Dear Members and Supporters,
As a massive Rafael Nadal fan, I have thoroughly enjoyed the Australian Open this year (until the final!), but it’s well and truly time!
The footy season is looming large on the horizon and aren’t there some big moments to look forward to!
Much has been spoken about the personnel changes made at the end of season 2018, which has brought a distinct freshness and energy to the entire group.
I have been enjoying listening and learning about the young draftees and their journey to Port Adelaide, as much as I have been inspired by the return and contribution of three hard core Port Adelaide premiership favorites to our coaching ranks.
The impact has been quite dynamic .
As expected, it’s taken some time to settle everyone in, but the Noosa camp just before Christmas accelerated that process dramatically and training post- Christmas has been very upbeat.
Season 2019 is important for a whole range of reasons.
Our game is going through a period of very significant change.
This change is being driven largely by the dynamics of an ever evolving Australian society.
Broader viewing options, competing entertainment interests and a more discerning audience, are increasing the need for fast, exciting, close games (Equalization and rule changes).
The continuing rise of women’s football is in many ways revolutionary (AFLW).
Attracting Australia’s increasingly multi-cultural population to our game is an ongoing focus (Next Generation Academies).
The need to provide the next generation of football fans with a shorter, faster introduction to the game appears logical based on the experiences of other major sporting codes (AFLX).
All of these important initiatives, must be considered carefully by our Club.
If we allow our minds to go forward 5 -10 years, and imagine what a major, professional AFL Club will need to look like to be at the leading edge of the competition…there are some clear imperatives.
We need to be consistently successful on field.
We need to be financially strong.
Our Alberton Oval facilities need to be shaped to accommodate the future needs of the Club.
We need to embrace and prepare for more diversity.
We must allow ourselves to embrace the future, whilst always paying homage to our glorious past.
As we search for opportunities to grow beyond our traditional boundaries, we must be a champion for our local neighborhood.
Most importantly, as we grow, we must never lose sight of who we are and what we stand for.
And whilst all this future contemplation is going on, we’ve got a season to prepare for.
The upcoming Member Convention (February 16), gives us a great chance to immerse ourselves back into footy and the opportunity to bring those of you who are looking for more insight into our approach to season 2019, right up to speed.
There is an enormous amount to cover.
New game plan
New AFL rules
New Magpies structure
New opponent in Shanghai
Plans for our 150th anniversary in 2020
New corporate partnerships
As we found last year, the convention really is a unique opportunity to get inside the tent and under the bonnet of our Club. It’s a chance for us to provide real depth.
All the questions that have been brewing up over the summer will be answered directly and with complete transparency by all the most senior people at the Club.
Anyone who attended last year’s convention will attest to the fact that we don’t hold back.
It’s inner sanctum stuff.
And yes, even at the elite level things don’t always go to plan…we’ll discuss that too if you like!
But if you’re like me, I’m done looking backwards.
We are now full throttle forward.
Whether you are able to attend or not, this event is a truly unique experience and recognition of one of our enduring philosophies…Port Adelaide is a football Club which rose from the community it serves and we are on this journey together.
It signals that the start of season 2019 is just around the corner.
I look forward to seeing you there.