As we reach the Queens Birthday long weekend, a weekend off for the Rovers, and the first VAFA representative games of 2010, we look back at the first half of the senior season and what lies ahead for the remainder of the season.
2010 started with a bang with plenty of excitement generated by the signing of ex-Western Bulldogs star Matthew Robbins as new senior coach of the Hampton Rovers. A buzz has remained constant throughout 2010 and the seniors are in a good position at the mid-way point of the season.
After consolidating their position in B Section in 2009, the Rovers were aiming to make an impression in the newly named VAFA Premier B competition in 2010. A solid pre-season and a number of new and returning recruits including Daniel Corp, Tom Skewes, Nick Henry, Adam McNeil, David Robbins and Guy Martyn back playing full-time definitely helped the Rovers cause.
The Rovers got their 2010 campaign off to the best possible start, defeating 2009 A grade side Old Essendon by 28 points away from home. It was a great way to get things underway however injuries would soon ravage the green and gold.
Two home losses in consecutive weeks to Old Haileybury and Old Ivanhoe sent the Rovers crashing back to earth. A comprehensive win over arch rivals Oakleigh was next up, followed by another home loss. It took until Round 6 for the Rovers to finally win a game at home (vs St Bernards) and Round 8 to lose away from home (vs St Kevins). In between that the boys have recorded impressive wins over Old Carey and most recently a 99-point victory over Melbourne High in the wet at Boss James to round out the first half of the season.
The Rovers have been unsettled due to a number of injuries and in total have played 33 different players throughout the year in the seniors. However the Rovers have proved that they can defeat teams without their stars and hopefully with a more settled team for the final nine rounds of the season, more consistent results will follow and anything is possible.
The usual suspects have been performing well for the Rovers, the new players to the club havent disappointed, and some of the young talent coming up from the Under 19s such as Ed Turner and Jesse Lovig have been playing well. Guy Martyn and Jackson Ward have been rewarded for their form with selection in VAFA Representative Games this weekend.
The VAFA Premier B ladder continues to be a log-jam with the Rovers one of four teams equal-fourth on five wins and four losses (20 points). St Kevins lead the way on 28 points, early ladder-leaders Old Ivanhoe are second on 24 points, along with Old Haileybury in third. Old Carey, Oakleigh, Hampton and St Bernards are all on 20 points, followed by Uni Blacks (16) and Old Essendon & Melbourne High hold up the ladder with just the one win each.
So with nine games gone, we have nine remaining. Next up the Rovers face a tough away game vs Old Ivanhoe and are then back at home for the big Rivalry Round game vs Oakleigh. The Rovers have five games away from home in the second half of the season, not necessarily a bad thing considering theyve only lost one game away from Boss James Reserve so far in 2010.
The Rovers round out the home and away season hosting St Kevins at Boss James Reserve. To see the full 2010 season fixture, click here.
The boys are playing some great footy under the game-plan Matt Robbins has brought to the club and they need your support to help them achieve the goal of playing finals football in 2010.
What will the final nine rounds of the home and away season bring? Get along to the games to show your support and find out!