Up, up and aweigh for Dockers
Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich says his club are on record pace off-field ahead of the 2011 season.
Speaking ahead of Fremantle’s season launch last night, Rosich said the Dockers had more members, sponsors and corporate support than at any point in the club’s history at a corresponding time of the year.
He called on his club to “up the ante”, warning that change had to be embraced just to keep pace – a reference to critics of the controversial decision to change the jumper and logo at the end of 2010, and a proposal to enter a reserves team in the WAFL as early as 2012.
“Young players are being presented tonight and it is our responsibility to make sure they have the best facilities, structure and people around them to make sure they develop as quickly as possible and give them the best chance or performing individually in the AFL but also collectively for the team to achieve sustained success,” he said.
“Change is inevitable in a competition like the one we are in. It is so competitive and change is necessary to just keep pace, let alone get ahead.”
“It is something that needs to be done continually in this competition.”
Rosich said the club’s membership was hovering near 39,000, about 3000 ahead of the same stage last year. Corporate suites had sold out and VIP corporate boxes were on the verge of selling out.
The club had 29 sponsors and 550 corporate supporters providing more income than at any point in Dockers history.
“Pleasingly we have got more organisations and people involved in our club at this point in time of the year than we ever have before which gives us capacity and resources to invest in those areas (player development),” he said.
“We have got more sponsors, more corporate partners and more members at this time of the year than we have ever had before.
“We believe that with the fixture we have been dealt by the AFL, which is a high crowd drawing fixture at Patersons Stadium, the demand and sales of corporate products will be quite strong.
“The revenue from that group of sponsors at this time of year is more than it has been in the past.
“That is obviously pleasing and helps underpin investments we are trying to make in facilities, infrastructure, staff and other resources.”
Rosich said the introduction of two new AFL teams had already made player retention tougher and the Dockers would soon be competing against fresh teams for premiership points and the hearts and minds of supporters.
“Competition means that change process doesn’t stop and we need to keep challenging how we do things and continue to up the ante each and every year,” he said.
But he stuck to the club’s policy – in place since he took the reins from Cameron Schwab in July 2008 – of not making predictions about on-field deeds.
“Our expectation is that we do everything possible to continue to improve – that we face each game preparing and turning up to win and that off field we continue to develop our brand and support, facilities to finance and fund our football operations,” he said.
“Our focus remains on what we are doing to improve. Outcomes will take care of themselves.”