At this early stage in the season it’s great to see membership numbers growing and a strong level of support for the club. Member numbers are up by twenty-six percent over last year, but we are still behind our target of fifteen hundred in total. I encourage you all to speak to friends and family to get behind the club. Membership is a statement of club support and provides many advantages for all participants, so get involved. There’s still a lot of footy to be played this year and there’s nothing more uplifting for the players than winning in front of a huge crowd of loud and loyal Westies members at home or away. We are seeing some really great signs of improvement on the field this season, so make sure you are there as part of our growing member base to enjoy the success.
Financially the club continues to perform well. At the end of April, half way into the financial year, profit is ahead of budget. Our cash position is still very favourable and allows us to plan for further investment in bolstering the sustainability of club activities. Your support of the Westies Bar and Bistro is very much appreciated and certainly goes a long way towards providing much-needed revenue for the club. It’s a great place to catch up for a meal or just a friendly drink at the bar. I can personally recommend the chicken schnitzel – my favourite.
I can’t help thinking about how fortunate we are in South Australia. We are almost back to normal after the pandemic took away most of our social activities for many months. It has been fantastic to see club events reappearing on our calendar, such as the highly successful senior men’s season launch and player auction held in late March, or the home game pre-match functions. The junior membership day held during the school holidays in April was very popular and it was great to see so many youngsters being put through various training drills by the players and coaching staff. There are plenty of events planned for the rest of the year. Please make sure you support them. I particularly want to mention the Hall of Fame and Westonians 50th Anniversary Dinner coming up on 29th of May. This is not to be missed. The venue staff are to be congratulated for the work they put into running all our club events. Our coterie groups, such as the Past Players and Officials, the Westonians and the History Group are much appreciated as well for the energy they invest into making sure that Westies members can always be involved at a social level.
Members will recall that the Patron of our club, the Mayor of the City of West Torrens The Hon. Michael Coxon addressed us at the February Annual General Meeting. The Mayor informed us that the Council was planning to invest $19.8 million over ten years (subject to funding) in the Richmond Oval precinct at Hisense Stadium with a view to opening it up to the greater West Adelaide community. Mayor Coxon explained how the proposed investment would bring more people to Richmond Oval by offering many more recreational activities, thereby adding to and enhancing the vibrancy of the whole precinct. It is envisaged that this will create more opportunity for West Adelaide Football Club to engage with our local community. I’m pleased to let you know that the first stage of the greater plan for further development at Westies is contained in the Preliminary Conceptual Masterplan attached and that Council intends to engage formally with WAFC on the final design brief. In conclusion, work (expected to cost $1.8 million) will commence on stage one at the end of the current footy season. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mayor Coxon and the Council for all the work they have done to get the project to where it is, and for their vision and insight into the precinct improvements that are to come.
As we ponder the future, please don’t forget the West Adelaide Football Club Trust. Officially re-launched this month, it provides a way that all Westies members and supporters can leave bequests and donations to the club in a tax-effective manner. These proceeds go into a future fund which will help to strengthen the club even further in the years ahead. Thanks very much to the several generous benefactors who have already made donations into the fund. If you wish to be involved, please contact the club.
In the meantime …….. go Bloods!!