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Footy season is officially back at SMJFL HQ, with the league hosting the 2023 Season Launch and Club Conference last Sunday, 5 March at RSEA Park.

With only 47 days until round one kicks off on Sunday 23 April for our 10,500 + participants across southern metropolitan Melbourne, it’s all hands-on deck for both the league and our Member Clubs alike.

This year’s Season Launch, hosted again by official SMJFL partner Options Consulting Group, centered around volunteering, with the league having close to 10,000 volunteers every season to ensure our participants get the very best football experience possible.

2023 Season Launch Keynote Speaker Georgie Stayches

Georgie Stayches, Chief Engagement Officer at Fetching Events & Communications, featured as keynote speaker of the event and provided valuable insights into the current trends in volunteerism, along with recruitment and recognition of volunteers.

“It’s a simple scenario, without volunteers, the league can’t administer a couple of games of football, let alone an entire season,” SMJFL CEO Matthew Brown said.

“They’re (volunteers) pivotal, and to be able to give our Clubs an audience with someone of Georgie's calibre and experience in this space, sharing her knowledge to provide valuable know-how on engaging and retaining the people who make our games possible,”

"The league is looking forward to continuing to work with Georgie throughout the season, as we continue to support our club network."

Immediately following the Season Launch, the Club Conference co-partnered by OpenCorp & Options Consulting Group kicked into gear, with 12 sessions covering a range of topics from Football Operations to Child Safety to Club Development and featured first time sessions on topics such as Injury Management & Concussion and Coach Coordinators.

"The Club Conference provided an opportunity for us to have direct contact with the SMJFL employees, and have all our queries answered in one day," said St. Kilda City JFC Secretary Nicole Deoueal.

"The speakers were knowledgeable, informative and confident and the interaction with other clubs in a supportive environment was invaluable."

SMJFL Head of Umpiring Doug Haworth presenting during the Football Operations session.

The Conference also featured sessions from league affiliates, with the likes of AFL Victoria, PlayHQ – the AFL’s competition platform and the Danny Frawley Centre at RSEA Park, providing offerings and support to clubs in their own areas of expertise.

“It (Club Conference) was a fantastic opportunity to connect in with the community of the SMJFL,” said Eliza Straford from AFL Victoria.

“The AFLV team were thrilled to be able to share more about our role and the exciting offerings that are coming in 2023.”

Click here to view the SMJFL 2023 Season Dates.


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