This years team evolved by the bringing together of existing Rovers players, Bayside players and new players. How to create the team spirit and mould these teenagers into a strong unit seemed a bit of a task. Well I shouldn?t have worried because this group of guys were exceptional in their social skills and maturity. They blended together extremely well and are an outstanding group. Their personalities made coaching for myself and Tony Pucella so much easier. This was an absolutely terrific bunch of blokes who demonstrated strong focus on accountability and team commitment.
Our team goals consisted of three things:
1/ The clear view that there are ?things we do as a team and as individuals, and ?there are things we do not do??..that we must have respect for all people involved in the game of footy.
2/ That football was a journey not a short trip; that there is much to learn and trying and giving your best was important to their development as footballers and people.
3/ Enjoy the ride?have fun with footy; its a great sport both on and off the field.
The players delivered to these goals in spades! I had to talk only once to a player regarding umpire ?chat? and all players got along extremely well over the season. The manner and spirit with which these boys played, the focus, control, and respect they demonstrated ensured that they would finish this season with high self esteem and a sense of real achievement?.. all good things. A players ?early in season trip away? to
The soup club? was on after Thursday night training and anyone who was around enjoyed a few slices of bread and a cup of Mr Heinzs best tomato soup!
I should talk about the seasons footy results?we finished about midway up the ladder in what was a very good standard 16 team competition. Along the way we experienced both chocolates and boiled lollies! At times we struggled to get 18 fit, fresh players onto the ground and at times we struggled to get 7 players from the bench to the ground. However the one thing we never struggled with was commitment.
The team, through their positiveness, were playing better football at end of the season than at the start. I?m sure these guys had an enjoyable journey and have finished the season more knowledgeable people and better footballers. There is still a ways to go in their ?football journey? and I hope they continue that journey at Hampton Rovers AFC. I am very proud of their achievements this season and wish them a great off season?..be ?proud? guys.
I?d like to mention the parent support. It was terrific to have many of the players parents around to help out with the boundary umpiring [Mark Jarman, Peter Baines, Ian Howarth, Geoff Smith, Gavin Fallon], scorers[ The Atkins twins & Carol Fallon], timekeepers [ Brendan Mitchell, Tony Batt], Goal umps [Tim O?Brien, Don Barry, Tim Oshaunnessy, Mark Rada]. The Runnerspoor buggers! [Geoff Smith, Ian & Matt Howarth, Gavin Fallon, Tim Oshaunnessy]. And a big thankyou to our team Manager Mark Atkinsjust quietly goes about his business and always gets it done?many thanks. To Our Trainer?Michael Land; always on time, always reliable, thankyou. To our ?training coach??Dale Ross [U17] thankyou for the terrific drills, they were much appreciated by all the players. I want to thank Tony ?pooch? Pucella for his assistance in coaching. Tony did a great job with the players and they were always excited when ?pooch? was around?certainly helped build their enthusiasm.
To the very vocal and much appreciated ?gaggle of geese?!?..thankyou , we all love it. [PS: who are they?]
It has been a pleasure to be associated with all the players, parents and club personnel this season and I wish everyone a wonderful personal and football future.
A final word to the players???.remember S.P.P.E.A.R. & the ?3 things in football? ; they?re not just footy gospel they?re legendary Jack Dyer gospel.