On Tuesday 6th September we joined with Essendon Rotary at the evening meeting with guest Speaker Josh Mahoney, CEO of Essendon  FC.
Our table included President Shradha Sharma and Samara, PP Peter Cribb, PP Anne Heyes, PP Lesley McCarthy, Carolina Sevcikova, Yvonne Farquharson and Bob Farquharson.
It was great to catchup with friends including PPs Sunil Pereira, Marioa Kouppas and Lisa Lowcock and Royce Abbey Coordinator Roger Leask, amongst others.
Josh spoke about his history as a player and football manager.  Josh has been involved in the Australian Football League (AFL) for over twenty years, both as a player and manager.   Josh played two seasons with Collingwood but was traded unbeknownst to him to the Western Bulldogs where he played nineteen games before being de-listed. He then played for Essendon in the Victorian Football League for two years.
He was selected by the Port Adelaide Football Club where he played for four seasons and in 2004 he played in an AFL premiership with Port Adelaide beating the Brisbane Lions.  All up Josh played ninety games of VFL/AFL football over his playing career.
He remarked that he still sometimes feels like a cricketer who fell three runs short of a century.

After his playing days ended on ninety-seven games, Josh turned his talents to football administration, becoming an AFL Assistant Coach at the Melbourne Football Club and from there moving into football management.  He was General Manager Football of the MFC for seven years. He was directly involved in the rebuilding of the team, and in the establishment of the inaugural women’s football team.
He holds a science degree, Master's Degree in Marketing, and an MBA. He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Josh by offered several insights from his sports participation and management career:

 Preparation is critical
 The pursuit of continuous improvement is vital
 Treat people well
 Getting the right people is essential to success.
Josh responded to a range of questions. One of his answers was that diversity is important in decision making settings as we want to open up and seek a diverse array of experiences and opinions.  On the challenges facing EFC a present, Josh noted firstly that all staff wanted to stay and contribute to the Club’s turnaround.
Secondly, Josh predicted that a new senior coach will be appointed by the end of the current finals season. Josh observed that great coaches get into the hearts and minds of players and are skilful at delegating.
Josh also commented that it was so important that players have an exit strategy. For instance, twenty-nine of the current EFC senior list are studying at tertiary level.
It was a very interesting talk and the audience had a number of extra questions - including when will Essendon be ready to win another final.