This weekend is umpire appreciation round and during the week VAFA Umpire Operations Manager, Haydn O'Connor, launched a plea for us to change to our language about umpiring.
He also reminded us of the rich talent amongst the VAFA umpiring ranks: "In the rooms post-match, you could meet one of Melbourne’s most credentialed QCs, the lead singer of one of Australia’s most well-known metal bands, or a school captain of one of the VAFA’s associated colleges."
We love it when the umpires come back and have a drink after the games at Brunswick Street and we encourage our members, players, volunteers and fans to treat our officials with the highest level of respect.
The value they bring is immeasurable. Just try playing the game without them!
Check out what Haydn had to say this week in his editorial and make sure you say hi to your umpire tomorrow and see if you can find out what they do for their day job...
Lest we forget
The bugler played the last post, the teams, umpires and community held a minute's silence and a beautiful calm fell over Brunswick Street Oval as we honoured our fallen during last Saturday's Anzac Round.
A lunch with some wonderful themes exploring history, service and the role a sense of belonging to a club or community can play in maintaining good mental health, provided the perfect lead in to our Anzac commemorations.
The Ode to the Fallen Soldier and the names of 13 young men who had played for our football club before serving and dying in war, were read out and remembered at the half time ceremony at the sportsman's memorial at Edinburgh Gardens.
A wreath was laid in their honour. Thank you to everyone who came along and joined us.
If you missed the lunch, Major Peter Crosby, Vice President of the Richmond RSL, shared his speech with the club and it's well worth a read. His comments that community connections and working towards a common goal are something both organisations have in common, hit a chord.
The other guest speaker at the lunch, former Carlton great Ken Hunter, held the crowd mesmerised with the humble retelling of his career ups and downs and the honest insights into his battle with mental health, which he has chosen to share to help others.
It's a great story and we're thrilled our players will have the privilege of hearing from him in the week leading up to the VAFA's Thick 'n' Thin Round in two weeks, which has a strong focus on young people's mental health. We will bring you some of Ken's words during that week. As he said, 'I want them to know it can happen to anyone and you can recover'.
Persistence pays as senior Roy Girls notch first win
It was the best footy he’d seen them play, according to Fitzroy-ACU Senior Coach Gray Barton, and it was rewarded with the best result as Fitzroy-ACU took the points against Melbourne University on a wet and blustery Sunday morning.
The visitors were on song right from the start at the Uni’s Main Oval, with some blistering clearances out of the middle, accurate kicking for goal despite the conditions, which worsened as the game went on.
Liz Olney marked and kicked strongly at full forward to score three of Fitzroy-ACU’s four goals. This was her tally at half time and the end of the day too as, remarkably, neither side scored a goal in the second half.
In the end it was a 20-point margin, with Fitzroy-ACU scoring 4.9.33 to 2.1.13.
Teresa ‘Razor’ Zampaglione would surely have caught the eye of VAFA women’s footy supremo, Shona McInnes, who was on hand to check out the form of her old alma mater and their opponents. Razor’s first quarter was incredible and set the tone as she found space all over the ground. By the end of the day, the VAFA reports she had 28 disposals, 23 kicks and 10 inside 50s from the middle. Take a bow, Razor. She must have a thing for the Mugars as she was similarly dominant in the pre-season practice match. She’s definitely benefitting from the hit-out machine that is Tash Ross-Harris, who had 49 hit outs for the day in a best-on-ground performance in the ruck.
Gemma Minuz was in and under, tackling ferociously and getting the hard ball out to her pacey teammates, Zampaglione, Amelie Lay and Hillary Collett.
Sarah King, one of our Collingwood listed VFLW players, grew in strength as the game went on and snapped a great second quarter goal.
At the other end of the ground, there was nothing getting past Luci Murphy at fullback – an excellent game from her.
Spare a thought for Sam Hood, who came back into the senior side to play her first game after a long injury lay off, only to rupture her ACL laying the best tackle of the game…. She stopped her opponent in her tracks but definitely came off second best and will be spending more time on the sidelines. Best of luck with the recovery Sam.
Congratulations to Jess Hayes on her first win as captain and Gray for his first win as coach of the Fitzroy Seniors.
Unfortunately, the Reserves didn’t have quite the same success in the earlier game, where for the second year in a row they seemed to match Melbourne Uni in general play but couldn’t find the goals.
With one goal each quarter, Melbourne Uni, were convincing winners in the end, 4.6.30 to 1.2.8.
Hannah Martin kicked Fitzroy-ACU’s only goal and Emily Fitt and captain Mia Sutherland play strong games; Mia earning a call up to the Seniors for this weekend.
The other bad news was Cate Rushan’s broken arm which required surgery early this week.
This weekend the Fitzroy-ACU sides are playing on the fantastic surface at Victoria Park in Collingwood. This is a home game for the women against Old Trinity and a good chance to score back to back wins, which will be very important in the context of the season. Get down to the games to cheer them on if you can.
Ressies start at 12 and the Seniors are at 2pm.
