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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 2018

It seems somewhat ironic that in spite of the wonderful summer weather, barbecues and outdoor activities that we hopefully have all been enjoying lately, the time has come around again to welcome our existing, and new members to the Ellerslie Football Club, for the upcoming season.

For many of you, the Club remains visible only in the winter months, but the demand for our services is now year round. This brings into focus the importance of our people, both paid and volunteer, that fill a variety of roles which ultimately provides the opportunity for you, our members, to play this wonderful game, and for that effort and dedication, I thank them all.

So what can you, as members, expect to see in the coming year?

From a Facilities point of view, construction will be completed on the acoustic fencing around the #1 Artificial pitch, together with completion of the Lower Fields Floodlighting installation. All this work will amount to a greater utilisation of current training facilities at Michaels Ave, by spreading the load across more fields.

With regard to Football Development, a new Club wide Coaching Plan has been approved, and is now in its early stages of implementation, under the direction of Fred de Jong, with assistance from Ryan Shiffman and Nicola Demaine.   This plan will provide clear pathways for all players moving through the Club at a level appropriate to their ability and interest, whilst also providing an improved level of coaching for Junior/Youth players as our coaches are encouraged, and supported, to attain NZF coaching qualifications.

Although you will see these new initiatives over the coming months aimed at an improved footballing experience for all members, it is important to acknowledge that our previous efforts in this regard have recently borne fruit with the Ellerslie U19 Youth team winning the prestigious National Lotto Napier U19  tournament , conducted over Labour Weekend 2017 ; a truly wonderful success that we should all be proud of.  Furthermore, we must acknowledge Fred de Jong’s appointment as Premier Men’s Coach for 2018, supported by Terry Torrens, two long standing stalwarts of the Club, and wish them, and the squad, all the best for the coming season as they seek promotion to the top league.

And finally to the daily management of Club Operations. With the appointment of Kelly Bolus (ex AFF) as Operations Director, and a restructuring of roles and responsibilities, including a more efficient Club Committee, which seeks to merge the previous Junior and Senior committees, things continue to change. The aim is to deliver a better experience for members across all age groups, with an improved ability to respond to member requests. With the employment of additional personnel resource, it will also have the added benefit of spreading key responsibilities in order to reduce reliance on any one individual.  Please refer to our website for updated contact details/responsibilities.

It is also appropriate to formally thank Chris Ng for his efforts in chairing the Junior Committee over the past few years, as he has stepped down to facilitate this restructuring. His foresight has been the catalyst for a number of changes made in an ongoing effort to improve our members’ experience within the Club.

In conclusion, and on behalf of our members, a thank you to our various Committee members for their respective time and energies, to our sponsors and Charitable Trusts that provide much need financial support, and to our other members/parents that give freely of their time to ensure that Ellerslie teams are visible in all competitions.

Perhaps at the start of another season, it is also a time for you to think in what way you can provide a contribution to this Club, be it in a financial, administrative, managerial or coaching sense. In this day and age, the expectations of the public are high with regard to service delivery, but please take a moment to think about how to give something back by getting involved. We are always open to fresh approaches, as this sense of community participation is a key component in our endeavours to make Ellerslie AFC the Club of choice in this area.

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


Kind regards

Mark B Weipers

President

January 2018

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