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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 2017

Welcome back to our previous members, and a warm welcome to our new, or potential new members for 2017.

In attracting and retaining our membership base that currently stand at circa 1,500, within 126 teams, we aim to make this Club, the Club of choice in our geographical area, predicated on the quality of our facilities, best practice governance, sustainability and ultimately, our game development and footballing success.

The completion of the Michaels Avenue Stage 2 field redevelopment works ( with floodlighting still to come in early 2017), the resolution of all consent issues relating to the usage of both the Upper and Lower Fields at Michaels Ave, and the full refurbishment of the Clubrooms pending its ultimate redevelopment were all important milestones during 2016.

A key objective of your Executive Committee in the past year was to bring the Junior/Youth and Senior Divisions closer together in terms of philosophies and operations, and this has commenced through better communications, and a recognition that each division is there for the other. However, administratively, the Club faces some major challenges going forward as NZF/AFF continue to introduce protocols that place an increasing burden on an already overworked workforce resource, often for no apparent benefit.

The Club has also tasted success in the past year in its initial attempts to seek commercial arrangements with community partners, with McDonalds becoming an Official Sponsor, and New World, Lunn Ave becoming a Community Sponsor. It is with pleasure that we can report that McDonalds will become a Major Sponsor of the Club in 2017, having significantly increased their level of support.  Furthermore, the Men’s NRFL squad were able to secure a number of smaller sponsorship packages that increases the Club’s visibility within its catchment. Anyone that has an interest in, or can introduce us to such a partnership is invited to contact the writer.

Throughout the past season, Ryan Shiffman and his team have continued their efforts in upskilling both our Junior/Youth player base, as well as providing much needed coaching advice to our large volunteer coaching base. One significant outcome of this work is the improving quality and success coming from our girls’ and women’s teams. The Club wishes to acknowledge the contribution of Jason Oliver, who has headed the Women’s Premier programme for a number of years but has stood down to focus on his family. In his place, we would like to welcome Nicola Demaine, who will be taking over the Premier Women’s Coaching role in 2017. Finally, in conjunction with our Senior Coaching Director, Chris Wallace, our best male youth talent competed well at the U19 Napier Tournament this year, securing a place in the Quarter-Finals (the only non-Premier League club from Auckland to do so), amongst fierce competition from the best talent in the country.

With this growing player talent pool, Chris was able to secure a mid table finish within the NRFL Division 1 competition, whilst the Reserves were dominant in achieving a First Place within their league. As the Club continues to strive to gain promotion back into the Premier league, we remain committed to promoting as much talent as possible from within our own ranks, and these results continue to vindicate that decision.

Notwithstanding that, the Club does not want to stand still in terms of its game development. Your Executive Committee has commissioned a member of that committee, and well known footballing identity, Mr Fred de Jong to undertake a comprehensive review of all of the Club’s Coaching Structures and initiatives, based on best practice amongst clubs in Auckland. The outcome during the early part of 2017 will be a set of recommendations as to how the Club can further enhance the delivery of its coaching programmes to best advantage for our playing membership.

Finally, and on behalf of our members, a thank you to our Senior, Junior and Executive Committees for their respective time and energies,  to our various sponsors and Charitable Trusts that provide much needed financial support, and to our other members/parents that give freely of their time to ensure that Ellerslie teams are visible in all competitions. After all, that is what makes a community club.

May I wish you all the best as you participate, succeed and support across the football fields of Auckland.

Kind regards

Mark B Weipers

President

January 2017

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