As we finally take a deep breath after a year like no other, we again thank you for helping to keep our club going in 2020.
Obviously, losing the Grand Final was bitterly disappointing but we won’t let that blind us to what was achieved. Challenges came in so many forms and affected everyone in our club.
Our AFLW players had their season cut short while our AFL players, coaches and staff boarded a flight in early July not knowing that they wouldn’t return for over 100 days.
Most of our football and administration staff were stood down with some not returning and others taking pay cuts. And, of course, most members were unable to attend games and support us with their normal passion!
But the challenges bred resilience and our people rose to the challenges and helped us thrive.
Our players and coaches have spoken about how you, our members, have provided much of their inspiration for this year. Your financial support has meant that a year that threatened to be a catastrophe has ended in financially manageable shape. And it went both ways. The performance of our players boosted morale in an otherwise dismal winter.
Off the field, our players continued their participation in our community programs - virtually, but with no less impact. Through the club’s social media channels and website, we found new ways to engage with members and fans throughout the world. Combined, our Facebook and Instagram pages have had over 10 million interactions this year while our website and app reached nearly 6 million visits.
With limited access to games, the broadcast of our games became so important. Over 20 million people tuned into our matches.
Getting our AFL and AFLW teams back to GHMBA Stadium in 2021 with our members in attendance is an exciting prospect. The recent Government announcement of the complete funding for Stage 5 of the stadium positions us well for the future.
We recently recruited an outstanding group of women into our AFLW side who will learn from our experienced players and complement our young talent led by 2020 best & fairest winner, Olivia Purcell.
Our list management team is working to provide our AFL side with the pieces which will enable us to compete at the top of the ladder, not just in 2021 but for years to come. New players will arrive but Cameron Guthrie’s impeccable 2020 season and his Carji Greeves Medal win, shows how growth also comes from within.
As a 2020 member, you should have received renewal information for your 2021 membership. Given progress on handling the pandemic, we are confident that crowds will be back at GMHBA Stadium in 2021.
Our coach, Chris Scott, made an important point in his Carji Greeves speech:
“It just goes to show me that our footy club and our supporters are so much more. Membership gets you much more than a seat and entry to a game. It gives you access to something bigger than yourself.”
This was so evident in 2020. It hurt that only a few of you could witness this season live. But what we also learnt is that those associated with the Geelong Football Club are a special kind.
We remain Geelong Strong and we play the game how it should be played.
Again, thank you for your enormous contribution to your football club in 2020. And yes, we came second but we are already working hard to take that extra step next year.
Bring on 2021.
Colin Carter & Brian Cook