Footy players and fans...
we've go some
G’day Footy Players and Fans!
We bring you some very exciting news about our local footy club!
You are receiving this news as current, former, future or supporter members of the St. Pete Swans or Tampa Bay Redbacks.
A leadership group met Wednesday night to work out a way for our footy club to move forward as a full USAFL club and re-enter the national competition and championships, which are being hosted in the Tampa Bay area in mid-October.
As many of you may be aware, our St. Pete Swans football club has not been a member of the USAFL since 2017. Dean has decided to step down from running the St. Pete Swans, so we find ourselves at a real crossroads.
Therefore, we have registered a new USAFL team - the Tampa Bay Tiger Sharks - and seek your approval to begin a new chapter of footy in West Florida.
Oddly enough, no other USAFL Team has chosen a shark as its logo, and considering our seaside location, and the general aggressiveness of Tiger Sharks, we would like to submit to you a new look and spirit for our club.
So what would this mean for you?
In order to move forward quickly and comply with USAFL requirements, we have appointed “acting” officers of the club. However, these will be elected positions.
We are open to feedback and suggestions, but our vision for the new Tampa Bay Tiger Sharks is to:
- Enter a team in the USAFL National Championships in Bradenton FL - October 11-12th. We need our members to come out and play, and for our supporters to cheer us on.
- Begin our 2019-2020 Season in early August (date to be announced), with a rigorous schedule of training, metro and USAFL club games.
- Be a non-profit club, owned and operated by its members. We need members to fill the roles of our Officers and the myriad of other tasks that will be required to grow our club.
- Will hold an open monthly members meeting, where members can help shape the future of the club.
- Lay out a defined schedule of matches, social events and fundraisers at the beginning of each season so that members can plan their schedules well in advance. To encourage competitive play, the calendar year will be broken into multiple playing seasons.
- Encourage other Southeast USAFL teams to travel and play at our facilities.
- Create a travel fund to support the cost of playing “Away” games.
- Attract local and strategic sponsors to support our club and defray the costs of membership.
- Create a new website that will always contain the latest schedule of our events.
- Create a metro premiership season that fosters our competitive season for all of our club members to play, including a perpetual trophy and awards ceremony at the end of each season.
- Play our games on ovals, with a return to regular AFL rules (goal squares, center bounces, boundary throw ins).
- Play at a variety of locations in the greater Tampa Bay area.
If you support this process, what would we need you to do?
With your support in this decision, we would want our player members to:
- Register as USAFL players of the Tampa Bay Tiger Sharks - there is a cost here of $100 per player - that is going to be each players responsibility, but will be required before you pull on a Sharks jumper. Membership is registered at www.usafl.com. If you are already a registered USAFL player this year, you will need to switch your club to the Tampa Bay Tiger Sharks
- Register as club members of the Tampa Bay Tiger Sharks. To fund the activities described above, this would require paying club dues. Costs will be determined by the board, once elected. Players who do not register and pay (local metro) dues will not be able to play for our club (nationwide).
- Membership of both the Tampa Bay Tiger Sharks club and local (metro) teams will be the norm.
- We are now a members club, which means everybody will have a role - setting up goals, marking boundaries, issuing kit, etc. This is an all inclusive club that belongs to everybody!
- Play football! Turn up and play the game you love! Play it often, and play with spirit.
Also with your blessing, we would like our supporter members to:
- Come out and support us - we play an amazing sport!
- Be part of our game - Don’t want to play? We need scorers, time keepers and goal umpires.
- Be part of our club - come out to our social events and fundraisers.
Finally, we acknowledge that without the all of Dean Capone’s hard work and personal contributions over the last 4 years, there would be no Australian Football in this part of the world, and none of this would be possible. Dean has chosen to step away from the St Pete Swans, and in recognition of all of his work, the acting officers of our new club will be inviting Dean to join the club as an Honorary Member, and our metro league teams will play for the “Dean Capone Premiership Trophy”
We ask that you please FILL OUT THIS SURVEY support for the above as either a player or supporter of the Tampa Bay Tiger Sharks.
If you pledge your support by replying, we will be in touch in the next few weeks to let you know when the season opens, and provide a full schedule with membership plans and instructions.
Gregory Bray (Acting President)
Robbie Scarallo (Acting Secretary / Webmaster)
Katie Kennedy (Social Media Director)
Tom Mathew (Acting Treasurer)
Claire Conley (Acting Secretary)
Mathew Elliot (Membership Director)