This is the last opportunity I have as President to express my thanks to the members of the West Adelaide Football Club. It has been an honour to serve the Club over the years in so many capacities, including the past two years as President and the last four as Finance Director. Over that recent period, I feel that the Board has managed to achieve much, despite difficulties.
- Effecting a $200,000 a year improvement in our trading results, meaning that all SANFL grant monies have been able to pay off long-term debt and not be swallowed up by trading losses.
- Ensuring that the Club properly recognised one of our legends, Mark Mickan, when his coaching term ceased. As many of you would know, I have had a long association with Mark, in my capacity as a trainer and team manager.
- Appointing Gavin Colville as our new coach. I have no doubt that Gavin will become a great West Adelaide coach if he is given the right amount of support. Over 30 years, I have rarely seen a group so united and enthused under a coach as is the case now.
On a personal level, as President I have tried to be innovative and forward-thinking.
- Playing a leading role in bringing women’s football at West Adelaide towards a vibrant and positive future
- Overcoming difficulties in widening West Adelaide’s reach to our community as the “Heart of the West”, including the first South Australian “Harmony Cup’, to take place at City Mazda on March 9th. I wish to acknowledge the significant efforts of Dr Joseph Masika, Andrew Marks and Ben Hopkins, who are working hard to now bring this about.
- Realising the lack of skills available to the Board in several areas, I suggested that we should augment the Board with a team of advisers to assist when needed. Unfortunately, this idea wasn’t put into practice, but I was pleased to introduce three new members to the Board: Nick Heuzenroeder, Rob Tidswell and Dr Joseph Masika. I am saddened that none of these three excellent Board members have continued under the new arrangements.
- I was keen to make our Board more diverse, and attended various Equal Goals Program events, speaking to people who had been through the Program, meeting with Jacqui Rose and introducing her to Board Members at the Club. I am pleased to see that she has now been appointed to the Board.
- I have enjoyed being on the Football Committee and being part of a recruiting team who identified prospects and this year succeeded in signing those we targeted. Even with salary cap restrictions, our recruiting was graded the best in the League this year.
- There have been difficult times over the past two years and it has been my sad task to attend 8 funerals of wonderful West Adelaide people this past year alone. There have also been people associated with the Club who have come to me with significant health and workplace issues and I have tried to assist in whatever way was open to me.
- My concern has always been for the ordinary West supporters, interacting personally and through social media with so many of them. I have enjoyed talking directly to the members of the Cheer Squad, our past players, our Dance Troupe and our volunteers and anyone who wanted to talk Westies.
- Finally, I was pleased to be involved in the ‘Team of the Centuries’ dinner, after learning of Neil Kerley’s vision for such an event, and being part of Neil’s committee. It was wonderful to be involved with the team who made this project a reality to honour our sensational past players.
I will be making a similar statement at the AGM to complete my duties as President and Finance Director. It has been an honour. Obviously I am very disappointed not to be reappointed by the Nominations Committee, but I fully support Murray Forbes and the new Board Members and wish them all the best for the Club’s future.
I will now be embarking on a new project to assist the Club.
We are in a much better place now than two years ago and I am confident we will only get stronger.
I hope I have played a small part in that.