Reserves Season Review 2017
Stepping into the role as first time coaches, we were both a little uncertain how this year would pan out. Having both played a few seasons in the Reserves and playing with most of the players we were about to coach we were a bit unclear as to how the players would react and how we would be able to adjust from playing to coaching.
It was clear from the first training session however that all the players were willing and committed to listen to any instructions given. It was a real testament to the quality of the people in the playing group as neither of us felt at any stage of the season we didn’t have the respect of the playing group and their commitment.
It was a slow start to our season and at the half-way point were 3 wins and 6 losses. We decided to sit down with the playing group to decide what we wanted to make of the year and what we stood for. To their credit the boys drew a line in the sand and improved across the board to remain undefeated for the rest of year with 9 wins in row and having beaten every team above us to secure 4th spot.
Unfortunately we fell short to a quality Geelong outfit in the semi-final however the boys should be immensely proud of the commitment to each other and the improvement they have achieved this year. As coaches, we have taken much satisfaction from the genuine enjoyment from the group and the fact that a desire to win and improve was driven by the players.
The challenge with Reserves football has always been assembling a consistent team year on year however the team has benefited greatly from increased depth this year and a renewed commitment from players. It has been a unique year in that a healthy list has meant that many players deserving of a game missed out at various points during the year. We’d like to thank everyone for their attitude towards rotations during the year and how players made the most of their opportunities .
With a handy injection of the “Rat Pack” (Gilmore, Huntsman, Cristiani, Stone and Benson) we had some welcome fresh faces and led by Stayner and Urwin there was much optimism for the year. After a rather unforgettable start against Marcellin in Round 1 it took a while for the team to gel and get to know each other. We sat 1 win and 4 losses after round 5 as the competition found its feet and the gap between the top 3 teams and the rest of the pack was becoming apparent.
We strung together consecutive wins against Willy and Mentone however losses to Kew and Hampton where we led late in the game became the turning point of our season as we learnt the level of work required to win games of football.
Some memorable games for the year included holding off a fast finishing Caulfield who were undefeated at the time in Round 12 to win by a goal (and turning around an 80 point loss to Caulfield earlier in the year; thanks for the cameos DeSanctis and McGuigan!), coming from 2 goals behind at ¾ time at Geelong to kick 7 goals in the last and run over the top of them and a second half blitz in Round 16 against our closest rival Hampton to secure a finals position.
Finally some notable mentions for the year, Herbstreit as ruckman managed to surprise us each week with his ability to keep competing for 4 quarters and earnt a well deserved promotion to the ones late in the year, Kaiser took out the leading goal kicker for the competition with 48 goals, players working hard and coming into form late in the year (Bannister, Campbell), the development during the year of a number of players including Gilmore and Warburton and finally it was great to see Edwards and Gorman back on the footy field and congrats to Russell for making it through the season after a few injury plagued years!
As always a special thanks goes out to Tim Cottrell for his tireless efforts during the year making sure we are organised on game day, Andrew for supporting us all year around the boundary and Jordan and the trainers for keeping us on the field
Tom Schipper & Chris Woodbridge