Dear parents and players, On behalf of the Boroondara Hawks Committee, it is with great excitement that I write to you to share the news of the potential merger between the Balwyn Greythorn Jets (U8 – U14), Boroondara Hawks (U15 – U18) and the Balwyn Tigers Football Club (U19+) for season 2024 and beyond.
This proposed merger was unanimously agreed and voted on by the Balwyn Greythorn Jets and Boroondara Hawks Committee’s and is currently sitting with the Yarra Junior Football League (YJFL) Board for approval. We note at this time that the YJFL has provided indicative support. This merger provides only upsides for our club and importantly provides a more seamless 'junior to senior' football experience for our players. Playing out of Balwyn Park, the Balwyn Tigers Football Club was established in 1917 and competes in the Premier Division of the Eastern Football League (EFNL). In the 100+ years the club has existed it has grown to be one of the premier community football clubs in Victoria, focusing on developing excellence, both on and off the field. The merger will see the Boroondara Hawks and Balwyn Greythorn Jets renamed as the Balwyn Tigers, with games to remain at both Balwyn Park and Gordon Barnard Reserve as they currently are. While there will be a jumper change and other minor amendments to reflect the merger, there will be no other major significant changes to the club. The ‘Balwyn Tigers’ junior teams will remain in the YJFL, with a separate committee to manage the junior club requirements as it exists now. In the current climate of declining registrations due to competition from surrounding football clubs as well as other sports, along with the increase in costs and time from volunteers to run the club, the benefits of pooling resources, knowledge and expertise and potentially gaining new and larger sponsors will allow for the junior club to continue to grow and prosper. The proposed merger will also ensure all players from Auskick, through to juniors and then on to seniors, will enjoy a seamless transition and a ‘one club’ ethos throughout. This strong connection to the Balwyn Tigers senior football club will help significantly in terms of resources and support for junior players and parents and furthermore provide a more clearly defined pathway for boys and girls into the Under 19 Men and Under 18 Women’s EDFL system. The merger will not only bring significant financial resources to help with recruitment and football development, but it will also allow the club to employ a Head of Junior Development Manager, which will provide significant benefits to our players. We are very excited to announce that former Carey Grammar Boys First XVIII and Yarra Magpies Head Coach, Vince Dattoli, has agreed in principle to take on this new role. The purpose of the Head of Junior Development role at the Balwyn Tigers would be to create, implement and manage a top-down junior football vision and philosophy. For our Under 15 up to Under 18 football, for boys and girls, we will continue our strong relationship with the Canterbury Cobras to offer multiple teams in these age groups. It is expected that these football development approaches will also filter down to the most junior of teams (U8 – U14) and be the guiding light for junior coach development at the Balwyn Tigers. While the merger still has some administrative hoops to jump through, the committee were keen to share with you this news and highlight the significant benefits it will bring to the club. Further communication will be announced in coming weeks regarding Balwyn Tigers uniform/kit for existing players. It’s an exciting time in our history and one we believe will set the club up for sustainable success in the future. We would welcome any feedback you may have and please feel free to reach out directly to myself or other committee members on what has been shared today. Our expectations are to come back to our members and hold a club wide special general meeting once discussions have been completed with the Yarra Junior Football League and AFL Victoria. Go Hawks and good luck to all teams after our well earnt school holiday break! Kind Regards, Adam Carrozza President Balwyn Greythorn Jets