With attendances a bit light on at preseason training, uncertainty as to if we would be able to field a team and a new Coach thrown in to the mix, the 2012 U19 season got off to a challenging start. We fought on bravely through practice matches and the opening 2 rounds of the season with just 14 players before the club sent in reinforcements. The club decided to withdraw the U17s from the competition and send those players up to the U19s. This gave us a much needed boost in enthusiasm.
The U19 players were all fully aware of the vital role that we needed to perform for the club this season. Our role was not to go through the season unbeaten, but it was to promote as many young, talented footballers as possible to the Seniors and Reserves to fast track the clubs inevitable on field improvement. This is a service for the club that I feel the U19s performed exceptionally well. 16 U19 players gained experience from playing for either the Seniors or Reserves during the year.
To further highlight what a fantastic group of brave young men we had, we managed to achieve 3 wins for the year, the most of all 3 senior teams, improving on the 1 ½ wins the previous year. 42 players ended up representing the U19s at various times during the season, and I am very confident that they will ALL be back next season which will again greatly aid the clubs improvement.
I would like to congratulate the following players on outstanding seasons:
Captain Bryce Pewtress Bryce was voted in as captain by our playing group at the start of the season. Bryces determination to win the hard ball is unquestionable and his passion and loyalty to the team to never let an opposition player or team stand over us was on display each week. Leadership is art that takes time to learn, and I feel Bryce learnt a lot for the responsibility that was placed on him this season and he could benefit greatly from the experience in years to come. You always stood up for your mates Bryce, so I thank you for your efforts this season mate.
B&F James Massey Jmass was not only our best player and defender, but I believe he was the best backman in the competition. He was always reliable and thankfully the VAFA recognised his talent by naming him in the U19 team of the year. I shudder to think what our season would have looked like if Jmass was not in our backline. I am looking forward to seeing you get even better in the U19s next year, well done James.
Runner up Nick Taylor- Nick had an outstanding middle period of the season stamping his dominance and authority on the competition. I believe that Nick has the talent to be a star for the Rovers seniors in the very near future.
MVP Jordan Mayne- Gary proved himself to be that player that every coach needs, a player that you can put in any position when you need a job done. He kicked the second most goals of any player in the club this season, which is remarkable given our limited opportunities up forward. Well done Gaz.
Most Improved-Luke Morcom. Luke is proof that if you train hard and continually work on your skills then improvement will come. With Lukes work ethic, I am sure he will get even better in 2013.
Best Team man Tim James. TJ not only proved himself to be a very talented footballer in the U19s and Seniors, but also the type of team man that every club needs. His commitment to keep involved with the team and help out in any way he could when he was injured was set a shining example to all his teammates. Thanks TJ.
And finally I would like to thank the following people:
Mr Anything you need doing? Peter Rodgerson. Pete played every role possible for the boys during the season. Assistant coach, runner, goal umpire, Umpire liaison, player psychologist, anything. Without Pete we would have been a rabble, thanks for everything Pete.
Mrs I will do it all! Annie Westhead. Annies job as team manager was probably harder that the coaching job! I dont know how she kept all the paperwork in line, player regos, how she found helpers to do the timekeeping/goal umpiring etc etc. Ive got no idea how she did it, but I will always be grateful that she did. Thank you Annie.
The (Oh My God you players get injured alot and need strapping up like mummies) trainers Michelle and Megan. Thank you both for being there each week and keeping us on the field. Both of you are incredibly reliable and dedicated and great backup runners/ water chicks/assistant coaches. Thank you both very much.
The Jay youve got the job men- Jim Westhead and Russel Barnes Sincerely, thank you both for taking the chance on giving me the gig. I know you took a punt on getting someone in from outside the club and I greatly appreciate it. And to Barny, the number of lessons I learnt off you watching the way you went about coaching in just 1 season is staggering. You remained focused, committed, unwavering in your pursuit of future on field improvement for the club when many other coaches would have buckled. You remained a class act throughout. Wishing you all the best in your coaching adventures that lie ahead and I am forever grateful.
The magnificent players of the 2012 U19s. Guys, thank you for giving me everything you had. I know the season could have been more successful, but the character you showed each week to front up and give it a crack was sensational. When other teams rely on 6 or 7 star players each week, you blokes shared the load with each other as good teams do. Get back a head toward bigger and better things next season.
Remember this (this goes for you as a player, us as a team, or even the whole club), The greatest thing you could ever do is not never fall, but it is to rise again every time you fall. That is the greatest thing you can do
UNDER 19 COACH