2022 panned out to be one of the most open contests for the Premiership in recent history. Whilst North Adelaide finished on top of the ladder at the end of the minor rounds, there was only one game separating 1st and 4th. On one hand for us, this year will go down in our history books as a year of missed opportunity. On the other, not only did we solidify ourselves as a regular finals contender with our fourth appearance in a row, but we continued to build our reputation as a respected football club in this competition.
I’ve said before that only one team can win the premiership each year, but it doesn’t mean that nine other clubs have failed. And whilst we didn’t quite get the dream result we wanted this year, there’s a lot to be proud of regarding our performances as a Club and the journey we’re on to build our culture. These are the events that defined us this year:
- All five grades made finals. These on-field results are an outcome of our people, our footy program and our culture.
- Our GFCW team made the Preliminary Final after winning the flag in 2021.
- Despite challenges with our U18 / U16 programs and the College system, both grades made the Grand Final. Full credit to our Under 18s for their perseverance in winning the premiership
- We had a really young Reserves team this year but it was great they were able to experience playing in a final.
- We finished in the top 3 of the Stanley H Lewis Trophy for the best performed Club in the SANFL across all grades, after winning this twice over the last three years.
- We went through some adversity during the year, losing Sam Durdin and Brett Turner to the AFL in the mid-season draft. Whilst we were thrilled for the boys to get an opportunity at the highest level, losing two of our best players made it extremely challenging to maintain the momentum we had built by winning six of the first eight games in the first half of the season. The fact that we continue to produce talented footballers for the AFL re-enforces the development structures we have in place and our reputation as a footy club.
- From a list management perspective, losing those boys certainly put a dent in our team. However, the positive was that we’ve been able to get games into a lot of younger players, which is what we need to do if we are to remain competitive each year. Encouragingly, we had seven players aged 20 and under play in our League finals series. This is a great indication of the next generation of players coming through our system.
- Off-field, we’ve continued to build some really good momentum in the following areas:
- Membership is up, and we were particularly pleased with the uptake of our newly introduced GFCW membership. We had over 100 members sign up for this.
- Sponsorship revenue remains strong
- We achieved some of the highest match day attendances in the competition
- We now have 92 Captains Club members
- Our merchandise sales remain really strong
- We continued to invest in the leadership education of our players, and we’ve had a total of 36 male and female players now complete our Personal Leadership Program facilitated by Youth Opportunities. We will continue to remain committed to helping our playing group be the best versions of themselves.
Most importantly to me, culturally we have core group of players, coaches and staff who live by our values and act and behave with integrity, respect and genuine care for everyone at the Club. These outcomes don’t just happen, and I can’t help but feel incredibly proud of our people, what we stand for and what we’re building.
In closing, I want to thank our passionate members, supporters and key corporate partners who continue to be a pillar of support for our Club. Heading into 2023, we need everyone in our Tiger family to help keep building momentum by buying a membership, merchandise or choosing to bring the family to the Club for a meal every so often.
Go the Bays!
Justin Scripps, CEO