Brett Connell – VAFA CEO
This weekend marks the close of the VAFA’s 125th year and upon reflection what a year it has been.
From the season opening game played under lights at Boss James Reserve in Hampton, where Hampton Rovers and Ormond’s women’s teams battled it out in April, there have been highlights a plenty.
From our VAFA Conference to our inaugural women’s lightning premiership and eventual season, to our Season Launch, matches disrupted by lightning, a terrific weekend of representative football with wins for both our women’s and men’s sides against country opposition, the 11th Annual Big V Club Lunch, the first sod turned in the Elsternwick Park Re-Development project, clubs gaining promotion into VAFA sections they had only dreamed of previously and some of our players getting ready to head off to another Ireland Tour.
We continue to grow in terms of team numbers, which adds greater workload to our already stretched volunteers – one of a few matters for debate and discussion as we plan for season 2018.
It has been a massive year all round and it all would not be possible without the wonderful network and band of volunteers who, in some cases, will be enjoying a well-earned break right now, or at last after this weekend.
We applaud every volunteer throughout our VAFA community, your untiring efforts make us what we are today – thank you sincerely.
We thank Owen Hinson (VAFAUA President) and the VAFAUA and all of their running members for their support and dedication, yet again this season. There is no doubt that in part the strength of the VAFA is due to the terrific work of the VAFAUA and their relationships with the VAFA and its clubs.
To the premiers Aquinas (D4), UHS-Vic Uni (D3), Prahran Assumption (D2) and PEGS (D1) – well done, enjoy the spoils of victory, the celebrations and remember you have just made club history.
Congratulations are also extended to the preliminary final winners Caulfield Grammarians (Premier C) and Old Scotch (Premier B), who both play off for premierships this week and, equally important in both cases, a return in 2018 to a higher section.
To the Collegians Football Club well done and congratulations, founding member club, playing off in the William Buck Premier Grand Final in the VAFA’s 125th year, is there an omen there – well they did win the A Section Premiership in 1992 the VAFA’s Centenary Year?
Time will tell I guess and standing in their way is the juggernaut which is SKOBs. I’m certain we’ll have cracking games to round out our 125th year on Sunday at Trevor Barker Oval Sandringham (Premier), not to mention Old Haileybury (Premier C) and Old Brighton (Premier B) who await their second semi-final opponents this Saturday, keen on revenge, at Casey Fields and Trevor Barker Oval respectively.
To our partners, in particular Sportscover, William Buck, Wilson Group and Holmesglen thank you for your terrific support and to all of our other contributing partners we extend our sincere appreciation for your continued allegiance.
Key stakeholders in Bayside City Council and AFL Victoria are acknowledged and thanked for their on-going partnerships which bring mutual benefit for us all.
In closing and on behalf of the VAFA Board and Staff we would like to wish you all a very safe and restful off-season, we look forward to working with and supporting all of our clubs and the VAFAUA in 2018 as we strive to take the VAFA to new heights in the years to come.
Enjoy this weekend’s round of footy and remember @ the VAFA “We’re still loving the Game”.
See you @ the footy.