President’s Message to Members and Supporters – July 2021
As we emerge from yet another COVID lockdown, it’s imperative that we remain united in our efforts to keep the club moving forward. Despite the uncertainty ahead, we must ensure that we remain positive and focus on providing as much support as possible to all facets of the club. Knowing the passion and dedication of Westies supporters, I am certain that it won’t take long to get back on track.
Recently I’ve heard the expression “green shoots” from several club members. It’s heartening to know that we are starting to see some improvements in the style of football we are playing. There is no doubt that our senior men’s side is more competitive this season, even though we are not yet seeing this reflected in our position on the ladder. We’ve seen slight increases in some of the on-field statistics this season, but player injuries have taken their toll and not allowed us to exploit the opportunities before us. It really is a matter of remaining patient, something at which all Westies supporters are very well experienced. I recall being at the members-only open training night back in March this year, where we received some insights from Brad Gotch about his plans for the team. Brad explained his vision for a new game style and new training methods but urged us all to be patient. He insisted that we wouldn’t see results overnight and we needed to stay the course with him and his team. Personally, I’m more than prepared to do that. I urge all true Westies people to do the same.
When we take a united view of the footy performances of the whole club, our overall improvements are very noticeable. Our women’s side played in the grand final this year. Our reserves side sits at 7 wins and 7 losses at the end of round 14, compared with 3 wins and 11 losses in 2020. Our under-18 side sits at 9 wins and 4 losses, compared with 1 win and 13 losses last year. Green shoots indeed. I’m confident that these gains will quickly filter through to the senior men’s results and will encourage greater attendances at all Westies games as supporters get behind the teams. Supporter attendance is crucial if we are to become the club that we deserve to be.
Financially we continue to perform adequately. We are not yet sure of the impact of the COVID closure on our results for July, but we do know that we have generated approximately $110k of consolidated net profit and cash earnings to the end of June 2021 from club operations. This is nowhere near adequate to fund growth into the future. Although it allows us to remain stable, we need to find new ways to impact the club’s bottom line. This is currently high on the agenda for the Board of Directors. And of course, our ability to support a reasonable salary cap is very much dependent on the profitability of the club. It’s so important that we get right behind all club activities to make sure that we can generate the extra revenue we need.
This pandemic continues to play havoc with our plans. Carefully planned events, like the Gala Auction, are being postponed until we are confident that we can provide a safe and fantastic experience for all attendees. We are in the hands of SA Health with the timing of many activities, and we ask for your understanding and support during this period. I trust that you and your families stay safe and healthy and I look forward to catching up with you very soon. In the meantime ……..