2009 Under 9 North Season Report

There were only plans for 2 U/9 teams but with over 70 registrations, a 3rd team was formed and I found myself in the position of coach. Never having played the game at any real competitive level and without any formal coaching background, my only qualification was that I used to be a kid once. As the finalisation of the team happened fairly late in the pre season, our preparation was brief; one training session which was mainly aimed at getting the boys to meet each other and for me to try and remember some names. Our team was a mix of Hampton, Sandringham and Brighton boys as the other two teams had been formed around Hampton primary (Tim’s U/9 South) and St Marys (Ralphs U/9 East).  It became clear even at the first training session that we had some great kids and we were going to be competitive.

Our first game was at home and with no system or strategies other than rotation of the bench, we smashed our opposition by about 10 goals. The other team was a couple of players short and their only goal was kicked by one of our boys that we had lent them. I should have retired after that game with a perfect record.

Throughout the remainder of the season we had some great wins and some very honourable losses. Eventually we ended up with 6 /6 record.

A couple of highlights: Playing against Prahran coached by some guy named James Hird (apparently used to play a bit). We went down by a couple of goals due to a short lapse in concentration in the 3rd quarter.

A magnificent fighting win in a close game against Beaumaris on Mother’s Day (the mums were the loudest supporters that day)

A very honourable loss where we only had 17 players (swine flu season). We were down by 5 goals at quarter time; the boys fought magnificently and actually got to the lead about half way through the last qtr only to go down by 7 points at the end. (I didn’t know 8 year olds could run out of legs.)

Lightning Premiership – Having won our last couple of games in the home and away, we were hitting form at the right time. Trying to work out the draw and the permutations/combinations was too hard for me so I just set about winning as much as we could. We won our first 2 and came up against Beaumaris in the 3rd. After our earlier win in the regular season, I was quietly confident but in the end, we were beaten by a better team and missed out on the finals (even though other team that had a 2/1 record made it through). At the end of the day, we had a season wrap up and the boys presented me and the manager with a signed football and a bottle of res. I must admit I got a little emotional at the end.

Thankyous – Anyone who has been a coach before knows the importance of having good people around you – and I had the best.

Glen Kruger who took on the managers role and did it magnificently. It was a great comfort to know that all I had to do was turn up on the day and the necessary arrangements were all taken care of.

 All the parents who took their turn for goal umpire, boundary, snake/lollies/orange and scoring duties and for turning up those cold early mornings and late dark evenings for matches and training.

Special thanks to Alphonse Venturi for his photographic record, website and end of year CD so we can revisit our memories,

Hampton Rovers FC for giving us the opportunity to play and develop together

And to the boys themselves for giving it their best shot and following a bloke who probably knew less about the game than they did.


Best and Fairest – Michael Fitzgerald

Runner up Best and Fairest – Connor Hipwell

Most Determined – Will Bullock

Most Improved – Andre Fernandez

Best play in the finals – Lorenzo Venturi

Coaches Award – Will Gillott


Coach – Jeff Goldsmith

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