South Launceston’s youngest-ever president will bring a focus on growing women’s football and business partnerships as the club looks to secure a four-peat in the NTFA’s premier division.
Invermay 24-year-old Joey Crawford will lead the Bulldogs through to the 2022 season after Felicity Viney stepped down late last year, capping off a three-year term which yielded two senior flags, two reserves flags and two appearances in the under-18 grand final.
A UTAS management lecturer and the co-founder of a men’s grooming business, Crawford joined the board late last year and was catapulted into the top role soon after.
The Chamber of Commerce young professional of the year finalist said he had not been expecting the offer.
“We’re not sure who the youngest [president] was before, but we know we haven’t had any 24-year-olds,” the former St Helens District High School student said.
“I don’t know whether that’s a badge or just a statement that times are changing in the way that governance is run - I’d say it’s more that governance is changing, it’s becoming more accessible to younger people and in our case females which is something that hasn’t happened a lot in the past.
“It is pretty rare for a person to slide into a president’s role without being a board member first because there are a lot of nuances with the club to work your head around ... it just means I have to catch up on a few more things you would normally have under your belt.”
Off the ground, Crawford has set his sights on rejuvenating the club’s sponsorship deals, and is determined to develop partnerships further than just erecting signs around the club.
He is also keen to grow the club’s fledgling women’s side into a team of statewide repute, and will only consider a State League return when that goal is achieved.
“We do have a strong men’s side and that’s something I’m really proud of - and the under-18 side is really strong as well - the side we’re going to focus a lot on this year is the women’s team,” he said.
“State League is a big thing ... but the reality is that the women’s space is the space we have to work in right now.
“We have to make sure that’s the place we grow and strengthen before we’d think about as a club changing the entire way we do business.
“If we do it, we have to make sure it works really well for the club.”
Other new directors elected to the Bulldogs board include Kate Child, David Kewley and Craig Newman.