Season Review: Men's 4th team by Wayne Ebert

  24 September 2015   Wayne Ebert   Men's News
 
Season Review: Men's 4th team by Wayne Ebert

Finished: 6th

Played:  18

Won: 6

Drew:  3

Lost:  9

Goals for:  35

Goals against:  54

Points:  21

 

We started the season with two main objectives. One was to help the 3rd team gain promotion. The other was to make sure we did not get relegated! Bit of a 50/50 split on how that turned out. (The 3rds ended up 4th). Our other aim was to mix the youth with experience to help with a developmental path for the youth to learn from and gain more senior football experience. Using 45 players through the season was making the most of our resources on offer.

 

The early weeks felt the toughest, trying to get some consistency to the playing side while pushing to get points. It took us three games and four weeks to get our first point, and it came via the best individual goal of the year from Jono Stewart.

 

Finally after six weeks we got our first win, against the top of the table team at the time, and the eventual winners! Knowing what it felt like to win helped our lads, and also showed that we could compete. It also helped to keep us pushing them along (at training and game day).

 

I'd say Andy (Badrick) and I started tentatively to see what we had and then started to lift the intensity and demands on the players a little more as the season progressed, becoming more tactical with positions and players. We had to play the team and formation we thought was needed against each opposition, which was difficult to do with the changes sometimes forced upon us each week.

 

A typical week in review would be Saturday night/Sunday morning making notes of the game and who, what and how, etc. Sunday I would try and start the match review but often ended up not finishing it until early in the week. Monday/Tuesday would be thinking and analysing what we should work on for training, Wednesday would confirm what for training and then do the training. (Good note, we only had to cancel one training due to weather and used the gym twice. We were lucky in the odd week to have the turf spare so used that and mainly used #3 training ground, which held up really well throughout, even with all the rain.) Thursday morning I would usually make contact with Chris Hosnell, 3rd team coach, to see where his team was at and try and get any early indications of what things might look like for the weekend with regards players. Then Thursday night was training for the top three sides and players were placed in their respective teams and we got the balance or helped to top up.  From Thursday about 9.30 I would put players in and then take players out and this would happen through to usually Midday on Friday.

 

For a few weeks in June/July I felt like I was on the phone all morning Friday! It's not as easy as you think, juggling all the players and work and injuries and sickness and holidays and ...I take my hat off to Rob Houghton and Barry Pickering for their patience with me, as I do tend to "want to know"!

 

I would send out my text to the players we had locked in normally by Thursday night. This sometimes went into Friday and on one occasion 3pm on Friday (not ideal for players who are trying to organise their Saturday's with family's etc!). I would then confirm once the final pieces of the puzzle came into sight. And as always there were some late changes with illness or family emergencies.

 

All this and trying to coach a College team as well after they were left coach-less just before their first game. It sort of worked in our favour as we had six of them play for us at some stage during the season, so thanks to the St Bernard's boys for that.

 

Towards the end of the year the school pitch got ruined so I decided to train both teams together and this worked really well for a number of reasons.

 

But Saturday was the highlight, seeing how the team would turn out and perform with the different mix each week.

 

Some Highlights:

  • First point and the goal that allowed the point.
  • First win which was against the top side and overall champions Waikanae. With a little help from a few "ring-ins". (This was a big weekend for both the 3rd/4th teams as we did each other big favours and juggled players between the two teams and it all worked out well.) We started to see the development of players from tentative to assertive.
  • The way the experienced players supported our younger players. Both through trainings and game times.
  • Bringing back some players into football that haven't played for a year or two. (Hoping they stay around to progress through the ranks in the following years also).  Having an outlet, so the college players can play senior football after their school games (school KO times are usually around 11am) as we had a number of late games during the early part of the season. This proved to be valuable for both the player and the club being able to see the potential with U19's.
  • Having three of our players end up with their debut 1st team appearance (all three college boys) - Hami, Brad, Dylan.
  • Being able to play in a competitive game with my two sons.
  • Seeing through the whole season and enjoying it along the way.
  • Being able to help out the Chicago boys with extra players when required. So in essence giving all of our fostered names a game each week, well most weeks.

Low-lights:

  • Not winning every game! (Andy and I don't coach, or ever played, to just participate!) Losing a few players along the way, due to our choices of numbers and the late notice of games.
  • Inconsistencies of availability from some of the players and how that was communicated.
  • Realising I spend too much time on my phone on Thursday / Fridays, and being told so every week by my wife!

 

So what now?

 

Well, I'll probably follow the U19's around to watch and enjoy (having a family member playing helps..hopefully!) And looking at options for next year. I'd like to say that Andy and I will continue to coach but I want to be able to see my sons play so that will have some bearing on it all.

 

I've played for Petone since I was four years old. My dad played first team, I played first team and now both my sons have played first team. Blue runs in the veins so COYB!