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Fitzroy-ACU moves to attract senior women’s coach as John Mustafa steps down

After one of the more unusual first years in a coaching role, John Mustafa has resigned as Fitzroy-ACU senior coach to take one last shot at resurrecting his playing career.

John worked incredibly hard with the playing group in the pre-season and managed an excellent turn out for training within the COVID-19 restrictions earlier this year, but with time off in lockdown his own footy injuries and niggles have settled to such an extent that he intends to pull the boots back on.

Despite not coaching an official senior game with Fitzroy-ACU, John had the support of the Board to continue coaching in 2021 but has decided to play instead.

President Joan Eddy thanked John and wished him all the best with his football and future coaching career.

“We thank John enormously for his commitment to keeping the team connected and engaged during one of the most challenging seasons you could imagine and for his efforts in helping the players train each session during the earlier Covid restrictions.

“While John didn’t actually get to coach an official game this year, he put a huge effort into the role and we wish him all the best in the future.”

The club is now in the hunt for an excellent senior women’s coach. You can find out more about the role here. Please encourage those who may be interested to apply as soon as possible.

Initial queries about the position can be referred to Director, Football Operations, Sharon Torney or Director, Player Recruitment and Wellbeing, Michael Pickering.

The story behind the song - an ode to Bill Stephen

When club legend and former captain, Bill Stephen, passed away on 24 August in this year, current-day Fitzroy players wanted to pay tribute to the man, the player, the coach, the clubman and – importantly – the creator of the famous Fitzroy Football Club theme song. Captains Julian Turner and Jess Hayes and their team mates sure can play too – perhaps not as well as Bill – but I think you’ll all agree, and with the greatest respect, they can’t hold a candle to him in the singing stakes!

Beautiful work Rob Boys and Girls, we're sure he'd love it! And we hope you do too.

Silvano steps up to take on Under 19 top job

With a long history with the Fitzroy Junior Football Club and Auskick, Silvano Inserra has stepped up from his Under 19s Assistant coaching role and will take on the top job in 2021.

Silvano joined Fitzroy in early 2019 as an Under 19 Assistant Coach to Monty Stuart and with the topsy turvy start to training in 2020, he put his hand up to take on a more involved role from here on.

In 2018, Silvano was runner and defensive assistant for Matt Larkin, who was coaching the FJFC Colts 2 team. Following a two-year stint with Auskick, he coached a FJFC side every year from 2010 to 2014. Silvano has also been a player/coaching assistant with the Melbourne Masters Football Club (Albert Park). 

Silvano started his coaching journey in the winter of 2008 at Auskick at Fitzroy (Brunswick Street Oval) and has known many of our Under 19 players right through from those early days.

Announcing the Board’s appointment, Director Player Recruitment and Wellbeing, Michael Pickering, said “Silvano has a terrific rapport with the players, knows his football and is a connection from the junior club which can only help in building a stronger relationship with the Colts players as they transition to the senior club.

“Silvano is looking forward to putting into action next season all the training drills and strategies executed over the past months.

“We congratulate Silvano and can't wait to see him and the exciting Under 19 group performing in the 2021 season.”

The love for Bill keeps on coming

There’s always a lot of love for Fitzroy on the Coodabeen Champions and last Saturday was no exception, as Laurie Serafini called in half way through the show and spoke extensively about Mr Fitzroy, Bill Stephen; his achievements as a player and coach, and all the stories that enhance an understanding of one person’s impact on the club and its culture.

If you missed it and want to take a listen, here is the episode:

Laurie features just after the one hour, nine minute mark.

Pictured above is former Fitzroy captain, Rory Angiolella, with Bill Stephen, one of the last times he came to BSO for a past players' reunion in 2015. The occasion was the 50th anniversary of the final VFL game played at Brunswick Street Oval.

Mental health stays top of mind for VAFA

Last week there were plenty of laughs with the special VAFA Podcast on our club.

