2015 was an absolute monster for DFS. It started with the appointment of our inaugural General Manager, when experienced sports administrator Jarrad Carey made the transition from casual coach to full-time employee. Jarrad, or JC as he is affectionately known around the traps, joined DFS after fulfilling various roles at the Collingwood Football Club, Northern Football League and Football Federation Victoria in recent years.
The Elite Pre-Season Training Program was held across February and March, with a massive focus on game sense training as well as strength and conditioning. Players were invited back in the April School Holidays to compete in the Match Day Finale, where games were of an extremely high standard. The Elite PTP is the perfect way for the dedicated junior footballer to ‘get the edge’ for the upcoming season, and will be back bigger than ever in 2016.
In a year of firsts, we held our Inaugural Elite Camp during the April School Holidays. The camp saw 25 talented players from all across metropolitan Melbourne come together for 2 nights and 3 days, during which time they played 2 matches against the Warriors from Western Australia. Due to the popularity of the Elite Camp, we will be holding a Junior Camp (players born in 2003, 2004 & 2005) and Senior Camp (players born in 2002 or earlier) in 2016.
One of our proudest contributions to community football in 2015 was the MasterClass Series, which engaged more than 1,000 youngsters all across metropolitan Melbourne. The response to the MasterClass Series was so significant that we will be increasing our ability to reach and develop junior footballers by adding levels to the series in 2016. Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting news regarding this in the coming weeks! As always, our School Holiday Programs were heaps of fun, providing kids with a great opportunity to learn and develop new skills while making new friends and having plenty of laughs. We sincerely thank RAMS Home Loan Centre – Western Region and Liberty Oil for helping us to reach even more families than ever before and look forward to furthering those relationships next year.
Speaking of partners, we were extremely proud to partner with both the Richmond Football Club and North Melbourne Football Club during the past 12 months. In July, we helped deliver the ‘Before the Pounce’ event at Punt Road prior to the Richmond vs GWS game. In October, DFS helped the Kangaroos launch their Multicultural Talent Pathway at Arden Street. This pathway has enormous potential and is an area that we will be looking to develop further with the club. We were also very lucky to use Arden Street during our Elite Summer Training Program, when more than 300 DFS players were given an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Kangaroos facility. We would also like to acknowledge our key partners in Sports Support, Hook Media, The Mind Room and Nutrition Melbourne.
The Elite Summer Training Program was an extraordinary success once again, with 360 talented junior footballers from 125 clubs across 11 leagues participating at 5 venues. The program kicked off with a bang when AFL Hall of Famer Kevin Sheedy launched our Induction Evening in front of nearly 800 guests. Sheedy provided many gems throughout the night, focussing on the importance of attitude and decision-making. Earlier in the evening, Richmond young gun Ben Lennon told the players to “enjoy the game, listen to your coaches and always have a ball in your hand”. Players took part in more than 90 skills sessions throughout the Elite STP, working on fundamental skill development, fitness through footy and decision making through game-sense. The program finished off with a whole day of games at our Match Day Finale, where the quality of footy was astonishing despite the hot conditions.
2015 was massive, 2016 will be even bigger. We hope you’ll come along for the ride!