I’d like to wish you and everyone in the Crows family a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy festive period after what has been another busy year.

It culminated for us this week with a significant milestone in our journey towards building a new headquarters when we secured a long-term lease for the Thebarton Oval precinct.

It means we are now a big step closer to delivering a world class training and administration facility that will also provide our AFLW team with a home ground, and a place for all of us Crows fans to come together.

Our men’s and women’s players are now on leave and at various stages of their preparation and planning for next year. The AFL team completed an intense albeit brief three-week period of pre-season training which was very productive.

The guys returned from their off-seasons in great condition with High Performance Manager Darren Burgess reporting plenty of personal bests in their time trials on day one.

They had a gruelling running session on their final day before the Christmas break and I trust the hard work will continue while they are on their time off, and they come back ready to attack the rest of pre-season in January.

I’ve been really pleased with the way our three draftees – Dan Curtin, Charlie Edwards and Oscar Ryan have started their journey with us – and along with recruit Chris Burgess they have fitted in really well.

We have locked in match simulation and pre-season practice games against Port Adelaide on February 23 and West Coast on March 2, and hope to be able to share details of our internal trial game in the New Year.

Our AFLW players are also enjoying a well-deserved break after a huge season although it’s not uncommon to see many of them already in the gym.

Off the field it’s been a busy period for our list management and recruiting team with a host of re-signings headed by Niamh Kelly, Sarah Allan, Anne Hatchard and Ebony Marinoff, who have all committed to four-year deals!

In warding off rival clubs we’ve been able to keep our core talent together with at least 15 players already committed for next year and stay tuned for more to come.

We also made three selections at the AFLW Draft on Monday night and are thrilled to welcome Brooke Boileau, Tamara Henry and Lily Tarlinton to the Club. The girls have already been to West Lakes and will start integrating into the program in the New Year.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Chelsea Randall who has announced she will be stepping down as our AFLW captain. Chels has done an amazing job in driving high standards and building the strong culture that our women’s program is renowned for, so a job well done.

As we head into the Christmas break, a reminder that it’s not too late to buy a 2024 Crows membership as a gift for a loved one. We have one of the most fan friendly fixtures, with a good mix of marquee time slots and big name opposition, so don’t miss out.

Thanks for your continued support and it will be great to see you all at the footy again next year!

Regards, Tim.