Last Friday I was a guest of Anthony Di Pietro and the Melbourne Victory Board at their Chairman’s function prior to our game at AAMI park. They are doing special things down in Victoria and can provide many lessons as to the future direction of the Brisbane Roar.
They have been 12 years in the making and amongst the 350 guests was the acting Premier of Victoria and the coach of the Melbourne Storm to name just two.
Both Anthony and Victory CEO Ian Robson have offered me so much support since my appointment five months ago, for which I am immensely grateful.
When Anthony stood to address the room, he spoke of the good things that are happening at the Roar and the importance of having a strong presence in Brisbane for the Hyundai A-League competition.
Whilst we did not walk away with the points on Friday our travelling support did us proud. I had the pleasure of speaking to many that made the journey. It is a humbling experience to be involved with our great Club.
Season 2016/17 Update
Over 40,000 individuals have supported our HAL team at Suncorp Stadium so far this season resulting in a 38% increase in home attendances. We are currently recording the second highest increase in memberships (26%) and the highest Westfield W-League and Foxtel National Youth League attendances to date.
The fans of Brisbane Roar are doing their bit and are excelling on every level. Now is the time for the Club to step up as well.
Our off-field issues have held us back as a Club for many years, we must acknowledge that, but we cannot and should not become prisoner to problems of the past; instead I believe we can invest and build BRFC to be one of the best sporting organisations in the country and a lot of that work has already started.
We are building a dedicated back room staff and with the help of our marketing company, Six Elements, we have started to build a brand that will carry major significance into the future.
That brand will lead to increased sponsorship revenue and a more secured financial position for the Roar, however all of this will take time. I guarantee you our total focus is on the challenges ahead.
BRFC Youth/Academy Program
As a Club, we are committing to our youth program with the appointment of Drew Sherman as BRFC Academy Technical Director, who will be arriving in Australia later this month. Drew was previously at one of the world’s most renowned academies, the English Premier League side Southampton FC which has produced so many outstanding players over the years.
I met with Drew whilst in England in November and his experience will bring great value to the club.
Relationships will make us stronger as we move towards achieving our common goals. Whether they be with FIFA, the FFA, Football Queensland or the many clubs around the region, we need to reach out and create a bond that will benefit all involved in our great game.
BRFC will be competing in more competitions than ever before in 2017 and we look forward to the development of more young talent in Queensland.
Logan Headquarters Update
Our HAL team currently trains at Ballymore which has proved to be significant improvement on our facilities from last year, however we are now looking forward to moving to our own purpose built training ground in Logan.
For those that are not aware, Logan City Council are creating a four-pitch facility which will include our medical and high-performance centre along with our administration, we believe this will be our home for the next ten years and maybe beyond.
It is an amazing opportunity for the Club and we are very pleased to welcome Logan City Council as a major business partner for many years to come.
Off the pitch, we are some way behind the likes of Melbourne Victory, but we can catch them up if we believe in ourselves. There is so much enthusiasm around the club and we will continue to harness that positivity to ensure that our future is bright. Rest assured that we are looking to work closely with our fans, partners, and the entire football community to ensure that we achieve all of our collective goals.
Each week, I try to speak to as many fans as I can because you are the reason we exist. I answer all questions honestly and will continue to do so. (Feel free to call me to one side at a game or contact me via the club or on twitter (@marksurfers)
Thank you all so much for your support.
BRFC Managing Director