With a number of departures over the summer, heading into this season there was some uncertainty about fielding a Thirds side. In our short history weve failed on a few occasions to get a side on the park for matches, however full credit must go to the playing group that stuck with us and as a result we got through season 2011 without the blight of a forfeit next to our name. In total 80 players pulled on the green & gold in the Club XVIII, which is a great effort for the club in such a difficult season. We also surpassed the previous 2 seasons solitary wins, doubling that effort when players returned as part of a 10 year Premiership reunion. Some of these players made a few cameo appearances through the season which Im sure many of the newer players benefited from the experience. Brenton Holt was the key organiser in getting the reunion players back a great effort.
I would like to thank Jimmy for the opportunity afforded to me this year. Its been a challenge Ive thoroughly enjoyed and look forward to continuing in the role next season. Thank you to Russell and his coaching staff for their influence and guidance. The club culture was fantastic given the year we had and full credit should go to the above mentioned people.
I would also like to thank Kevin & his trainers for their work through the year, but in particular Michelle who did a stellar job looking after the Clubbies in 2011. To all those who supported the 3rds in a host of roles Im most grateful of your time and effort. I speak of Jenny Voss who prepared the 3rds every week with jumpers and extras; Luke Morcom, Gary Morcom, Jim Westhead, Jason Cave, Mark Flahive, Sharon Flahive, Ted Deal and Bernie Woodland whom all filled various match day roles.
To names like Jarred Schafer, Tom Cougan, Michael Dynon, Dan Correale, Steve Taranto, Steve Tiernan & Ben Woodland who assisted the team in roles when they werent available to play, I say a big thank you.
Id also like to extend my congratulations to Mitch Westhead on notching up his 200th club game during the season and thank those who helped celebrate my own milestone in our final round.
A special mention must be made of Denis Pilkington who was to be Team Manager in 2011, however due to illness was occupied with his own health. Denis still came to a number of games when time away from doctors and hospitals permitted. Your courage and commitment to the side is admirable and we wish you all the best in your battle.
A huge thanks to Stephen & David Anderson for their time and commitment to the side. In particular Charlie who this year has proven once again to be an outstanding Hampton Rovers person and encompasses everything the club is. Im eternally grateful for your reliability and input to this team.
Last of all, I want to thank the players – all 80 of them. It can be hard work trying to track some of them down at times, but every Saturday has been an enjoyable one no matter what the result. And that is a reflection of the quality of the group that we have.
Thank you again to everyone involved in 2011 and I look forward to another season of improvement in 2012.