I thought I'd wander into the lunch before the main game to see how the other half live, and to hear Ken Hunter's perspective on the world of football as it was in the 80's. Thankfully, there was no rabbit and chicken terrine on offer, and a fine time was had by all.
Ken spoke of the three broken jaws he suffered before he turned 20, and before he departed Claremont for football greatness at Carlton. An inspiring story. The 2s were showing pluck through the glass, encouraging signs for the future. The Anzac ceremony and the main game awaited. How good was the bugler? Haunting.
Kyroussis, Long and skipper Turner came in for Bushby, Deasey and Patterson. Caulfield may be the third in line of the top three in B grade from my observation. Solid, tall in the right spots, but with an Italian tank game plan that may be easy to unpack. We must focus on this facet next time.
Anyway, the game. We kicked three points early on to lead for the first time this year. On song early, those points could easily have been goals. As in the first two games, the opposition was able to score more easily from our skill errors. The Claytons were prominent and Sean 'Mad Dog' Laidlaw set a great example by sitting a Grammarian firmly and fairly on his backside. He likes that stuff, as well as hunting the packs for opportunities. Lachie Henderson (pictured above) goaled from 50, we were holding our own in defence, with Ellis and young bucks Hart and Green showing dash. Good word 'dash'. Nice haircut too Jack, discarding the untidy grunge for a business looking tradesman alternative. Luke Baker added another, we resumed the lead, and our tackling was ferocious. Lachie added his second, and we were up 21-15 at the break, albeit with a sou-easter at our backs.
At the huddle, the coach looked the players in the eye and asked 'How we going? 'Great' was the collective response. We had to make them make mistakes, force their errors, eliminate their back door exits, and counter the breeze. There were unanswered questions at quarter time.
Unfortunately, the second saw Caulfield raise the bar, and combined with some fumbling errors and poor disposal from the Roys, goals came too easily. Ellis continued to fight with Anzac spirit. He woke on Saturday morning with a swollen jaw and played under the influence of legal narcotics. He combined well with Hart, who was benefitting from the 'reverse Sampson' effect of his haircut (Jack is pictured left, pre reverse Sampson). Screams of 'too high' were commonplace from the grandstand, and bemused looks from Roys supporters accompanied man-bun adjudications from the oval. Despite a willing effort, we were again five goals down at the long break.
Nathan Ligris continued to delight, performing a 'Ligga shuffle' to hit Turner lace out, and a goal. Another bit of fancy footwork from the Dancing Man found Will Symons, and he converted a long bomb. It was a tight tussle, but simply put, with the wind favouring the gardens end, we couldn't hit the scoreboard enough. It was 10 goals to five at three-quarter.
The coach implored his players for additional effort. There was no ranting and raving, he was methodical, focusing on goal by goal, rather than overcoming the negative mindset of a five-goal gap.
Ligga took the coach's cue – an inspirational mark at centre half forward from a Bernie Wright kick, and a nicely executed goal. Problem was there was an instantaneous reply from Caulfield. Max Ellis continued to be a rock, and Doc O'Donnell likewise. Somehow, we must find a way for our effort to be better rewarded. History shows that if we persist, the results will come. Bill Clayton was tireless in the ruck, again against much taller opposition. He's a bull, likewise his 2-minute older big brother Ted, the boss of the partnership.
A six-goal loss is not quite as bad as previous weeks, and we are hurting the opposition physically each week with our fierce endeavour. Let's hurt them on the scoreboard, starting with a win at St Bede's next Saturday.
Two Thirds top the ton
Congratulations to Thirds captain Tim De Natris (pictured far right) and team mate Owain Dunn, who have just reached the 100-game milestone for Fitzroy.
Tim may have just nudged the ton and Owain plays his milestone game tomorrow, but one thing’s for sure, the Thirds will give them the appropriate accolades when they get to strut their stuff at Brunswick Street Oval next weekend for their only game there this season.
But taking the one week at a time approach, the Thirds, who are our only undefeated side, will be playing the early game tomorrow at Caufield and if they can get the job done against the Fields, they are looking good for top spot on the ladder.
Last weekend’s result was an excellent one, knocking over De La Salle – last year’s preliminary final victor – 13.8.86 to 8.11.59.
Owain Dunn was one of the stars of the day with three goals, while Simon Heather was back to his 2017 goal kicking form, with five. James Talbot was everywhere, with a best-on-ground performance.
Next week we’ll bring you a bit more detail on the milestone men.
Hung Le, so much better than a hung parliament
By the time it gets to election day, we might all be keen for a laugh and comedian Hung Le has taken up the challenge of headlining this year’s Reds Foundation Political Lunch on Saturday 18 May at Brunswick Street Oval.
