Update from the President

President's Message 2018

Well …… we’re finally ready for first bounce!

To all our players, families and sponsors, welcome to season 2018. This season, the Club is celebrating its 70th anniversary.

First and foremost we remain committed to being a family club providing our kids with a safe, supportive, inclusive environment and always having their best interests in the front of our minds. So the SMJFL’s tag line, “It’s all about the kids!” remains our call to action.

We seek to enrich the experience of our kids by focusing on what is important to them in playing Australian Rules Football – Fun, Fitness, Friendship. These are important matters to remember as both as parents and spectators.

2017 was a landmark year for child safety with the implementation of a range of initiatives following laws that came into effect on 1 January 2017. There will be a continuing emphasis on Child Safety this year under the guidance of Kellie Haddrick, our Child Safety Officer. I would strongly encourage all parents to obtain a Working with Children Check (WWCC). Almost all roles in the Club now require parents to have a valid WWCC. For volunteers the process is easy and costs nothing.

There has also been plenty going on in the off season, including:

  • Establishment of the new Club website and Facebook site – please follow the Club to receive news and updates
  • New Committee members Lindsey Lewis (Treasurer), Paul Higgins (Sponsorship), Jane Barnes (First Aid) and Kate Hornsey (Communications)
  • Ongoing input into the development of the new Club Rooms with four change rooms to accommodate the growth in girls footy
  • The continuation of a dynamic football program to “coach the coaches”
  • Growth in girls footy continuing with the Club fielding 3 girls teams (two at U14 level and one at U16 level)
  • Retention of our major sponsors – your generosity and commitment is much appreciated
  • Fielding merged U16 and U17s teams with the Hampton Rovers – the Sandy Rovers
  • New Canteen Manager, Tabitha Ransom, and specialist coffee cart provider

The Club continues to invest in our football department to provide the best experience and training for our players. You will see new cameras recording our games to enable our coaches and the Footy Dept to review and analyse matches.

Our vision is to create a consistent approach to playing and training commencing from U8s and building right through a child’s career at the Zebs. Additional skills are added as our players move from age group to age group. We will develop the Zebra’s way of approaching and playing football.

Coaches will be assisted with a structured program of drills and development assistance easily available through online platforms.

Every Friday evening at Duncan Street there will be an opportunity for players of any age group to enjoy extra coaching by developing their skills under the watchful supervision of our Footy Interns and coaches.

You will find at the entrance to the grounds a representation of the proposed new Club Rooms. Whilst the timing of the development is not firm, demolition works are likely to commence during the season. Whilst this may cause some short term inconvenience, the benefits in the long term will be very much worth it.

We have a full calendar of events planned, so please add them to your calendar as they are announced, with the first event being our 2018 Season Launch, merchandise sale and first Friday night skills session this Friday 13 April.

Look out for the details of the major Club event in the middle of the season. Date and details will be provided shortly.

I also want to pay recognition to our tireless Committee members and volunteers who have registered and kitted out almost 500 players across 24 teams.

I also want to thank all of our volunteers for their time and efforts across the entire season. There are no games without you.

Go Zebs ……..

Rick Bierens
President, ESJFC