2013 Football Club Update

09 August 2013

On field we have under 18 & 19 teams in the finals mix, warriors in a semi final & senior teams fighting hard for valuable ladder positions.

As our big  50th Anniversary season enters the final straight, the Committee felt it is timely to provide an update on activities and progress at the club.

Our Aim continues to be  : “To Grow and Strengthen the Club”

To pursue this aim our key focus has been on communication and engagement with the football club, and wider school/local community. This focus has seen significant progress made on multiple fronts, albeit with a lot more work still to be done.

Communication/Social Media Plan: Effective communication drives growth. The Committee has embarked on a very proactive communication/social media strategy. Our 9,000+ hits/mth website, is on average carrying a new story every 3rd day. Club facebook is surging towards 800 friends, carrying at least one new story every day. A new facebook page has been established for u/18 & u/19’s with 107 friends (coaches/players) and it’s a hectic page of info and responses. Via sms the club sends a weekly “bernard’s buzz” message to approx 300 people at the club, plus additional sms around special events/news. We see social media as a fantastic platform to further ramp up our communication, for the benefit of the club and everyone involved.

Sponsorship: in the last two years the total number of local companies supporting the club as sponsors & key suppliers, is up by 56% from 25 to 39. This includes securing new major sponsor John Fawkner Hospital in 2012, plus into 2013 : Future Force Recruiting, Glenroy Bakery, Morfab Engineering, Moloney Property Group, Beauty on Rose, Oscars of Essendon, BBQ Bloke, Romano Coffee and a number of other kind sponsors.

Football Development: As an amateur club this has to be and is, our no1 on field focus. Growing sponsorship and membership is vital to the on-going expansion of our Football Development Program. The summer colts program has expanded and evolved into the “Football Academy” and across 7 teams in the senior club, we now have 15 coaches helping to develop our players into the best they can be. In a very positive sign, multiple players are being called up to TAC , VFL, and VAFA rep teams, for training squads and games.

50th Anniversary Special Events: the two standout projects were the 720 strong sell out “Celebration Ball”, including the Team of the Half Century. While Matt Mulkearns lead a skilful and hardworking team, to produce a first class and strong selling publication, the book of the half century “Forever Strong”. The 50th year events have successfully reconnected literally hundreds of people back to the club. This all occurred in addition to our usual major events, including another very successful Legends Day.

Womens Network : a ladies committee has been formed, and is being strongly lead by the industrious Angela McGuire. The ladies  have developed a data base of over 200 ladies, and once again staged a sell out Mothers day lunch, a big ladies charity lunch and provided strong volunteer support to other major events, including the Ball and Legends Day. The women of the club have always been tireless workers and great support behind the scenes, we would all be lost without them, and now this new “ladies network” provides the avenue to enhance the ladies engagement and enjoyment at the club.

Community Support: as a club we encourage and help our players to be positive members of the community, and the club as a whole can also play a very positive role. One aspect of this is to support worthwhile charities. This year a highlight was the “Liam Haven – Soldier On” lunch/game. The club proactively got involved with the inspiring young Liam Haven and raised $5,000 for his charity supporting injured soldiers. Late this year we were also able to lend our support to the Cathy Freeman Foundation, which gives educational assistance to indigenous children. The club continues to aspire to do many more positive things in the community as we go forward.

While progress on many fronts has been strong, the club faces some big challenges ahead including :

-working with the school to redevelop oval one and upgrade oval two.

- to find and develop a third oval so the club can continue to grow.

- to increase the success rate in recruiting players to both the junior & senior clubs.

- to continue to improve our football development program.

- to continue expanding our sponsorship and membership bases.

Conclusion:

Through our “communication and engagement” focus we believe the club has made significant progress on many fronts. We would very much like to thank all our members, players, sponsors, supporters, volunteers and workers, as without your enthusiastic support none of this progress would be possible.

We look forward to continuing to grow and strengthen the club, and reinforce St Bernard’s Football Club, as a very rewarding place to enjoy football and friendship.

 

All the very best to you and your family.

The Committee