Well, what a mixed set of on-field results for the season so far. The senior men’s side has really struggled, remaining winless at the end of round six with three of those games proving to be real blowouts on the scoreboard, while the women’s season has been extremely difficult with the loss of several players through drafts and injuries. Certainly the shining light so far this season have been the men’s reserves and under-18 sides, which is a real testimony to the strategy of developing young players to come through the ranks and ultimately feature in the senior team.
As we pause to take a breath during the bye weekend, the football department will be working hard to review the plans for the rest of this season making sure that no stone is being left unturned. I want to say a huge thankyou to all those senior players who have devoted so much time to welcoming and mentoring the upcoming juniors as they debut in the league side. There have been thirteen debutants so far this season, and the time and energy that is being invested in those players will certainly pay dividends in the weeks ahead. We thank those loyal and faithful members, supporters and sponsors of the Club who have continued to stay with us during the hard times. I know it’s sometimes not easy to believe that better results will eventuate, but they certainly will as we keep striving towards our goals. It’s never been easy for Westies, but when we do succeed it’s sweeter than ever. I know that success is not far around the corner and I urge every one of us to stay on course to celebrate our achievements as they come.
During the last few days we’ve said farewell to several key Club personnel who are leaving us to pursue other activities. I wish to express my sincere thanks and best wishes to Airlie and Ruby in the front office who have devoted many hours over and above normal duties to make sure that the operations of the administration department have gone smoothly. I also acknowledge the enormous contribution made to the Club by Mark Moody who is retiring as Senior Coach of the women’s team. Moods has been an incredible mentor to so many young people, taking the women’s team to its first ever grand final in 2021. We know that Airlie and Ruby will still be following Westies, even as they take up their next challenges in life. And certainly Moods will be a very welcome presence around the Club in the future as well.
It gives me great pleasure to let you know that Josh Ryan has taken up a communications and marketing role at the Club. He will be working closely with our CEO Conny Wilson to make sure that all stakeholders receive effective and timely information and updates about Club activities. Josh has played a pivotal role in the senior men’s team and is part of the leadership group. I know that he will add so much value to the daily operations of the Club. Speaking of Conny, this month marks her sixth month at the helm as CEO and she is definitely making her mark on the running of the Club. Although it’s early days, she is meeting the challenges that are placed before her with the enthusiasm and positivity for which she is renowned. I look forward to seeing the benefits that will accrue to Westies as Conny works through implementing the improvements that are on her to-do list. She has been the driving force behind securing the upcoming Russell Ebert tribute match and I know that she is very driven towards strengthening our ties in the Riverland.
The Board of the Club will soon be nominating someone to take up the role of Women’s Football Director. This will take the number of directors to nine and will certainly strengthen the strategic direction of the women’s football program. The whole Board is working very diligently on securing the future of the Club and has just ratified the new strategic plan for the next five years. You can read it on the Club website under the “inside West Adelaide” menu in the “resources” tab. This strategic plan sets the framework for all the operational projects of the Club for the immediate future. I encourage you to provide any feedback about it.
Finally, if you haven’t yet renewed your Westies membership for 2022 there is still time. Please encourage your friends and family to sign up as well. Let’s remain stronger together and ensure the continued growth of our Club.