Project 22, Year 2 (2020)
By season 2022 we will have:
Our senior men’s team promoted to State League 2
Two teams in each junior age group for boys (graded from U10)
Improved female participation
An active program and pathway for girls
An engaged, active community, fostered by a culture of helping
Who we are
We are an ambitious, competitive community club.
What we do
Provide a safe, accessible and inclusive environment for players, spectators and volunteers to encourage and foster a love of football.
Project ‘22 is the club’s strategic plan to take us from seasons 2019 to season 2022. Since being written down in September, 2018 it has given guidance with the club and also provided a very positive reflection externally. The foundation has been set.
The committee constantly reviews and tests performance against the plan. At the end of 2019 when considered a range of elements to formulate the plan for seasons 2020. Important reference points have been:
• club survey held in 2019
• budget and finance analysis, especially at the end of 2019
• success or otherwise against key pillars of Project ’22 set out in 2019
• senior coaching reviews
• junior coaching consultancy
1. At the core we are a football club. We need to provide the best footballing experience we can, tailored to the needs of our players. Last year this was not its own pillar, but it underpins the club, and has been made to stand alone as a result.
2. Our senior men’s team promoted to State League 2 by 2022
After missing out by 1 point in 2019, 2020 is the ‘year of redemption’, but that doesn’t mean we will invest more money into it.
3. Two teams in each junior age group for boys by 2022
‘Advanced’ and ‘development’ were confusing in 2019 and caused some concern amongst members. But the plan to split teams by abilities and therefore enable everyone who wants to play to play remains. Capacity issues are a bigger issue here.
4. Encourage active female participation
In 2019 this was listed as ‘have a senior women’s team’, but has been tweaked to consider female participation more broadly, combined with the creation of an active pathway for girls.
5. Create an engaged, active community, fostered by a culture of helping.
It is vital to encourages further and broader volunteering as well as running more social events to encourage inclusivity and engagement.
It’s a lot to take on
Lofty goals are not easy to achieve and we acknowledge that we will need to do it step-by-step. We will need help from the community along the way. And as with any plan, there will be opportunity costs of doing one thing over another – there is only so much time and money available, so we will have to prioritise.
Some of the issues that need to be considered for Project’22 to stand a chance of success are listed below (with more detail to follow). We will address these issues with long-term and consistent effort.
• capacity issues: grounds – access, space and quality (council).
• coaching issues: consistent quality. Club-wide professional development.
• participation: getting the numbers for two teams in each age group (and capacity for them).
• participation (women and girls): we started from scratch last year. It will take a long focus and consistent effort.
• senior men’s: winning promotion without spending crazy money like competitors.
• communications: clear, transparent and consistent.
• administration and compliance: cannot be forgotten amongst the ‘big picture’.
Some more context
2019 was an excellent year on the off the pitch, but it was not perfect – that’s not possible in a community sports club! We need to continue to test and revise our strategic priorities, and to do it in a controlled, sensible fashion. We can’t do everything at once.
The last two years of growth has illustrated some quality-control issues to attend to: we have not been able to be as close to our community (and visa-versa) as we would like, our service to members can be even better, and our senior men’s team is not in a high-enough league. Capacity issues remain. Progress has been made on all of those counts, but we need to restrict the growth this year and improve the foundation for the next couple of years to come.
We are not wealthy, and we need to build reserves for the the future. Our budgetary decisions should be made for the good of the club and its members now, but also with eye on the full course of Project ’22 and beyond. Detailed and robust financial discussions have been held and will continue to be held.
As the heartbeat of the club, our junior coaches need better support and professional development regardless of which league their team is in. Appointing a Junior Coaching Director is a vital step here, although the right person proved elusive in 2019.
We want to be able to offer as many player pathways as possible, whether that is a purely social player, or developing junior moving to a more advanced level, and becoming a competitive senior player. Players shouldn’t have to leave our community to make that happen.
In 2019, we saw the successful introduction of a girls’ mini-roos program, with 25-30 participants. It meant we could also welcome three new female junior coaches into the Falcons’ nest. That program has led to the introduction of an U9 girls team for 2020. We will slowly build on those programs and ensure that female participation is encouraged in a meaningful, authentic manner – both on and off the pitch.
The senior men’s team is the peak team at the club. It is the only team that can take the club into higher leagues, create more pathways for our juniors, generate more interest in the local community, and therefore allow us better council and funding possibilities.
The club has achieved great success and recognition with the Access All Abilities program. Our attention on it won’t stop.
