Roles within a Club


There are a substantial number of roles to be filled within a football club. The majority of these roles are done on a voluntary basis by committed people who ensure the livelihood of Australian Football at all levels.

Roles within a management committee

The most important roles within a football club fall with the leadership of the management committee. 

Other significant roles

Below are example job descriptions of other roles available within a football club. Often a volunteer fills multiple roles. 

Adapt these job descriptions to outline the requirements of various roles within your club and help guide people who are new to a role.

Getting the culture right

What tends to get in the way of developing an effective football club is the committee becomes a 'talking shop' and individual members fail to follow through on agreed actions. This can be very demoralising for everyone involved.

To counter this tendency, it's important you create a conscious culture of 'getting things done'. You might want to set up some basic ground rules for the committee and incorporate these into your handbook or standing orders. Here are some examples of culture statements you could work by:

  1. Committee members are expected to fulfil their roles between meetings; the purpose of the meetings is to check on progress.
  2. Committee members have full authority to take all necessary actions to fulfil their allocated responsibilities within their allotted budgets.
  3. All briefing papers will be read before the meeting, not at the meeting.
  4. Each committee member shares collective responsibility and ownership of agreed decisions, irrespective of their personal view or vote on the matter.

Keeping Volunteers Enthusiastic

Picture of Australian Football club committee

No matter what your position is on the committee, it’s vital you participate in enthusing and motivating your colleagues: it will help ensure the smooth running of the club, build trust and commitment and strengthen bonds between committee members to create a sense of camaraderie and kinship.

This will of course make being on the committee enjoyable and worthwhile and inspire members to sign up for another year, or coax their friends and family to also join.

Four key elements to enthusing your committee members are:

  1. Empower
  2. Trust
  3. Reward
  4. Motivate
1. Empower

Empowering  fellow committee members to actively contribute will build their motivation and enthusiasm for participating. Most volunteers join committees to use their skills or learn new ones, so make sure they get to do that:

  • Ensure each committee member has a real role with expected goals and outcomes
  • Ask  members to report back at each meeting so they can demonstrate their achievements
  • Form relevant sub-committees with appointed leaders and specific agendas so members can work directly on a project and feel like they have real input and impact. Encourage innovation, new ideas and flexibility
  • If a committee member has a specific skill or profession that they’re not necessarily using on the committee, approach them for advice and help when it’s required. Defer to them as the expert in the area
  • Don’t tell committee members how to do their job; provide advice and guidance, but let members find their own feet
2. Trust
  • Trust committee members will do the tasks appointed to them; don’t micromanage them
  • Listen to committee members when they speak up in meetings, respect their opinions and allow others to think differently
  • Facilitate an atmosphere of openness and accountability; don’t confide in one or two committee members about matters that involve everyone
  • If someone makes a mistake, work to resolve it and find the lessons to be learned; don’t blame, humiliate or remonstrate
  • Provide a sense of support to other members; make them feel they can trust others to take on their role or do extra tasks when they’re absent
3. Reward

Most committees are rewarded at the end of the year for their hard work. But get the year off to a good start by rewarding committee members at the beginning and throughout the season:

  • Make it easier to get to meetings: help figure out carpooling and childcare
  • Provide biscuits and tea and coffee at meetings
  • Arrange to do something social before or after the meeting such as a potluck dinner or drinks
  • Continually congratulate and thank all committee members for their hard work, especially at general club meetings
  • Recognise long-standing committee members – volunteers are always inspired when their co-workers receive praise for their commitment and hard work:
    • Make them a life member
    • Reward them with a plaque or medallion and present it at a club meeting
    • Include a feature on the person in the club newsletter or website
  • Get more tips on rewarding volunteers
4. Motivate
  • Be enthusiastic yourself: it's catching
  • Be a good role model; enthuse others through your own actions and commitment
  • Adopt a positive, can-do attitude
  • Give regular pep talks about the importance of the work the committee does. Talk about the satisfaction you get from your committee role and share examples of inspiring stories: the dedicated kid who now plays at elite level; the family whose lives have been turned around through club involvement; the little girl who’s built confidence and friends
  • Try to see the lighter side of things, especially when they go wrong

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