President’s mid-season report

The winter solstice is a good time to reflect on the year to date. Time to look back on what’s been achieved so far as we enter the second half of the 2017 season.

Landscape Plan for Allard Park

When I joined the Committee in October 2016 an early priority was working with Moreland Council to address the poor playing surface at Allard Park. Many will remember the muddy bog of last winter, which hasn’t been repeated this year thanks to extremely low rainfall since late April. But that can quickly change.

I’m no stranger to Councillors or Council staff, following months of meetings and report preparation. And it’s starting to pay off, for on 14 June 2017 Council formally acknowledged the requirement for major works to be undertaken on the sports ground. The proposed works include: new playing surface; draining/irrigation; chain mesh fence and netting; realignment of goalposts; new cricket wicket; and lighting upgrade.

Very expensive yes, and a series of Council processes still needs to be followed. Hence they are looking towards the 2018/19 budget cycle. But we are now on Council’s radar. I’d like to thank Councillors Annalivia Carli Hannan and Sue Bolton, who have proved to be good friends of the Club.

YJFL Presidents’ mid-season review

We’ve had some difficult games at Allard Park this year, where the lack of perimeter fencing can make crowd management that much harder. But we’re not unusual, as I discovered at the YJFL Presidents’ mid-season review meeting held on 20 June. All clubs have to contend with the biggest issue in junior footy: aggressive parents. League officials want us to remember that every YJFL player is under 18, as are many of the umpires. Legally, they’re children, and their parents are expected to be role models.

We’re privileged to be a YJFL team: the biggest, most prestigious Junior League in Australia. For the League, producing good footballers does not come at the expense of producing good citizens. The YJFL is the place to be.

New website

We launched www.giantsjfc.com.au in February, following a hectic summer for Charlotte Morgans (website manager) and the developer. Future expansion has been built into the design while meeting the needs of today. Look out for a seamless registration process in 2018, whereby all documentation – and fee payment – can be managed on-line.

New players

Our Colts and Under 15s are becoming destinations of choice for talented players at other Clubs and/or Leagues. We welcome them, along with the many new recruits across all teams. It’s a recruiter’s dream to see how effective word-of-mouth can be in a single school. And let’s not forget the new parents, people with all sorts of skills that could lend themselves to Coaching, Committee or game day involvement.

Milestone games

Congratulations to Matthew Bruno and Jack Orford for cracking the 100 games mark in the YJFL. That’s no mean feat when you’re still Under 15s.

In July they’ll be joined by a number of 50 gamers from both the Under 12s and Under 15s. Look out for plenty of banner ripping action at future home games.

Committee succession planning

We need new people to join the Committee for 2018. A new Treasurer for starters, but several others will be required to avoid a repetition of this season, whereby a few people have been forced to undertake several roles each. Although we’re a small club, we have all the same responsibilities as our larger rivals.

Ideally, parents with suitable skills will seek to join the Committee as General Members during the current season. This will give the incumbents a chance to train them ‘on the job’, where the workload will become apparent.

If interested in joining the Committee, please let me know.

Canteen

Luisa Cardillo has settled into her job as Canteen Manager, where her cheerful face is seen every Friday evening and game day Sundays. The coffee and chips are hot and plentiful, thanks to the acquisition of new appliances. We have also broadened our halal options this year, in recognition of our growing Muslim population.

A special thanks to Ismail Bekir and the team at Alaysia Bakery, for the freshly baked Turkish breads and tasty bureks donated at our home games.

Auskick

The unusually dry weather has been a boon for Auskick. Clear skies every Friday evening has allowed the next generation to develop their skills, while their parents get plenty of exercise. Who needs a gym membership?!

A highlight for me was the MCG grid game in May, when 13 of the older Auskickers were let loose at half-time. I gave up counting the number of workers and volunteers involved behind the scenes to make it happen. The lifeblood of the AFL.

Coming up in July

A big hit last year, the Kick-a-thon will return on Friday, 21st July. It’s open to all players and Auskickers, with prizes and a special edition BBQ planned. The more attendees the better.

Our final home game on Sunday, 30th July, will be team photo day. A good opportunity to fuss over hair styles.

Go Giants!

Jon Armstrong

President, North Brunswick Junior Football Club

22 June 2017