As coach Luke Mahoney said somewhat tongue in cheek after
the game, the Fitzroy Seniors timed their run to perfection,
winning the final two games of the season to avoid relegation
and stay up in Premier B for 2020.
A final away win over fourth team Beaumaris, saw Fitzroy finish
seventh on the ladder – our highest position for the year.
The final score was 9.7.61 to 6.14.50.
The fans would probably like to make it a bit more secure
earlier in the season to avoid the heart palpitations in the
final weeks, but where’s the fun in that?!
Fitzroy travelled to Beaumaris in a big team bus and whatever
happened on the way to the ground should be bottled.
The Ressies burst out of the blocks and set up the day beautifully
with nine goals in the first quarter and never looked back
(read about their great win below).
It was all about the first quarters (and maybe the toss; you
have to get lucky sometime)!
The Seniors also had first use of the wind and used it wisely.
Fitzroy’s six goal first quarter – with Sunny Brazier kicking
four – was the difference in the game as Beaumaris came hard
late in the day but couldn’t quite bridge the gap.
There were some pivotal moments…
Matty Kyroussis’s first goal to get the scoring underway
Jack Hart winning a holding the ball free on the boundary
just before quarter time and confidently slotting an
Sunny’s four goals in between the two above
Harrison Grace snapping the first goal of the second half
after a great tackle from Nino Lazzaro
Donovan Toohey bursting out of the out of the middle, picking
up his own clearance and bombing a long goal in the
third quarter. He was awarded the Royal Derby best
on ground award for his non-stop, hard-headed efforts
throughout the day. His tackling as always, was a feature
of his game.
And just the resistance down back was a constant, with
Max Ellis, Jacob Long and Nathan Ligris repeatedly
repelling the Sharks’ attack. The work of our back
this season, just cannot be overstated.
There were pivotal moments the other way too, which could have
seen heads down, such as the Nathan Jumeau disallowed goal
after the siren on three quarter time. But the new and old
heads just went to work, down over the ball, tackling hard
and holding on as if their lives depended on it.
There was something of poetic justice when Jumeau scored in
the goal square in the final quarter – our only goal of the
last and only goal at that end, against the run of play – just
giving Fitzroy the breathing space it needed.
The wisdom of the club’s leaders shone with Julian Turner,
Ellis and Ligris also named in the best players for the day,
along with Toohey, Sunny and Will Symons.
The coach’s sprint onto
the ground after the final siren and the singing of the song
by the fans out on the ground, rates a mention here. It was
a great day for Fitzroy against a club which was also very
gracious in defeat.
During the days following the win, Luke had some time to reflect
on the season that was. “The result at the end of the year
was very rewarding. It is a great challenge coaching and playing
through these circumstances when you have to find a way to
win. I think the players learned that the more you hang in
there; you give yourself an opportunity to achieve something.
They kept turning up, the spirit was positive. They wanted
to be there and they dug in.
“The biggest thrill as a coach is seeing the development of
the younger guys. Having some of our 19 and 20-year olds out
there in the middle against the opposition’s mature age players
and sometimes beating them, that’s a great reward.”
Luke particularly pointed out the development of players like
Grace, Toohey and Hart but also had plenty of praise for his
more senior players.
“I really need to highlight the work Jules has done. It’s
easier to lead a successful side and much harder when it’s
been a season like this. He’s led the group really well on
and off field. Max Ellis has been superb all year. The
last month from Dalts has really been fantastic and Matty K’s
last two games after coming back from injury were just superb;
they made a real difference.
“Max Davies and Ligga have also stepped up. I gave Tom O’Donnell
some tough jobs in the last month and he is just always up
for the challenge.
“It’s also good to see the development of players like Martin
Deasey and one of the real highlights for me was the Parkdale
win at Parkdale and the role Jack Atkinson played in that;
just a reward for having worked so hard to get the opportunity
for senior football.”
Like all good coaches
Luke’s thoughts have immediately turned to next season. Recruitment
and retention are top of the list.
“We need a few bigger bodies and mature age players to help
with our young players coming through and to support our leaders.
Against the top three sides you could really notice the different
“Luke Baker was absolutely superb as an undersized ruck after
Gaitor was injured and Bill Clayton went away. We do need a
Making sure players are training and getting fit and strong
FOR the pre-season will be Luke’s message… don’t wait
until pre-season starts to get fit if we want to mix it with
the best in Premier B.
“Now we understand what’s required, we need to prepare ourselves
well. I think we did have a bit of a premiership hangover this
year and the early buy-in may not have been there, but for
2020 we have to hit the ground running.”
The win was all the excuse the VAFA’s ‘For the Love of the
Game’ Podcast team needed to get their favourite coach on for
a chat. Luke (at the 35 minute mark, for those who’d like to listen)
spoke about the ups and downs of the season and the benefit
of getting B grade games into young players who have now gained
a clear understanding of the kind of pre-season and game style
required to match it in Premier B.
