We enjoyed a fantastic season of football where we learned more about ourselves, others and the game of football. We formed a new team and although our initial trial game showed that we had an opportunity to improve our fitness and skills, our effort was very strong. Following that initial game we collectively developed how we wanted to play the game:
“We will play in the spirit of: fairness; respect; acknowledgement (of others contributions & efforts); sportsmanship; fun; and friendship.”
and identified our team priorities:
Fun – we all want to have fun so everyone gets a fair go
Friends – we will respect each other’s different skills
Fitness – we will get fit, run hard in attack and defence
We developed a game plan based on 3 Ss:
S – Structure, how we organise our team and play
S – Space, how we close space in defence and create space in attack
S – Support, how we encourage each other.
With a very clear picture of how we wanted to behave, what our priorities were and with our game plan in place, we set out on having a fantastic season. The key measures we used for success were not goals scored but effectives passes made and the number of passes we could sequence in a row. We found that for every sequence of over five passes, we would get a shot on goal. In turn, if we had more shots on goal than the opposition we would win more games than we’d lose.
We created a wonderful team environment, not without its challenges along the way with players and parents, but ultimately the team values came through. The highlights include:
· The amazing saves in goal from the Panther (Hayden) and energy across the field.
· The General (Alex) in defense holding the backline together and clearing the ball without fear.
· The Coach’s Dream (Tom) time after time did a wonderful role in defence breaking up packs and clearing the ball.
· CC or ‘Cool Cam’ (Cameron) continued to cover the most territory on the field and showed quality skills in trapping and passing under pressure.
· The Gazelle (Tim) with huge strides up and down the right midfield was electrifying, learning how to cross the ball for the strikers.
· The Leopard (Luke) controlled the left midfield with great touch and, throughout the season, improved both the power in his boot and the ability to tackle and win the contested ball.
· The Big Boot ‘BB’ (Jasper) was and is the engine room controlling the midfield, feeding the ball and unleashing at times a powerful and accurate strike in addition to quality corners.
· The Enforcer (Zac) showed he is strong over the ball and can compete with all types of opposition winning the ball often and when goal keeping showed his skills by hand and foot.
· The Tiger (Rian) roared on several occasions as striker and improved his awareness to work in partnership with others showing both an ability to finish and to share the ball.
· The Striker (Sam) showed both acceleration, agility and skill in delivering consistent performances up forward and versatility down back.
We can reflect on our end of season results which are impressive;
· 13 x home and away games for 8 x wins, 2 x draws, 3 x losses.
· 4 x cancelled games due to poor weather and 1 x team forfeit
· 2 x gala day games for 0 x wins and 2 x losses
Whilst the gala day may look like a disappointing result how misleading this can be. We played in the top division and lost the first game 2 to 1 goals but missed 2 shots on goal by millimeters. In the second game we had the same number of shots on goal compared to the opposition going down 1 to 0.
I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the following parents; Team Manager Alex Jaksetic for her excellent planning and communication, Assistant Coach Catherine Melville for her skill in managing people and pressure situations, GK Specialist Ben for tuning up our goal keepers, the Filter and Corners specialist Richard Melville for extending the boys knowledge of football, and Noel who organised warm ups and refereed for our team.