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Lambo takes top honours at Redlow


In his first full senior season at Fitzroy, versatile midfielder Aidan Lambert has taken out the Greg Roughsedge Perpetual Trophy as Fitzroy’s best and fairest, along with the best first year player award.

The awards were announced at Fitzroy’s best and fairest, otherwise known as the Redlow on Saturday night.

The quiet and unassuming 19 year old certainly got the fans at Brunswick Street Oval excited during the season with some of his great marks and bursts of pace.

Aidan finished just ahead of Nathan Ligris (second) co-captain Daniel Bisetto and Matt Kyroussis (tied for third).

It was a good night also for Ligris, who took out the Coach’s award and told the Fitzroy faithful he had started to see the fruits of a pre-season and taking his football more seriously.

Coach Nick Mitchell said it would not be the last best and fairest award won by Lambert, particularly if he continued his current rate of improvement.

He said his young charge had everything – “he’s got the ability to attack the ball, take a pack mark, stand under the pack, tackle and he has a blistering change of pace.

“The combination of fearlessness and speed can really turn the game; he can be a match winner.”

Lambert came through the Fitzroy Junior Football Club, joining Fitzroy Football Club in 2014 as an Under 19s player, but only played three games. In 2015 he played ten Under 19s game and three senior matches. In 2016, his first year as an open age player, he played 14 games in the Seniors and 2 in the Reserves.

Co-captain Daniel Bisetto took out the Marsden - Moriarty Superboot Trophy as the seniors leading goal kicker with 38 goals for the season, ahead of last year’s winner Corbin Stevic, who couldn’t have been happier that Dan had kicked more goals for the season.

The 2016 Fitzroy Reserves best and fairest winner was Nick Marshall who was awarded the Marc Marsden Perpetual Trophy, with a three-way tie for runner up between Bryce McAdam, Cailean Moore and Jack Simcoe. Jack Atkinson collected the coach's award.

Ash Riddell tops off a great week

For the Fitzroy-ACU Women’s 1 team, it was Ash Riddell who topped off a great week, adding the Elaine Findlay Perpetual Trophy as Fitzroy’s best and fairest to her Debbie Lee Medal for best first year player in the VWFL.

First every female Director of a VFL/AFL Club, Elaine was on hand to present the trophy and congratulate Ash on her fantastic season.

The best and fairest runner up in the Women’s team was Sarah Lynas. Esther Harris won the coach's award.

One of the speeches of the night at the Redlow was by Fitzroy-ACU Women’s 2 best and fairest winner, Mish Booth. Mish took home the Inaugural Janet Graham Perpetual Trophy and acknowledge the role that pioneers like Janet had made, in paving the way for today’s female footballers. Janet presented the trophy on the night.

Emily Fitt was the Women’s 2 best and fairest runner up, while coach John Marshall presented the coach's award to Calypso Poole.

Aiden Burke Under 19s best

Aiden Burke, one of the up and coming players expected to make his mark in senior football in coming seasons, has won the best and fairest award for the Under 19s, the Stephen Drury Perpetual Trophy.

The runner up was Isaac Wattis, who also collected the coach's award from Tim Bell, who did another outstanding job with the team in 2016. Tim also acknowledged the outstanding contribution and input of the parents throughout the season.

Team affair for thirds

The Fitzroy Thirds had a challenging season, particularly as they started without a designated coach. However, the trio of Dan Ryan, Tim DeNatris and Trent Coleman came in for special mention for the time and work they had done during the season to take on coaching and management duties and ensure the team ran out every week.

The winner of the Tim Madden Perpetual Trophy for Thirds best and fairest was Lochy Davis and the runner up was Jamie Mackay.

Dan Ryan presented the coach’s award to Trent Coleman, acknowledging his outstanding commitment throughout the year.

Impressive list nominated for Life Membership

President Joan Eddy was amongst an incredible group of volunteers and players who have nominated for Honorary Life Membership of the Fitzroy Football Club Incorporating the Fitzroy Reds.

Joan, fellow Director Tom Sargant and senior player Tom Cheshire, headline the list to be confirmed at the AGM in November.

Honorary Life Memberships at Fitzroy are bestowed on players, officials, volunteers who have made a minimum 10-season contribution to the Club.

The full list is:

  • Jack Beech: 12 seasons as a player; joined in 2005, and equals Paul Dacorgiourgiou’s record of 12 consecutive seasons as a player at the club. Jack has been Captain of the Reserves and is an outstanding leader in the playing group and contributor to the club.
  • Tom Cheshire: 10 seasons as a player this year; 2007 was his first year at the club and he played in the Under 19 Premiership that year. Tom has been Vice-Captain of the Seniors and long-time member of the leadership group.
  • Joan Eddy: 10 years as an official of the Club commencing in 2007 as Team Manager of the Under 19s; Vice President in 2009 and President since 2010.
  • Janet Graham: approximately 12 years as a volunteer, assisting on the merchandise stall. Prior to that working in the Fitzroy Shop in the mid 2000s, along with other duties.
  • Jamie Mackay (Jimbob): 10 seasons as a player; joined the club in 2003 and played only a few games in 06, 07 and 08. He missed 2009 with injuries but has been back at Fitzroy as a player since 2010 and is one of the best loved players at the club.
  • Suzanne Madeley: approximately 15 years as our senior timekeeper, this year as Reserves timekeeper as well. She is a post-match helper extraordinaire and was Club Person of the Year in 2013. 
  • Wendy Symonds: approximately 15 years as a volunteer, including a couple in the Fitzroy AFL days. Wendy returned to assist with the Fitzroy Reds in the 2000s, has worked on the merchandise stall, at the Fitzroy Shop, now milestones monitor, and so much more. Wendy was Club Person of the Year in 2015.
  • Tom Sargant: 13 years as a Club Director, making an enormous contribution behind the scenes, and Guardian of our club song at home games.


