You spoke, we've listened! We got some amazing feedback on the 2023 season and I want to share the common themes below along with what we are doing to make 2024 even better.
The feedback is that some of you love to give feedback. Great! We have set up a feedback form to allow anyone to provide feedback, suggestions, complaints or compliments at anytime through the year. This can be anonymous and all submissions will be received by the Club President and reviewed at the next monthly committee meeting. You can also request to get a response to your feedback which will either be done privately or to the entire club.
A suggestion to stop the same people being on the committee and there should be a maximum number of terms after which that person would need to step aside. The issue with this is that under this policy we wouldn't have a committee! The committee is open to everyone and the AGM held each year is the opportunity to put your hand up if you would like to take on a particular position or just to help out on one of our sub-committees. Each position is nominated and must be seconded by an attendee at the AGM. Where there are multiple nominees, a vote takes place to determine the most suitable candidate. Volunteers run this club giving hours of their time for free so the more people the better. If you would like to get involved with the committee this season or next just let me know as I always welcome the help.
there are cliques and its difficult for new joiners to fit in
We pride ourselves on being an inclusive and welcoming club. There will always be groups of people who gravitate to each other but when at the Giants we want everyone to feel welcome. This feedback is something we will take and look at how we can improve the culture.
If you ever feel like you are not welcome, being discriminated against or being excluded, please use the feedback form (feedback can be anonymous), send me a message, discuss with one of the coaches, team managers or captains.
In 2024 we are moving our WhatsApp groups to a community. This will make all of the groups associated with the Giants visible to all members so they can get involved in anything they are interested in. The intention of this is to both streamline messaging, surface important announcements without all the associated messages and to give everyone an opportunity to get involved with other areas of the club in particular social groups/clubs.
more social activities & get togethers
We always try to pack as many events into the year as we can but our Social committee can only do so much. I'd encourage people to organise additional events and throw it open to their team or the entire club as it is impossible to try and organise around everyone's interests and availabilities. If you have an idea for a group and want help to get it started, just shout. Even better, just start it and invite people along. It only takes a few minutes to create a WhatsApp group and paste a link in the main group. Love getting a roast? Start the Sunday Roast club! Love cinema? Get a movie going group started. Remember we have active groups such as the park run, gym sessions, theatre cub and probably countless others.
Gamedays in particular can get expensive
We know that every pound matters and that expendable income is precious. The annual membership fees help us to run the club. These pay for: AFL London league fees, insurance, balls, marquees, equipment, our website and online presence, subsidising social events, presentation night and everything else needed to run a sports club. The £5 match fees help to cover costs such as umpires and ground hire. First goal kickers, sweepstakes and raffles are designed to be fun and to give people the chance to win some money back on game days and at events. Any additional money raised went towards the presentation night. The format for first goal kicker in 2023 relied on all players being picked and therefore there was some pressure applied for everyone to enter.
We never want to pressure people into spending more than they can afford.
Raffles and sweepstakes are typically aimed at raising money for charity partners of which we are proud to work with and give back to our community as well as causes near to our hearts. We also try to make events good value and as affordable as possible.
In 2024 we will look to change things like first goal kickers to make it affordable to play for those who would like to enter and no pressure on those who don't. Sweepstakes and raffle tickets will always be voluntary but we will look to keep these as affordable as possible and include free entries whenever we are able. We will also be bringing in vouchers for those who volunteer for goal umpires which will earn them a free drink and BBQ token at home games. The kit washers will get a voucher to cover things such as electricity and washing detergent.
In 2023 we held a Members draw each Thursday at the Pyrotechnics Arms. The prize started at £20 and increased by £10 (or more on special occasions) until it was claimed. In order to be eligible for the draw you had to be present at the Fee Fi Footy show and the membership number was drawn using a random number generator.
In 2024 the Members draw will be back! However, this season you will not have to be present at the Pyro in order to claim the jackpot. Instead, to be eligible you simply need to have been at one of the weekly training sessions (either Tuesday OR Thursday) and have put in your attendance on TeamApp for that session. The draw will still be done live at the Pyro on Thursday during the Fee Fi Footy Show but should you not be present and your membership number is drawn and you have met the other criteria, you will be notified and the prize will be yours.
fee fi footy show
Some say it is cringe, others would like to see a greater variety of hosts and speakers. We agree! The show is a satirical take on the traditional Footy Shows that many Aussies grew up watching. They are part sit-com, part satire and part news but ultimately all aimed at good fun. If you would like to host the show, help with the production (the show takes a lot of people's own free time to put together) or to present your own segment either recurring or one-off just let us know! (remember that feedback page?) Anyone can get involved and I encourage everyone to give it a go so we can keep the fun going.