This week, in a special edition, the VAFA media team addressed the important issue of mental health, talking through the ups and downs of the current situation we are living through in Victoria.

Set aside some time to hear from Carlton FC psychologist, Tarah Kavanagh, who has over a decade of experience with elite footballers, outlining coping mechanisms and techniques for staying motivated and former Hawthorn AFC President, Pat Clancey, discussing the WINGS program that has become a significant part of the Hawks culture. There are also stories from St Kevin’s assistant coach, Nick Walsh, who is the program manager of Tackle Your Feelings, and host Joe Pignataro speaks openly about how his football club, St Bernard’s, supported him through a period of grief.

Please take some time to listen - some of the themes are bound to resonate as we continue to navigate a year like no other.

An Onomastic Study of Player Nicknames

Max Davie and Luci Murphy are continuing to deliver on the onomastics (it's ok, we've googled that word for you: relating to the study of the history and origin of proper names!) of some of our Royboy and Roygirl nicknames. Ever wondered how some of the names came about? Let Max and Luci give you the rich history behind some of the most creative nicknames going around! Here's the latest few to get the treatment!

Martin Deasey - Wookie

Fan favourite Martin Deasey has the sort of nickname that people love to hear about. He’s no stranger to being asked about it. When he is, it’s the same line every time: ‘it’s not that good of a story’.

And he’s right.

It’s got something to do with him being the youngest guy in a friendship group; ‘Rookie’ transfigures to ‘Wookie’... my fingers get bored even typing it out. Fortunately, popular imagination means that famous nicknames sometimes write their own histories. In Wookie’s case, my preferred origins tale is that it’s because he takes overhead-marks about as well as if his palms were obfuscated by long, greasy hairs.

Emilie Geogan - Google

Emilie Geogan is a tricky name to pronounce. Just ask Ressies coach Simon “Jacko” Jackson. Please find attached a list of just some of the variations Emilie received on her last name from Jacko.

  • Googes
  • Googey
  • Gogan
  • Goggy
  • Grogan 
  • and of course- Google. 

Jack Hart - Bachie (alternatives: Soupy)

It’s no secret that Bachie is a good-looking bloke. Rumour has it that he never actually played a game at the Northern Knights, but they kept him on the list for all those years because coaches like to look at him while they’re addressing the players. Luckily for all the straight single men in a three-kilometre radius of Brunswick Street on a Saturday night, young Jack Hart isn’t actually a bachelor, he’s been in a loving and faithful relationship since year 9 English class. He’s only called Bachie because he looks a quite bit like the Bachelor’s Nick Cummins (the Honeybadger), who famously turned down two would-be sweethearts in the season 6 finale of channel 10’s prime-time moneymaker.

Lauren Atkinson - Jacky Fowler

Jacky Fowler and I have played football together for 5 seasons (not including 2020 because I think we would all prefer not to include 2020). I remember when she kicked the FFC women’s first ever point (and yes, we celebrated like we had made the grand final) and when we ran out together for the grand final (and yes, we celebrated like we had scored our first point). But I have to be honest, after calling Jacky Fowler “Jacky Fowler” for many years, I only found out the story behind the nickname “Jacky Fowler” when I messaged her about this segment last week. I felt honoured to be told the secret that was the story behind the name “Jacky Fowler”. And because of this I believe you all should have to wait 6 years and 5 seasons of footy with her until you are allowed to find out. My sincerest apologies but I promise you, it’s worth the wait (...kind of)!


Fitzroy Forever! 

We're loving seeing some Fitzroy spirit shown while we're out and about in our one hour of outside activity.

Like Senior Assistant Coach Michael Manley rocking our retro League Tees shirt while rocking the retro skates! 

If you didn't get a chance when we first released them, you can still get our League Tees collaboration shirt from the League Tees website.

All proceeds from this shirt will go directly back to the club.  

Fitzroy Forever!


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