Picture perfect – Phyllis our Club Person of the Year

Club Photographer Phyllis Queally has been recognised as Fitzroy’s Club Person of the Year for 2016.

This Award recognises outstanding service to the club by a volunteer, player, supporter, member or official of the club. It goes to someone who has provided a minimum of three years’ outstanding service to the club; someone who goes above and beyond the duties performed by that person in the course of their designated club role.

It’s not just the outstanding photography each week, which help bring the website, Red Roy and social media to life, but Phyllis puts countless extra hours in to making sure the Roy Boys and Girls are well fed each week, at Thursday night dinners.

She also often looks after our senior players if they suffer cuts on field during games.

Thank you Phyllis.

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Ash has fun as best first year player


Fitzroy-ACU forward, Ash Riddell, was awarded the Debbie Lee Medal for best first year player at the Victorian Women’s Football League Presentation Night on Wednesday.

In her first season of football, she also came second in the Division 3 best and fairest award, to Gippsland’s Sarah Jolly; an outstanding result for someone who just likes to play football for fun.

Playing 15 games in her first season with Fitzroy-ACU (13 in Division 3 and two in North West), including a narrow grand final loss, Ash gave the team plenty of pace and poise up front and kicked 36 goals for the year (26 in Division 3 and 10 in North West).

Aside from school footy, which she gave away to concentrate on basketball at age 11, Ash hadn’t played Australian Rules football for nearly 10 years when she came down to try out at Fitzroy at the request of her mate Luci Murphy.

But it appears she may have had some pointers from a pretty handy schoolmate, one Marcus Bontempelli. Then again given her achievements this season, maybe Ash taught Marcus a few on-field moves.

Apparently Ash and the Bont are quite good mates and did play footy together at Our Lady’s Primary School in Eltham, before she started playing basketball in the same team as his talented sister.

Of course Ash credits her coaches and her team mates at Fitzroy-ACU for her form and says for her, football is all about fun and the relationships. “The friendships are the thing I’ve enjoyed most this year. I don’t live in the area, so it’s been great to meet a lot of these girls and feel at home”.

The 20 year old is two and a half years into an osteopathy degree at RMIT but given the developments in women’s footy perhaps she could have another career in front of her. “I’ve always been really sporty but I do it for fun; I don’t want it to be too serious.”

Fitzroy-ACU it is then! And we’re pretty happy to have her.

Representing the Women 2 team in the North West Division, Tash Ross-Harris (Rosso), remarkably finished in fourth place in the best and fairest, having played only four of the 12 possible home and away games for the season. Given the Fitzroy-ACU team didn’t make finals, Tash certainly made her mark in just a few games. Congratulations Tash.

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Award named after women’s footy pioneer


On any Saturday afternoon at Brunswick Street Oval you might see Janet Graham helping with the merchandise stall or taking notes on the scores in the game; but always, always in the red and blue of Fitzroy.

What you probably don’t know about Janet is that she was a founding member of the VWFL in 1981 and the first person to achieve life membership of the organisation in 1985.

On Saturday night at the Redlow, the Fitzroy Football Club will honour this early pioneer of women’s football by naming the Fitzroy-ACU Women’s 2 best and fairest award in Janet Graham’s honour.

Janet played the game regularly in the early ’80s, playing approximately 30 games between 1981 and 1984 for the Scorpions, based first in Broadmeadows and then in Aberfeldie. Back then in its first season, VWFL matches were played fortnightly with just four clubs and six rounds. Later the number of rounds increased to nine and then 12, though still with only four clubs.

Janet first arrived in Australia from England in 1968 as a 10-pound Pom. Having returned to England during the 1970s, she re-emigrated, arriving in Melbourne in 1979. She has been a Fitzroy member since 1980 and started volunteering in the early 2000s, with regular stints at the Fitzroy Shop, and later as a regular at the home game merchandise stall.

She was watching a TV news item about a women’s footy team with a housemate in about 1980 and according to her housemate said, “I could do that”. In 1981 there was a notice in the Football Record seeking interest in starting a Women’s League and she responded.

Janet recalls it was quite hard to get grounds in competition with men’s and boys’ teams, which was the main reason for the decision to play VWFL matches on Sundays. Janet reckons the Scorpions, over their time in the league, would have played at five or six different ‘home’ grounds, and there was some resistance from men’s football, and the community in general, to the idea of women playing the game.

She played in three grand finals but missed the fourth, which was a premiership, because she’d returned to England for a family visit.

Ever modest, Janet says her start in the backline was because “the ball didn’t come down that way very often so I couldn’t do too much harm”. She also ventured up to half-forward flank or on the wing, and in later years sometimes in the ruck. “Women weren’t as tall in those days,” Janet says.

“I was often off the bench, not a top player by any means.” Various injuries took their toll and she retired at the end of 1984. Janet rates a mention in the recently released Play On: The Hidden History of Women’s Australian Rules Football, by Brunette Lenkic and Rob Hess.

Janet also played administrative roles, as Secretary of the VWFL from 1983 to 1985 and Scorpions Club Secretary from 1982 to 1983.

The decision to name the trophy in honour of Janet Graham comes just one year after Fitzroy named the Fitzroy-ACU Women’s 1 best and fairest after the first female director of a VFL/AFL Club, former Fitzroy Director, Elaine Findlay.

Both trophies will be hotly contested on Saturday night.

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