2016 THC Award Function Report
The 2016 member and Award function was held on Tuesday 6th December in the Maurice Rioli room Punt Road, and strongly supported by members many of whom brought first time guests.
THC vice president Michael Perry welcomed members and guests and introduced two of the new players recruited during the trade period, Dion Prestia and Josh Caddy. Mike conducted a Q & A with each player, both of whom began their AFL careers at Gold Coast Suns, both drafted in the 2010 draft. Both are Victorian boys and both have already played 95 AFL senior games. To say both were super impressive would be an understatement. Both spoke positively about their reasons for joining the Tigers and their desire to enjoy long term careers and team success at Punt Road. Both stayed throughout the function, talking to members and guests, posing for photographs and generally embracing the whole night.
David Astbury, now entering his 7th year at Tigerland, was also in attendance and spoke positively about pre-season training form and his strong desire for both personal and team success in 2017.
President Rob Edgley then provided a run-down of THC functions in 2016 and presented a cheque for $15,000 to the RFC, accepted with thanks by CEO Brendon Gale. Brendon outlined the new AFL zoning system and the new RFC Academy program to which the funds from the THC will be directed.
Michael Perry then introduced Neil Balme who spoke with clarity and conviction about what he thought needed to be done at Richmond next year and how he expected that there would be an immediate and significant improvement in effort and a resultant on-field improvement. However he was equally quick to point out that there were no guarantees and improvement would only come if every-one within the Club was on the same page and committed to achieving the same goals.
Mike then invited THC patron Maureen Hafey to join Neil and announce the winner of the 2016 THC Award, and present the trophy. This was awarded to Dale Weightman in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the RFC over almost 40 years, during which he became a premiership player at age 20 (1980), captained the Tigers for 5 years during some of the leanest years, played a total of 274 games, got reported 16 times, represented Victoria on 20 occasions, won All-Australian selection three times, was selected in the RFC Team of the Century, became a member of the AFL Hall of Fame, and has been a RFC staff member since ending his playing career and currently holds the position of Club Relationship Manager. The THC Award is an annual award made to the person deemed to have made a significant contribution to the Richmond FC and who demonstrated Tommy’s 4 golden D’s: Dedication, Discipline, Determination and Desire. Maureen presented Dale with the bronze bust trophy of Tommy and Mike and Neil then engaged Dale in a lively and entertaining interview about his playing career and life at Tigerland.
Just when things were beginning to wind down who should bowl in but Kevin Sheedy. Invited to the stage for a quick chat, we were entertained by a classic Sheeds performance, combining humour, candour and the promise of something new on the horizon involving the Tigers and the Bombers. Watch this space!!
Maureen then assisted Mike in drawing the raffle, which ended formal proceedings. Once again the catering staff at the Maurice Rioli room provided a wonderful spread of finger food, and the boys at the bar were kept busy replenishing empty glasses.
As has become a feature of these functions, there was a warm, friendly atmosphere in the room and no one was in a hurry to go home. If you’re reading this and haven’t re-joined the THC please do so since your support keeps the flame of Tommy alive and contributes to the on-going success of the Club we love, Richmond.