As stated in my preseason newsletter we had a number of key focus areas for the season. First and foremost we wanted the boys to continue to develop their basic skills. In particular we wanted the boys to work hard on those skills that they still found challenging. We also had a focus on the further development of game skills and improving the style of footy that we wanted to play. Finally, and very importantly, we aimed to have every one of the players thoroughly enjoy their football.
I am sure that everyone will agree that the boys have enjoyed another very successful season. In my view there are a number of highlights that have contributed to this success. I believe that we all witnessed a marked improvement in the boys’ football in the second half of the season. The boys all seemed to step up a gear. They played with greater intensity, gave 100% for four quarters and were prepared to go in hard to get the ball and to look after their team mates. We also saw the development of a greater sense of team in this part of the season. The boys wanted to work hard for each other, were prepared to share the ball and at times demonstrated some really unselfish play. I gained great pleasure in watching the boys encourage each other and gather around someone who had done something special.
At the beginning of the season we were short of players and it was great to have a number of new faces join us throughout the season. The new guys slotted into the side really quickly and all made a contribution to the team’s success. I was extremely impressed with the manner in which the returning players welcomed the new players into the team. The boys showed a great deal of maturity and character.
Also very pleasing to observe this season was the further development of the boys’ individual skills, the team’s game skills and an overall improvement in our style of play. After each game I would reflect on our strengths and also our areas for improvement. The areas for improvement would more often than not form the focus of our next training session. Throughout the season it was very pleasing to see the things that we had been working so hard on at training starting to feature in the games. Whilst on the subject of training I would like to thank the boys for their fantastic attendance at training throughout the season. We had most boys with us every Thursday and it certainly helped to create that sense of team and to further develop the game skills and strategies.
I have a lot of people to thank for their fantastic contribution to season 2011. First I would like to say a huge thank you to my Assistant Coach Rob Liebeck. Rob’s support and advice, particularly at the beginning of the season, was invaluable and his willingness to get in and do whatever was required to make sure the game went ahead was admirable.
My sincere thanks also to our fantastic Team Manager Les Chidgzey. Having been a Team Manager in the past myself, I know firsthand that it is not the most glamorous job. However, once again, Les has done an outstanding job of making it all happen behind the scenes and always with a smile on his face.
A huge thank you also goes to all of the parents, family members and friends that have supported our wonderful team this season. Without your support it simply doesn’t happen and I know that the boys love having you on the sidelines cheering them on.
On a personal note I would like to thank all of the parents for their support and encouragement during my first year of coaching.
I have saved my biggest thank you for the real stars of the show…the players. Boys, you really are a terrific bunch of kids. You should all be very proud of what you have achieved this season and also of the way in which you have conducted yourselves both on and off the field. It has been a pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic, respectful and fun group. Enjoy your off season and I really hope that you will all be back to represent the Mighty Bulldogs once again in season 2012.
Simon Maton (Coach)