The VAFA team noted
that only two Fitzroy players had played every senior game
this season – the unstoppable Max Ellis, who will surely give
a triple B&F a shake come Redlow night – and Sean Laidlaw,
who made a giant step forward with his football this season,
having been runner up in the Reserves B&F last season.
“Sean is a great example of working hard in the off season
to give yourself an opportunity and then taking it. He worked
hard in the D squad; he arrived at preseason already fit,”
Luke also spoke with the Leader Local Footy this week about
how the back to back wins at the end of the season helped the
club avoid relegation. If you have a news.com.au or Herald
Sun subscription you will be able to see the story here.
For 2020, De La Salle and Old Carey will be coming down from
Premier A into Premier B and Old Geelong and Monash Blues are
the teams to be relegated.
Thirds bow out in prelim
For the second year in a row the Fitzroy Thirds have bowed
out of the finals at the hands of reigning premiers De La Salle.
The game was all but done by half time on a windy but perfect
surface at Elsternwick Park, VAFA headquarters, where many
of the finals are being hosted.
After a first goal to Fitzroy’s Gizzy Mills, it seemed a one-way
street to the De La Salle goal as a four goal lead at quarter
time became a nine goal lead by the major break.
Fitzroy played a much stronger second half and won the half
by a point, demonstrating their strong pride in the jumper
by never giving up the fight.
After an early shoulder injury to big Josh Murray down back,
the De La forwards got well on top and Mark Breda finished
with six goals.
For Fitzroy Mills kicked
two, and captain Tim De Natris also kicked two and has also
won the Thirds Division 1 goal kicking for the second year
in a row.
It just seemed like the Roy Boys outstanding form – typified
by a stirring win over Ajax under lights at BSO – deserted
them at the crucial moment.
Having spent all season in the top two, going out in straight
sets was a particularly bitter pill to swallow on the day,
but the resilient Thirds bounce-back well and by Sunday were
already talking up the positives.
Coach Trent Coleman sent his team a message thanking them
for their hard work all season.
“We worked really hard, evolved our game plan and welcomed
both new and old players down to Rammo. We may have not achieved
what we set out too, but we took some big steps forward again
this year including:
Holding down second spot for the entire year
Being the only team to beat top spot Caulfield
defeating reining premiers De La Salle twice
Had a winning streak of 11 games
Timmy D took out the Thirds Div 1 goal kicking for
the second year running and Shefie took home 4th
We had 50ish blokes wear the mighty Roy guernsey
“Thanks to everyone who helped me and the Roys off the field.
You make team selection and being organised on Saturdays so
“Enjoy your time off and get those sore, sore bodies healed.
No doubt we will be rearing to go in 2020!”
Well done to Trent and the team for an excellent season.
And so it came to pass for the Men's Ressies
The last roll of the dice / the final stanza / the end of
proceedings – no matter which cliché was used, the Roys Men’s
Ressies knew that this would be their final outing for season
The chance to finish with two in-a-row beckoned, the sun shone
brightly again with weather and conditions much the same as
the season opener vs Old Scotch at Camberwell to finish the
Jumping out of the blocks, the Roys started at a cracking
pace and used the strong wind to great advantage. Fourteen
scoring shots to one showed Fitzroy’s completed dominance,
going to the first break 9.5.59 to 1 solitary point.
The second quarter was a different story and maybe the Roys
thought they had the game in the bag already? Beaumaris controlled
proceedings and used the ball to good effect, at one stage
scoring five unanswered goals. The Roys did manage to score
a couple for the quarter and so went into the rooms with a
Much of the sting seemed to disappear in the third quarter
with neither side using the ball to great effect and while
the Roys only scored another couple of majors. Importantly
they restricted the Sharks to only two points.
“Break the ton” was the cry from the Roys supporters and the
boys answered the call. Seven scoring shots for each team in
the final quarter saw the Roys finishing with 16.16.112 to
Beaumaris 10.6.66, so end the game and the season as deserving
Their line up and cheering for their Senior brothers as they
ran onto Banksia Reserve could only be counted as an extra
man… the power of a Ressies’ win cannot be underestimated.
And so we guess it comes to this – the season over and no
more battles to be won. Practice matches in March and the season
opener on April 6 seem so long ago. For some the end is most
probably welcome, for us supporters we wish there was at least
one more game please!
Thank you to the Club and to all the people who have supported
and been part of the Fitzroy Men’s Reserves this year – Coach
Bernie Carter, his assistants, the goal umpires, boundary umpires,
runners, trainers and water carriers. The team simply would
not have made it without you.
Enjoy the off season, bring on 2020 and see you at BSO next
By Stephen, Janis and Harry (the dog) Harrington
Join us for Redlow 2019
Book now for the Fitzroy
Football Club's biggest night of the year as the best and fairest
players for all seven teams are announced.
