The AGM provides a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the year that was, as well as offering some well-deserved praise and thanks.
To start my report – a sad reflection from 2022 with Tigers Legend Doug Simpson passing away. This time last year we learned of Doug’s health complications and provided him a fantastic card of well wishes from our members.
Doug was known for his passionate support of the Hobart and Longford Tigers, attending games at the TCA Ground and Longford Recreation Ground in alternate weeks.
He had a positive outlook and rich sense of humour, and was loyal to his mates and his Tigers! Doug will always have a place in the Top Bar on game day in our hearts and minds. Rest in Peace mate.
Doug’s Place in the Top Bar
On a more positive note, I don’t usually highlight my fellow directors, but this year I will. To the Board of the Hobart Football Club, thank you for your tireless hours of work behind the scenes, your friendship and for support of both myself and this fantastic football club.
To my Vice President, Russell Cripps thanks for having my back and being a ‘wise’ head that I can test in all sorts of thoughts and scenarios with.
Bronwen our Secretary, thanks for your thankless work in taking minutes and generally being a fantastic contributor.
Rendell, thanks for your tireless work and advocacy on delivering value to our sponsors. The work you do is outstanding and the long support from our sponsors and the substantial increase in revenue in a time of ‘belt-tightening’ is testament to your work. Well done on adding ‘Your Hobart Health’ and ‘Spreyton Cider’ to our list of valued sponsors.
Marcus, our Treasurer who a lot of you haven’t met. Thanks for coming on board this year, to a role which we struggled to fill and for your passion for the role so far. I’ve seen you really grow into the role so far and you’ve been valued greatly.
Michael, your considered discussion at board level and real understanding of how people work is invaluable.
Finally to our outgoing Directors
- Scott Quinn – thanks for your passion and tireless work for this club. It will be hard to replace you, and we appreciate all the work which you have done for this club.
- Maralyn McVilly – a Hobart Supporter for life, you’ve stepped up to the board after decades here and been very passionate about growing membership and supporting this wonderful football club. Thank you for your contributions over an enormous period of time
I’d encourage anyone considering joining the Board to get in touch, it is a challenging role, but one which is incredibly fulfilling also.
Thanks also to our sponsors who we wouldn’t be here without. On behalf of the Hobart Football Club, I would like to acknowledge the massive and important support by all our sponsors, without whose support the Club would struggle to survive.
I would like to thank Major long term sponsors Co-Op Toyota, McDonald’s North Hobart and CDC Development, more recent Major sponsors Butler McIntyre and Butler, Falls Real Estate, Globe Hotel/Cellarbrations and new sponsors for 2022 Your Hobart Health and Spreyton Cider. We would also like to thank all of our other sponsors, as listed on the final page of this report.
I’d particularly like to thank our community partners including the Rotary Club of Hobart, which does a fantastic job in supporting our club through running the gate. I’d also like to thank our community partner, Clubs Tasmania which has supported the club to save on it’s power bill in 2022 onwards and will continue to leverage new opportunities for our club. Thanks of course to our Patron the Hon. Elise Archer MP.
I said it last year, and I’ll say it again – to our volunteers, members and supporters, thanks to each of you. You are the lifeblood of this Football Club. Each of you make this club a better place, and I know I’m thankful that you continue to be a part of it.
To our players, be it in the juniors, seniors or masters, thank you for wearing the famous Hobart Football Club jumper (or Hobart Masters jumper) proudly each week and for your contribution to the rich fabric of our club.
The club’s financial performance this year was poorer than the 2021 season, with COVID and the absence of an Under 19s program seeing a decrease in revenue at home games.
Generally a tough economic climate has seen a decrease in revenue from Tiger Lotto, as belts tighten. We really need the members help to either find new subscribers or to jump on board and support Tiger Lotto if you can. Get in touch if you can assist.
As I said last year, it remains clear that the current business model of the HFC is not sustainable, and as a board and a club generally we have a lot of work to do to ensure the HFC continues as an important part of the community for the next generation.
We are working hard with AFL Tasmania Volunteers Coordinator Joe Chivers to ensure our systems and process are the best they can be to recruit and retain volunteers. Thanks to Joe for his fantastic work through the year, and I hope that AFL Tasmania can retain him for a long time; his work is invaluable.
In 2022 the club finally secured a full liquor licence, which we hope will help us to drive revenue from non-club functions.
Throughout 2022 worked with Clubs Tasmania to reduce our electricity bill and partner with other organisations such as the Hobart International fundraiser which is currently occurring in January 2023. We also continue to work with Rotary Club of Hobart to support our volunteers.
