At the start of the season the Year 7 Booragoon team had a healthy 34 players turn up for a sweaty pre-season training run. This included 30 players coming from the two Year 6 teams the previous year and 4 new players, Riley Bourne, Lewis Thom, Jerry Kovac and Mitchell Walker.
2014 was going to be the first year that Year 7s in the East Fremantle Junior District were to play for premiership points and the ultimate prize of a grand final premiership. Because of this the coaches put extensive time with the boys into fitness, game play and varied tactics depending on the type of team and game style they came across from week to week.
The team became renowned for their slow starts to games. Maybe it was because the boys had to be awake and ready for a game at 8.15am every Saturday morning or because it was chilly and the footballs were usually wet in the first quarter, however, they became a dominant force after half time where they often kept the opposition scoreless while showing impressive form in attack themselves.
After a slow start to the year where the team lost two of the first three games and a number of players due to broken bones, they settled and slowly became an unbeatable team in the competition winning the next 10 games in a row. Finishing the season with 12 wins out of 15 games played in the qualifying rounds saw the boys achieve third place. The finals were upon us and we were to meet in the first game Attadale in the First Semi Final; a team we had not beaten for 3 years. New game plans were drawn up and a total commitment from the team named for the day. Playing at 1.00pm in the afternoon instead of first thing in the morning was also going to help. After a tight first quarter Booragoon pulled away and won in a crushing defeat of 8.11 (59) to 1.2 (8). This led us into the Preliminary Final and the team that dominated the season; the Bullcreek-Leeming Sharks. After another slow start and 3 goals down at half time, the Booragoon boys kicking into a very strong wind staged a remarkable come back to finally hit the front with less than 3 minutes to play. The effort of all was outstanding and put us into the first ever Year 7 Grand Final. Applecross was to be our nemesis and even though the boys put in a terrific performance they were worn down by a stronger and better team on the day.
I personally would like to thank the mountain of parents who volunteered their time as goal umpires, orange providers, canteen helpers, drink fillers and general supporters. The team could not run on the day without your support. Special thanks to Lisa Kovac (Boundary Umpire), Nik Hofmeester (First Aid) and Janine Wain (Photographer) for their week-in, week-out efforts.
To Paul Logothetis and Michael Gardner (Team Managers), Lindsey Marley (Team Runner) and Paul Ovens (Assistant Coach and iPad extraordinaire); fantastic efforts gents. The biggest thanks goes to Mark Downey (Assistant Coach) who never missed a training session and developed and progressed the boys with his innovative skill sessions and tireless efforts of encouragement. With a team like this supporting you as a coach, it makes life a lot less stressful and allows the team to have the fantastic season they did.
We hope to see you all back for the season in 2015!
Ian Minotti (Coach)