Now that the AFL season has concluded for us as a club, we are already working towards next season, putting plans in place to ensure we continue our climb back up the ladder and into the Finals.
At the start of the season, we set the clear expectation of the Melbourne Football Club being back in the top eight, playing in AFL Finals. While there were many positive signs during the pandemic-affected AFL season, the reality is we came up short of our own ambitions, finishing ninth and missing the Finals by one game. In a season where our on-field performances fluctuated between exceptional and unacceptable, I know we tested the loyalty and patience of our supporter base. However, I truly hope that you maintain your belief in what our players can achieve moving forward.
At this point, I wanted to let you know what our key priorities are as a club.
We are already in the process of evaluating our player list, to determine what changes we need to make to ensure that we are able to consistently compete against the best teams in the competition. This involves reviewing our list to establish the skills, talents and attributes we need to bring into our player group to continue to improve.
From a broader program perspective, due to the $3 million cut in the soft cap and our inconsistent performances this season, I'm conducting a review of the football program, with a deep dive into the coaching program. The outcome of this review will ensure we have the right leadership, resources and programs to maximise our potential in 2021 and beyond. All changes will be communicated to members when appropriate, over the pre-season period.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single member who has stuck with us through this rollercoaster year. The players, coaches and staff of the Melbourne Football Club were pushed to their limits this year, having to cope with the daily changes that were thrown, to keep the AFL competition going. I acknowledge that these changes also required our members’ understanding and patience, to a level never experienced before.
Throughout these difficult times, your loyalty has been paramount. As part of our club’s membership, you have allowed us to navigate through this financial crisis, to the point that we will be able to remain an independent club, a financially unassisted club and a club that can continue to make its own decisions in the best interests of its football program.
On behalf of the players, coaches, staff and Board, I’d like to thank you for your ongoing loyalty.