BENDIGO Gold chairman Tim Dickson says Friday night’s 201-point drubbing at the hands of Geelong reinforces the battling VFL club’s decision to put its future on the line for the sake of an improved way forward.
The Gold are embarking on a campaign for increased community, business and council support, with the club’s future in the VFL beyond this year hanging in the balance.
The plight of the stand-alone club was highlighted at the QEO on Friday night when Bendigo copped the biggest loss in its 16-year VFL history with the 35.17 (227) to 3.8 (26) belting against the flag favourite Cats.
“In a way, it shows what we’re about, and that’s not just surviving, but building a sustainable model... obviously, it’s not working in its current form,” Dickson said today.
“Friday night’s result reinforces the path (putting the future on the line for more support) we’re going down is the right one, but as a football club we’re keeping it very positive.
“Aside from the result on the field, the atmosphere at the ground on Friday night was fantastic. It had a real event and carnival feel to it, and that’s what we’ve got to continue to do.”
More than 2000 people were at the QEO in what was another Friday night off-field success for the Gold.
In what was their first year as a stand-alone club after severing ties with former AFL-aligned partner Essendon, the Gold ended the season 0-18, with an average losing margin of 96 points.
“We know we need to build a sustainable model and we’re not shying away from Friday night’s result, but people also need to be patient,” Dickson said.
“In October last year we only had two players... you don’t build a highly-competitive team in just a couple of months.
“It was almost at the stage where we’d take whoever wanted to put their hands up to come to us and play.
“We couldn’t recruit for needs, whereas next year it’s a complete change where we’ll have a good core commit and then we can start recruiting for needs.
“As far as our players go this year, at our Nick Carter Medal last night, you wouldn’t know it was a club that didn’t win a game for the year and had an average losing margin of 96 points.
“What we’ve really invested in this year – and it didn’t cost us any money – is ensuring this club had a really strong culture.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of footy clubs that have been successful and they don’t have the culture of this club.
“The boys just want an opportunity to go again next year.”
The Gold will make a decision on their future by September 27.
A TOUGH SLOG
Rd 1: lt Essendon by 90
Rd 2: lt Nthn Blues by 164
Rd 3: lt North Ballarat by 85
Rd 4: lt Collingwood by 116
Rd 5: lt Box Hill by 87
Rd 6: lt Sandringham by 76
Rd 7: lt Williamstown by 176
Rd 8: lt Coburg by 10
Rd 10: lt Werribee by 92
Rd 11: lt North Ballarat by 118
Rd 12: lt Frankston by 40
Rd 13: lt Port Melburne by 59
Rd 14: lt Sandringham by 75
Rd 15: lt Essendon by 109
Rd 16: lt Box Hill by 37
Rd 17: lt Coburg by 74
Rd 18: lt Casey by 129
Rd 19: lt Geelong by 201