2016. President’s Report. Feb 5 2016

Well it’s only 8 weeks now until the sound of leather on willow gives way to that familiar siren that heralds in the start of another great footy season.  It seems like only yesterday that we were hosing out the rooms for the last time for the 2015 season.  Hopes are high again for another successful season with a number of changes being made in the coaching ranks.  Brad Cooper as you know has been reappointed as head coach and this year his assistant will be Wes Glass.  Wes has been a great find for the club and his family has been a great addition to our community.  Reserves coach this year is a Macleod.   No, not the one we all came to know and love all those years ago but Terry’s son, ‘Bucket” junior.  Andrew has been sweating on making his coaching debut for some years and I’m sure he’ll do a fine job.  Bucky this year will be assisted by the experienced and well regarded, Darren Saxon.  Darren brings to the table a really good footy head and good man management skills.  Unfortunately this year we won’t have the services of Jimmy Buckley who has left town for other pursuits.  Jimmy was at times the concrete that bound the club together and as such his often evangelical approach to mateship, discipline and teamwork will be sorely missed.

During the so-called off season the footy dept. have been doing their utmost to attract some more talent to the club.  As you all know we have a constant stream of players using our revolving door.  Fortunately, many stay and add immeasurably to the fabric of the club. It’s these people that bring untold wealth in terms of  footy knowledge and a lot of little things that make a difference.  This not only applies to players but to those that come from far and wide that help off the field as well.  This year will be the first year I can remember Robby Barnett will not be part of the committee.  Rob is a life member in the true sense in that he has spent a good percentage of his life helping around the club in many different ways.  Rob also served as president for a number of years as well.  Fortunately, Rob will still be around the club and still dishing up those little culinary delights every Thursday night, together with Head Chef Normie!!

This year sees a couple of changes in the make-up of the CAFL.  Firstly is the reinstatement of Manunda Hawks to the league after serving a twelve month suspension.  The league really needs to be growing and not shrinking and I really welcome the return of the Hawks.  The other exciting development for the league is the addition of Pyramid Power to the league.  They will field, initially, a reserves side and in 2018, graduating to the senior ranks to become a full  member of the CAFL. For those that haven’t heard of Pyramid Power, they are a Gordonvale based club that have been playing in the Junior completion for the best part of 10 years.  They have a great supporter base and a very strong committee.  I’m sure, as their name suggests, will become a power sooner rather than later.  As you’ll notice in the attached draw, there will be a triple header played most weekends to accommodate the new club.  In essence it means that the reserves competition will not have a bye other than for representative weekends.  Overall, it’s great to see the competition growing!!

As you all know, it takes a lot of money and many hundreds of man hours and chook raffles to run a successful football club.  During the last few months the committee have been working overtime to retain and obtain new sponsors.  This type of support is vital to our existence.  Believe me when I say that we are live within our means.  We are now one of only two clubs in the competition that aren’t beholden to the Cairns AFL for financial benefits.  This situation should remain this way!!  That is not to say that we shouldn’t accept support from the CAFL for certain projects but in a number of cases they have control over the ground, the social club and the liquor licence.  These situations often come about through inexperienced committees, over spending on players and coaches and overall mismanagement.  I have a great respect for the current heads of these clubs but unfortunately they can’t undo what previous administrations have created.  All I can say is that your club will work with the strict budgets it sets prior to the start of each season.  What is important to know is that the money raised this season has a very important effect on the budget for next season.  Therefore, if we raise more in revenue than is expended then the budget outcomes for the following season are generally quite positive.  Having said that, we are in need of new sponsorship.  Whether it be by way of gift vouchers, 200 club membership or a major contribution that will see your name on the jerseys and all our club paraphernalia.  If you’d like to make a financial or in-kind contribution to the club it will be greatly appreciated and will be spent appropriately.

Over the years the club has been at the forefront of innovation and we are always looking for ways of making the club a better one and creating an environment in which we can grow and become more successful.  As a result, I’d like to throw the floor open to you and get your (constructive) feedback on ways in which we can take the club forward.  Issues that need to be addressed are things like the makeup of coterie groups like the 200 Club for example.  Others include, spectator facilities, club membership, social events and anything else you’d like to talk about.  Please feel free to email me and we’ll take everything on board and discuss at committee level.

As a draw has now been announced we can start to put our social calendar together.  We have a number of great functions events and social initiatives planned for the year including the a PinK Day on the 7th of May in support of Pink in the Tropics.  As you all know these pink events promote breast cancer awareness.  I’m sure everyone of you will know someone who has been effected by this dreadful cancer.   This, together with the reunion of our first premiership team on the 18th of June will be highlights of a really busy year.  Stay tuned, there’s heaps more to come!!

All the very best

Greg Nicholson