Welcome everyone to the 2018 Willoughby Wildcats JAFC Annual General Meeting.
The Clubs primary goal in 2018 was to succesfully manage the year without a home ground and have happy kids and provide a positive environment for all stakeholders.
By all reports this was achieved and the club had another oustanding year both on and off the field.
2018 was a successful for our club.
The highlights included :
• A record number of players and teams
• We fielded an inaugral U10 and U12 Youth Girls team
• We fielded two U12 Div 1 teams
• We had a record number of teams qualifiy for the finals which resulted in 2 Wildcat and 2 JV team Premierships
• Our Auskick program continues to be recognised as the premium Auskick program on the North Shore
• We had a record number of volunteers that now exceed over 100 counting our many coaches / managers and tireless army of other volunteers and of course the committee that drive the day to day workings of the club
• We continue to have a strong and healthy relationship with our youth JV Club the Mosman Swans.
• We staged a successful Social night
The key measure for our success as a club isn’t by reference to how big we are, nor how many games of footy or premierships we win, rather, we look to other more intangible measures, such as:
• our players and parents respect and adherence to the AFL code of practice
• are our kids having fun, improving their footy skills and meeting new mates
• are we providing a positive environment for both our kids and their parents
• are we teaching our kids, parents and coaches to play sport in a sportsman like way, that treats opponents fairly and respects the decision of the umpires; and
• are we promoting the game of AFL to be the best winter sporting code for boys
and girls to play such that it can compete with other codes and continue to be
one of the dominant winter sporting codes played on the Sydney North Shore?
As a club we continue to follow these principles which are the primary driver for our
success as a club – both on and off the field.
Another strength of our club is the defined player pathway with:
• the best Auskick program in Sydney that is run by an outstanding group of
• by far the greatest depth in terms of both player numbers, skill and depth for our
junior teams (9’s – 12’s); and
• our youth footy pathway is the envy of all others through our successful JV model
with the Mosman football club for the 13’s and up.
Our relationship with the North Shore Bombers continues to strengthen and we made giant steps forward this season with girls footy.
If I can now turn to some specifics.
As I mentioned earlier, we are one of the largest junior AFL clubs in NSW.
- In 2010 We had 285 registered kids playing AFL
- In 2018 we had 526 registered players
Under the guidance of Tony and David and their mighty crew of Auskick coaches that now number more than 25, we have continued to grow the quality and size of our Auskick program.
- In 2010 112 Auskickers
- In 2018 144+ Auskickers – without our home ground was a great result
We see the strength of our Auskick program as critical, as we see it as the “base of our pyramid”. The stronger and broader that we can build the base, the stronger and deeper our club becomes in future years.
Today’s Auskickers are the junior footballers of tomorrow and of course our youth footballers thereafter.
This comes about from the quality of the Auskick program they have experienced in our club’s football nursery and of course the quality and enthusiasm of our coaches /managers in our junior footy program. We should continue to follow the AFL Auskick and Junior players approved training drills and structures.
Junior pathway (U8 – U12)
This season we fielded a large number of teams in the junior competition, with all teams being competitive w
Fielding two u12 Div 1 teams shows the depth of our junior numbers and the quality of our training and players.
Our standalone U10 & U12 Girls team exceeded our expectations with the U12 rewarded for their hard work with a premieship.
Youth pathway (U13 – U17 JV)
The JV with Mosman (coming together of teams for youth footy) commenced at the start of season 2011 and is now eight seasons strong. The JV provides a number of benefits to our kids, namely it provides an environment at the right level of competition for the varying levels of talent that become more apparent as our players become older. Specifically it:
- allows individual kids to get more possessions and be involved;
- keeps kids enjoying their footy and playing longer; and
- provides a solid pathway from junior footy and then into senior footy with the likes of the North Shore Bombers which fielded two U19 teams in 2018 with a number of Wildcats parents as volunteers
We are able to offer both Div 1 and Div 3 football experiences to each of the youth footy age groups – 13’s through 18’s (with the exception on the U15’s in 2018), which we believe is a testament to the success of our JV with the Mosman footy club.
