As we conclude 2013 we would like to take this opportunity to wish all players, supporters and sponsors a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and to thank everyone for their support of the Club throughout the season. We have once again received amazing support from our sponsors and supporters and we hope they will continue to support the Reds in 2014.
I would also like to take this opportunity to update you all on things that have been happening around the Club since the season finished. Pre season has commenced, recruiting has gone well and we are progressing well in getting issues with the surface at Park 9 resolved.
Geoff Prest and his recruiting team have been hard at work trying to build a side capable of winning Division 2 and to date could not be more pleased with the players we have picked up. Drew Clayfield (former Glenelg) and Nick Clayfield join us to fill important holes at centre half back and in the ruck while Nick Noblett returns and will take up a key defensive post.
We have also added a great deal of depth with recent school leavers Chris Hannemann, Nick Braund, Lewis Crawford, Tom Ashby, and Hahns Sullivan all committing to the Reds. Some of those boys will be doing pre season with SANFL Clubs and we wish them all the best with this.
We have been able to keep the side together from last season as well so with these new additions, and more to come, we are confident we have the talent to be a challenger in 2014.
Officially the side will start training in mid January however a number of senior players have commenced Monday, Wednesday and Saturday sessions to get a head start. This was player driven and the Committee is excited to see so many players keen to get started on the new season.
Park 9 was a bit of a mess last year and we have had numerous meetings with the School and the Old Scholars about fixing the issue. We had hoped to install drainage on the ground however we hit a hurdle with soil profile issues and to get an immediate result would have cost close to $300,000. In the short term we have committed to more modest options in the hope of fixing drainage issues.
The Committee is passionate about setting up a proper home for the Old Scholars sporting Clubs at Park 9 with a good playing surface and better facilities for players and supporters. Recent conversations with the School indicate that a long term lease may soon be taken out on Park 9 which will provide confidence in making long term investments in the venue.
In the New Year we will look to the Old Scholars Association to take a significant role in this project as we know it cannot be successful without their leadership and support.
Our AGM was held recently and we are excited with the additions to the Committee for 2014. Meredith Olsson, Will Thomas, Mackenzie Jarvis, Will Latchford and Tim Wicks join us to provide fresh energy and ideas. Jim Parkinson will be heading up Football Operations and Tim Hall has taken on the role of Vice Chairman for the new season. Further announcements on Committee roles will follow shortly.
James R Thomas, Nick Joy, Ben Noblet and Joseph DuRieu were all unable to continue however they will still be seen around making strong contributions to the Club. I would like to thank them all for the significant contribution they made to the Club and for all the time and energy they put into their respective roles in 2013.
Once again thank you to all the sponsors for your support in 2013. We look forward to keeping you updated on recruiting news and other happenings around the Club as we work towards the 2014 season.
Please make sure you stay in touch with the Club in the offseason through any of the following:
PAOCFC Chairman (on behalf of PAOCFC Committee)