OBGFC President’s Report 2017

2017 saw OBGFC celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Club in spectacular style.

In a highly successful year for all playing groups, we won Grand Finals in the Firsts and   Reserves, propelling the Club into A Grade. The U/19s and Women’s team (in its debut year) only just missed out on playing in the finals, demonstrating the solid talent that we have coming through.

Overall, an exciting and dedicated player group demonstrated that Old Brighton is a force to be reckoned with.

All players, coaches and everyone who contributed to a great year for the Club.

This year’s Robinson Trophy for Best and Fairest went to Harry Hill in the Seniors. Harry had a magnificent season, also winning the GT Moore Best and Fairest in the VAFA B Grade competition with 25 votes and 7 Best on Ground performances. Congratulations to Harry.

Reserves Best and Fairest was Marty Ho and in the Under 19s Tom Wallace took out the honours.

India Tate was named as a VAFA Rising Star finalist and the inaugural OBGFC Best and Fairest for the Women’s team.

The John Priestley Trophy for leading goal kicker was a draw, between Michael Karayannis and Alex Mastromanno.

Congratulations to all our Award Winners on their outstanding performances in the 2017 year.

Coaches led by Greg Hutchison

Greg Hutchison has done a fantastic job coaching and mentoring our young men and leading the coaching staff to achieve great success for the Club, personally coaching the Seniors to a premiership. Congratulations and thanks to Hutchy on a superb year.

Our Reserves also bagged the Premiership, demonstrating the depth of our playing talent and our Coaching talent. Thanks, and congratulations must also go to Ross Stewart for guiding the Reserves through to their outstanding win.

Congratulations to Peter Grant and Andrew Grant, who brought together a group who had  not all played together before to form a completely new Women’s team. A challenge that was well met, with the team having great success, only just missing out on a berth in the Finals.

And to Ryan Joseph another outstanding season coaching the Under 19’s.

The leadership, player development and guidance provided by all our coaches is fundamental to the success of the Club. Their role in leading the strong culture of our playing group plays a big part in that success. In addition to the Coaches, all those who support the players and the game day football operations deserve our congratulations and sincere thanks.

In other news, we are excited to have gained the services of ex Reserves coach Joe Coy to be football operations manager effective immediately.

 Life Members

We are proud to recognise the outstanding contributions of Jack Geddes and Tup Mullet, by awarding them the status of Life Members of OBGFC. Both have brought so much to the life of the Club over many years, and we are pleased to honour them in this way.

Our No.1 Ticketholders

I would like to acknowledge the support of our joint No.1 Ticketholders, Felicity Frederico and Tim Wilson MP. We appreciate the time and interest that you dedicate to OBGFC.

The member for Goldstein’s resounding congratulations to Old Brighton in our national Parliament, was certainly a high point in the life of the Club, and it is all recorded in Hansard for posterity.

Thank you to Felicity and Tim.

OBGFC Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020

Late November will see us start the process of reviewing the Club’s performance against our Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020. The 8 key areas of focus in the Strategy, first developed in 2016 are:

1 .   Governance and Organisational Structure

2 .   Facilities: Development of the Ground and Buildings

3.  Financials

4.  Player retention and recruitment

5.   Recruitment from BGS – BBFC

6.   Strong Presence in the local and wider community

7.  Form OBGFC Women’s Team

8.  Promotion to A Grade


1 .   Governance and Organisational Structure

As reported last year, in 2016 we surveyed around 60 players and the general feedback was that things feel like they are running well; things feel organised and players feel supported behind the scenes. I have no doubt that these feelings of being supported and things being well run, contributes to the players wellbeing and their ability to perform well on the field.

As we step up to A Grade, the level of competition will be tougher and our internal organisation will need to step up a level as well. A positive, unified and supportive culture on field and behind the scenes will be critically important to the Club’s success in A Grade.

At Old Brighton, we are very fortunate because the foundations of our Club – the hard work of past and present Committees; players; coaches, volunteers and supporters over time – all of this has given us a solid platform to continually build toward the future.

Starting in late November, the Committee will be working with a range of people including past and present players and past Committee members; coaches; supporters and friends of the Club to update our 5-year Strategy for Season 2018. This update is especially necessary this year because as a Club we have already achieved 2 of our 8 key goals. We have formed a highly competitive Women’s team, making OBGFC a foundation member of the VWAFA. We have also achieved our goal of promotion to A Grade.

