Hampton Rovers entered season 2005 with a great deal of optimism, based on the return of four overseas ‘recruits’, the return of Heath Tregear to HRAFC, and the prospect of further improvement from our young group of players.
We started the year extremely well, apart from the horrendous injury to James Hanlon in the first game, the Rovers sat on top of the ladder with a massive percentage after the opening two games. Although we dropped consecutive games to Parkdale, and Beaumaris, we were in a position to take second spot on the ladder if we were to beat Monash in round 7, but unfortunately just fell short.
From this point on, our club was devastated by injuries, and most, if not all, of these injuries were of a serious nature, and not soft tissue injuries.
The season for the Rovers then became an even bigger struggle, but to our credit we competed hard, and put ourselves in a position to win nearly every game we played. Our greatest losing margin was 42 points, with most games being decided by 3 goals or less. In many ways this is a positive for our club, as the playing group are making a concerted effort to narrow the gap between our best and worst performances.
Once again Rovers should enter the 2006 season with a great deal of optimism. Although a year older, the 4 overseas ‘recruits’ should contribute even more, after a season behind them, and a full pre-season. We played four Under 19’s in the seniors, and as long as they make it happen, become fully involved in the senior club, complete a full pre-season, and embrace the requirements of becoming a successful senior player, their contribution could be invaluable.
HRAFC really is a fantastic football club, and I feel honored to be part of it. The club relies heavily on a select group of people, who have roles behind the scenes, or involved in football matters, and without these people, the club could not function as effectively as it does.
I would like to thank Richard for his commitment, passion, and intellect, over the past two years. I hope he’s enjoyed his involvement, and continues to support the Rovers. To Gawney, thanks also for your passion and unwavering desire to improve the playing group.
I don’t think I’ve met any more passionate supporters of a football club, than Freddie and Rogo. They fulfill their roles to the maximum degree, the sole purpose being a Rovers flag.
I would like to thank Dale Ross, for his support during 2005, and congratulate him, for getting his boys into the finals.
Behind the scenes there are a group of people that work tirelessly for this club, again with the sole purpose, of Rover success. Blicky, Max, and Lakey, have done an awesome job, as has Jenny, in her role as Secretary.
The trainers, superbly led by Kev, do a fantastic job, week in week out, special thanks to Jan, and Carry, for their culinary delights, on Thursday nights, and Carry again, for his down to earth observations, on all things Hampton Rovers. Cam Voss, has again done an awesome job videoing the games, which really is an invaluable resource.
Finally, to the players of HRAFC, thanks again for your efforts, and commitment, I know full well that you have tried your guts out, and with so many senior players missing, all of you have had to step up, and take on more responsibilities, in some cases before you are ready to do so, but this all goes well for the future of the Rovers. We need to eliminate our concentration lapses that seem to occur, become a lot tougher at the man, and the ball, be ruthless in our approach to the opposition, and sacrifice ourselves, for the sake of our team mate, when the situation arises.