Team : Under 12 WEST(2)
Best & Fairest Fergus Murray
Runner Up Best & Fairest – Tim Syme
Coaches Award – Ben Marron
Most Courageous – Mackenzie Gregson
Best Team Player – James Larkworthy
Uncertainty of numbers in the lead up the season made it difficult to confirm team allocation or make up. Finally, it was decided that three under twelve teams would be fielded. For the most part, each team continued relatively unchanged from the under 11 teams of last year. A small number of players did not continue this year (for various reasons), which made each team very tight for numbers. We started the season with a list of 20 players.
I took over the coaching role of this team, with great excitement and anticipation. We welcomed three new players to the team (and club), who played for the entire season, and with pride, welcomed our first female player into the team for the last quarter of the season. The whole team embraced the new players, and were wonderful in providing an immediate sense of belonging.
The coaching/management group decided on continuing to rotate the captaincy of the team from week to week, and a leadership group was developed in order to further enhance the on and off field development and support of the entire team.
We commenced the season in the South division, and the team started very well. Consecutive victories over the first four weeks saw the league re grade the team to the next higher division: west.
Some of the team felt they were harshly treated by being put up a division, but we encouraged the boys to accept the challenge, and to treat the re grade as reward for their terrific performances to date. We all knew that the team was going to have to step up, if they were going to experience continued success. We all knew the team had the ability and skill, the question was whether the boys had the confidence in their own abilities..
It is fair to say that the remainder of the season was tough for the team, as they played against some very strong and consistent teams. To the boys credit, the continued application and dedication to the task of further developing their football skills and enhancing their sense of team and supporting each other, was inspiring. Attendance rates at training remained high, with a positive and fun attitude consistent throughout. It truly was a highlight of my week, to attend and coordinate training with the crew. It is great to see every player further develop their football skills, and a privilege to have played a small role in their development.
Events during the season, such as the go karting sessions and the Freaky Friday Fun Fest were extremely well attended, and it was apparent that they were enjoyed by all.
Another highlight during the season, was brought about purely by the training schedules.. the Rovers girls team trained at Boss James on the same night, and thanks to the encouragement and coordination of Miranda Marron and Jo Adams, we were able to coordinate some short scratch matches between the two teams. I think both groups of players got a lot out of the friendly competition!
Unfortunately for our team, we finished the season on the wrong side of the ledger: 6 wins v 8 losses. However the most significant and satisfying win came in the final round: playing against the East Brighton Vampires. They had previously beaten us comprehensively by 47 points in round 7, and were vying for a spot in the finals. Our crew came out with absolute dedication and commitment to the task, to record an emotional 12 point win! A more visceral rendition of Oh we do like to be beside the seaside I am yet to hear.
Additionally, every player on the team is to be congratulated for their efforts and application throughout the season. Each player has shown significant improvement, and it has been an absolute joy to be a part of. They played their footy in the right spirit: with passion, but fairness, and I look forward to seeing all of the group further develop. WELL DONE TEAM!
To Miranda Marron, a massive thanks for carrying out the role as Team Manager with such poise, passion and persistence. To Anthony Hall as Assistant Coach, a huge thanks for your time, dedication and input. Further thanks to our runner Pete Flockart; trainer Katie Murray; our boundary umpires Cam Gregson, Matt Larkworthy and Stu Murray.
Finally and equally significant, thank you to all the parents of this wonderful group of players. Thank you for the support, encouragement and assistance provided throughout the season. I trust you are as proud of them all as I am !!
U12 West (2) Coach