Back: Steve Dropulich (Manager), Graeme Fitzgerald (Coach), Lachie Ballantine, Leigh Wardell-Johnson (Asst. Coach), Roosevelt Williams, Thomas Gerovich, Jasper Stewart, Jake Thygesen, Benedict Nwannukwu, Bet Chamnan, Charles Casale, Ethan Lewins, Andrew Gerovich, Bernard Nwannukwu, Kyle MacDonald, Alex Marchese, Troy Irwin (Asst. Coach), Lachlan Wild, Nick Casale, Paul MacDonald
Front: Hamish Wardell-Johnson, Connor Fitzgerald, Jad Dropulich, Luke Frampton, Ryan Leong, Declan Ryan, Jackson Halse, Lochlan Irwin
Absent: Cameron Webb (inset), Liam Barnett (inset), Ethan Cook, Heidi Cook (Manager)
Firstly, I would like to thank our assistant coaches for their contribution this year, especially over the time I was away overseas. Paul “Macca” McDonald has hardly missed a training all year and is always reliable and is a great positive role model for the boys. Troy “Tank” Irwin has taken on the backline this year and can be well pleased with his performance with our team having the best defence in the league and conceding the least points in the entire competition for the home and away season. Nick “Up there” Casale had the difficult job of Boardman and did a fantastic job getting the boys on and off the field. Leigh “Two Dads” Wardell-Johnson was our skills man and his knowledge of the game has been an invaluable asset for our team.
A big thankyou to Steve Dropulich and Heidi Cook for their roles as team managers. We are very lucky to have 2 such organised people doing this job. Nothing is too much trouble and they just get on and get things done.
Special thanks to Mark Thygesen and Wayne Frampton for running our first aid. I know there have been some games where they have been quite busy and this can be quite a stressful job. I would also like to thank Pat Leong for helping out at training, running water on game day and being available to assist wherever possible. Thanks also to Chris Ryan for running the i-pad each week and well done to all other parent helpers on game days.
The season started where we only had two boys not returning from last year. Stacey Collier started the season with us, then graduated to the East Fremantle Youth team in the WAWFL. Disappointingly Ethan Cook broke his thumb in the first 5 minutes of the first game. This was his 2nd fracture in two seasons (it was 2nd game last year) and he decided he would give footy a miss for the rest of the year and concentrate on his tennis.
We had four new boys join the team this year. Benny and Bernie Bollum had their first season playing footy, Jasper Stewart returned after a season playing in the country and Roosevelt Williams returned after a season break from footy.
At the end of last year we spoke to the boys and advised that if they wanted to continue to play footy they needed to try to develop a competitive edge. This is the year that “edge” arrived and I can genuinely say we have a fantastic team. The boys bonded well, enjoyed each other’s company and played for each other and their team. At no stage in any game did they ever give up or stop believing.
I thought I would now write about what I loved about coaching this year and why my 11th year as a coach at Booragoon has been my favourite.
- Bet’s extreme pace and power running off half back
- Ginger’s strength to stay on his feet, keep the ball in front and execute terrific tackles
- Wildy’s fierce competitiveness and straight run off half back
- Thomas’s terrific strong hands and ability to take a great grab forward
- Jacko’s hard attack on the ball and fierce tackling for a small bloke
- Razza’s love of the tight in close contests and willingness to work at the bottom of the pack
- Hammer’s fantastic skills by foot and hand and ability to slow the game and hit up a target
- Jasper’s amazing kicking ability and skill at hitting up a target at 40-50 metres
- Benny’s run, chase, raw speed and ability to get to as many contests as he can
- Al’s sharp shooting around goal and willingness to work hard at training
- Gero’s fast run and carry of the ball forward as well as terrific high marking
- Liam’s improvement across the season and ability to take a strong mark
- Cam’s clever evasion and ability to kick a goal when forward
- Dropo’s beautiful raking left foot kick and being part of that hard working backline
- Machine’s determination to impact as many games as possible and fierce tackling
- Ballas’s ferocious attack on the ball, attack on the ball carrier and attack on the contest
- Roo’s raw athletic ability to jump, to mark, to run and fierce competitiveness
- Bernie’s love of playing footy, to train hard, to run hard and really worry the opposition
- Fitzy’s explosive attack to hit the ball and execute a full range of skills at extreme pace
- Kebabs rucking and ability to run all day with a fantastic raking kick. Deserved MOST IMPROVED AWARD
- Frammo’s role at fullback, hardly missed a training all season and being one of the most dependable members of the team. An apt winner of BEST TEAM MAN AWARD
- Jake Thygo’s hard work all season whether it be at training, playing as a strong forward or stepping in to help out rucking. He had a great season and was a pleasure to coach and much deserves his COACHES AWARD
- Dec’s steely approach to his footy, taking charge and making the backline his as well as his ability to hold the ball until he was confident he could hit a target. Dec very much deserved his RUNNER UP FAIREST AND BEST AWARD
- Chucky’s great all round season. His high marking, his work at ground level and his ability to take on the opposition and run and carry the ball. Charles led the team all year with his performance and deserved being voted the team’s FAIREST AND BEST
Finishing 2nd on the ladder after the home and away season was a great result for this team. When this report had to be in and go to print our season was still incomplete as we still have a Preliminary final and depending on that result, a Grand Final ahead.
Graeme “Fitzy” Fitzgerald (Coach)