Hello to our Bloods Members, Bloods Supporters and our partners.
We have been on an incredible journey together this year – it’s one that we could never have imagined and one that has required creativity and flexibility at every turn.
Our season concluded on Sunday with a nail-biting loss to Geelong – and I’m sure like me, you were holding your breath as Rowbottom launched for that kick inside 50 in the dying seconds, only to have it smothered. It was a massive effort against a premiership contender with almost double the games experience of our young team. Our players will take lessons from that game and from right across the season.
Over the course of this season we have blooded seven debutants: Dylan Stephens, Chad Warner, Elijah Taylor, Matt Ling, Sam Wicks, Zac Foot and Joel Amartey. A total of 39 players have run out in the red and white – and in all but one game this season, our 22 players have been younger and less experienced than our opposition.
While we are disappointed not to be playing finals, there are plenty of positives to take from this year. Our younger players have tasted the big stage and will be hungry for more, while the games they have played will leave them better for the experience in the year to come. We also have some handy inclusions to come back into the team, the likes of Heeney, Hewett, Franklin and Rampe – who was this week honoured with the AFL Player’s Association’s Most Courageous Award.
To our partners, we thank you for your support and willingness to adapt across a season where we have had very little ability to plan. Among the many challenges of this year we’ve had to navigate four “home stadiums” with different rights and configurations, and only had four of our home games at the SCG. Throughout all of that, our partners have continued to work hard to provide great experiences for our fans and help bring them closer to the team. Everyone at our club is grateful for your unwavering support.
To our members – the Bloods – you have been there with us every step of the way. You’ve ridden the wave of triumph, of heartbreak, uncertainty, and the moments we’ve taken a stand because we have felt it’s the right thing to do. You’ve encouraged us, made us smile, and given us reason to keep striving to be better. We couldn’t have survived this year without you. From everyone at the club – thank you.
The unique circumstances of this year have been an opportunity to look inside ourselves. What it has shown us is that we have a team – of staff, players, members and partners – who are even more passionate, dedicated and resilient than we thought possible. We’re really excited about what we are building together.
For now, it’s time to take a breath and reset – because when it’s time to go again, we’ll be ready.
As always, take care of yourselves and each other.
Chief Executive Officer