I would like to take this opportunity to thank the club and especially Guy Martyn, Matt Gray and Steve Anderson for giving me the opportunity to coach the Seniors for season 2016. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to coach a club which has experienced great success over the past three seasons. When I accepted the coaching position back in September 2015, I knew the club was about to embark on a new chapter and journey in its history. A journey where an extremely young and inexperienced list was about to take the first steps in setting a new culture on and off the field. This focus of a new culture was the driving force behind my motivation to coach this club and my desire to succeed, to improve and to get the best out of myself and this playing group. My underlying philosophy is simple, “let's improve this playing group on field and off field”. I strongly believe that every player on our list can improve, from the most senior experienced players to the under 19’s.
Finishing 10th after the home and away season may not be the finish that our club has become accustomed to over the last three seasons, but I do believe season 2016 was a success. I believe the club has now put together the foundations to build a successful era over the coming years. The challenge now is to keep improving. I want this club to be back in B Grade in the short term.
One of the main success stories of the year was the fact that the seniors used 22 different under 19 players. The remarkable thing about this was that we averaged 9-10 under 19’s in every game. To me this highlights the commitment we have made to invest in the future. The four wins for the season were a great reward for a young group that although inconsistent, showed that when they come to play they are as dangerous as any side. On the majority of occasions, the boys played an exciting brand of football built on speed, quick movement and high pressure.
One of my favourite highlights this season was the win against Old Brighton in Round 10. With three minutes to go, we were three points down. Enter Nick Pavlou who kicked one of the most memorable goals on his left foot from the boundary to put us back in front. Then when ET kicked the sealer a minute later we had secured the most amazing win against a fierce rival in very trying circumstances. This was an example of the mental side of football where a very young and inexperienced Rovers who were hungry and ferocious for the win highlighted what they are capable of and will be capable of in the future years to come. It was truly a magnificent win.
I would like to thank a couple of people who have been very important. Firstly my assistant coaches, namely Lou Folino, Anthony Quon and Tim Noonan. Lou has brought to the club a wealth of knowledge and a vast experience at various coaching levels. In particular I have enjoyed learning about his tactical knowledge and insights into football. Anthony’s input on game day and during the week is invaluable and I am very appreciative of his efforts and help. I believe Quonny will be a fantastic coach when he makes the move over the next few years, he has been a vital assistance for me especially in establishing a game plan and recognising player group issues and needs particularly during the week and on game day. Tim has been a terrific pick up for the club this season, he has worked the rotations and provided a reliable sounding board for me over the season.
A big thank you must go to the leadership group in Captains Danny Corp and Leigh Fletcher and their deputies Sam Clements, Cowboy McNeil and Christian Carnovale. I have enjoyed watching these boys develop as leaders this season. Their input into training, game day, selection issues etc. has been greatly appreciated and I have no doubt they will all go on to be a terrific leaders for many years to come at this club.
Another big thank you must go to all the volunteers, supporters and parents who helped out this season. Charlie Anderson did an amazing job as Team Manager completing all the little jobs on game day that make the Coaches job so much easier.
Freddy and Nashy have blown me away this year with their assistance – the time and effort they put into this club is remarkable. I have learnt so much from them and they have helped me greatly.
To all the other volunteers and staff I truly thank you for your selfless and generous time you have given up as it is so vital for this club to survive. There are so many more people to thank and I apologise if I leave anyone out but others include Ando, John Cesario, Dean Lovig, Vossy, Spider, Roggo x 2, Max Grimmer, Dovey, Wheels, Rick Jones, Big Head, The Guy Man, Banga, Jimmy & Annie Westhead. These people and others are vital in making this club succeed and operate and they are all extremely selfless in the time and effort they sacrifice and this should be acknowledged.
I believe the FUTURE for Hampton Rovers looks exciting as the “OFF FIELD Leadership” looks strong with “Ando and his merry men” doing a great job.
I BELIEVE IF: The Under 17’s + Under 19’s + Current Senior and Young Playing Groups STAY together there is success just around the corner.
A club that Trains Together + Plays Together + Eats Together + Socialises Together has the ability to forge a fantastic culture whereby they can build and create anything. BUT most importantly they all must want to come back wanting to IMPROVE and get the BEST out of themselves.
Finally I just want to thank the Hampton Rovers Football Club for the past four years. I have enjoyed all my time at the club. I will miss the memories, the wins, the premierships, the losses, the hard work, the social occasions, the friendships but most of all I will miss the players.
Thanks for four wonderful years that I will never forget.
OTHER SEASON REPORTS: RESERVES | UNDER 19s
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