2022 saw many fresh new faces join the club along with our regular juniors returning to Hawks Nest for our first uninterrupted season since 2019. Our juniors were represented strongly in all age groups from Auskick, U9s through to U18s.
On field we had great success with our U14s, U18s and U15 Girls making finals. Our U15s bowed out in the first week of finals, however our U14s and U18s returned to the Hawks Nest with Premierships. Congratulations to all involved on a wonderful season.
During the season we introduced a new inclusive initiative called the Hawks Hero’s (pictured above). The Program designed for our non-competitive age groups (U9-U12s), saw our juniors involved in game day with our seniors. It was fantastic to see families attending home and away games, seeing their child running out with the Senior squad and singing the song in the rooms with their hero’s. The program was well received by the Senior players who loved hearing our junior hawks cheering them on under the Hawks Hero’s marquee. We also held several grid games with different age groups at half time of home games, which the kids and spectators thoroughly enjoyed.
Whilst football is a team sport and individual awards don’t happen without the support of teammates, I would like to acknowledge the following juniors on a standout season in 2022:
Chris Tainton – League Best & Fairest U18 Div 3
Declan Foley – League Leading Goal Kicker U18 Div 3
Sabrina Rizzo – League Best & Fairest U15 Div 2
Keegan Johnson – League Best & Fairest U14 Div 3
Hayden Eddy – V/Line Cup Representative
Caitlin Bell – V/Line Cup Representative
In my first year as coordinator, I was very fortunate to have the support and guidance from Age Group Coordinators Jo Preece, Frank Galan, Darren Payne, Melita Shawcross, Renae Osborne and Carly Thomason. Thanks also to Aaron Hovey and Charlie Benson for your contribution to the Junior Subcommittee. Squiz Taylor stepped into the role as Junior Coaching Coordinator this year and has been amazing, I thank him for his commitment to our juniors.
Thanks to our amazing coaches Damian Clark, Lincoln Blair, Glenn Smethurst, Adam Shawcross, Mark Wells, Michael Deckker, Adam Little, Pete Evans, Harley Soall, Mitchell Osborne, David Leatch, Brent Taylor, Phil Sidoti, Dylan Justice and Chris Bullock. We appreciate the amount of time coaching takes away from your families and work. Our juniors look to you for guidance on and off the ground, to them you are more than footy coaches. The amount of work you have put in this year is immeasurable.
Volunteers are integral to ensure our Juniors take the ground each week. Thank you to our Team Managers, Assistant Coaches, Umpires, Goal Umpires, First Aids and Scorers, without you, there is no game. Huge thanks to Allan Searle who helped with training our volunteers on the new scoreboard and continues to come down and score for as many junior games as he can fit in.
2023 will see the introduction of the Peninsula Sharks Female Football. Drysdale have joined forces with Portarlington and Leopold to enable our girls to have the best opportunity of playing football in U12s, U15s and U18s for many years to come. An MOU will be executed by all clubs in the coming weeks. Glenn Smethurst will be the Coordinator for the Sharks and has put in a tremendous amount of work to get this off the ground. We encourage Members to link with the Sharks on Facebook and Instagram for updates on pre-season launch.
We conducted a junior survey with the aim of staying connected to members by giving them a voice to help gauge the representativeness of individual views and experiences of our football program. The survey has provided great feedback on people's opinions and behaviour’s that can be used to make important decisions going forward. Many thanks to those who took the time to complete the survey.
Personally, I would like to thank Dave, Peter and all the Committee for your support this year of the Junior Program.
Bring on an even bigger and better 2023.
Amy Milne Junior Coordinator