Passion Teamwork Fun Respect
I have been fortunate to coach interleague in three different leagues around Metro Melbourne. Each first night I ask a similar question to the fresh faces that gather on the first night in mid-February. Who here plays on ball? 85-90% put their hand up, I then ask who plays full back or centre half back? A few will place their hand up, I take notice of those players first, Why? Because they have been coached right. Simply put, they have experienced all areas of the ground, they understand they need to keep their opponent in tight check, not to ball chase, keep inside of the opponent, zone, protect the corridor and that team first mythology is more important in the back 6 than anywhere else (or so it seems at junior level).
I watched a game of Interleague last Wednesday night. The team was down at half time; cold, wet, all had seemed lost. The coach who is vastly experienced made mention that players were coming up to him telling him they hadn’t played in that role before, the coach mentioned he felt sad that they had not been coached to experience vast roles and responsibilities.
Coaches, TMs, Parents: our club is not one to leave the experience to a minority to play in the mid or wing or full forward. I have seen U11 big body lads mark and kick 12-14 goals in a game and everyone say he will play AFL, the same child is washed up at 15 and quits the game due to the fanfare diminishing as others caught up and went past. The problem is they were educated to stay in the goal square and just catch and kick, they had never been outside 30 metres from the goal square and the rest of the ground felt foreign when they found out they needed to go elsewhere.
Equal game time and equal exposure to various roles – if this means we lose games and fall outside the four then this is the action of great clubs, not ones designed to win games by 117 points and pat the kids on the back for winning a D6 flag when they should be playing D2-3 as I experienced last Sunday.
Just a little personal mention to Brendan Bolton, the sacked coach of the Blues. I never like to see anyone sacked, especially good people, thanks Bolts for your efforts. I still don’t understand why Brett Ratten was sacked 7 years ago, I would love to see him come back. I am glad Junior footy is far less complicated…most of the time!!
OK, let’s look at what happened on the weekend. Saturday the Mighty U11 and 12 teams pulled together to host 2 clubs from Perth, WA, at the fortress on Ludstone Street. What a great vibe we experienced thanks to the TMs and coaches that pulled it all together, Maris and Wembley Downs JFC’s appreciated our efforts.
The U19s played straight after and beat Old Mentonians easily. Technically they are under the senior banner in the VAFA competition but some are juniors that could still play U17. Sam Care in his first year is doing a great job as coach, they sit on top of the ladder. Under 17 players loving life in Under 19s and the senior players are looking at attending junior training and games in next 2 rounds in all age groups.
Saturday afternoon I watched the seniors play PEGS and they had a come from behind day, down 11 at ¾ time several ex juniors got involved to help the club be 4-4 at the half way mark, great to see many junior players running out with the seniors, with several coaches from the juniors getting down to watch and support, great to see.
Sunday was great to see the two U10 Blue teams and the two U12 Div 2 girls teams play each other, some great Passion, Fun & Respect shown. The Under 18 ladies just pipped by Ashwood in a fast game. U15 D1 getting home by a point to the previous SUPERTEAM of junior footy at Vamps, love watching what Goldy is doing with these guys.
The 5 Under 10 teams are loving life, Sean tells me with a giant smile his roses sang the song, the others all played great footy, Rohan and Jonesy teams played well.
Under 11 Mixed played some great footy for a win and a loss, the D6 team is travelling along well with plenty of development being seen weekly.
U17 and 16 lads on the wrong side the winning gods, plenty of action there though.
U14 mixed had a W for D5 against Mordi Brae and the D1 came back to earth in the first 15 mins but broke even with the Sharks after that.
Enjoy your week off everyone. If you are going away please be safe. I wanted to go to Torquay for a few days but my wife has things I need to do, time to drop down to Boss James Sunday for a kick if you are around, say 10am, anyone welcome.