Supporting and upskilling our volunteer Junior coaches was high on the priority list for 2021. Back in 2019, the Committee discussed our plan to assist coaches with not just the Rover DNA philosophy, but provide more hands on training. Kate Robb, working away in the background, found a grant that focused largely of the education of coaches. Perfect. Who can I get in that knows footy and understands how to coach younger players? Enter Josh Bourke, founder of BD Sports and is perfectly qualified. Not only does he have a Bachelor of Education and is the Vice Principal of a primary school, he’s also the SSV Victoria state coach the U12s and U15s, and former Sandringham Dragon NAB coach.
Over the last two Monday nights, Bourkey has taken the U8 to U12 coaches for sessions on coaching these age groups, and ran a practical session with 12 to 14 players in a practical format. Every coach added plenty of skills to their bag of tricks.
Over the course of the next two weeks, Josh will attend training for U8 to 10s and add value when he sees the opportunity. I’m happy to say that Josh attended Walter’s U9 training session this week. Josh said that he was very impressed with what he saw and that the coaching team was open to feedback. It’s great to hear, reflecting well on the team and everyone involved.
The older age groups will be supported by Christian Carnovale from Tiger Sports. Carney is the U16D1 coach and Hampton Rovers Seniors Captain. He will present to the Committee his training plan for U13-17.5 squads. Christian will also be taking over as Head Of Football from 2022.
Last Sunday was the post grading start to the rest of the season. I was really keen to see the report on our overall results. I was keen to make sure all teams were in the right grade and everyone has a real chance to compete. I always have faith that the SMJFL system works. Let’s hope the results in the coming weeks have all our teams in a good place.
I wrote to all coaches and team managers during the week via Alisdair’s Operations Manager communication. In it, I mentioned two key things I would like all members to be vigilant with.
- It’s about the children. Always was and always will be. The footy at grass roots is no place for over zealous or inappropriate behaviour. If you see or hear our players, parents or opposition players and parents acting in an inappropriate way, please don’t take matters into your own hands. Always speak to your team manager.
- Volunteers, team managers, coaches, umpires, runners, water carriers – please do not get involved with opposition players in a verbal stoush. If you see something, once again, report it back via your team manager. They will raise it with the opposition and can be rectified quickly. If we take matters into our own hands, as we have seen recently with other clubs, it can blow up into a storm quickly.
Last weekend’s feedback was great. Both the U12G and U14G’s sang the song. Well done. In another game, Goldy said his U12 team played their hearts out – everyone went home knowing they had given their best. It was clear that Goldy wanted me to know this, and it was music to my ears. I’d also like to thank Brandon and Paul who stepped into the other U12 teams. They are doing a sterling job. I watched Brandon’s lads at training and they are always engaged.
I sat and watched our U14 D5 team on Sunday at Castlefield. They were joined by some U13 lads that had already played. The game was played in good spirits; the communication from Mike was first rate – low voice, clear instruction, appropriate action. There was plenty of skill shown, but with a few extra skilled Ajax players, it proved to be a the difference in the game result.
Have a great week everyone. I look forward to seeing everyone in the green and gold this weekend.
Never forget – PASSION TEAMWORK FUN RESPECT