On behalf of the Board of the Melbourne Football Club, I would like to officially thank and congratulate every Dees fan around Australia and across the world, for their contribution and support this season.
To the Melbourne based Dees fans, who literally painted the town red and blue, please know that Goody and the players felt the love and used it as inspiration during the finals.
To our interstate Dees fans who turned up in huge numbers in both the Adelaide and Perth finals, thanks for barracking so loud and filling the stands with red and blue; even the players were shocked at the incredible turnout and absolutely loved it. The impact of your passionate support was like having an extra player during the finals.
I hope every supporter who bleeds red and blue has celebrated the win in their own way. I know there has been plenty of tears, lots of hugs, continuous renditions of the club song, multiple viewings of the Grand Final replay and a universal feeling of pride.
When Goody and Max held up the AFL premiership cup, I think we all felt that the Demons Spirit was back. This is one of the great moments in AFL history and one that none of us will forget for the rest of our lives.
For me personally, this was the most exciting and emotional game I have experienced in 40 years of direct involvement in the game. I am sure the majority of Dees fans will feel exactly the same way.
Our performance this year has re-established our belief in what is possible and created a new level of optimism in what we can achieve in the future.
Two years ago, myself and the Board announced at the club’s AGM our new vision for the club and our four-year strategic goals, for 2020 – 2023. The announcement came after a disappointing 2019 season and the response to the presentation was largely that the goals were unrealistic, and the vision was too ambitious for the time frame. I would ask you to refer back to this vision with a fresh view of the possibilities. Hopefully as a supporter you understand the critical role that you play in helping us become a successful club, a big club, a club which you can feel proud to belong to.
The strategy document is all about reigniting the Demon Spirit and delivering premiership success. Once you absorb the vision and our club goals I hope you can appreciate that as a club we are now at the start of something special, not the end of something special. There is a lot of exciting work still to be done.
There is no doubt that the premiership last weekend has reignited the flame of the Demon Spirit, however there is more to the Demon Spirit than just holding up a premiership cup.
To the players, the Demon Spirit is the feeling they get every time they pull on the famous Melbourne jumper. With this comes an obligation to play an aggressive, relentless, consistent brand of football that makes our supporters feel proud and rewarded for coming along to support.
To the supporters, the Demon Spirit is about being 100% all in. There is no doubt the supporters that live the Demon Spirit are the ones who are proud to be a member, turn up to the games and cheer loud when we are up and twice as loud when we are down. They wear the colours on game day, and every other day and sing the song with passion whenever they get the chance.
For myself and the Board; the Demon Spirit is about a commitment to long term excellence. All changes we have made since the release of the club strategy, including the football review at the end of the 2020 season, have been about giving ourselves the best chance to achieve the stated club goals and ambitions. To reinforce, this commitment is not just about 2021. It is an absolute commitment to an era of excellence and success.
As a broader club, the Demon Spirit is about having the courage and vision to stretch our expectations to become the biggest and most successful version of the Melbourne Football Club; 75k+ membership, 50k + average home game crowds at the MCG, multiple blockbuster games within our fixture, big TV ratings in prime time. This will be a club that can’t be ignored.
Above all, the Demon Spirit is about sharing great moments together and having fun. Think of the exhilaration we have all experienced this year with come-back wins, sitting on top of the ladder, goals kicked after the siren to win the game and the barrage of goals kicked to win the grand final. With all the covid frustrations, I hope supporting the Dees has been a positive and provided much pleasure. Thanks again for your loyalty and patience over the last two years of the ongoing lockdowns. There are really exciting times ahead as a club and we all have a role to play.
Please know that myself, the Board and club leaders will be doing everything possible over the next 12 months to reconnect the club as soon as covid restrictions allow. We will still be making time to celebrate the premiership together with the players. Look forward to catching up soon.
I would like to thank all our staff and players who have worked so hard to get the result we all desired, in what was such a challenging environment. I can’t thank you enough. I would also like to thank all our commercial partners who have stuck by the club through thick and thin.
As one season finishes we move onto the next challenge and the start of something really special and exciting, our AFLW team in action going for a premiership. We all have so much to look forward to.
Thank you for your support,