Looking back at 2020 and looking forward to 2021

Dear West Brunswick AFC community,

It’s been almost two weeks since the VAFA Board made the decision to pull the pin on the 2020 season. As disappointed as we are not to be able to get out on the park this year, this season has by no means gone to waste. As the dust has started to settle since the initial heartache of a season lost, it’s a good time to look back on our year as we celebrate and recognise all the club has achieved.

There is still a lot on the horizon for the Westies in the back half of 2020, and for the 2021 season. Keep your eye out over the coming weeks for information regarding a new-look reverse raffle (adapted to suit COVID-19 restrictions, of course), and should we see a sense of normality return to Melbourne, we hope to be able to proceed with some of our more regular social events. We will continue to fundraise this year through the Good For Footy Raffle, the West Brunswick AFC COVID-19 Recovery Fund, and our 2020 Social (Distancing) Memberships. The support for these initiatives so far has been overwhelming, and continued support will help ensure the viability of our club into 2021 and beyond. It has been a joy to witness our community come together and throw their unwavering support behind the club in what has been a challenging year, and I encourage our members – along with their friends and families – to keep getting around the club and building our community.

Speaking of support, I would like to acknowledge our wonderful sponsors, many of whom have suffered this year throughout the lockdowns and restrictions that have restrained their businesses, yet continue to support the club: EfexPrince Alfred Rooftop and Bar CarltonBoost Juice Barkly SquareNorth Melbourne Boxing and FitnessPriceline Pharmacy West Brunswick Blackhearts and SparrowsGreen RefectoryMeatsmith3DGuardKwik Kopy North Melbourne, and Hawkers Beer, and our new sponsors who joined us this year: CrowdPopDynamic Health and RecoveryChubbNewell Lock & Co AccountantsHappy Hippo Kindergarten and Childcare and ETU. We look forward to growing our partnerships next season.

2021 looks to be an exciting year at West Brunswick. We will – as always – have a bumper social calendar planned, which will hopefully include the delayed ‘End of the Decade’ celebration that was initially scheduled for this year. We plan to see six teams take the field in round 1, and look forward to finally unveiling the 2019 Women’s Reserves Premiership Flag on Friends and Family Day. Hopefully by the end of 2021, we will have a few more premiership celebrations to add to the calendar!

Perhaps saving the most exciting news for last, the work of many past WBAFC committees has come to fruition, with the redevelopment of the Ryder Pavilion, Western Pavilion, and Brens Pavilion planned to get underway in January 2021. While we are thankful for the home that has served us so well for so many years, we – along with our co-tenants Youlden Parkville Cricket Club – are excited see a newer, larger, more suitable pavilion take the place of the changerooms and social space that we have dramatically outgrown! Watch this space!

While we’ve had to hit pause on playing this year, and have found ourselves separated once again, we are still a community, and our care for our people doesn’t end when the football does. Please look after yourselves and your loved ones, and remember that you can reach out to the club for support at any time, or access a wide range of resources on our website.

We still have a lot up our sleeves for the remainder of the year and 2021, so keep in touch and engaged through our websiteInstagram and Facebook pages, and via our mailing list (join here).

Beth Cook
West Brunswick Amateur Football Club