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Welcome to 2021! A letter from the President

Fitzroy Football Club President Joan Eddy. Photo: Phyllis Quealy.

Greetings Roys family!

We have so much happening at our Club this week that you get a double dose of our RedRoy Mail!

We cannot express how thrilled we are to take the field this weekend. To say we were devastated to lose our season last year is an understatement. We of course understand why it was necessary to cancel the 2020 VAFA Season. And we're proud of what we've achieved here in Melbourne to keep everyone safe. But it sure was tough.

It was tough for our players and our coaches who just wanted to play. It was tough for our volunteers, members and fans who lost their weekly day out at the footy, catching up with friends and cheering on our men and women. It was tough for our sponsors who had to navigate how to manage their businesses in a pandemic. And it was tough for our Board who never stopped working to keep our Club thriving.

I thank everyone for their support during 2020.

Now we get to go back to the footy to play, coach, volunteer and cheer, as a community once again. 

And I cannot wait!

We've done a lot of work as a Club to make 2021 one of our best. We used 2020 to strategise, develop and put forward new ideas and plans for success.

We launched our Player Wellbeing Program and introduced the new role of Coaching Director to which we have appointed Phil Bunn. We appointed a new senior women's coach, Bronte Ryan, and made history. Bronte became the first woman to take on the role as a senior coach at Fitzroy in our Club's history. We also announced our first ever Women's Pride Game in partnership with Melbourne University Women's Football Club thanks to a grant secured from the Change Our Game initiative which will help us continue to be more and more inclusive. 

We have started work on a new strategic plan for Fitzroy as detailed in the RedRoy Mail on Tuesday this week. This is an exciting process that will define what success looks like for the Roys and cement our values and vision for the next three years.

The future is bright at Fitzroy!

And now we get to see it all come together as we, finally, hit the park tomorrow. I wish our captains, leadership groups and coaches all the best as they take the reins in leading our Club on and off the field in 2021, you're going to be brilliant. All the best to our players, enjoy and cherish every minute out there! 

To our volunteers, members and sponsors, I hope you enjoy being back at the footy, supporting our teams and being with our beautiful community. 

I can't wait to see you all this weekend wearing Red, Gold and Blue!

Go Roys!

Joan Eddy
Fitzroy Football Club

Round 1 action!

Have you ever seen anything so beautiful as footy fixtures after the year we just had! Enjoy the footy this weekend Roys family!

We have a triple header at Brunswick Street Oval with our Senior Men's, Reserves and U19s taking on the Uni Blacks and our Fitzroy-ACU Women's teams take on Old Geelong at Ramsden Street.

Round one also sees four debutante coaches for the Fitzroy Football Club.

We wish Bronte Ryan, Cam Ball, Silvano Inserra and Nathan McLean all the best this weekend. Go Roys!

Fitzroy Senior Men


University Blacks
Brunswick Street Oval 

Fitzroy-ACU Senior Women

Old Geelong
Ramsden Street Oval 

Fitzroy Reserves Men


University Blacks
Brunswick Street Oval 

Fitzroy-ACU Reserves Women

Old Geelong
Ramsden Street Oval 

Fitzroy Under 19's


University Blacks
Ramsden Street


Fitzroy Thirds



Brunswick Street Oval

Fitzroy Gold Thirds


Old Ivanhoe
Chelsworth Park



Introducing more leadership groups for 2021!

Our leaders at the 2021 Season Launch. Photo: Phyllis Quealy.

Earlier this week we announced our senior leaders for 2021 who were chosen by their coaches and peers to lead the Roys this season.

We'd now like to introduce our leadership groups for the Reserves, U19s and Thirds Gold (our new development team in 2021).

Men's Reserves Leadership Group:
Captain: Alex Ritchie
Vice Captains: Aaron Tatchell and Sam Turner
Deputy Vice Captains: Glen Burns and Alex Watson

Under 19s Leadership Group
Co Captains: Harry Tauber and Clancy Morris Dalton
Vice Captains: Jacob Bourke and Pasquale Curcio

Third's Gold Leadership Group:
Co Captains: Ben McDonald 
                      Xander Van Vliet 
                      James Wright 

Fitzroy v. University: rivalry and respect that began 136 years ago but remains strong today

The 1913 Fitzroy Football Club Premiership Team: (featuring Jim Toohey Snr – Great Grandfather of current Fitzroy player Donovan Toohey)

By David Leydon

One of the great, long-standing rivalries for the Fitzroy Football Club will have its next instalment in the opening round of the 2021 season when we take on the University Blacks.