The current kit is around 5 seasons old now. Over time we have lost some of it and it has been through some hard matches. New kit is an expensive investment which takes a lot of time to design, find a reliable supplier, negotiate with sponsors and ensure that what we order is of good quality. We recognise the need for it and are working hard to secure new sponsors so that we can afford to replace the kit for the 2024 season so watch this space! New kit will ensure that the appropriate range of sizes are available for tops and shorts across both the teams. The Team Manager roles will be responsible for keeping in tip top condition and monitoring it to ensure no one is accidently taking it home with them as we need it returned so there is always enough for everyone at game days.
food options on game day
We will be working with café Round to see what they can offer in terms of food options and discounts for Giants as well as for the clubs we are hosting. In addition we are looking at options to have food at the bar as well, however we are limited by what the council permits us to do. Definitely an area we intend to improve in 2024.
more split training drills/sessions
Feedback was overwhelming that having separate men’s and women’s team based training drills really helped to improve confidence and skills. This is completely numbers dependent and the coaching team are absolutely on board with running training in this manner. If we can get reliable numbers down to training we can plan this accordingly. Splitting the teams off to focus on targeted drills helps everyone develop. Get to training, drag your team mates along and we will be able to do so much more at each training.
Other training related feedback
You also gave a bunch more feedback on what you want to see at training which we’ve passed on to the coaches. This included more match simulation, more specific gameplays/tactics (breaking out into forwards, midfield and defenders especially), more protected time for skills/technique work, gameplay, and tackling practice with contact. Some of these depend on getting good numbers down to training, so we’re counting on you to get down to the Rye to make the most of the sessions that our awesome coaches are organising for you!
We had feedback that we should have a concussion protocol. Well in fact, we do! As our sport falls under the jurisdiction of Sport England, every club in AFL London is mandated to follow the UK Concussion Guidelines for Non-Elite (Grassroots) Sport referred as "If in doubt, sit them out". In short: should a player be subjected to a diagnosed concussion will be reported to AFL London within 2 days of the game. The players profile will then be amended in PlayHq to prevent them from being selected until after the 21 day period has past.
This came in to effect in April 2023 and you can download the full guidance below:
A 1-page reference guide has also been put together from AFL London which summarises the full policy:
A 1-page reference guide has also been put together from AFL London which summarises the full policy:
are we going to have more than 2 teams?
As a club we have an ambition to grow and would love to see us with multiple men's and women's teams in future. We will however only do this when it is in the teams best interests and we are confident that we have the numbers and skill level to be able to compete.
At the end of 2023 we asked for feedback from the men's team about whether the team felt ready to take the next step in growing to a second team. We provided options that if we were to do so whether the second team would be in Socials or Conference as well as whether the teams would be evenly split or ranked.
In the view of the coaching team and committee, we have decided that for 2024 it would not be in the Giants best interests to grow to a second team. This unfortunately means that like in 2023 there will be those who miss selection. However it ensures that we can remain competitive, creates competition for spots, encourages attendance at training and ensures that we are not having to scrounge for numbers. The results of this survey can be viewed here.
We are kicking off discussion with AFL London on the structures for 2025 and as part of this we will be debating how we can grow clubs like ours without discouraging people by having them play in higher divisions or having our teams separated each week. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please use the feedback form.
The pyro is a bit of a dump
Yes, but it's our dump. There isn't a pub in London that would let 100+ dirty, sweaty footy players turn up and drink the bar dry while dancing on tables while we cause a fire in the front beer garden. While we do not at this time receive direct financial sponsorship from, the Pyro stores all of our gear (which is a lot) and allows us to use the BBQ, upstairs kitchen and back room for free whenever we ask along with raffle prize donations, subsidised boat race beers and who can forget 5 buds for £10. They also deliver all our match day equipment to Peckham Rye and collect it at the conclusion. It may not be the most glamorous pub but it is by far the cheapest in proximity to the Rye and they genuinely love having us there. Embrace it!