Hung Le is a former violinist turned comedian who first made his mark in 1987 as the winner of the TV show, Hey, Hey, It’s Saturday’s Red Faces. Hung is also an author, actor and all-round song and dance man. He is a favourite at the Montreal “Just for Laughs” Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Hung has made and appeared in documentaries for the ABC, SBS, and Discovery Channel. International TV includes CNN, MTV, The Muppet Show, Wow Wow (Japan) and London Weekend Television. As an actor, Hung has featured in films such as The Wogboy, Fat Pizza, True Love and Chaos, Broken Hill and Sensitive New Age Killer. His first book The Yellow Peril From Sin City was published by Penguin. His second, a children’s book, BarryNoodles & DaKillerBs was published by Random House.
Hung’s memoir, The Crappiest Refugee published with Affirm last year.
Hung may well touch on the Federal election, refugee policies and the comedy of politics and you can be guaranteed to have a good time leading into Fitzroy’s all-important clash with Beaumaris.
Book now for one of the most popular lunches of the year with the Reds Foundation.
Bookings close Wednesday 15 May.
Around the grounds - Unders seeing the results
Congratulations to the Fitzroy Under 19s and coach Monty Stuart, who led them to their first win this season and his first with the senior club.
Five goals from Pasquale Curcio helped the home side to a comfortable victory over Old Trinity, 11.18.84 to 6.11.47.
After a slow start and trailing at half time, it was a particularly strong second half that helped Fitzroy to the win.
Curcio was joined by Charlie Johnstone and Jonathan Zapantis as the best players.
With a healthy percentage, the win has propelled Fitzroy into sixth spot with a really important clash against Old Haileybury.
Best of luck to Miles Nelson who did an ACL during the game
The Fitzroy Reserves are definitely finding the going tough with a significant change in on field personnel and stepping back up into B grade. Caufield definitely showed them a thing or two on Saturday at Brunswick Street with the home side failing to score a major in the first half - something almost unthinkable last season. Thomas Keehan, new to Fitzroy this year and son of Under 23s coach Tony, and Sam Turner, who has recently joined the leadership group, led from the front on field.
Captain Jack Atkinson said recently it's in playing these top sides you learn more. Tomorrow is another chance to get on the ledger for 2019 against St Bede's/Mentone Tigers.
Fitzroy's Under 23s went down narrowly to Whitefriars in a close and exciting game, in just their third outing in the Fitzroy colours.
The team is really starting to gel and photographer Peter Harrison captured some of the action out at Whitefriars (see below), with Fitzroy eventually going down 10.12.72 to 9.7.61.
This week the boys will be home at Ramsden Street at 11.40 on Saturday, looking for their first win against Old Scotch.
Get down and check out some of the up and coming talent.
#DogsofBSO (part 2)
If you’ve got some magnificent dog shots to rival ours, then tag us on Facebook or Instagram #DogsofBSO or #DogsofRammo
Photos by Peter Casamento
Save the date: Fitzroy Trivia Night
It's on again... the Fitzroy Trivia Night is set for Saturday 25 May.
Start getting your tables of 10 together and brush up on your bands, movies, music, politics and of course, footy.
More details coming soon and bookings will open this week. Keep an eye out via this channel, our website and social media.
Join the Fitzroy players for their Retro Sports night tomorrow
It was a favourite era at Fitzroy... the hair was long and the shorts were short... come dressed in your tribute to retro sport as the Fitzroy Football Club players hold their first players' event for 2019.
The Fitzroy players will be partying at the Royal Derby Hotel on tomorrow night with a retro sports theme.
Choose your era - any era, any sport - but make sure you're dressed the part.
Drinks and food at bar prices. Party starts at 7.30pm
(with thanks to the Brisbane Lions for this image of some legendary Roy Boys with their very best hairstyles.)
It became one of the iconic images of last year's grand final win - in fact short listed for a VAFA media award - and now it has taken on even more significance.
Congratulations to our super tall ruckman Matthew Gaite and his (former Roy Girl) partner Lauren Bell, who this week announced their engagement from Samoa. It's wonderful news for two very popular and committed 'Roys, who always have time for others.
Can't wait to see you back and to have that extra height out in the middle (after all, it's all about the footy!).
Photo by Phyllis Queally.
This weekend's games
Old Haileybury v Fitzroy Under 19s – Holmesglen U19 Division 1 – Princes Park, 9.20am, Saturday 3 May
Caufield Grammarians v Fitzroy Thirds – VAFA Thirds Division 1 – Glenhuntly Oval, 9.20am, Saturday 3 May
Fitzroy Under 23s v Old Scotch – VAFA Under 23s – Ramsden Street Oval, 11.40am, Saturday 3 May
St Bede's Mentone v Fitzroy Reserve Men – VAFA Premier B Reserves – Brindisi Street Oval, 11.40am, Saturday 3 May
Fitzroy-ACU Reserve Women v Old Trinity – VAFA Premier Reserve Women’s – Victoria Park, Collingwood, 12pm, Saturday 3 May
St Bede's Mentone v Fitzroy Senior Men – VAFA Premier B Seniors – Brindisi Street Oval, 2pm, Saturday 3 May
Fitzroy-ACU Senior Women v Old Trinity – VAFA Premier Women’s – Victoria Park, Collingwood, 2pm, Saturday 3 May