For the 2020 season and onwards the Balwyn Junior Football Club and Greythorn Football Club have chosen to merge to become the Balwyn Greythorn Jets. A big decision to merge includes the organisation of a great number of players, their families, committees familiarising themselves with each other and the governance of the new club.
Former Greythorn Football Club President Richard Lindsay has moved to the Vice President position within the Club and sat down for an discussion to discuss the merger.
Richard describes, the merger of both clubs occurred because “both clubs were low on player numbers and both clubs were struggling to put teams together in all age groups.”
Discussions began with Balwyn and their President Grant Chisnall to see where they stood looking into 2020. “When we sat down and started having the discussion with Grant and his colleagues from Balwyn, our main motivation was about the kids and being able to put them on the park. Last year we had situations at Greythorn where kids had to play up and sides were short every week. It just wasn’t an ideal situation and it made it difficult especially for players and parents.”
Upon collaboration both sides found that they had the same outlook and cultures. “It’s all about kids getting out on the park and equal participation, so given our cultures are the same and we were in a similar position it made it a pretty easy decision to move forward.”
Thus, the beginning of the formation and merger of the two clubs. From the outset Richard felt that the clubs were a perfect match. “It just felt right from the start. There were never any contentious issues and the whole way through it’s been a smooth process.”
When mergers and collaboration like this occur, it takes a mammoth effort for all parties to make it work. But Richard describes this process working extremely well so far. “There’s people from both clubs and they’re all doing their respective roles, and it’s been great with everyone working so well together. For example, the two people running the sponsorship have come from either club and they’re working amazingly well together.” Ultimately the outlook of doing what’s best for the kids has been the overarching factor in their decision making.
The Jets name was not used by either club pre-merger and it was put out to the community to find the name that suited best. “(Jets) was one of the names put forward by one of the families. The design was a mixture of the suggestions and our main property and merchandise people to work it out and come up with something that was different.”
The groups of both footballing communities is something that has impressed Richard the most. Although there was some initial backlash when the idea was put forward from the older members, the logical decision was the final conclusion. Richard saying “the parents realised why we went down this path, and it’s been a very positive experience overall.”
The lightbulb moment for Richard happened midway through the 2019 season where not having enough players didn’t give the players the opportunity to play how and where their ambitions wanted to be directed. “Having a greater pool of numbers means in the older age groups, you’re able to field two sides. And that’s very important. I never realised how important that was, but the reality is there’s a large number of players with different abilities and motivations. Some who are keen to take their footy to the highest level, and others who are just keen to play with their mates.”
“Having the two teams (per age group) is something I’ve totally converted to.”
Richard credits both the YJFL for continuous support and Grant Chisnall and his committee for being fantastic to work with.
Keep an eye on the Balwyn Greythorn Jets, a new club with ambitious goals, who never forget to do what’s best for the kids.
Balwyn Greythorn Junior Football Club have their Registration day at Balwyn on March 1st. The Season Launch is TBA, planned to be late March.
The @balwyn_greythorn_football_club are one of the YJFL's new club this season. But you'll still be seeing many familiar faces around. Learn more from club Vice President Richard Lindsay as he discusses the merger. Click the 🔗 in the bio to read the story.
A post shared by Yarra Junior Football League (@yjfl_au) on Feb 18, 2020 at 9:47pm PST