Monday, December 6, 2010

Letter from the Chairman

Dear Members,
I am writing to let you know that Wests Magpies will be alive and, hopefully, very competitive at all levels again for the coming 2011 Rugby League season.

Despite many rumours which have been circulating, we are looking forward to “business as usual” on the football field – and that business has given us much to celebrate as we look back on the past season.

Congratulations are in order, and have been delivered at functions in the premises of our principal sponsor, Wests Ashfield Leagues Club, for the efforts of all involved with our State Cup side, and the Junior Representative Teams in both the Harold Matthews and S.G. Ball competitions.

As committed Magpie supporters, you probably already know that the State Cup team fell just one game short of a Grand Final appearance; the S.G. Ball side reached the Qualifying Final; and the Harold Matthews team reached the Preliminary Final.

These fine results were products of a lot of hard work by dedicated and valued players, coaching staff, and volunteers – and everyone involved with the Magpies is most appreciative of their fine efforts which ensured that Western Suburbs remained a proud and competitive football force through what was the Club’s 103rd season.

We are also appreciative of the efforts of those who have collectively steered the Club through operational challenges away from the on-field excitement.

This year has been a challenging one, with the Board of this Club having to make some tough decisions which have always been aimed at improving administrative practices and ensuring that we are positioned for a bright future.

You are probably aware that our former long-serving Chairman and Chief Executive, Kevin Hammond, vacated his position in April, to be replaced as Acting General Manager by Andrew Waite who in turn chose to resign his Board post when the General Manager’s position was restructured at the end of October.

Restructuring, which has involved moving the increasingly complex financial and overall business administration of the Club to Wests Ashfield, meant that the positions of Ms Tracey Roberts and Ms Aggie Lucas were made redundant during Andrew’s period administering our Club.

To Kevin and Andrew must go our thanks for their work, and to Tracey and Aggie our gratitude for their understanding and acceptance of our need to make tough decisions.

Your Magpies have been most fortunate in being able to tap into the services of Mr Steve Reeves to oversee continuing operations at our Whitlam Centre offices as we prepare for an exciting new season.

Most of you know Steve, and would be aware of his past experience in a similar role.

There is no doubting his commitment to and passion for the Magpies, and it’s matched by his strong personal knowledge of the Club and our many valued volunteers on whom we depend so heavily to be able to continue providing Rugby League opportunities for numerous young players in the Macarthur Region.

A “thank you” function for those volunteers is being planned for early in the new year, and we are also working towards our Annual General Meeting as an opportunity for the broader Magpie fraternity to learn more about our future.

The Club will continue to be a feeder for Wests Tigers in 2011, and our Head Coach, Leo Epiphania, has been involved with that NRL Club in looking to ensure that some of its contracted players will be available to the Magpies, along with his continuing efforts to retain our core players and negotiate with new signings. Thank you, Leo.

Thanks must also be expressed to Wests Ashfield Leagues Club for its guarantee of financial support for the Magpies, and its almost invaluable contribution to our operations by assuming responsibility for the already huge and seemingly growing volume of administrative paperwork that is involved with running modern day football.

We are grateful to Wests Ashfield also as our principal sponsor, and to all other sponsors who have contributed to easing the financial burdens of continuing to field our teams.

Finally, I extend gratitude to you as Magpie Members for your dedication to everything associated with the team, and special thanks to those who have regularly joined us in the stands to cheer on the mighty Maggies.

Best wishes for Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2011 – when, along with my fellow Board Members, Mick Liubinskas, George Downie, Julie Romero, Ron Powell, Denny Burgess, and Paul Dillon, I hope to meet you all, and share the joys of many wins.


Mike Bailey

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

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