2022 also saw the club’s senior players supporting our volunteers through providing support in the canteen during the second half of the season. We recognise that while it becomes increasingly difficult to attract volunteers, this kind of support will be a necessary. With that said the players were incredibly supportive and their efforts were appreciated.
During 2022 following a proposed new sports ground hire fee being introduced charging Kingborough Council sporting clubs $15 per hour to train and play, I provided some media commentary around the excessive fees which the club pays the City of Hobart for using the TCA Ground ($55 hour to train, $90 hour to play). Following this I presented to the Parks and Recreation Committee who has commissioned council to review their fee model. Following the recent Council Election, I will shortly reach out to the Chair of the new committee structure to raise this issue, as I understand our members have long held views around the inequity of the fees our club faces. These fees are yet another barrier to us being sustainable.
While we are proud of our Junior Club, we know we’ve got work to do to have a full complement of juniors. The reality is the lifeblood of any organisation is the people, and we need more young people and their families filtering through to our club. It remains of the utmost importance to our club’s future, and to the Hobart community that we can work closely with the Sandy Bay Junior Football Club to ensure players continue past Youth Football.
This is why I have had several discussions with executive members of the Sandy Bay Junior Football Club and with other key stakeholders. These conversations have some way to go, and haven’t progressed at the pace we would like, but I’m confident the positive opportunity remains to work together. The impending collapse of the TSL after the 2023 season presents an exciting opportunity for the Hobart Football Club to determine it’s own destiny, and we know a sustainable youth pathway is a part of this. The HFC has no interest in being a two-team club, and recognises the need to have strong junior, mens, womens and masters football programs. We will continue to update and inform our members surrounding upcoming changes to Tasmanian Football and the opportunities which it presents our club.
The Football Season:
What an eventful 2022 it was, with the year starting with the borders opening and rampant COVID cases making event planning and revenue raising very difficult. This delayed the start of the 2022 pre-season.
We had the fantastic pre-season camp at Coles Bay and I was impressed by the group’s closeness, effort and professionalism. The Tye Bennett Cup stayed in the Den and a solid practice match against St Pats saw us heading into the season proper.
The season would have plenty of challenges including COVID, injuries and the emergence of a younger group following the loss of some more experienced players.
Our playing group was one which we are proud of and represented the Hobart Football Club proudly at all times, never throwing in the towel. We had three or four close finishes which went against us and ultimately those games were “eight point games”. Despite coming seventh, we really weren’t that far away from the last spot in the Top Five. We are optimistic of where this group can go in the next season and beyond.
As this young energetic nucleus pushes through to 50 senior games we truly believe the club will see the benefits for years to come.
Our Reserves Program struggled as numbers dropped off with injuries, COVID and work commitments. Unfortunately Reserves Coach Steve Joseph had to step down around two thirds of the way through the season, we thank Steve for his commitment and the continued support of our club. I am please to announce that for Season 2023 Damian Butler is on board as our Reserves Coach, Damian has an impressive CV at the DOSA Football Club and we welcome him on board following a thorough selection process.
A personal highlight from 2022 – at the height of our player shortage even I had to “pull the boots on”, although you’d be excused for saying I didn’t do much. But one thing I was really proud of was the commitment of our Hobart Masters (over 35s) group to step-up and put their bodies on the line to ensure our club could put a team on the park, providing over nine fill-in players. What a great culture!
Other personal highlights from the season included the fantastic speaker Robert Shaw at our Annual President’s Luncheon, make sure you don’t miss the 2023 edition.
2022 also saw the club celebrate its rich history, with a return to the famous Pre WW2 Cananore strip in our home game against Cygnet. Well done to John Mathers for his work supporting replicating the original Cananore design, which looked fantastic. Thanks to David Charlesworth for attending training on the Thursday Night prior and talking about his family connection with Cananore.
2022 Cananore Strip – Seniors v Cygnet (TCA Ground)
Photo courtesy of Paul “Hutch” Hudson
Our last home game against Huonville saw the culmination of our change to our Playing Life Membership Policy with a number of deserving life members presented with their awards.
This included playing life memberships being awarded to
Josh Dykes, Luke Sullivan, Daniel Gray, Mark Beck, Sam Reeves, Brent Dickson, Damian Wickham
Ben Hughes, Mathew Harvey, Mark Knott, Clint Stewart and Andrew Lemm
As well as Roger Munro and Debbie Atwell being recognised for their contributions to the HFC.
Our new life members in attendance on the day.
The past players event was well attended and made for a fantastic day which we will look to repeat in 2023 and beyond. Past Players should ask their fellow teammates to add them to the “Hobart FC Past Players Facebook Group” to find out more.
The life members in attendance on the day – what a group!
Thanks for reading, and thanks for having me as your President, here’s to a positive 2023.