FIVE STARS | Essendon Royals recognised as one of the best by Football Victoria

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The Essendon Royals are delighted to announce it has been recognised as Moonee Valley's first five-star football club by Football Victoria.

The results are in from Football Victoria's ongoing Club Engagement Program and it's a five-star result for the Essendon Royals.

The most recent survey scored the Essendon Royals at 94%, a result which makes the Royals one of just 16 five-star clubs in North-West Victoria and the first to achieve such status in the Moonee Valley municipality.

Football Victoria's Club Engagement Program operates around an ongoing dialogue between clubs and Victoria's governing body via Football Victoria's Club Development Officers.

Every year, a survey of the club is completed by Football Victoria which rates the club on a number of different criteria.

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Football Victoria assesses the responses to the survey before delivering a final score.

The first time the club sat down with Football Victoria in 2017, following the appointment of a new committee, the Royals only scored in the mid-70s.

Club secretary and reserves coach Emmet Sheehan has been involved since that first meeting with Football Victoria and shared his insights into the journey to this point.

"We sat down with Football Victoria at the end of the 2017 season when we were appointed onto the committee," he said.

"We realised there was a lot of work required to bring the club up to a level expected from a club our size. Simon De Leonardis and Paul Coulson spent a huge amount of time drawing up policy documents and strategic plans for the club to follow.

"We then sat down with Football Victoria again before the start of the 2018 season and were awarded 4 stars with a score of 84 per cent."

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Not satisfied with a four-star result, the committee planned for the next 12 months and focused on providing greater clarity of volunteer role and responsibilities, committing to a risk management plan and more. 

"Using last year’s report, we spent the last 12 months looking at our shortcomings," he said.

"In response, we have spent time updating position descriptions for all our volunteer roles, increasing our social media presence and putting a risk management plan in place."

Sheehan said that the result was not possible without the hard work of his fellow committee members and the volunteers who pitch in to make the Royals such a great place for football, but said the club could always use more hands on deck.

"A lot of work goes into running a club this size. Most members don’t realise how much time is required from volunteers to keep everything running. It is a medium sized business," he said.

"We have had to make some changes which haven’t always been popular, but we have done so to move the club in the right direction and the report shows that.

"We were given a score of 94%, which means we still have room to get better, so we will continue to strive for improvement."

Sheehan said the club would continue to search for perfection as it looks to improve on its five-star result in 2020.

The biggest challenges for the club moving forward remain finding room to meet the incessant demand for spots in the club's thriving football program, as well as increasing female participation in the club and the game.

"The report highlighted two areas for us to target. The obvious one, is trying to meet demand," Sheehan said.

"The biggest concern is we are currently oversubscribed, and while we have an outstanding new facility at Cross Keys, it isn’t nearly enough room.

"This year we have over 700 members and turned away another 300 potential juniors.

 "The other is increasing our female presence throughout the club. We will look into running ALDI MiniRoos Kick Off For Girls and continue to try increase the number of girls teams.

"Also, while a large number of team managers are female, we want to see more accredited female coaches and we will be looking for more women to join our expanding committee."

For more information to get involved in your football club, get in touch with Emmet Sheehan – secretary@essendonroyals.com.au

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