The following is an urgent message from Mike Jolley to anyone who has ever had an affinity with the Old Paradians' Association Amateur Football Club and who wants to see the club prosper up to and beyond the 100th anniversary of its existence;

To Members, sponsors, supporters and players,

We really need your help. Where does the OPAAFC go from here?

I am writing to invite you to a special meeting of members, sponsors, supporters and players at the Frank Mount Social Rooms on Wednesday September 18th commencing at 7:30pm. We really need to talk about the future of our great club.

I am extremely passionate about our football club, the terrific people who are part of it and what it has achieved over the last 90 years. As has been the case since its beginning in 1929 this club is only as good as its administration and its members, sponsors, players and supporters.

I am particularly proud to have led the club as President over the last nine years and to have worked with our committee and members in overcoming some significant administration issues and build a strong base for the future.

However, as I have recently highlighted, our club has reached another major cross-road in its evolution and one that will determine whether we survive and get stronger or regress and disappear.

It is that clear cut and, as always, we need to determine which of those roads we take and how we get there. This is not the first time our club has faced

such hurdles and it will not be our last.

The football club needs to build a new and stronger administration. The existing committee is a relatively small one that has worked tirelessly, doing a great job, rebuilding the club, its facilities and finances over the last decade. Many of those same committee members are now over 60 years of age and have made significant contributions for years. Put simply we have reached our limits and a refresh of personnel is now urgently required to reinvigorate and re-energise the club.

If we are unable to attract new and energetic members (both committee and general) then I am afraid our future may be in doubt.

The first step in addressing this issue is to bring together all our stakeholders so that we can gain an appreciation of the issues confronting the club and to commence discussion and develop some constructive solutions.

At this meeting we will outline a range of matters, including those the Committee believe should be addressed, along with those raised by others, and will discuss how best to move forward with them. Some of the issues we want to table are as follows-

- Generating interest in our club

- Recruitment

Others have raised such matters as:

- Would a move away from the VAFA help our cause?

This is not something we can leave to others. It will take all of us having our say and being part of the solution. It is vital that you attend the meeting so we can make this first step, in the right direction, a very successful one. I look forward to seeing you there.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Jolley