President Jeff Kennett has penned the following letter to members...

Hi there Hawkers. 

I trust this finds you all well and adjusting to the many changes taking place around the country at the moment. 

Can I report that at the close of nominations for your Board, as there were no more candidates than vacancies, Luke Stambolis and Owen Wilson were elected unopposed and that will be confirmed at our AGM. Peter Nankivell was re-elected, as was I as your President for the next three years.

Can I welcome Luke and Owen to the Board and thank them for offering to serve, and for what I know they will bring to the future good governance of our club.

To Peter Nankivell who is our Vice President, the Board are indebted to the considerable time he gives to all aspects of our club, be that AFL, VFL or VFLW – not to mention our commercial operations. 

Can I personally thank the membership for their support of my continuing leadership of the club. I know not everything I say and do pleases everyone, but we are a collegiate Board that has and will continue to deliver in the club’s best interest. No one individual is more important than another.

We held a Board meeting last night and Chief of Football Graham Wright and Senior Coach Alastair Clarkson outlined their priorities and vison for 2021 and beyond.

The briefing was considered and futuristic. As I have said previously, we have been in this position before, they and we know what we have to do, and the process has already started.

Once the trade and draft period is complete, I will get Graham or Richie Vandenberg, our former Captain and Board Member who has responsibility for football, to write to you all explaining what we have achieved and what we are aiming to deliver.

One thing I can tell you is that as a result of the AFL reducing the monies that can be spent on the Soft Cap, that being coaches, medical staff and programs, by more than one third next year, sadly the number of coaches and football staff we and every club can employ has been greatly reduced. We have lost some very good people. 

This does mean that Alastair will have a much greater hands on coaching role. Alastair is not only up for the task, but looking forward to doing so. 

I should say at the time of writing this note to you, the AFL have still not told us the number of players clubs will be able to have on our lists next year, nor the Total Player Payment amount each club will be able to spend on their playing group. 

So, in terms of completing our budgets for next year, which should have been done by now, we are operating with one hand tied behind our backs. Hopefully these issues will be resolved soon. 

So, there is a lot going on at the club at present with the football department, our commercial operations and of course the development of the Kennedy Community Centre. 

As I said above you will be hearing shortly from our football leaders once the draft is complete.

For now, thank you again for your considerable support and understanding this year. It has been an extraordinary year. 

I should finish by congratulating both Geelong and Richmond for contesting the Grand Final, and Richmond for carrying off the silverware.

For anyone to have come out on top in this year’s circumstances is an achievement in itself.

For now, stay well. 

Back in touch soon.

Jeff Kennett