VFL fixture for 2020: two night games, 1000th match for Frankston
With new lights going up at SkyBus Stadium, the Dolphins will play Essendon and Richmond in night games next year. And they’ll tackle Coburg in a milestone match in Round 6.
Paul Amy, Frankston Standard Leader
December 17, 2019 7:00am
Top Dolphins Nathan Freeman and Josh Newman (right) have recommitted for 2020.
Under new lights at SkyBus Stadium, Frankston Football Club will play two night matches next year in the VFL.
The Dolphins have locked away successive Saturday nights – June 13 against Essendon and June 20 against Richmond – among their 10 home games for 2020.
The club has invited Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to attend the Essendon clash.
Dolphins GM Adrian “Rocky’’ Lloyd said they would be the first VFL night games staged at Frankston.
New lights will be installed at the ground early next year.
“We think it’s a pretty exciting development for the club, to be able to play night football for the first time,’’ Lloyd said.
“It opens up some good opportunities for us.’’
The other eight home games will be played on Sundays, kicking off in Round 3 against Collingwood, when the Dolphins hold a 50-year reunion of their 1970 under-19s premiership team.
In Round 6 they host Coburg in what will be the club’s 1000th match in the VFA-VFL.
Frankston will be urging all past players and officials to attend and help celebrate the milestone.
The Dolphins joined the old VFA in 1966.
Lloyd said it was a tremendous achievement.
Frankston Dolphins CEO Adrian "Rocky'' Lloyd.
“From what I understand we’re the only club that went out and came back,’’ he said, referring to the Dolphins missing the 2017 season after running into financial difficulties and going into administration.
“Usually once you’re out, you’re out.
“We’re also proud of the fact that we went up to first division and stayed in first division after winning the flag in second division in 1978.’’
Lloyd was on the administration when the Dolphins won the premiership under the coaching of the legendary Bryan Mace.
He left the club in 1994 to take up a role with Carlton. Twenty-five years later Lloyd has returned as CEO, at a time when Frankston is about to enter the final year of a deed of company arrangement in which it must make a final payment of $125,000.
“Once we get through that, we’ll be ready to go to another level as a club,’’ Lloyd said.
“Next year will be a tough year, financially.’’
The club is planning a major fundraising function on June 10 at the social club, with a theme of “Dolphin heroes’’.
Tickets of $500 will be tax deductible through the Australian Sports Foundation.
“The aim is to find 250 people and have them here when we talk about Frankston footy club and its history and where we want to take it,’’ Lloyd said.
“It will be about removing the shackles. It’s not about saving the Dolphins, because we’ve been through that. It’s about how we get the club to being competitive and playing finals in the VFL, as a stand-alone.
“At the end of the night we’ll take everyone outside, turn the lights on and have a photographer take a photo of everyone in the grandstand. We’ll put that photo and the name of every person in the foyer and that will be there forever to show the people who helped the footy club remove that final debt.’’
Jack Frost smothers a Jay Schulz kick in 2015. Both have joined Frankston’s coaching team.
Frankston will also unveil a schools program next year and is planning to expand the Dolphins-in-business scheme.
Vice-president Michelle Graham, of long-time sponsor Graham Quarries, is working at the club two days a week.
“She is getting our policies and procedures in place and looking at the way we conduct our business,’’ Lloyd said.
“She’s a significant reason why I signed on for three years as CEO.’’
On the playing side, Frankston has added two former AFL players to its coaching ranks, with Jay Schulz appointed forwards coach and Jack Frost taking up a development role.
Southport NEAFL small forward Jack Mentha is the latest signing.