With Anthony Quon moving on and the position of Reserves coach being vacant I was fortunate to step into the role. With another outflux of players over the preseason, we found ourselves in the position of asking for a commitment from players who were previously happy to have a run around at their leisure in the Clubbies. To the credit of these players we were able to successfully manage a season exposing the group to a level of football and commitment that will hold them in good stead for the future.
I would like to thank Jimmy & the committee for once again affording me the opportunity to continue coaching at HRAFC this year. Its been a challenge Ive thoroughly enjoyed and look forward to hopefully continuing in the role next season under the new committee. Thanks must largely go to Russell for his influence and guidance through the adversity. His commitment and positive attitude was reflected in the numbers at training and our ability to field 3 teams every week without fail. Many clubs would have failed being faced with such a challenge and its a credit to Jimmy and Russell, in particular, as club figureheads along with the great support cast by virtue of the committee and added helpers. As a club weve instilled a culture that we should all be proud of. From the President right down to the players who really are the fabric of the place. I must also mention Jay Watts who walked into a role many would run away from and did a fantastic job of working with Russell and developing our future. Jay, his team of helpers and his playing group deserved their standing as the most team in the senior club.
I would also like to thank Kevin & his trainers for their work through the year. To all those who supported the Reserves team in a host of roles Im most grateful of your time and effort. I speak of Jenny Voss who prepared the team every week with jumpers and extras; John Barnes on the boundary, Mick Dove as runner/water carrier/player, Steve Guy as Team Manager, Jim Westhead, Jason Cave, Mark Flahive, Sharon Flahive, Ted Deal and many others whom all filled various match day roles.
To names like Ryan Morcom, Leon McCarthy, Matt Ryan, Steve Tiernan, Ben Woodland and anyone else Im missing who assisted the team in roles when they werent available to play, I say a big thank you. And also the older heads whose experience was invaluable at a time when the club needed it most. We had cameos from Steve Anderson, Chief, Holty, Buckers & Woodsy, but it was Lachie Wheeler, Nathan Foster, Ben Kezilas and Mitzi Gray whose onfield leadership helped guide the inexperienced list in an adverse season. Their attitude continues to reflect the established culture and there can be no question the club is in a sound position because of it.
Thanks once again to David Anderson for his time and commitment to the side. Charlie has proven once again to be an outstanding Hampton Rovers person and encompasses everything the club is. Im eternally grateful for his reliability and input to this team. The same can be said of Bernie Woodland. His passion and enthusiasm for improving the club has previously been evident, but his added commitment this year has been a positive influence. Anton Duddy too, was a valuable asset in the early part of the season. So I thank him for his input to the team as well.
Last of all, I want to thank the players. 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. As I told the boys often; I can handle getting beaten. Its not about accepting defeat, but accepting effort. And to that end they didnt let me down. This group deserves success and with the commitment they showed in Rd.18 I am supremely confident that it will be the platform for what can be achieved in 2013. I look forward to seeing everyone on the track in the preseason to prepare ourselves for the new era and the new beginning. Lets all jump back on board in 2013 and be part of the resurgence.