Letter to HFC Members Monday 13th May 2019.
Sorry about the delay in writing to you. It has been a busy time, but that is no excuse.
Firstly, the club remains in good shape but is not without its challenges either, some of which I will touch on later.
On the playing field it has been a scrappy start to the year and we now find ourselves with four wins and four losses, sitting 9th on the ladder.
Regardless of what we think about any wins or losses to date, they are now history and where we finish at the end of the year is entirely in our own hands.
Suffice to say yesterday’s game against GWS exhibited four quarters of spirit and grit that we have come to expect at Hawthorn.
As always, we now turn our focus to the next game, which this week is against Richmond on, guess what day, Sunday 3.20pm at the MCG.
Our VFL team drew against Footscray on Sunday and our VFLW team were beaten by the NT Thunder who I believe had eight AFLW players in their team to our none. No excuses, but we were still pretty chuffed with the way our girls played, on the day they unfurled their 2018 Premiership flag.
Off the field, Labor announced their support for the development of the Kennedy Community Centre at Dingley, to the tune of $20m. I want to personally thank Mark Dreyfus, the local member for Isaacs, the area in which our facility will be built, and Shadow Attorney General for his advocacy of this development, and Anthony Albanese, the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, for his commitment to the project.
I also want to congratulate our team on their work in securing this commitment, and also in building the corpus and pledges we are receiving from our supporters for this project.
You may have seen some coverage over the past 24 hours about the attendance at yesterday’s game against GWS.
I consider the 3.20/4.40pm Sunday afternoon timeslots for an AFL game to be the death knell slot of the week.
It can only be scheduled for television. Certainly not for members and families wanting to attend the game. Firstly, it is the evening before the start of the week. It finishes so late that it is inconvenient for anyone to attend unless they live close to the ground. The game finishes in the dark, and as we go further into winter becomes cold and uncomfortable.
To put things in perspective the AFL in their wisdom have allocated Hawthorn eight Sunday games this year. Over one third of all games we play!
Five are our home games, against Bulldogs, North Melbourne, Carlton in Tassie, GWS and the Gold Coast. Three are away games against St Kilda, Richmond and Geelong.
This year the AFL’s scheduling will cost our club revenue line between $500,000 and $1,000,000.
It seems a tough draw given our success as a club over the past decade.
Worse of course, to schedule any game on Mother’s Day is to further ignore that so many families celebrate Mother’s Day with and at family gatherings.
Hawthorn is proudly the family club, and families must always come first at Hawthorn. I am surprised so many were in attendance yesterday and I thank you for making the effort to attend on such a special day!
Some today have suggested I should issue a call to arms to get our members to games. My response is if the AFL continue to schedule games as the sun sets on a Sunday afternoon, the AFL gets what it deserves, as yet another club becomes less financially secure.
I can’t help but think they must sit around the table at the AFL trying to think of ways to weaken our club. Or is it just part of their continuing campaign to drive us out of Tasmania?
For now, onwards and upwards! To the MCG next Sunday for another game, this one an away game against Richmond at 3.20pm. And guess what? At least it is not Mother’s Day!