Most supporters will know that the Fitzroy Football Club was formed in 1883 and played its first official games in the old Victorian Football Association (VFA) in 1884. In 1885 the University Football Club was also admitted into the VFA and stayed in that competition until 1888. It was during this four-year period that the Roy-ites and Uni played their first games against each other.

The first ever recorded Fitzroy vs University clash happened on the 2nd of May, 1885 at Brunswick Street Oval in front of a crowd of 1500 people.

The Roys came out victors on this day, kicking 5.10 to Uni 2.3. These were the times where, despite the behinds being recorded, they effectively counted for nothing in either the result or the percentage obtained from the game. Only the goals really counted.

That saw Fitzroy record a second win over Uni later in the season when they kicked 2.10 to Uni’s 1.16 which, using modern scoring methods, would register as a draw, but in 1885 it was a two goal to one victory for Fitzroy.

Fitzroy recorded further victories over University in 1886 by seven goals at the University ground and then by four goals late in the season at BSO in front of 2000 adoring fans.

The teams only played each other once in 1887, with the Royboys running out three-goal winners at BSO. Despite both teams being in the VFA in 1888, a quirky fixture, and an uneven number of games played by each team saw no games played between Fitzroy and University that year. University then left the VFA at the end of 1888 and went into brief recess before reforming and joining several other suburban competitions over the next 20 years.

Fitzroy was one of the eight clubs that eventually broke away from the VFA and formed the Victorian Football League in 1897, the competition that became the AFL in 1990.

When the VFL had its first expansion in 1908, it added two teams, Richmond and University, to its ranks to become a ten-team competition. Of course this meant Fitzroy and University locked horns once again at the top level of Victorian football.

This was a period of rebuilding for Fitzroy who, across the ten years between 1895 and 1905, had won a staggering five premierships and had been runners-up on three occasions.

A number of the champion Fitzroy players had retired and the club begun its rebuild journey in 1907, which eventually secured further Premierships in 1913, 1916 and 1922.

The first time Fitzroy and University met in 1908 came in round 7, on the 8th of June at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground (EMCG) which the University team used in its first few years in the VFL. Fitzroy won that game 12.12.84 to University 9.7.61. When the teams met again at the Brunswick Street Oval later in the season, Fitzroy were victors a second time 13.16.94 to 11.7.73.

Despite this being University’s first season in the big time of the VFL, they did pretty well finishing 6th on the ladder with 8 wins and 10 losses, one spot above Fitzroy who had 7 wins and 11 losses. The teams next met in round 9 of 1909, and this time University were victors by 40-points at the EMCG. They met again in the last round of 1909 and played out a thrilling draw at Brunswick Street Oval.

1909 saw the previous seasons positions on the ladder reversed with Fitzroy finishing 6th and Uni ending up in 7th place.

In 1910 it was two wins to University. The first early in the season by 36-points and they overran the Roys at BSO later in the year by 25-points. By season's end, Uni had a credible 6th place finish and the Roys had dropped to 8th. 1910 also saw University appoint former Fitzroy captain and premiership champion, Gerald Brosnan, as coach. Brosnan, who had played in the back to back 1904-05 Fitzroy premiership teams, ended up coaching Uni for four seasons (1910,11, 12, and 14).

By 1911 the Uni boys had moved their home ground to share with Melbourne at the MCG. When the Roys visited the mighty ground in round 6, they had a stirring 34-point away win and then backed it up with a 37-point win at BSO later in the season.

It was during this period that things started on a downward spiral for University. Most of their rival VFL teams were paying their players as professionalism started to grow within the league. Uni was keen to ensure it maintained its amateur status, and had steadfastly refused to pay players. This meant that many of their better players of the time went elsewhere to play under the lure of the money on offer.

The University team only won one game in 1911 to finish bottom. The club won wooden spoons again in 1912, 1913 and 1914, losing its last 51 games in a row and eventually leaving the VFL at the end of 1914.

Fitzroy recorded wins over University in 1912 by 27-points and 36-points.

In 1913, the Roys won both games again by 42 and 40-points en-route to the magnificent 1913 VFL Premiership.

In University’s last year in the VFL in 1914, Fitzroy recorded respective 84 and 89-point victories and again made the finals.

At the end of World War I, University were invited into the newly formed VFL Reserves competition (also known as the Victorian Junior Football League). Two University teams were entered and they were originally called University A and University B.

By 1921, both Uni teams had moved to the Metropolitan Amateur Football Association which eventually became the Victorian Amateur Football Association in 1933.

