Last evening the VAFA announced that the 2020 VAFA season has been cancelled. We commend the VAFA for making a very difficult and yet correct decision and thank CEO, Brett Connell and his team and President, George Voyage and the Board for their leadership and advice during what has been an extremely challenging period for the competition and all its Clubs.
The VAFA had done everything it could to ensure we had a chance at playing in 2020 and had delayed a call on the season as late as they possibly could. Unfortunately the lock-downs announced this week in Melbourne and its impact on a number of VAFA clubs and many players, made 2020 a bridge to far.
Whilst completely understanding and being supportive of the decision it is a terribly disappointing outcome for the Blacks. After the heartbreak of the past two seasons, we approached 2020 with renewed vigour - a new look coaching team and a strong off season of recruitment led us to be confident in our prospects of a successful season in 2020. Alas, it was not to be.
Our mindset in recent months has been to look through an 18 month lens with all our decision making and we will now focus on the retention of our on and off field teams and slowly move our focus towards 2021.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those at the University Blacks who have put in an enormous effort over the past 6-9 months, including but not limited to, the Club committee, our Football Department, our valued Sponsors, Members and Donors, our on-field leaders and our entire playing group for their commitment to training in line with the protocols over the past months. Our entire Club approach to these truly bizarre and unprecedented circumstances should be a source of pride for everyone.
In particular, I’d like to express our thanks and admiration to Dale Bower, our Senior Coach whose efforts and enthusiasm during what can only be described as an extraordinary year, have done him enormous credit.
Furthermore, I'd like to acknowledge the role and ongoing support of MUFC President, Andrew Donald and the tireless efforts he has put in for the three MUFC Clubs. I’d also like to express my gratitude to the MUFC Board and the Committees of the Uni Blues and the MUFWC and the team at MU Sport. The collaboration and unified approach we’ve taken in 2020 to address the challenges we’ve faced collectively has made things significantly easier than they could have otherwise been.
The Committee, Football Department, Recruitment Committee and Team Leaders will be getting together in the coming week or two to acknowledge and celebrate the work done and the results achieved in 2020. Whilst they cannot be measured on a score board this season, the gains we’ve made as a Club are significant and we will take stock and build on these as we move forward.
As part of this process we will review all options for player and supporter engagement for the rest of 2020 and will keep all Blacks supporters up to date with what is happening over the rest of the year.
Many of our current players have experienced challenges with employment in 2020 and we have many candidates for casual, part-time and full-time roles. Please contact Dan Costello (0422 691 232), Tom Howgate (0438 268 267) or myself should you have any opportunities available and we can assist with qualified introduction.
For those who’d be keen to help the Club prepare for next season we still have plenty of the 2020 Blackest Blacker available and cases can be purchased from the website.
Thank you again to our entire community, for your love and loyal support of the Uni Blacks.
President - Uni Blacks