “so service personnel know exactly what’s happening in the sporting world back home.”
Now a local living in Carlton North and with a number of kids in his street play in the junior grades, Dan’s been able to catch a home game at Brunswick Street Oval.
So now that he’s within a stone’s throw, we plan on recruiting Dan as a regular Roys’ supporter.
After all, as he says, “games at BSO means you’re close to the action, and you can soak up the rich history of the ground all against the wonderful backdrop of the city.”
What could be better?
Dan served in the Australian Defence Force for over a decade where he fulfilled a variety of regimental, training and operational appointments as an Army Officer. His operational service includes nine months in Iraq during the summer of 2005, where he provided specialist mentoring and coaching to an Iraqi Army unit.
Dave Farrell MG
Dave had a distinguished career in the Australian Army serving over 17 years. The majority of his career he spent in the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) until his discharge a couple of years ago.
Dave deployed to Afghanistan on six occasions and has spent more than two years all up in this combat zone. He has also deployed to other various and exotic locations with the SAS.
During Dave’s first deployment to Afghanistan, his unit was ambushed by a numerically superior foe. During this encounter, Dave was put into the unenviable position of ‘fight or die’. Dave chose the first option and was subsequently awarded the Medal for Gallantry (MG) for his acts of bravery.
Get ready for the Mystery Ball Games Night – 11 August
You will not want to miss Fitzroy’s traditional Mystery Ball Games Night in the Community Rooms at BSO from 7pm on 11 August.
It’s a night of fun and games run by the players but we can’t give too much away. You are invited to join the extravaganza and $50 will buy you a ticket in the BIG game.
You can purchase tickets online. Your ticket price will include the games, your first three drinks, finger food, tea/coffee and music. After that beer, wine and soft drinks will be at our usual bar prices.
Calling all Richmond and Pies' fans - your chance at grand final action
With 100,000 Richmond members signed up, not all of them will fit in the great colloseum on grand final day. The best chance to get there could be to win Fitzroy's major raffle prize.
Fitzroy’s annual raffle has gone on sale and with the full finals series tickets (donated by the Brisbane Lions AFC: AFL Authorised GF Promotion Code GFAFL 18/17) on offer and a selling price of just $5 a ticket, you’d better get in quickly.
ALL Fitzroy players in all six teams will have books of tickets to sell so track down your favourite player and put down your vital details.
The second prize is one of Louise Maniatakis’s magnificent Fitzroy-inspired quilts and if you’re a fan of the Fitzroy of old, the quilt has plenty of interest. The stitching detail alone makes this a valuable prize for any Fitzroy fan.
Third prize is from Caltex and is petrol to the value of $300.
Tickets will be on sale at all home games too. The raffle will be drawn at the post match function at Brunswick Street Oval after the Senior men play their final home and away game on Saturday 25 August.
If you are selling tickets, they are due back with the club on Thursday 16 August.
This weekend’s games
Semi Final 1: Caufield Grammarians vs Fitzroy-ACU Women’s Reserves – VAFA Premier Reserve Women’s – Glenhuntly Oval, Neerim Road, 11.20am, Saturday 4 August
Monash Blues vs Fitzroy Thirds – VAFA Thirds Division 2 – Frearson Oval, Monash University, 11.20am, Saturday 4 August
Fitzroy U19s vs Uni Blacks – Holmesglen U19 Section 2 – Brunswick Street Oval, 11.40am, Saturday 4 August