Recognition and thanks must go to all Committee Members for their selfless efforts in ensuring that we remain relevant and progressive, continually seeking to improve all aspects of the Club in the community and in the top VAFA competition.

A special mention to outgoing committee member Louise Graham who has been a galvanizing strength in the forming of our Women’s Team in a whole new competition, developing our Club communications, organising the great success that was this year’s 60th Anniversary Ball and with her dedication to game day duties, including ensuring the successful operation of the canteen with Pauline Anthony. Louise’s contribution and service to the Club has been enormous and we are grateful to have had her as part of our hard- working Committee.

Another special mention and thanks to Rosie Jakobi for her continuous work, commitment and contribution to the Club, over many years.

The committee welcomed new member Richie Gee this year and Richie has done a fantastic job in increasing sponsorship and product in kind for raffles and auctions as well as rewards for the player group. Another great asset to the Committee.

2.   Facilities: Development of the Ground and Buildings

Negotiations with the Council continue, with ups and downs along the way. Most recently we went back to Council with a proposal for space that we believe is prudent for our operations, and is essentially similar to the space that we have now.  We now await confirmation from the Council in order to proceed with the architects on the actual layout. Special thanks to Frank Cavallaro who is leading negotiations on our part with support from Phil Anthony and myself.

It is evident at this stage that we may be required to establish a Building Fund.

3.  Financials

Details of our financial position are contained in the Treasurer’s Report but in summary we have continued to manage our position well. The Club will make a profit this year, although a small one because there were some significant costs incurred in re-merchandising across the whole Club. This expenditure was necessary because of a number of Sponsor logos on existing items were outdated and we also needed new uniforms to kit out the Women’s team.

4.  Player retention and recruitment

We are currently in the process of interviewing all players to determine their commitment to next season and we are confident that we will once again have a full list to put us in line of sight of finals in A Grade. Being an A Grade Club adds to the attraction of potential players coming to Old Brighton.

5.  Recruitment from BGS – BBFC

Things are looking positive with the likelihood of another influx of talented players from the school. Again, being an A Grade Club is attractive to potential recruits.

6.  Strong Presence in the local and wider community

We have continued and increased our engagement with the local community this year with involvement in Reboot and Orange Socks. The Club once again joined in the inspiring Connor’s Run and continued our support for local lad Will Murray. These last two causes concern young men from our local community who are known to many of our players, making our involvement truly meaningful for the Club.

Our women’s team also opens a whole other avenue for engagement with the local community.

Going forward, we will increase our efforts in ensuring the participation of more past and present players in these kinds of events.

7.  Form OBGFC Women’s Team

In 2017 OBGFC achieved one of its key strategic goals with the Women’s Team hitting the field in the Red and the Blue. A talented and highly motivated group, the Women’s team was coached to a highly successful season performance by past President and former Captain Peter Grant, together with his brother Andrew Grant. The players and coaches were supported by a Committee comprised of Louise Graham, Leanne Sargent, and Ben Verney. In this first year of the VWAFA, the team just missed out on the finals but displayed all the elements to get them to finals footy in the very near future.

8.  Promotion to A Grade

In my President’s Report last year, I wrote:

… if we continue to work on achieving our strategic aims and the things that all go to making a footy club great, then promotion to A grade will follow.

In 2017, in line with our Strategy, we have focused on the players, on recruitment and support, their welfare and wellbeing, we strived to make the Club inclusive for players’ families and other supporters. We have supported our coaches. We have built a Women’s team in a new competition. We continue to manage to ensure a healthy financial outlook and work towards building the facilities we need for the future. As a Club we sincerely engage with the Community.

A great footy club is only as good as it’s people, and we have some fantastic people at Old Brighton – that includes the players, coaches, the families and friends, the Committee, our fantastic volunteers, our generous sponsors and supporters. It is the positive, unified and focused energy and the culture of positive support that makes a Club strong. Season 2017 has been testament to all of that, and the result has been two Premierships, strong performances by our other 2 teams and promotion to A Grade. And we’ve had a lot of fun along the way.

Go Tonners, and bring on 2018 .