It's also a great opportunity to thank volunteers, sponsors,
coaches, parents and teammates who have put in a huge effort
throughout a long, hard season. And to celebrate what it means
to be part of a community football club.
Freelance writer and PhD in sport and gender, Kasey Symons,
will be our new MC for the night, after her star-turn at our
recent women's football lunch.
We're amping up the sound and making sure everyone will have
a good night.
Frock up and join the fun.
Where: The Regal Ballroom, 216 High Street, Northcote
When: Friday 4 October, 6.30pm
Tickets: $110 which includes three courses (two
courses and dessert platters) and a five hour drinks package
until 11.30pm. Tables of up to 10 can be booked.
Bookings will close on Friday 20 September. Book here.
When Brownie met Browny
When the legendary Jonathan Brown headed back to Brunswick Street with his Nova radio crew to show a few fans a few footy tricks, we took the opportunity to introduce him to the Fitzroy footballer of the modern era (and diehard Brisbane fan) who shares his name.
Browny’s history with Fitzroy goes way back. Thanks to father
Brian’s more than 50 games for the Roys (and of course his
own undeniable talent) Browny was selected by the Brisbane
Lions in the 1999 AFL draft, going on to make history as 3-time
best and fairest, 3-time premiership player, 2-time All Australian
and 1-time Coleman Medallist.
Having grown up as a fan of the Roys, Browny was eager to
catch up on Fitzroy’s fortunes over 2019. And we were equally
eager to offer him an introduction to our recruiters for the
Pictured above: Our Brownie (Chris) and Nova’s Browny (Jonathan), happy to catch up in Fitzroy heartland on Wednesday.
Finals fever – with David Leydon
Last week our very own FFC Director and Comrade, David Leydon, joined Kasey Symons and JB on podcast, The People’s Game, to discuss Fitzroy, finals, and a frenetic loyalty to not just one footy club, but two!
Listen as the Comrade talks about his year-round dedication to traditional
Australian sports, and how he’s been able to extend his lifelong
support of Fitzroy to the Lions up north.
Pictured above: As a young fella David Leydon was an unashamed footy fan. And as you can see, he hasn’t grown out of badgering Fitzroy heroes for a selfie (this time with Roys’ captain and trailblazing coach, Ron Alexander).
Thank you to our sponsors
At a community club like
ours, the ability to attract and retain sponsors with similar
values and a commitment to local young men and women, is crucial
to our long-term viability.
The Directors and club would like to extend a huge thank you
to our loyal sponsors who have been with us through the ups
and downs of the season and who have shown their true colours
with a huge interest in how our new player wellbeing program
is rolling out.
The club held two sponsor events this year – at the Royal
Derby and one on the final game day – and each time the interest
and commitment has been outstanding.
Thank you to ACU for our continued partnership with the women’s
squad and the Under 19s. It was wonderful to be able to extend
this into an internship model with ACU students also joining
us in meaningful roles this season – a model we hope will continue.
Another top-notch women in football lunch also got the season
off to a wonderful start as the women started their season
on BSO. Thank you to Jellis Craig, The Royal Derby and Fitzroy
IT for great input as long-term major sponsors. Fantastic lunches
with each of these major sponsors added to the game-day experience
for so many of our fans.
The Reds Foundation also provided some of the true highlights
of the year, particularly with Planning Minister Richard Wynne
and Brisbane Lions Chair, Andrew Wellington, speaking at the
final home game and earlier in the year, with Dobe Newton bringing
us a unique musical experience (Bushwhackers anyone?).
Speaking of Dobe, the season was off to a brilliant start
as the Fitzroy Victoria Bowling and Sports Club hosted our
season launch. They also contributed to our best on ground
The Clifton Hill /North Fitzroy Community Bank Branch has
a longstanding commitment to the club (and to the junior club)
and their involvement – along with Jellis Craig – in sessions
for the players with an emphasis on money management was extremely
Ez Yiap, representing new sponsor Universal Traveller, would
have to win the prize for most committed Fitzroy event attendee
of the year. Universal Traveller donated our travel prize for
the major raffle and made sure our teams were in best on ground
Bontempo Pizzeria did likewise, providing us with great pizza
on a regular basis and our best women’s players always with
a great place to eat – it was the first time the women’s squad
had been delivered best on ground awards and didn’t that go
Craig Waldren from APS Benefits was a regular attendee at
games, as a former Redder with a long commitment to the club,
and Vic Medical Doctors were the new kids on the block.
Plans for next season will be getting underway soon so if
you know of other businesses who would like a closer involvement
with the club, please have them contact Sponsorship Director
Rob Olney at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0413 767 907 or check out our sponsorship packages online.
Pictured above: Community Bank Branch Chair, Jenny Farrar, speaking at our sponsors night which was proudly suported by the bank.
New Fitzroy supporter gear now available online
Already some of the most popular supporter gear in Melbourne
is running low, but don't worry we've ordered more stock.