First, to our sponsors for 2018 – the Melbourne Football Club, MFC Coterie, Dan Rogers (Rogers & Co Foods) – thank you all for your contribution to our Association during 2018.
On a very sad note, l would like to pass on my condolences to the Sylvia family on the tragic passing of Colin Sylvia. Colin, who was a Life Member of the Melbourne Football Club, playing over 150 games, will be sadly missed. The representation from the MFC at Colin’s funeral service was outstanding, showing the impact Colin had on many from our club. More than 20 past and present players attended, showing their respect.
Your Association has proved yet again to be highly productive and commercially successful during 2018. We have a healthy bank account that allows us to subsidise events like our match day family fun days and our annual reunion, as well as assist those in need. On field, 2018 was an exciting season for the MFC, with the boys making the finals, winning two finals against Geelong and Hawthorn respectively, then having to travel to Perth to take on the eventual premiers – the West Coast Eagles – in the preliminary final. What an exciting time this was for all Melbourne supporters.
Our major event – through the Ron Barassi Club – was in its third year in 2018, with over 150 attending the Ronald Dale Barassi Address Dinner, again held at the prestigious Queen’s Hall, Parliament House. A highlight during this evening was having the 1964 premiership players in attendance. It was fantastic to see them all, and we also presented the Ronald Dale Barassi Medal. The recipient this year was Mike Kostos, a name that exemplifies all characteristics essential for a successful journey throughout life and contribution to the MFC and wider community. Who will it be for 2019???
Still on the Ron Dale Barassi Address Dinner, we now reflect on what an extraordinary compliment it is to us as individuals and to our club as a whole that such an array of Australians were pulled together to support the cause of one of our principal agendas – ‘Life in the Fifth Quarter of MFC players and officials.’ Again, each and every speaker and artist donated their services as a gesture of goodwill and support to the ever growing need to recognise that, once you are part of the MFC family, the bonds continue throughout your entire life.
Our match day functions continue to be popular, creating an opportunity for our Association’s families and friends to enjoy a day at the footy in comfort. In 2018, these functions were held in Rd 1 vs Geelong, Rd 15 vs St. Kilda, and Rd 21 vs the Sydney Swans. This last occasion was a significant highlight, with around 200 attending, including many Swans’ past players and officials, engaging in an afternoon of great warmth, renewing old friendships and discussing our pursuits in the “fifth quarter” of our lives.
We have no doubt that these occasions create a sound foundation that assists in the development of truly great AFL clubs. On these occasions, our events are evidence of the imperatives around solid and well-structured camaraderie. The above example highlights the number of events that have allowed our Association members, together with our Coterians, to connect in a spirit of goodwill throughout the year. We continue to forge strong relationships with the MFC administration, and I thank all those in this area who have assisted, in particular Jackie Emmerton and Russell Robertson.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank your Association committee, with new members Paul Hopgood, John Ahern and Brad Green joining this year. These boys add a wealth of knowledge and passion for this great club, as well as assisting in keeping the average age of your committee below 50. Sincere thanks also go to my co-chair of the Ron Barassi Club and our Secretary/Treasurer – Spike Harris – for his incredible ongoing efforts with all facets of our groups.
For me, it is an honour to serve, and I continue with a high degree of enthusiasm to embrace the upcoming challenges for 2019.
With an exciting year behind us on the field, next year promises to be filled with high expectations, both on and off the field for the red and blue.
Merry Christmas to you all, and may 2019 be bigger and better.
Chairman, MFC P&PP&OA