Player Development, In Focus

08 July 2012

With many players unavailable on the weekend, some younger players really stepped up

Player Development – In Focus


On Saturday, the senior team fielded six players still eligible to play U19 Premier football against ladder leaders Old Xaverians.  The U19 Premier team, decimated by injury with ten (yes 10) members of the U19 Premier squad unavailable last Saturday due to injury, and two regular members of the Premier squad playing 1sts, also faced ladder leader, Old Xaverians.


The U19 Premier team called up six members of the U19(2) squad to plug the holes in our poor numbers, so we had a complete team with which to tackle the undefeated Old Xaverians powerhouse.


The purpose of this note is not to examine the outstanding effort of both the senior team to push Old Xaverians to Xav’s narrowest winning margin (7 points) for the season, nor is it designed to sing the praises of the U19 Premier team’s outstanding 1-point victory over the previously undefeated Old Xav’s outfit.


I just wanted to highlight to our members, sponsors and supporters that the playing stocks of the St. Bernard’s Old Collegians Football Club are being developed in a very impressive manner by our senior coaching group.  The fact that Kevin Jones’ players from the U19(2)’s are capable of slotting right in to a higher level of football and then “play their role” as instructed so well that they contribute in a meaningful way to a great team victory is a ringing endorsement of the efforts of Kevin, Peter Wood and U18 coach Serge Romano in how we are approaching the teaching and development of our younger playing group.


To then hear of the efforts of David Wall and Chris Peart to step into the firsts side alongside other U19 eligible players, Grosso, Caven, Moylan and Riley and all play their role as instructed by senior coach Chris Tankard against the current Premier division ladder leaders, is further testament to the club’s efforts to develop our playing list to be a strong and consistent performer in the Premier division.


It is also worth highlighting the obvious development of our senior playing group, who turned a round five 89 point rout by Old Xaverians into a nail-biting 7 point loss just six rounds later.


This focus on player development, coaching development  and player improvement will continue to be the mantra that the committee will be preaching as we continue to seek to offer the clubs players and coaches the best environment within which to become the best football players and coaches they can possibly be.


As the senior club pauses this week for a much needed mid-season break, I know the coaching group lead by Chris Tankard will be contemplating how best to tackle the remaining seven games of the season as we seek to move into the top 4 of Premier division by season end.


Go Bernard’s!


Craig Connelly