Senior Report - 16/5/14

To the Blues faithful
I address this to you all, sponsors, supporters, players, the committee, even the local footy lover that is perusing our website, or keeping tabs on the Waverley Blues senior progress thus far.
Here we are at the first bye, after 5 rounds sitting with 2 wins and 3 losses, all of which came from our first 3 outings.
We certainly won't be looking at making excuses for our 0-3 start, although as a coaching group and playing group we vow to make amends for those losses on the run home.
Going into round one, we were full of excitement to see what we could do against a widely touted premiership favourite and rightly so in the Blues of the other variety. Croydon. A record crowd and almost perfect conditions greeted both clubs at Mt Waverley Reserve, the nerves were high, and for the old timer being the coach, the atmosphere reminding him of finals series of the past.
The standard of the game in the opening stanza most definitely lived up to those memories. The ball zipped around the park, big hits, plenty of feeling towards opposition, nervous shots at the big sticks and of course, the vocal and entertaining crowd being heavily involved from the outset. Footy was back.
In a high standard game for 4 quarters, we narrowly went down by 3 points in the fading minutes of the game, and we went away with no points. Despite not troubling the ladder statisticians that evening, I believe the senior side came away knowing that was one we let slip and we will be better for it. As a coach, I was extremely proud of the way the boys had started, but at days end, our opportunities were there. We just didn't take them. This group has a resolve of not being accepting of honourable losses, this one hurt and we banked the feeling for later in the year.
WBFC Seniors Report
May 2014
Heading out to Nth Ringwood, to take on the Saints on another perfect Autumn day. We expected a fresh and fierce outfit, as they were victims of the bye round 1.
A very quick and well drilled side, with a very large human as a forward target, it was clear we were going to have to do everything right to be in the game. In a low scoring game for the conditions, both sides shared almost identical forward entries, and centre clearances. The difference again being our in ability to hit the scoreboard when needed. Not until the last quarter, did we find any rhythm or method going forward, alas being too late and the game was out of reach. Probably not our best day, but one we knew that again- (credit where its due and Nth Ringwood are a very good unit.) It was things we were able to clearly identify that were the real difference on the day. This, giving the coaching group and players confidence that when we address and "fix" these deficiencies we will start to become a formidable unit.
ANZAC DAY….. Mooroolbark Mustangs. What an occasion and what an experience for the players. For those not lucky enough to play this game last year, we were pumped to be given the chance. The same occasion that we set ourselves to bounce back from an 0-2 start. Twilight footy, and against last years Runners up, we came out of the blocks and again played rapid fire on the scoreboard. Missing opportunities and handing the ball back to a class outfit that play their ground well. Again, a huge crowd was heavily involved in a tight affair in terms of how much play either side had, but again. It was our inability to score hurting us badly, as the Mustangs seemed to walk their goals through- the score blew out to what I believe was a margin not fitting of the contest.
The lead up to our game against our across town foe, East Burwood was as good and positive as it had been since pre-round 1. No mental scars, just a chance to reboot and get reward for effort.
The Rams coming off a big loss to Nth Ringwood in their marquee game for the year came to Mount Waverley with real intent, and purpose. The Blues, back at home, and ready to turn their season around on their home deck on Past players day, which again packed the ground and more so the pavilion in drizzly conditions.
It was on, in every sense of the word. Slippery and wet conditions mean only one thing- the side willing to work harder for each other would win. A physical and fiery affair saw the Blues leading, but by no means home at the final break.
The power forwards strode to the Pavillion end, where the fans were now lining the fence around 3-4 deep. The back six, as tight and focused as always found their respective match ups and the midfield cracked the knuckles and away we went.
The weather had dried, the ball was slippery and the legs of both sides were heavy. A win was at stake, the boys were itching to put a side away and do it with a bit of gusto. That they did, relentless pressure acts up the ground and selfless acts in the forward half opened the game up and we ran away with our first win. It has to be said, that there was some individual brilliance in the last half, but this was merely the icing on the cake, as this effort was a 22 man effort.
Feeling the monkey climb down off our shoulders, around 6pm the around the ground scores were in…. Doncaster ( our next challenge ) had just rolled Nth Ringwood.
Doncaster arriving to Division 2 off a premiership, had loaded up on what was an already talented list. Ex AFL stars and one of the competitions elite midfielders graced our home fortress in what looked to be another heavy day as the heavens had opened up the evening before, and were threatening to do again during the day.
A game that saw the Blues attack as if it were dry, and a day where defenders made everything look difficult for even the most experienced forwards, this was truly a game where the playing group started to click as a unit. The talk from the playing group was being backed up, and the confidence was lifting with every minute of play. Again the group was workman like untill the last change, and the final quarter we were able to put those nails in the coffin, that are often the most enjoyable from any win. Our words were backed by actions. And like the week before, individual efforts were not our binding factor. It was the groups ability to work for each other defensively and when going forward.
So we are one game away from a chance to square the ledger, a challenge I'm backing this group to do. If you've been watching from afar, or coming to every game, you'd have to notice that this group has ability. Individuals are playing great footy, albeit playing their role. A role in this ever improving group, I say this knowing , that our successes or failures will not rely on big name players, or yesteryears superstars. This is a team game, and to build and become what I believe we can become, our challenge is to keep our
heads down, keep things in perspective.
Nothing changes, we are are still very much "The Hunter", on the track and on game day. We have no heroes or superstars, and we have no passengers or down hill skiers.
We are One Club and we play like it……..
I look forward to seeing you all on the 24th at Mt Waverley Reserve as we take on Bayswater.
Thanks to everyone involved and that is supporting this great club so far…. we have a long way to go so stay with us.