Vline Boys 2015
Firstly, thanks to Jeremy Bourke and Cam Roberts from AFL South East for the opportunity to lead this group. It's been one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had in football and one I'll always look back on fondly.
The off field team consisting of Chris Fortnam, Gavin Taylor, Peter Freeman, Glenn Keetly, Fraser Byane, Sam Fox, Cam Roberts and Jeremy Bourke worked unbelievably well together to ensure a smooth carnival and an enjoyable experience for the players. A huge amount of credit needs to go these gentlemen. Great football people who grew together over the last 6-8 weeks, but particular over the last few days.
The carnival was terrific, with both games played in the right spirit.
Firstly we came up against Gippsland Power in Morwell. After a bit of a nervous start during the 1st quarter the boys began to settle into the game, but so did Gippsland, who took a commanding 19 point lead into half time. We were doing some fundamental things wrong that were easy fixes and to the boys credit they did just that. A 6 goal to 1 third quarter was the result. I think everyone watching saw the amount of talent we have on the Peninsula. This gave us an 11 point lead at 3/4 time. The last quarter was a bit of an arm wrestle with two talented Squads going head to head. At the final siren we were in front but Gippsland converted after the siren to take the honours in a terrific game which had the whole carnival talking.
Peninsula Stingrays 11-9.75
Gippsland Power 13-2.80
We began our rehab straight away at the local pools followed by a dinner and watching Nat Fyfe win the Brownlow Medal.
The following day we had a recovery session at a local oval which allowed the Line Coaches- Gav Taylor (Backs) Chris Fortnam (Mids) and Peter Freeman (Forwards) to do some walk throughs with their groups and work on some things for the next game.
At lunch, we heard from Chris Fortnam who shared his football experiences with the group as well as goal setting with Sam Fox. After this we went through the vision from the Gippsland game and where we could improve moving forward. Such a terrific bunch of young men who took the feedback in a positive way which transpired into their performance the following day.
On Tuesday night we headed into town for a VLine Cup Dinner hosted by AFL Gippsland. We heard from AFL Victoria High Performance Manager in Leon Harris who spoke glowingly about our game vs Gippsland in regards to the standard of the contest and the talent running around. We also heard from ex AFL and now Gippsland TAC Cup head coach, Leigh Brown.
Wednesday we took off down to Moe where we played North East Border who had knocked off the highly regarded Geelong on the Monday. The entire squad was looking forward to this game.
It was very pleasing to see the boys make the necessary adjustments to their game. Shows they have terrific attitudes and a hunger to improve. These attributes are vital going forward for their football.
After dominating play early on, we didn't get the reward we were looking for on the scoreboard at the end of the 1st quarter - NE 2-4.16, Pen 1-5.11.
The second and third quarters saw us really stamp our authority on the contest whilst still continuing to rotate the players heavily in different positions which is vital for their development going forward.
We finished the carnival with a 5 goal to 2 last quarter to run out winners
All in all, a successful campaign was achieved. The improvement within the group during training and even from game 1 to game 2 was huge. VLine is all about development and Talent Pathway Entry. I believe these boys are well prepared for whatever the next step in their football is.
A big thanks from my end to the entire team at AFL South East. Terrific bunch of people that have our games best interests at heart. Another thank you to Fraser, Sam and Glenn who were unbelievable in their application to their roles. Also to the playing group, a terrific bunch of young men who are polite, well mannered, respectful and really represented the Peninsula in fine fashion. A true reflection on their upbringing so a big well done to all parents.
Last but not least to my coaching team- Chris Fortnam, Gav Taylor and Peter Freeman. All these guys came into the program with tremendous experience already behind them. But what I appreciated the most was the way they took on feedback, wanted to improve as coaches and also challenged me to be better.
Thanks to everyone involved, this was one of the most enjoyable football experiences I've had so far.
Looking forward to watching all of you continue to develop into terrific young footballers and respectful young men.