Message from the President: Mid-Season Report
To the OGs Community,
As we pause to reflect what has been a frenetic start to the season, there is no doubt that our Club has made significant progress in the key areas identified at the end of 2017.
From a broader perspective, the Club is in a very healthy position. Our playing lists are deeper than they have ever been, highlighted by the continued recruitment of graduates from Geelong Grammar and The Geelong College from other amateur clubs. The number this year alone stands at 27 for the men’s squad with several of these now regular members of our senior team. Our female numbers had to be ultimately capped at a staggering 135 players, with a lack of available ground space and coaching resources the only reasons we were unable to accommodate more players. Less than two years since its inception, we should be very proud as a Club to be seen as leaders in the VAFA for women’s football.
On field, the first half of the season has treated us well. Our men's Seniors sit third with seven wins from the first nine matches and are in a strong position to launch their first finals campaign in Premier C since 1999, while the men's Reserves sit happily entrenched in the top two, having lost only once thus far. The men's Thirds sit just outside of finals as it stands, but with seven rounds still to come are primed to rectify that situation. Meanwhile our women’s squad, the one and only Oggettes, have their Seniors also in third on the ladder while the Reserves are undefeated on top of the ladder with an enviable number of players to choose from and a healthy percentage of 1388.46!!
Our coaching group and football department is working well headed up by the men's Senior Coach Nick Bourke and women’s Senior Coach Toby Boyle respectively. Both squads now have the resources to undertake video reviews, where the coaching group, led by Assistant Coach Nick Abbott, can edit vision to highlight areas of achievement and improvement needed during the week. This level of analysis and preparation is taken even further for the senior men with Assistant Coach Michael Holland compiling a detailed preview of the upcoming week’s opposition, so every player knows inside and out what they will face on the Saturday.
Our Under 19’s Co-Coaches Charlie Mann and Hugh Coltman have endured a tough start to the season in terms of wins and losses, however their list is deep and with a recent influx of new players I am sure they have turned the corner. After securing their third victory by a very healthy 120 point margin on Saturday, we eagerly look forward to seeing plenty more wins ahead for our boys in the second half of the season.
There have been many highlights on the field for both playing groups. For the men's Seniors our ‘Back to School’ game at Geelong Grammar School was a wonderful day for the Club as we beat PEGS in a true four quarter performance. On the women’s side, the now infamous ‘Battle of Brunswick’ against Brunswick Renegades was a tough game where our girls did not back down and came away with a memorable victory.
One of the major highlights of the 2018 season has been the inclusion of Angus Seller in the role of General Manager Football Operations, a new position within the Club. Angus has spent the past nine months streamlining our day to day procedures and ensuring that the foundations laid set the club up for future growth. As our Club has doubled in size over the past two seasons Angus has been a vital addition to the Club to ensure that our framework is suitable to handle the continued growth in player numbers and professionalism.
With the large increase in our playing squads, unfortunately too has the number of injuries requiring treatment. One of our key areas of improvement has been the medical, health and wellbeing services available to players across all teams. As mentioned in the wonderful ‘Lemon’s Lines’ last week, the Club has engaged the services of Optimus Health to provide physio and medical treatment this season. Optimus Health provides a ‘closed ended’ service for the players. This runs through from the time of injury, through to the clinic for treatment, to rehabilitation in their in-house gym and finally the running and fitness component overseen by head physio Prue Cormack.
An increased financial base is vital to sustain our continued on-field growth. We would not be in the competitive position we find ourselves in without our very generous sponsors, led by our major corporate partners Williams Batters and Australian Venue Company. I would like to take this opportunity to announce that the Australian Venue Company has again confirmed their alignment for 2019, further increasing their financial commitment to the Club. A new initiative for 2018 ‘Coaches Corner’ has held two successful lunches, with a mission statement to be a ‘separately organised coterie for the sole purpose of supplementary football department funding’. Both lunches have been very well attended and with a third date soon to be released this is a not to be missed event. Our 'Cattle Club' continues to grow and with thanks to stalwart families of the Club, the Legoes, the Youngmans and the Gubbins this is a further avenue of funding vital to our Club as we look to progress.
I would like thank my fellow Committee members whose tireless work, knowledge and passion keeps the Old Geelong Football Club ticking along. To Jimmy Legoe, Jake Ward, Sarah Kirkwood, Nick Edwards, Cathie Kemp, Dougal Morrison, Nick Betts, Rorey James, Alistair Ewart, James Cole and the one and only Peter Lemon, thank you for your work.
To the wider OGs community, especially our 188 proud and passionate Pivot members, have a safe and restful week off and I look forward to seeing you at Como Park in the near future.