A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS
At a specially convened meeting of the Old Paradians Football Club Committee on Tuesday the 5th of September, a motion was officially carried to make an application to join the Northern Football Netball League (NFNL) for season 2024.
The move follows a detailed process that had its origins at the 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM), where a motion was presented and approved to evaluate a move from the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) to the NFNL. With the disruption of COVID, that investigation had stalled, and was revived at the 2022 AGM.
A sub-Committee was formed with the charter of recommending to remain in the VAFA, or apply to move to the NFNL. The sub-Committee was chaired by past President and Life Member, Mike Jolley, and included past and current players, past and current committee, a representative from the Old Paradians Association and Parade St Damian’s Junior Football. The brief included, but was not limited to player attraction and retention, financial evaluation, personnel requirements, approval from the College, facilities and feedback from all corners of the Old Paradians Football Club community.
The sub-Committee also met with the CEO of the VAFA, along with board members and other representatives, where the VAFA presented their plans for the league and case studies that would be used to assist all clubs throughout the competition. After careful deliberations it was the view of the sub-Committee that the future of the Club would be better served by applying to join the NFNL.
Prior to the Special Committee meeting, the Club held a “town hall” style meeting at the Frank Mount Rooms, where President Simon Vincent presented the recommendations of the sub-Committee. Approximately 100 people joined in person or online, and were walked through the process, along with time for questions and answers.
President Simon Vincent said:-
“The significance of the Committee vote is not lost on any of the OPFC Committee members. We all feel the weight of 94 years of VAFA history on our shoulders, but despite all that, we feel this is the right move for the future viability and prosperity of our club.
With a history as long and storied as ours and the sheer volume of people that have served the Club, it was expected that this recommendation would enact an emotional response. Pleasingly the vast majority of those canvassed supported a move to the NFNL, and we’re confident that the current Committee has the best interests of the Club and its future at heart.
Personally, the VAFA is the only league I have ever played in, and everyone has and will have a special place for the VAFA. The more we looked into it, and the more information that came back from the sub-Committee however, the more it became clear that this is the right move for our club’s future.
The history of the Club doesn’t change, and our culture of inclusivity and community has stood the test of time. We are all excited to be bringing that culture to the NFNL, and welcoming more people into the vast OP community.”
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the sub-committee for their diligent work to come to this recommendation. And to all members, players and supporters who voiced their opinions during the process, we thank you for your continued support.
We now enter the application phase with the NFNL. Beginning this week with a presentation to the NFNL board and culminating with final approval by AFL Victoria in mid October.
We are confident our application will be met favourably by all parties and commit to keeping the OP community informed as future milestones are met".
Subsequent to that decision, the Club was afforded the opportunity to present to the NFNL Board, and lastly to the NFNL Clubs. Simon presented the vision for the future of the Club, and the benefits that we would bring to the competition. On the 11th of October a majority of NFNL voted in favour to accept us into the League. It was a great result after so much work had been done on the study and pitch. The final step was for AFL Victoria to ratify the move, and on the 17th of October that was done.
Simon Vincent again..."On behalf of the Committee of the Old Paradians Football Club, I am pleased to announce that AFL Victoria last night ratified our request to join the Northern Football Netball League from 2024.
I’d like to thank the Club committee and sub-Committee charged with investigating all aspects of the move, for their hard work during this process. The Board of the Northern Football Netball League for their guidance and support along the way. Our players, supporters and sponsors for their many words of encouragement and support, and last but not least to the VAFA, whom we have been a long-standing supporter and affiliate club for over 90 years.
We firmly believe the move is best for the short, medium and long term viability of the Club, and where we see our future".
President Simon Vincent is available for any members or supporters who would like to discuss this further. You can reach him on email@example.com or 0466925777
An exciting future awaits us.
The OPFC Committee