The 2011 U9 footy season kicked off early with a bunch of boys as keen as mustard to get out on the ground and participate in footy. If enthusiasm was anything to go by, we were going to have a stellar year on the park. And what a season it was
Almost all the boys in Under 9 GOLD were new to competitive football and extremely eager to start their first season of footy. Being my first year as a coach, I approached the start of the year with similar enthusiasm, but a touch more apprehension than our boys. How were we going to develop the individual and team skills of these 24 fledgling players, whilst still keeping them coming back for more?
Our philosophy this year was to ensure "all players had equal game time", "experienced all field positions", "learnt the basics", "improved their skills" and most of all, "HAD FUN". This meant we would not try and win at all costs; our aim was to have the kids enjoy themselves and improve their skills each week. And I truly believe we achieved these goals.
For almost every game the boys played in this year, the final score was only a goal or two the difference. We didnt have the majority of games go our way, but we were very close in all but one game. We never got smashed on the score board and that meant we had the ball visit all parts of the ground equally in every game.
Apart from developing the players ball skills, the boys showed enough aptitude to enable us to teach them team tactics. Tactics such as ensuring the ball travelled around the flanks when coming out of the backline; and playing on at every opportunity.
I must admit that there were times throughout the season when I thought our tactics, skills and team development were not getting through to the players on those early Sunday mornings. But when the Lightening Premiership came around, all my doubts were put to rest as we watched a season of coaching and hard work pay dividends on the one day that mattered the most. All boys played like little football champions and made all their parents proud with their display of grit and determination in the 3 Lightening Premiership games. They won all their matches that day and walked away MSJFL Under 9 (Lowe Section) Premiership winners.
Of course the season would not have been as successful without the tireless efforts of Melissa Carney our Team Manager, whose exemplary organization and team management skills enabled the games to run seamlessly. Adrian Carneys coaching assistance throughout the year was another defining contributor. Others included Trish Mooney our game day trainer and all the helper Parents that ran the boundary, umpired in the goals, ran team messages on the ground, escorted umpires, scribed match statistics, provided assistance at training, manned the BBQ and Cafeteria, provided oranges and snakes, etc. From me and all the boys, a huge THANKS, to each and every one of you.
Finally to the boys that played footy this year, you are all little legends who have etched yourselves into the history of the HRAFC Junior history as U9 GOLD premiership winners. You have made us proud and lets hope you can go back to back next year.
B&F Winner = Luca Macnab
B&F Runner-Up = Ben Doolan
Most Determined = Ben Green
Most Improved = Jake Fitzgerald
Coaches Award = Charlie Wilson
Best Finals Player = Sam Flockart
Steve Rosey Rose
U9 GOLD Coach