Retiring coach Will Ryan has been given the club’s highest honour after taking Figtree to its maiden senior premiership.
The 29 year-old was delighted to receive the rarely presented Chairman’s Special Award for extraordinary service.
“I didn’t even know about this award, so I’m overwhelmed to receive the honour. It is very special to me but I must reflect it back to everyone who’s come along with me on the journey in the past four years.”
Club chair Neil Rowsell singled out Ryan for his outstanding commitment to the Kangaroos, after the coach took the reins four years ago in difficult times.
“It was halfway through the 2017 season and our senior coach just up and left. I’d had plenty of complaints up until that point about selection... I’ve not had not one complaint since. Will’s brought an honesty, respect and professionalism that was not there before.”
The long-term chair tracked Ryan down on Saturday night at the pub to deliver the medal, after the club claimed all of the men’s premierships across the AFL South Coast’s three grades.
“As chair, I’m over the moon. Even though we didn’t win premierships in every grade across the junior and senior competition, every boy, every girl and every man has played like a champion.”
It’s the second time the special medallion has been awarded in Rowsell’s eight years leading the club.
Ryan says the award caps-off a season like no other.
“Even though it was a short season, it’s taken us four years of effort to build. You don’t win three flags unless the club is in a great spot.”
Ryan retired as a player four years ago due to concussion issues.
The professional physiotherapist now choosing his moment to focus on family.
“My wife Nicole has always been patient and understanding knowing how important the club has been to me. But family and work now need to be a priority. Coaching has been something I’m lucky to have fallen into, especially with such an abrupt start.”
The dad to Charlotte says he’ll always be part of the club and has not ruled out an eventual return to coaching.
As for next season, the chair remains excited.
“Will has set up an environment where we’re flooded with players wanting to come to our club. While Will has retired he’s left behind a system and a group of people ready to take us into the future.”
Empty memorials don’t mean empty hearts.
This online service featuring Wollongong landmarks will help you commemorate Anzac day and its traditions from your driveway, house or nursing home.
15 dedicated volunteers joined up for the second Kangaroos-Saints meeting of the year.
Chair Neil Rowsell lead the streamlined meeting with reports submitted a week prior via Google Drive and email. The process enabling committee members to pre-digest details
and only ask for clarification during the meeting.
A few e-hiccups remain in the automated process with tech-savvy secretary Monica McTiernan urging everyone to embrace the “auto-magic” of calendar invitations for
reminders and updates. The pre-digestible documents include committee reports and payments needing approval by treasurer Frank Serrano.
The Michael Dobie-facilitated organisational structure chart was adopted at the meeting, paving a clear way for the two clubs to integrate.
Faster than a handball drill, the committee punched through sub-presidential and sub-committee reports.
Some highlights included;
● Glen, Will and Bruce have identified the video camera, cables and microphone to allow Figgy to hop into the digital age
● Saints chair Casey Moane was keen to emphasise AFL South Coast is ready and willing to help the team integrate into the league with the contribution of resources. A “Grants wish list” is one of the shared e- documents we’re all encouraged to use, by noting both
the item and a rough costing
● The Saints are still waiting for their data to be transferred from the Sydney comp
● Fresh off the back of training and straight into the committee meeting the Saints girls claim they don’t sweat
● Figgy is hosting an Auskick Come and Try day Sunday February 23. All associated with the clubs are urged to promote it.
● Planning is underway for a number of pre-season games. Glen says the Tathra bushfire relief game is 90 per cent likely with issues around transport. (Author’s note; Does anyone own a bus or have a friend who does? A Learjet would be fine.)
● The Saints may not play the Tathra pre-season game as it coincides with the AFLX weekend... and like any good champions, they’d like to defend their crown
● Michael reported The Figtree Hotel is keen to continue its sponsorship but a bug bear remains about club members, fans and family needing to join the Hotel’s membership program and then align it to the Roos. The last move’s so critical to show our support for the hotel, Michael may soon shoot a video to show how easy it is. Pub membership is free
● Registrations are a little like Wollongong's summer rain... A little dry but picking up. Thanks Karen
● It seems the senior men so loved the ball last year, they’re keen to hold another formal event this year. It would be a joint fundraiser without formal speeches and organised by the men’s and women’s teams. Casey requested no sweaty boys in the organising meetings... again reinforcing the Saints girls don't sweat
● Other big nights for the club and yet to be confirmed by Jane, will include a July trivia night and the October presentation dinner
● Josh has clothing well in hand, with the Saints happy to share their wardrobe
● And speaking of clothing. Sean led a strongly supported conversation about rewarding junior players at milestone matches. Yet to be agreed but 50 and 100 gamers would be presented with a polo, jacket or bag. More to come.
And speaking of more to come... We'd love your help
running the club, canteen or cooking the barbie.
Hop into season 2020 with a saintly attitude by helping your
club and community.
The Kangaroos hop into 2020 with some Saintly advice at the first committee meeting of the year.
Well-rested after the festive break, the Figtree Kangaroos and Wollongong Saints are all set for the season ahead.
Chair Neil Rowsell welcomed the volunteer committee to its first monthly meeting of the year on Wednesday night with a passionate call out to the Figtree footy community.
“We're looking forward to a great season but with your help it will be awesome.” The long term clubman pressing the point that more volunteers are needed to run the club from the committee to the canteen.
Michael Dobie led the dozen attendees in an exercise to help restructure the club, incorporating the tremendous inclusion of the Saints.
The successful women’s team is happy to be joining forces with the Roos at Figgy Oval as part of the AFL South Coast competition.
Saints president Casey Moane says while the team will retain some independent committee functions, the multiple premiership winning side is excited to join forces and share resources and knowledge.
All Saints committee members are players and use Google Drive and other smart technology to run the club.
Casey caused plenty of laughter pointing-out the age difference between the two former committees and the younger generation’s willingness to embrace technology. Most of the Roos’ committee are parents and even grandparents of players.
Senior Men’s President Glen Cook encouraged the committee to embrace online media and is in the process of working with Senior Coach Will Ryan to purchase a broadcast quality camera and microphone. The footage to be released to local media and used on both clubs’ social media.
Glen also prompted all players to make use of early-bird discounted player registration, with fees to rise at the end of January after being frozen for three years.
New treasurer Frank Serrano was warmly welcomed into the much-avoided but critical role. His experience in tender writing and managing multi-million dollar projects will be a massive asset to the club.
Sean Kendall is again the Juniors President and requested permission to buy new balls for the club saying, “You can’t run a football club without footies.”
And you can’t run a footy club without volunteers... please step up, even for a couple of afternoons and help the Roos kick some goals.
If you can bring your passion, work expertise or even a simple desire to help, you'll be welcomed with open arms.
To register your interest as a volunteer, please contact the ever-helpful club secretary Monica McTiernan on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access reports and minutes use link below
Figtree AFC Blog
The Figtree AFC Blog is a place to share up to date information to the wider community. Please feel free to comment on any of the posts but keep in mind the club motto Family, Fun, Footy.