Seniors – Season Review from the Coach

Seniors Season Review

Summary
While we were disappointed to have not made finals in 2017, to be in a position to push for finals is a significant step forward for our Senior group and OCGAFC. Belief is an integral part of success and our group is building into a team that can win against anyone. We had some fantastic wins, many against the eventual finalists including a stirring win against Caulfield Grammarians’ at GBO. Importantly there was further improvement from our young Wellers and when combined with our more experienced players, we closed the gap in Premier C to become a highly competitive aside from a few losses we’ve learnt a lot from. But we want more.

There were some incredible individual achievements and milestones in 2017 and we have taken a huge step forward towards our goal to play finals football and challenge for the ultimate prize in 2018. Our aim is to continue improving through developing our current group and recruit over the off-season to bolster our depth for 2018 and beyond.

The Breakdown

  • The season started promisingly with back to back away wins against eventual preliminary finalists Marcellin Old Collegians & traditional foes Old Ivanhoe Grammarians’ and set up what was to be a very competitive and tight Premier C season. At the halfway point, we turned with a 5 from 9 win ratio
  • Our belief and depth were tested after our great start as we suffer 3 large losses however I’m incredibly proud of the way our players bounced back from these. We responded with 3 strong  wins in a row, the most memorable being a scintillating display against another top 4 side Williamstown at GBO where we would kick 8 magical goals in the first quarter. That quarter along showed how much potential and ability we have.
  • The second half of the season ultimately cost us a finals berth as we recorded 3 wins from 9. For the players to have controlled many of these games for long periods and not record wins was heartbreaking. We know we were good enough in some of those games and it’s these games we will learn from and look to win next year to ensure we play finals football.
  • As if to further illustrate our capability, we recorded 2 of our best wins of the season with a comprehensive 24-point win against Old Geelong at Como Park and as mentioned above, a superb win over top of the table Caulfield in round 12.

The Highlights

  • We won 8 games during the year and improved on last year. Turning at 5/9 was our best start to a season for several years. We beat 3 of the top 4 sides during the year to give us a lot of belief going into 2018.
  • We missed finals by 1 game and genuinely believe we can significantly improve in 2018
  • Ben Hart won the Premier C League Best & fairest award – a sensational achievement and our first Senior Men’s League B&F since Graeme Ewart in 1993
  • Simon Bennett was selected in the Premier C team of the year – another outstanding achievement for one of our best and most consistent on and off-field clubmen
  • We played 3 Under 19s during the year – Josh Holding, Lachie Powell & Kellan Percy – who all acquitted themselves well and adjusted quickly to the pace of senior football and look to have bright futures in the years to come at the club.
  • Our new recruits Chris HensbyShaun McDonald, Angus Brettingham-Moore,Daniel Lattanzio & Gene Thorbecke played some great football and are eager for success in with the Wellers in  2018
  • Given the success and strength of our Reserves side in 2017, competition for spots was tougher which is a critical part of our future growth

The Milestones

  • Greg Tolson played his 200 th game for OCGAFC in round 5 with a best on ground performance and became a Life Member
  • Captain Ben Hart played his 150th game in round 18 on one leg
  • One of our leaders Rob Deev played his 150th in round 16.
  • Young leaders James Allen & Fraser Wells also play their 50th throughout the year.
  • James Allen won the Club Best & Fairest for the 2nd time and cemented himself as one of the premier midfielders in the competition
  • Nick Adamson kicked a personal best 38 goals and took his game to another level.

As we know, it takes a lot of off-field hard work to give our players the opportunity to play football on a Saturday. I would like to personally thank my fellow coaches Tim Killworthand Ken Darby for their amazing support and work throughout the season, our Team Manager Dave Frearson who was again brilliant throughout the year, Tim Cottrell for all his work around the club from pre-season onwards, our runners in particularly Alex Vickery who was a fantastic support to the players and myself throughout the year, Gavin Powell and Boyd Elliott for their great work with the Under 19s and for their support of the Senior group, Ken SchwabAndrew Romanin and Jay Tapscott for creating such a fantastic Women’s Team, all our trainers for training and Saturday’s, Sue Mullet and Richard Clarke for their ongoing work in the Canteen, all the Committee and perhaps most importantly my wife Lucy and kids for all their encouragement and support over the season.

Finally I’d like to thank the players for what was a hugely enjoyable year. Yes we didn’t get the chocolates but it’s a real privilege to work with you all. I know how hard you work and I’m looking forward to improving with you and having a massive tilt at next year. We are good enough to play finals football and push for the big prize.
Thanks finally to all our supporters for coming to watch or follow us online. We love having you there on a Saturday and know you thirst for finals football like us. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2018 and celebrating further success.

Anson Brownless
Senior Coach