As the saying goes “What doesn’t Kill you makes you stronger” well the boys certainly endured a Character Building season, and to their credit, did it well.
Without going through a round by round summary, the boys played 15 games, with 1 win, a dubious 2 point loss (we won’t bring the goal umpire into this) about 4 or 5 games lost by about a goal, and a few drubbings!
In the first four rounds, whilst the grading was conducted, we were right in the middle of it, and apart from a thrashing by Ajax (who moved up a level) we were very competitive and lost the other 3 games by narrow margins. Unfortunately for us, a couple of these sides dropped down a level, and we did not.
While it would be fair to say the boys ended up in a grade higher than they should have, no system is perfect, and they played out the season to the best of their ability. In fact, the team got stronger throughout the season, and in the last half a dozen rounds they were putting in 4 strongly contested quarters, never giving in.
The year was not without the highs and lows of footy: Zach Bowen’s ability to kick both feet and run down endless wings, Christian’s level of commitment to apply tackles and pressure, Tuffley brothers knowing where each other are even blindfolded, then, Sam Marshall breaking his arm at the bottom of pack to end what was his best season of Footy, and Harry Llewellyn’s broken ankle meant missing half of the season. I could rave on about every boy’s contribution throughout the year, but will save that for presentation day!
Whilst the win/loss ratio is not what any of us would have hoped for, the bigger picture is:
- The boys came each week and gave their best.
- They cemented as a team and made real friendships.
- They learned how to persevere under adversity (not a bad life skill!).
- As individuals, they all improved their football skill levels and understanding of the game.
- The boys enjoyed their footy!
The success of this year will be measured by how many boys we retain in 2016, and I believe the club announcing grading of sides for next year in Under 12’s will be to all the boys benefit.
I have thoroughly enjoyed coaching a wonderful bunch of lads, whom I very much look forward to seeing at the club next year.
In wrapping up the year, it would be remiss not mention the people that make it fun and run seamlessy: Kenno, for Team Management taken to a new level, Nick (& Tiff) for game day operational excellence, Hopey as Assistant Coach with expert technical skills, Brenny for never running out of patience at training!, the bunch of regulars: Trainers, and Runners, Rich, Marty ,Tuffers (Both), Steve for Match Reports Par Excellence and all parents who regularly turned up, supported the boys, and chipped in as Goal, Boundary umpires, scorers etc. We are blessed in this under 11’s year with a committed group of parents who not only support their boys, but the coaching team and the club.
I look forward to seeing you all back at the club in 2016.