2020 SEASON IS CANCELLED!
After much deliberation the disappointing news came through on Friday July 3 that the 2020 season had been cancelled. “It is clear that the health and safety risks are far too great to proceed with the 2020 season.” the VAFA said in their announcement. While disappointed, the Club fully supported the VAFA’s decision. With the recent spike of cases of COVID-19 in Melbourne, and the number of areas that were in lockdown, we totally understood why this decision had to be made. Due to the health and insurance implications of the season cancellation, all club training sessions were suspended immediately.
SIMO’S CORNER: LOOKING AHEAD TO 2021
A message from Senior Coach Simon Brownhill
Now that I have gotten over my initial disappointment with the cancellation of this season, I have had time to reflect on what we have all achieved despite the hurdles we collectively faced.
At the time, the VAFA made the announcement our season was cancelled, I was still hoping we could play at least one game this year. We were in the process of organizing a day where all three teams were to play a practice match against St Kevin’s, however with the new restrictions brought in last week, we had to again abandon this plan. It would have been great to get at least one game in for this year as a reward for all the hard work we have put in, many since last November, and to give the new players the chance to experience a real game of footy. I was also hoping the game could have been a reunion match which brought everyone together and all play in the same team as we did all those years ago. Unfortunately, this was not going to happen anytime soon.
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED IN 2020
Despite of all the adversity we faced during the season there were a lot of positives which surfaced.
Firstly, continuing our tradition, we had a great influx of approximately 40 new players joining the club and whose skill levels spanned over all three teams.
Secondly the appointment of 3 new and wonderfully competent coaches, and the appointment of a strength and conditioning coach whose experience was invaluable during the preseason training sessions. These new coaching appointments, in conjunction with our established coaching panel, has developed a combined 70+ years of coaching experience for our playing group.
Thirdly, the beginning of our player pathway has strengthen our relationship with the Youth girls at the Ashy Redbacks. Our new players from the Redbacks are now trail blazers for our player recruitment, which will only enhance our playing group for years to come.
Furthering our on-field strategy, was the development of our game style and plan which was adopted over the three teams at varying levels. These structures were beginning to be included within our new training structures and will continue into next season.
It was great the see the return of our VFLW players, Lisa Davie, Bec Grant and Ruby Svarc, who were able to train unrestricted with the team mates they first played with before their promotion into the big league.
And lastly, the great numbers and enthusiasm shown by everyone who came to train while having fun at each training session. Collectively all these things add up to a strong foundation leading into next season.
LOOKING AHEAD TO SEASON 2021
We have a lot to look forward too. Now we have an understanding on how we want to play and move the ball, preseason will mainly concentrate on further developing what we already started before the cancellation of the season. This will mean training sessions will focus on game day and match day set ups. Skills and fitness will still continue to formulate our training sessions, but more emphasis will be placed on HOW WE PLAY.
This is where I now put the responsibility back inside your forward 50. Time between now and when we return is where you can continue with your fitness and practice your skills. Over the coming weeks I will post footy skill drills where you can incorporate them within your training exercise activities either on your own, with another teammate/s, a friend or partner. By doing this you will continue to develop your skills, especially the new players, in preparation for preseason training. I would love to hit the ground running on our first night of training.
I want to say a big THANK YOU to each and every one of YOU (the players). Your energy and enthusiasm that you all displayed at each training session – from that first night in November to the last a few weeks ago – was outstanding. To have the commitment to come to training and having fun in the knowledge we may not play was incredible to be a part of. Overseeing the training sessions and witnessing your enthusiasm made each session enjoyable for me and enhance my excitement to see what will transpire into next season.
I would like to thank the coaching panel – Damian, Iain, Paul and our new coaches Tiv, Pat and Caleb for all their support under trying conditions this season. We have a very cohesive coaching group who complement each other’s strengths while giving the best support to our playing group across the 3 teams.
Thank you to Nathan, our strength and conditioning expert, for developing our warm up and cool down regime during each preseason training session and also including his work with posting exercises online for the players when we were first locked down.
Thank you to our COVID officers, Jas, Penny and Liv for standing out in the cold and frost at each training session ensuring we are all following the guidelines and keeping us safe.
To the man behind the scenes, Pete, thank you for keeping the ship on course with providing vital information and updates as to the state of play within the footy community and especially signing up the new players and immediately submitting transfer papers before others had time to think – Pete, you have the fastest pen in the west.
I would like to thank the Club for giving me the opportunity to coach next season because I know we are going to have a great year in 2021 and I would hate to miss out.
I am counting down the days for when our season return, and our journey together begins into 2021 because I know it’s going to be great.