Hampton Rovers 4.2.26 v Brighton Beach 5.6.36
Sunday marked our final game of the season. We were presented with perfect conditions. The winter sun was out and a gentle Brighton Beach breeze with it offering a slight advantage at the Southern end of the ground.
The boys were up and about before the game and extremely keen to sing the Rovers song one last time. After outstanding individual efforts last week, Jay Todd and Orlando Lynch lead us out as the day’s captains.
We looked strong from the first bounce and won the first quarter with a quiet confidence. The second was not so convincing, and our opponents got the better of us, mainly through just a greater desire for the footy.
At half time the message was centred around a greater need for effort and pressure. With only 2 quarters to go, we had to stay focussed and work harder as a team. As they usually do, the boys responded with vigour. They came out in the third quarter and showed what they are capable of. They were determined and hard at the ball. So hard in fact, that Tommy Westerbeek went into a pack with his head over the ball, and came out with a boot to the head. He was stretchered off and had to wait for an Ambulance ride to the Royal Childrens.
As a trademark characteristic of our amazing team, we fought to the end. While we didn’t walk away victors, we walked off the ground with our heads held high. We all witnessed a brilliant and close contest between 2 teams played in wonderful spirit.
From coaches, to support staff, to every parent involved, we were all so proud of our boys this year. After a fantastic start to the season of 3 wins out of 4, we were deemed worthy to be pushed up into Division 1. This level presented bigger challenges. The teams we faced were often bigger and sometimes stronger. But we never let that get in the way of optimism and spirit for the game. We even won a few games along the way. No matter who we were up against, boys always had fun, and most importantly for me improved greatly from the first game to the last.
This group of 22 boys who have mostly been together since under 8’s, are a truly amazing group. They are great mates, and shaping up to be wonderful young men. It has been my absolute honour to be their coach, and I look forward to seeing them grow, develop and shine as we march onward. We cant wait to take it on together in 2018.
A special thank you must be made to our Team Manager Guy Palmer. Your tireless effort, you patience and your EDMs were extraordinary. Thanks to my amazing and passionate Assistant Coach Chris Gleeson, youre a legend. Brett Lynch for being an awesome runner (& effectively second Assistant Coach). The list goes on… Justine, Mirna, Vlas, Brent, Marcus, Brian and for all the other parents who lent a hand thanks so much for everything.