Cheltenham Football Club, the Rosellas, and Cheltenham Junior Football Club, the Panthers, are kicking goals together.
The pair signed a memorandum of association and formed a strategic alliance that should see them both thrive.
The clubs operate at different grounds – the Rosellas at Jack Barker Oval, and the Panthers at Le Page Park – and in different councils, and they will maintain their own identities and control their own business affairs.
The Rosellas are in their 127th year – making them one of the oldest local football clubs in metropolitan Melbourne, while the Panthers were formed in 1990 after the amalgamation of St Francis and Cheltenham Assumption, and now have over 400 registered players and field 19 teams – including 60 girls across four teams.
However, they will come together when it is mutually beneficial to work on bigger picture issues such as sponsorship and marketing, sharing of relevant information and ideas, and to fast track the development of players.
The memorandum of association signed by the clubs complies with AFL Victoria’s player-points system and will encourage the movement of players from the junior Panthers to the senior Rosellas.
Rosellas president John Graham said: “Our club is dedicated in our drive for positive action that will bring about and enable a professional, well run, structured sporting club for the community. We look forward to continuing to work with the Panthers to assist them in the development of their junior players and then welcoming those players to the Rosellas.”
Cheltenham Panthers president Tony Pitara said: “We are a club with a strong focus on player development and fostering community involvement. We want our junior players to have as many options as possible to continue their football growth and pathway to senior football. Our relationship with the Rosellas is as strong as ever and we look forward to working with them in other areas to continue to strengthen both clubs.”
The alliance is already bearing fruit with Carlisle Homes announced as their first joint sponsor. Carlisle Homes were thrilled to be able to play a role in supporting the community and grassroots sports with this exciting partnership, which is part of their significant community sports sponsorship program.