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Melbourne Football Club

Melbourne reaches 45,000 members

On behalf of the Melbourne Football Club, I’d like to thank our members for their support and in reaching 45,000 members this year
Glen Bartlett

MELBOURNE has notched-up a new membership record, passing 45,000 members on Friday afternoon.

It’s the first time the club has gone past the 45,000 mark, after Melbourne surpassed last year’s membership record of 42,233.

Chairman Glen Bartlett said he was delighted with the result.  

“This is a fantastic achievement for the club and something everyone has been working hard to achieve,” he said.

“On behalf of the Melbourne Football Club, I’d like to thank our members for their support and in reaching 45,000 members this year.”

It’s come at a great time for the club, leading into member thank you round on Sunday and with memberships being cut off at 5pm on Friday afternoon.

Melbourne has increased its membership each season since 2014. Last year, was the first time the club went past 40,000 members.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s clash against GWS Giants at the MCG, Bartlett said it was a great opportunity to celebrate the club for a host of reasons.

“It’s [Melbourne] appreciation and thank you [round] to all of our members who have signed up this year, who got behind the Melbourne footy club,” he said.

“Our last home game for the year against the Giants is another massive game for us, because we want to finish as high as we can. But I’d just ask all members and supporters to get behind us on Sunday. The weather looks good and it should be another cracking game of footy, and we should get out and celebrate.

“It’s 160 years [since we were founded] – it’s a long time – and we’re the oldest professional club in the world. [We’ve won] 12 premierships and we’ve had some greats involved in the club over the years: from Frank ‘Checker’ Hughes, Norm Smith, Ron Barassi, Robbie Flower, Jim Stynes, David Neitz and Nathan Jones – I could keep going.

“Come and celebrate the red and blue, as our hearts beat true – there is no doubt about that. This Sunday, it’s to thank our members and supporters, and what a great opportunity for supporters to get out there. Come and watch our footy team, which is finals bound and get right behind them in a period that I think’s going to be really, really exciting for the club.

“It’s an opportunity to reflect, [we’re celebrating] 160 years, 12 premierships and we’re chasing our 13th and it’s been a long time, so there are a lot of positives. We’re playing an exciting brand of footy. That was the other thing last Sunday – and the whole year – I’ve just been so proud of the brand of footy [we’ve played]. It’s hard, contested and it’s exciting the way our guys go about it. Yeah, there are mistakes from time-to-time, but everyone we talk to in the AFL love watching our footy team. So, get out on Sunday and get behind us – 160 years is a great chance to celebrate our massive game against the Giants, who are another top eight team.”

Bartlett said it was important to focus on this weekend, before the finals.

“First, we’re all focused on this week. The great thing that has really emerged with the finals is that once you get past this week, you draw a line in the sand and it’s really another competition,” he said.

“We’ve got a bunch of competitors and my expectations are that we’ll really give 110 per cent, and we play freely and go for it. Anything is possible and I don’t look at it [and think we can’t win it].

“My expectation is that we keep driving forward as a footy club, and we’ll really try and take every opportunity that we can. It’s going to be exciting times and I just say to our supporters – get out and get behind them. Enjoy the ride and be very proud of your football team, and the way your boys and everyone involved is going about it. I can’t wait for it to start.

Bartlett said he had been “confident for a while” with the direction of the club.

“I’ve been pretty confident for a while in terms of the direction of the club and very confident in our people. From Simon [Goodwin’s] coaching group to Josh [Mahoney] and the whole footy department … to right across the club, the executive group, our board and the way we’re working together. I really felt that it was reward for effort – and it’d been building,” he said.

“There have been some games this year where some people would say ‘we were a bit unlucky in the end’. But it’s not the end – it’s all in front of us. It was a relief to break through and know we’re playing finals. The foundations are really strong in the way they’ve been coached and played.

“We have great stability across the board. Peter [Jackson], myself and the exec group and the board have worked really hard behind the scenes, along with staff and volunteers for a long time.

“I thought the footy gods were really paying attention and I was just so proud of the whole club. I think it was a sign of a club maturing as well. When you’ve got your backs to the wall and things haven’t quite gone your way – to respond like that says a lot about the people within our club.”