Editorial: VAFA football returns

Posted on - Latest News, Featured

George Voyage – VAFA President

Welcome to everybody and let’s hope we can have a full and successful 2021 season.

The year ahead promises to be full of challenges both on and off the field and hopefully all is in place to deliver a great season.

A lot of work has gone into the preparation for 2021 since the cancellation of the 2020 season.

Recently, we have welcomed three new VAFA Board Members in Dean Matthews, Frank Dunell and Terry McEvoy.

It is opportune to also acknowledge the outstanding contribution from outgoing Board Member, Jeffrey Jankie, and of recent retiring long-time staff member, Brian Goodman.

I would also like to recognise the efforts of our CEO and VAFA Administration team during the 2020 COVID crisis.

The Board recently conducted an off-site meeting to discuss a range of issues and begin implementing the strategic plan for 2022-2024.

The key over the next three years will be setting the direction for the Association and how we want to develop as a competition moving forward.

Our core values and unchangeable rock are our amateur status and ethos. Our objective is to develop our strategy, plans and processes to ensure a high quality, progressive, amateur competition.

We welcome back our Premium Partner: William Buck, Major Partners: Holmesglen Institute and Epworth and Official Sponsors: Bendigo Bank – East Malvern, Victor Sports, Concave Boots, Orthosport, BJS Insurance Group, Tahbilk, Anytime Fitness, Sherrin, Club Warehouse.

We greatly value their vital contribution and support.

With the season ahead, I would like to outline some of the key strategic matters the Board has been working on and will be implemented by our Admin staff:

Initiate new club support programs:

  • Complete governance review
  • Consolidate commercial and fundraising initiatives
  • Facilities review
  • Execute on competition review recommendations
  • Undertake women’s umpiring campaign and pathways
  • Elsternwick Park Precinct Plan
  • Update VAFA Environmental Policy
  • Update VAFA Alcohol Policy
  • Implement Diversity Policy
  • Laying a platform for club sustainability
  • Expanded the PREPP Group; responsible for reviewing incoming permits, registrations, eligibility, and individual player points.
  • Advisory groups for our various competitions
  • The Player Points situation is being revisited and continually monitored

Concussion is a very serious focus and the VAFA policy, which is directly in line with the AFL policy, must be strictly adhered to.

The VAFA has joined with Monash University and the Alfred Hospital who are conducting research and treatment of head injuries. All clubs have been informed of this program which applies to all players of all ages, clubs, and divisions.

In addition, we have the COVID protocols which must be followed by everyone. It is absolutely essential that at all levels everyone observes the rules and follows the regulations.

If there is a COVID disruption to the season, we ask that everyone be patient as we have flexibility in the fixturing, rules, and ladder calculations in case of such an occurrence.

The modified alcohol policy is not to be misinterpreted to be anything other than what has been clearly outlined in our updated version of the policy. The two amendments will be introduced to encourage reserves players to remain on sight and, where possible, conduct their after-match presentation with a drink and bite to eat.

The other is to provide an extension to certain match-day luncheons. We hope this will be helpful in building relationships within each club. It is not to be considered an open slather drink-fest, and any transgression of the rules will not be tolerated.

Our media team is now live streaming matches every week throughout the home and away season, which will present exciting opportunities for clubs and sponsors alike.

We are working closely with the VAFAUA to ensure a strong platform of enjoyment and respect to all officials as well as achieving key targets of standards, recruitment, and retention.

2021 will also see the introduction of our over 35 Masters competition.

I would also welcome all new Club Presidents, volunteers, and our whole VAFA community.  We have missed each other and the wonderful competition. We are more than just football.  We provide a safe, caring environment and a place of belonging for everyone.

Good Luck!

Let the 2021 season begin!