Whilst our JV with the Mosman footy club isn’t necessarily for ever, nor is it perfect, it is is something that we should all embrace and build to become an even stronger model as we move forward.
It was wonderful to see the spirit of the U15 YG’s in a diifcult year and U18 Youth Girls JV teams make the grand final.
Many of the youth teams qualified for finals with two teams winning the grandfinal:
U14:1 & U17:1 which is the Premier competition.
Congratulations to our players who qualified for rep teams and our individual youth competition award winners.
Increasing engagement in our club was a key focus area for us in the 2010 / 10 year strategic review. We gave ourselves a the key measure of success:
1. Number of volunteers
- In 2010 We had 50 club roles – including a committee and operations team of around 10 – filled by around 40 key people.
- As we move on from season 2018 – We have over 130 footy roles and Wildcat committee and operations roles that are filled by more than 100 different people.
We will continue to break up roles into manageable commitments, and engage families to be involved with the development of their kids. Special thanks to Steve Netting for his drive and energy and outstanding success in this area. 2018 is Steve’s last year as Director of Volunteers.
The Club is in a strong financial position. As you will see in the Treasurer report, losing our home ground in 2018 resulted in reduced expenses and with the continued sponsorship with Oak, Mirvac and Dixon Advisory revenue is strong. Thanks again to our valued sponsors and
The North Ryde Dockers for hosting the Wildcats in 2018.
Our Treasuer Marcus Elssum has done an exceptional job and if looking to pass on the baton.
Other notable mentions for season 2017:
- The JV Coach of the Year U17 Div 1 coach – Mark Leavy
- The Wildcats Coach of the Year U12 Yough Girls – James Cooper
- David Micheletti being awarded the Willoughby Wildcats Clubperson of the Year
- Steve Netting being awarded the joint Willoughby Wildcats Volunteers of the Year Award and Life Membership.
- The U11 and U12 YG age group doing another fantastic job – with both a profitable and enjoyable social night.
- Our many teams making it to the finals and the 4 teams that won grand finals
- A number of our teams featuring in halftime games at both the SCG and Spotless Stadium this year.
- Our strong relationship with the Ryde Dockers which allowed us to play many games at their home grounds.
- Our new 2018 Director of Sponsorship, Krissie Miller, in securing ongoing support from our exisitng sponsors and building new relationships and new sponsors.
- Tim Blazey for his investigation work on the new GHO surface and dealings with Council to ensure we will have a safe and leading edge facility.
Looking ahead / challenges / Improvements
- As the club continues to grow our number one challenge is maintaining our core
values and the quality of the Wildcats experience. We must continue to evolve to
maintain the Wildcats standard and quality.
- The development of Gore Hill Oval is an exciting project and will deliver the
Wildcats will the most advanced sythetic surface for AFL in Australia.
Co-ordinating the Wildcats “Club” football offering with that of the private school
Saturday AFL competition.
- Continue to improve and strengthen the effectiveness and ongoing operation of
the team JV with Mosman for our youth players.
- Continue to evaluate the impact of the AFL’s decision to move to a maximum of
16 on the field for all teams in 2018 and the apparent move by the AFL to
centralise the decision making structure for the competition.
Well done to the players and the way you have played your footy and represented
the Wildcats in season 2018 and 3 votes to all the hard work of our club volunteers
who have got us through this challenging year.
Thank you for the support of the numerous coaches, managers, volunteers and
committee members that we have. Without this support and energy, our club quite
simply wouldn’t be what it is today. A special thanks to our Management Committee,
Cath Harris (retiring), Marcus Elsum, Viv Micheletti and our Age Group Coordinators.
The club has grown in so many ways in 2018 and we are in great shape to return to
the new Gore Hill Oval in 2019.
We look forward to continued success next season with growth in our player
numbers and hopefully seeing some new faces to fill volunteer roles that will further
drive the success of our great club.
Go the Wildcats!