Dear Victory family
There has been a lot of work happening in the off-season at the Club. This includes many new staff appointments, the return of all our A-League home games to AAMI Park and a new approach to everything we do to drive the next era of success across all areas of the business.
Hopefully you have started to see this shift across the Club from our recruitment, membership offerings and even down to our marketing and social media engagement.
The new senior leaders of the Club have been working feverishly since they started. We have a new Managing Director, a new Director of Football and of course, a new A-League Head Coach, who are all seasoned professionals, and together the fresh administrative team are leading the way in innovation and change and providing a fresh positive energy and approach to what we do.
With our new look administration, we are focused on ensuring that every aspect of the Club is elite and sets a new benchmark from the moment you walk in the doors. While there is still much work to be done, I am confident that we have the structure and people in place to see Melbourne Victory excel across all areas of the Club.
Caroline Carnegie, who is the only female Managing Director or CEO of any A-League Club, is already driving integral change throughout the organisation. As a result, I am pleased to advise that Caroline will continue in the role on a permanent basis.
John Didulica, our Director of Football, brings a wealth of football knowledge and experience to the Club and has been working hard with both Tony Popovic and Jeff Hopkins to build our men’s and women’s squads for the upcoming season. Part of John’s mandate has been to review and ensure the Club has a consistent club-wide philosophy to the game, fully integrated from our Academy programs through to our professional teams.
Tony Popovic, of course, is our new A-League Head Coach.
Since Tony’s arrival we have seen him step in and provide a structured approach to re-building our men’s team, not just for this season, but with a view to achieving sustained and long-term success. As part of that vision we have adopted an almost completely fresh men’s football department including assistant coaches, medical professionals, analysts, strength and conditioning, recruitment and more. This new team will help support Tony and drive an elite culture at the Club.
In terms of the women’s program, it has also been great to see Jeff Hopkins re-sign with the Club for an additional two years and retain most of his Championship winning squad. We will similarly be providing Jeff and his team with greater structural support, as we look to grow and develop the Club’s women’s program.
Both our men’s and women’s teams are now close to final with only limited places in each squad to be confirmed.
While the Club has faced, and will continue to face, many financial challenges as we navigate through COVID-19 and all the difficulties associated with the ever-changing environment in which we operate, we are continuing, despite difficulties with the current restrictions on our business and sport, to invest in our people, our product and your Club!
We have demonstrated this through the successful close of our capital raise in August, and our new-look men’s squad as we head into next season. We have consciously taken a football first approach, with our eye on delivering on-pitch success across the Club and making sure we get back to where we want to be as soon as we can. Rest assured, we will leave no stone unturned as we seek to once again lead the Leagues in all aspects.
There are also so many exciting things happening at League level including a new broadcast partner (Network 10 and Paramount +) and hopefully the Leagues will soon welcome a proposed investor to provide APL with significant funds to grow and take the game to the next level in Australia.
There is no doubt, our members are the lifeblood of our Club and this has been a focus for us in the off season, as we understand that in moving into the next era at Melbourne Victory, every one of the big decisions we make, must have your interests, our members interests, at heart.
As such the Club continues to work with our active supporter groups and plans to host a member forum where members can speak to myself, Caroline, John, Tony and Jeff about their views, experiences, queries and concerns as we head into season 2021/22. Stay tuned for more details.
Now, more than ever, it is important that we stick together and support the Club (like every other business effected by the pandemic) so it can regain its strength and thrive, as we build towards the future. An enormous amount of work is happening, but we absolutely cannot do it without you – to be truly successful, our coaches, players and staff need the support of every single one of the Melbourne Victory family and faithful to join the movement and come on the journey with us this year.
I look forward to being able to see you all in the stands – hopefully soon.
Anthony Di Pietro
Melbourne Victory Football Club