The Uni A and Uni B name was replaced with Uni Blues and Uni Blacks – the teams that survive and thrive to this day in the VAFA competition.

In 1954 a third University team was formed – the mighty University Reds.

The Reds played until 1996 under the University umbrella. The team moved to BSO in 1991 to play its home games. When Melbourne University withdrew its support for the Reds, players and supporters changed the club's name to the Fitzroy Reds.

In 2008 the Fitzroy Reds merged with the magnificent old Fitzroy Football Club to become the club that we know and love today.

So the ties between Fitzroy and University that go back 136 years are strong and full of history. That history will get another chapter in round 1 of 2021 when the teams again take the field of battle to kick off the new VAFA season at the Brunswick Street Oval.

The Rouge et Noir Cup

An additional piece of the Fitzroy/Uni Blacks his is when the Uni Blacks and Fitzroy meet, we play for the Rouge et Noir Cup, which the Blacks currently hold.
It has a long history, dating back to when the Uni Blacks would play the Uni Reds. 

Who will take the cup home this weekend?!

Photo: Peter Hille, President of the Reds Foundation, with the cup.

This weekend we also welcome the 1980 Uni Reds premiership side at BSO for their one-year-delayed 40 year reunion. 

Coach Andy McNair, captain Michael Smale and leading goal kicker and Reds Foundation President, Peter Hille, will relive the stories of that premiership year. 

Fittingly, Fitzroy takes on the Uni Blacks in Round 1 at Brunswick Street Oval and the Reds will take a walk down memory lane to a time when the Reds were almost unstoppable. Almost. 

The Reds finished the home and away season in 1980 atop the ladder with 16 wins and two losses. Having lost to Thomastown by one point in the second semi, they went on to exact their revenge in emphatic style with a 10 goal grand final win at the Beaurepaire Centre, Albert Park. 

But they almost didn’t make it! Having been five goals down at three quarter time in the Preliminary Final against the Peninsula Old Boys, the Reds stormed home to win by one goal. 

The Reserves also finished on top of the ladder after the home and away season but were defeated in the grand final. 


Come and commemorate the Anzacs at Brunswick Street Oval                                         

The Anzac Round is a special one to us – it has significant meaning for the club which lost 13 men during the two world wars.

This year we will again have bugler Fabian Acuna feature just prior to the start of the Fitzroy Men’s Round 3 game against Ajax on Saturday 24 April.

Before that, we will hold our Anzac lunch, looking at the challenges of our modern veterans. Speaker to be confirmed. Lunch bookings are now open.

And at half time during the senior men’s game, there will be the traditional wreath laying ceremony at Edinburgh Gardens War Memorial.

Book now for lunch with further details to be advised in coming days.
Lest we forget.

Time: 11.45am for 12pm
Cost: $40 per head, with drinks at bar prices

RSVP: Monday 19 April

Book your seat for lunch today!

2021 Player Sponsorship - a new tax deductible option!                                           

As most supporters would know, there are considerable costs associated with fielding teams
to represent our great club. This includes grounds, trainers, coaches, footballs, insurance,
league fees and much more.

Many of our players are students with part-time work, or graduates at entry level jobs, and
finding the $295 to $430 for registration fees each season is a challenge.

To help ease this pressure, the club has established the Fitzroy Football Club Player Assistance Fund (supporting the Player Sponsorship program) to be used exclusively used to cover player registration fees. 

Donations to the Fitzroy Football Club Player Assistance Fund are fully tax deductible.

These donation payments come to the club, and not to the player, so it doesn't breach the amateur status nature of the competition.

Through the club’s fundraising partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF), we
have introduced a new system this year that enables supporters to receive a tax deduction
for assisting FFC players to cover the cost of their registration.

The suggested donation amounts per player are as follow:

Team                                              Player Assistance donation amount
Men’s Senior and Reserves           $430
Women’s Senior and Reserves      $315
Men’s Thirds                                   $315
Men’s Under 19’s                           $295

If you would like to make a contribution towards assisting a player but do not want to pay
the full amount please feel free to do so and your contribution will be grouped with other
kind donations. It all adds up and is a great help for our players.

To assist a player, please complete the donation form here or download the PDF form here. If there is a particular player that you would like to provide assistance to, please note their name in the ‘supporter message’ on your form.

If that player has already been supported, we’ll get in touch with you to allocate your donation to another player’s fee. 

For further information, please contact either Robert Olney ( or 0413 767 907) or David Leydon ( or 0408 998 849).

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