Firstly I hope this finds you all healthy and well in these uncertain times. With stage 4 restrictions now in place across metropolitan Melbourne, we know that football is not a top priority when compared to the health and wellbeing of our community, but is something that many of us look forward to having it back in our lives.

BFC financials and fundraising

In my last report, I stated that the club would run at a loss for season 2020. I am delighted to report that thanks to fundraising campaigns and events, that is no longer the case. In 2020, we will run at a small profit, which will be reinvested into the club. It truly is a humbling and wonderful feeling to know that the Brunswick FC community cares so much for their club and its future. This is highlighted by the tax-deductible donations made through the Australian Sports Federation by many of our players, supporters, coterie members and the greater community. Many thanks to our contributors and also to our wonderful committee, who have set up and driven many of these initiatives. Don’t forget to add any donations you have made to your tax return!

Player memberships

As a result of our small profit, I am happy to announce we can offer two options to players who have paid their 2020 player membership:

  1. Full credit for the amount paid towards your 2021 player membership
  2. For those facing hard times due to COVID-19, we can provide full reimbursement of the amount paid. Please contact the club via email (brunswickfootballclub@outlook.com) and we will process the payments for you.

*Please note the $11 fee which was a direct payment to the VAFA is non-refundable.

VAFA Payment

Affiliation fees of 25% have been paid to the VAFA, which will ensure they have adequate staffing and resources required to run the 2021 season. BFC sees this as an investment in the league and community that we play in. We will continue to work closely with the VAFA to ensure the competition is fair and equitable for all clubs, and that players are playing only ‘for the love of the game’.

Coaching update

The club is excited to confirm the senior men’s coach Tim O’Dwyer has recommitted for 2021. Tim’s engagement of the players in these uncertain times has been fantastic, and he looks to lead a committed group that has him excited to start preseason later this year. You can read more on the Herald Sun website here.

Discussions have started with the senior Renegades coach Joe Larizza, and we hope to have an outcome for the Renegades soon also.

Events

Our events team have been hard at work keep our players engaged, and our events calendar will feature some new and ‘different’ events before the ‘season’ ends, providing some much-needed entertainment while we are in lockdown! The online trivia night was a great success, and while the ‘Change our Game’ event had to be postponed, we look forward to running it early in 2021.

Silver linings

To steal a line from the ever-positive Matt Roberts, every cloud has a silver lining. We might be in lockdown, however our beloved Gillon is undergoing an ‘isolation transformation’ which will see a new and improved Gillon oval when we return in 2021. As part of the $1million state government grant received, renovations have commenced at the club to provide a much-needed upgrade to our facilities. The social club will have major renovations completed to the bar, canteen, hallway and updates to the toilets which include a gender-neutral, accessible bathroom. In the change rooms, we will have:

  • upgraded flooring and trainer’s room
  • new umpire’s room
  • revamp of the gym and storage areas.

Finally, much to the applause of the spectators who have had to strain their neck to see the score during games, a new scoreboard will be built on the Hope street wing in a perfect viewing area!  The renovations and upgrades would have had a big impact on the club and spectators if our 2020 season had not been interrupted, so there are certainly some silver linings to look out for. It’s fair to say Gillon Oval will look completely different next footy season!

I hope you all stay safe and well, and look forward to seeing you all back at the club one day soon!

Jarryd Browne
President
Brunswick Football Club