From the Coaches
Senior Coach Update
Well it’s hard to believe that preseason is almost over with the practice match phase now in full swing for all clubs including the Friars. Training has been excellent with a noticeable and pleasing lift in intensity with large numbers at both sessions so the place is jumping. Nothing beats the rhythm of training twice followed by the weekend game so the boys are raring to get stuck in.
Our first practice match was against Old Mentonian’s down at the Mentone Playing Fields and it was a good hit out for both clubs. As Blackfriars were unable to secure a ground for us, last weekend we ventured down to the Pensinsula for a good old fashioned training camp and team bonding session which was a lot of hard work but a lot of fun – Team Massarotti emerged as narrow winners over Team Marcello. Our final practice match will be a local derby against Park Orchards at Friar Park this Saturday afternoon and the boys are keen to put on another good show.Then we have a week off before we take on Ormond at Friar Park in Round 1 when hopefully the rewards for all of their hard work over summer will be in evidence.
In terms of our playing list, we have lost a few of our senior players to either retirement or transfers to other clubs (including the Donvale boys) and we wish them all the best in 2015. To counter this we have a large number of senior players either returning from major injury or returning from overseas jaunts and they will significantly improve the experience and talent within our senior side from last year.
We also welcome a number of new senior players to the club and they have been embraced by everyone and will add significant depth and experience to our group - welcome to the Mighty Friars!
Our existing bunch of talented U/19’s that won the 2013 Section 3 flag and then finished minor premiers in Section 2 last year (before we lost 8 of our best to injury…..) have all returned this year which is fabulous and their enthusiasm and love for the Friars is infectious.
Those pushing through to the senior group are champing at the bit to play with their senior teammates who they have been looking up to over recent years so competition for spots will be on for young and old…….so to speak. With excess of 35 U/19’s already signed up again this year, the next wave of talent is already pushing through under the expert guidance of coach Dave Kelsey and his assistants Tony Pisani and Jeremy Freeman. On the senior coaching side, one of our original Friars – Peter Harrison – was recently appointed as Reserves Coach with Ben “Butch” Bucello appointed as Reserves Assistant Coach. Both Pete and Butch know their footy inside out and are great additions to the coaching panel.
Dean Thorn takes up the cudgels as my right hand man. Finally, on behalf of the coaches and players and supporters, I’d like to thank all of the committee for the hard work that they have already done in preparation for this season. The support that they provide is invaluable and the club would not survive without it. I encourage all mums and dads, wives and girlfriends of the players, past players and all our other supporters to put your hand up and ask what you can do to help the club. Even an hour or two once in a while would be gratefully accepted.
Cheers and Go Friars!
Senior Coach Under 19 Coach Update
After a long pre-season which included a lot of running, we are ready for round 1 against Old Brighton to open the season as part of the triple header. What great way to launch the campaign! We have 36 players likely to play through the under 19s this year with a number also looking to press for senior selection.
Of these players 22 of them either played last year in the Under 19s or the last 2 years in the Under 19s. We have remained in Division 2 and whilst this will test us I believe that being competitive at this level is in the best interests of developing this list and setting the senior club up for long term success.
Assisting me this year will be Jeremy Freeman and Tony Pisani. And we have a number of key inclusions to our list.
- Jackson and Lewis Deane – two very different players – ruck and rover – continues the tradition of brothers at the club.
- Ed Dinh – brother of Brian – big shoes to fill – hopefully another Mr September.
- Jack Zita –likely type : plays like Nick Hee who has offered to mentor him – we’ll see.
- Dom Hayley, David Iesa, Martin Li, Josh O’Dwyer, Jack Richardson, Jack Sammut are all likely types. Looking forward to a fantastic 2015 Go Friars Dave Kelsey Under 19 Coach