The 2019 survey reinforced:
We don’t need wholesale changes: average response to whether people are positive about the club is 4.5 out of 5 stars. 74% of respondents enjoyed match day. 71% are happy overall, with only 5% unsatisfied.
Graded teams is the way to go, but needs to be communicated better.
Junior skill acquisition and quality of coaching are of high priority. Only 64% responded that skills and technique have been developed. Whilst overall, people are very happy with the club, that number needs to be higher. (2020 survey to explore this further)
Promotion of seniors is a priority, but not for everyone. The reasons why it is important for the club as a whole needs to communicated.
TeamApp is clearly the way people like to receive info.
Girls’ teams and a senior women’s team are desired. Excellent foundation underway with girls’ miniroos but we have to be well-prepared as they become actual teams.
Environmental concerns are real and present, and need attention around the club.
Action Stations (2020)
THE PILLARS (what to do)
1. At the core, we are a football club
• engage a Junior Coach Director to support, encourage and improve coaching: done
• ensure a successful ongoing performance of the Junior Coach Director: ongoing
• run professional development sessions for junior coaches: three planned for pre-season, compulsory for all coaches: underway
• more organised and structured trials for U14 and older: done
• run a smooth transition of the new female coaches and players: ongoing
• support and encourage the senior men’s program: ongoing
• introduce the ‘Falcons Academy’ with Junior Coach Director: pilot program pre-season
• further encourage and better-implement the senior mentoring program: ongoing
• new sub-junior goals and repaired senior goals. More agility poles. pre-season
• pre-season management of facilities and training schedules: ongoing
• player registrations and payments (jotforms and EOIs): pre-season
2. Senior Men’s team promoted two divisions (by 2022)
• reappoint Kaan and his coaching team for 2020: done
• continue the support that Kaan requires: ongoing
• engage a team manager that has that sole task: done
• decrease the budget committed to the program, but keep the quality: done
3. Two teams in every junior boys age group, split by abilities
Two key policy documents were created in 2019. Implementation is ongoing:
• Player selection policy (U10 and older)
• Trials program and policy (U14 and older)
Teams will now be called whatever playing division they are in (or by colours), not Advanced and Development. They will all get equal attention.
4. Encourage active female participation
• continue girls’ mini-roos: done and ongoing
• introduce the first junior girls teams: U9 done
• ensure smooth transition of the teams and the coaches: ongoing
• consider ‘soccer mums’ and other initiatives: ongoing
• ensure a female-friendly environment: ongoing
5. Create an engaged, active community, fostered by a culture of helping
As an inclusive club, we want everyone to enjoy their experience of being a Falcon. We need to engage more of our community, and will do so by:
• asking for help
• encouraging people to ask what they can do
• running social events away from the game of football
• making the clubrooms as appealing as possible
There are now eleven people on the committee, up from three, three years ago. Roles and responsibilities to be confirmed so as to efficiently split all club tasks: ongoing
Sponsorship, events and cost reductions are all a key part of year 2. Specific committee tasks have been assigned. In the end, we want to build financial reserves, but we also want to decrease the cost of junior participation.
The survey showed a clear imperative to take some action on environmental issues – as has the Darebin council (for all clubs). We will start to take some action that members will see around the club, and encourage members to raise suggestions and take action themselves. Some initiatives may a result to a hit to our revenue, but we need (and want) to take a stand, and our members want us to, as well.
Greatly improved, but can be better. There are so many stories around the place! The survey illustrated that this is the 2ndhighest priority in importance behind coaching quality.
Communications can be split into two: internal (teamApp etc) and external (Facebook and website).
• Ruby Pizzo has been appointed as a volunteer to lead more consistent communications.
• a new website was released in 2019. It needs better, more consistent updating (Ruby)
• the shift towards widespread TeamApp use has been successful and will continue.
• more player/team-led communications with be encouraged: video and images
• Junior Coaching Director will provide a greater presence on the ground
It takes a lot of time and effort to manage and run the canteen. To make sure the revenue and the social elements we need to ensure more assistance (rostering through teams).
Another survey will take place partway through season 2020 with more specific information targeted to feel the pulse of the membership and its ongoing reasons for being a Falcon.
Council and broader community
• Maintain good relationships with council, but dig in our heels when it comes to ground allocations, which are an ongoing, ever-present issue
• Participate in council information sessions
• Continue to take some leadership with FV, especially around the registration process
• Speak with other sports clubs in the area to see what we can learn
• Build the fledgling relationship with DT38