Back: Brenden Mansfield (Manager), Mitch Hughes, Jared McMurray, Lachlan Doig, Trent Newton, Brayden Moore, Leighton Mansfield, Jack Smith, Nathan Dobra, Tom Eastaugh, Carl Graham, Matt Hansen (Coach), Craig Hansen (Asst. Coach)
Middle: Matthew Berry, Riley Moretti, Jackson White, Riley Hansen, Liam Collins, Michael Drake, Brodie Breen, Alex Dickson, Liam Minervini
Front: Ryan Brass, Zyrak Smith, Cameron Cullen, Sam Coleman, Jacob Toomath, Ben Chidgzey, Sean Amos, Ricardo Valentino
Absent: Ned Brennan, Blair Curtain, Mathew John, Roy Juboy, Josh Pearson, Kennedy Sorrell
2016 was the last year of Junior footy for the Booragoon Year 12s and at the beginning of the season we had 18 returning players and 15 new ones, including two playing Australian Rules Football for the first time. Being limited to 25 players a game introduced the challenge of finding the best way to ensure that all of our players got the most out of the season and were able to enjoy their football.
Remarkably, this would not be a problem as we only fielded 25 players once and played with 18 or less 6 times. It was the other side of the equation that hurt us with a number of season ending injuries and players being called up to colts severely limiting the number of eligible players each week.
Heading into the season I didn’t put any expectations on our team with my main priority being to develop a fun environment for these guys to play their last year of junior footy together. As well as to play an exciting brand of football for both the players and spectators.
Throughout the year we had our highs and lows with a couple of bounces of the footy not falling our way preventing us from making the finals. Overall I am very proud of the way these guys performed each week and it has been a rewarding experience to get to know them all as young men and to provide them with an outlet from the rigours of study and/or work.
I’d like to highlight my favourite game of the season in Round 13 against Palmyra. Having been beaten convincingly by Palmyra at home in round 4 we started well but a 2nd quarter burst by Pally had us down by 22 at half time. A huge 3rd quarter effort by the Bulldogs levelled the scores and a nail biting final term finished with Booragoon 2 points ahead.
The win required a special effort from every player on the field and I couldn’t have asked for more after Zyrak Smith, who had been good all day, came off injured during the 3rd quarter and reduced us to 20 players. The comeback was spurred by the performances of Trent Newton and Tom Eastaugh out of the middle with Alex Dickson playing a big role off half back with a number of intercept marks and Carl Graham and Riley Moretti being dangerous up forward. There were lots of other noteworthy performances this year but I’ll remember that game for a long time.
The season couldn’t have happened without the efforts of all the volunteers at the club. A special thank you to Craig Hansen (Assistant Coach), Brenden Mansfield (Team Manager), Anthony Doig (Club President) and all the parents who helped out with game day responsibilities.
Lastly, a thank you to the players themselves who made the year so fun. There are a lot of characters in this team and the input of each individual was important throughout the year. All the best for your futures and hopefully football plays a part in that.
Matt Hansen (Coach)