2009 U18 Season To Date Report
2009 Mid Season Review
By Tommy Hunter
Season to date:
They say a week is a long time in football, but what a difference a year can make. The Calder Cannons have gone from a team that was fighting to remain off the bottom of the ladder to a team that now has finals in their grasp.
It began in November 2008, at De Chene Reserve where pre season got underway. The squad of 72 began their 2009 campaign with a 3km time trial in what felt like blistering conditions, and it was here that the Calder Cannons team of 2009 knew that they were in for the toughest pre season to date. However, each player was on equal playing field, being united as all players wore a blue Cannons singlet, this way there would be no discrepancies between top or bottom age players, in order to create a team mentality right from the start.
However, if the players thought that the first night of preseason was tough, they were awakened on an early Sunday morning in February, and two words that won’t be forgotten too soon: Boot Camp. It was here that the squad was pushed to not only their physical breaking point, but mentally also. It was here where we learnt how to push ourselves both physically and mentally, and it was here where the squad gained new trust in each other knowing that your team mate next to you is working as hard, if not harder than you.
A less intense, yet just as important, camp took place in the week before Round 1. The squad traveled to Ocean Grove for what was a good chance for team bonding and to learn the roles that each team member plays in the side. The squad and officials also were presented with a presentation by the leadership group, which involved playing stipulations and a contract that each team member will abide by for the 2009 season. The leadership group of 2009 have done a terrific job so far in maintaining these stipulations and continue to lead the club in the best possible manner on the track and preparation on match days.
In a first for the Cannons, a large section of the list is made up of private school footballers. These boys represent their school at the same time that the Cannons play. This has however opened up opportunities for players who may not have played a game previously due to the private school players, and has enabled TAC Cup experience to each player on the Cannons list.
With the National Championships completed, and Vic Metro not faring as well as previous years, the Cannons’ boys who represented their state should keep their head up. Sam Ezard, Jake Carlisle, Jake Melksham, Josh Toy, Robbie Hicks and Daniel Talia all at different times provided highlights for their state and represented the Cannons proudly. James Lawton also did the Cannons proud by playing every game for his state NSW/ACT in the championship. Anthony Long is unlucky to have missed out on playing for NT due to injury. Further congratulations must go to Josh Toy and Daniel Talia for receiving All Australian honors. The Cannons are also proud of Steve McCallum, Serhat Temel and Dion Prestia, who having been let go by the Vic Metro selectors have come back into the TAC Cup and made the selectors think twice about letting them go. With the exception of Dion through injury, Steve and Serhat have put their name forward as players opposition should worry about.
However, amongst the highs, Calder have experienced their fair share of defeats this year, and all besides one can be considered a thrashing. For the playing group to go forward we must be able to finish off quarters and games in order to boost percentage and keep ourselves in the race for finals.
And that is the 2009 season thus far. As Marty, channeling David Flood, explained on Tuesday night, the TAC Cup is not a sprint, it’s much like the Melbourne Cup. The team (or horse) that peaks at the right time comes home with the cup.