Whilst Hampton Rovers is all about the kids having fun and not about premierships at all cost, it was fantastic to see two teams playing on the weekend both get rewarded for their efforts over the year. Congratulations to the U12 Girls and the U11 Div 5 Mixed teams on their amazing seasons and hard fought premierships. I had the absolute pleasure to watch both games. There were highs, there were lows, there was hail and there was sunshine. Best of all there were two quite different harmonies to our beloved Hampton Rovers Song – both equally brilliant!! Congrats boys and girls.
It’s a cliché to say everyone’s journey is different but I I’ll say it anyway. The Under 11 boys have played as a group of friends for a number of years and simply love their footy. They are coached and supported by a great group of parents to play fast and fair running football. Our U12 girls in contrast are all new to football, learning the skills they need week in week out to improve beyond belief this year. Our girls were one of the hardest at the ball in the league and it was a fact not lost on our head of football who was quoted as saying “These girls may have their brothers covered when it comes to attack on the ball”. The drive behind the girls is also the difference with the Gathercole family playing a big part in getting our teams together and then Jo, Gareth, Chris, and many others teaching the fundamentals to the girls and supporting their journey over the year.
Whilst I would never take anything away from the efforts of our U11D5 team, the U12 girls did give me one of my most special memories in my time at Hampton Rovers as a parent, committee person and now President. Our U12 girls, in winning their premiership, secured the FIRST EVER Women’s (only) Premiership since the club was formed in 1929. As a club that prides itself on inclusion this is a massive milestone in our club’s history. I was glad I was there to see it in person and cheer the girls on. Building on this fantastic result, I’m very excited to announce that in 2018, girls football will be back bigger than ever before with U10, U12 x 2, U14, U16 and U18 (youth) teams being targeted for 2018. If you know anyone that wants to have as much fun as our girls, please get them to express interest via our website or simply take advantage of our early bird registration which will open in the next month or so.
Sunday also saw the presentation sessions for many of our younger age groups which was great to see. I was able to watch and listen to the videos and stories of the fun the kids had in 2017. Whilst not always winning, the teams were able to play a game they love with a bunch of existing and new friends. I hope we get to see all of the players and volunteers again at Rovers in 2018. Thanks for all of your efforts and fantastic support this year. The club can’t function without it.
This weekend we host 4 SMJFL grand finals including some amazing Division 1 older age groups so please come down on Sunday for the last day of football for 2017. Good luck to our U17 East Sandy Rovers team who play in the Grand Final !!