Team: Under 14’s
Coach: Rob Brisot
Firstly, on behalf of Chris and Damian, I would like to thank the boys for their commitment, hard work and outstanding performances on the field in season 2021.
Following the additions of some new players to the squad, we knew very early on that we had the foundations and potential to do something special this year and have an excellent chance at winning our maiden premiership as a team. At the point the season was taken away from us, we were undefeated. What could have been…
Our pre-season training regime laid the foundations for the year ahead. They boys worked hard on their fitness and skills, never complained, or cut corners of what they were asked to do and just put their heads down and got on with the hard work. Their rewards for the hard work came when our boys were still running hard at the end of every game whilst the opposition teams were walking and running out of gas.
We weren’t the biggest team in the comp, quite the opposite when comparing sizes. But what we had over the other teams was a strong sense of belief, a high level of fitness, wonderful skills, great speed, a toughness and team spirit that was rock solid and an absolute joy to be a part of. The boys encouraged and supported each other and celebrated every try as one and that was brilliant to watch.
That team spirit was not just on the field, but also amongst the parents who assisted at training and stood on the sidelines each week cheering on their sons in every tackle and every run. We greatly appreciated the trust and support in allowing us to coach your sons each week.
On a personal note. I would especially like to thank the parents for their strong support and words of encouragement when I was battling with the NSWRL to avoid us being unfairly promoted. Despite not getting the result we wanted, we were unified in what we thought was best for our sons.
I enjoyed coaching the boys this year. They are a great bunch of lads and fun to be around – even more enjoyable after a Manly flogged Parramatta, and I could then repay the weeks of sledging I received after Manly’s slow start to the season (Lucky they weren’t around for the record second whipping they received from Manly). As I said earlier, there was a wonderful team spirit in this team. We had fun and trained hard. We had the right mix and it showed on the field in the results.
Now onto the awards:
- Most Improved Player – Nathan Pereira
After learning the game last year in his first season, Nathan took his game up a notch this year and was a joy to see. With more confidence and without saying much, Nathan was getting more involved, running, and tackling harder and scoring out wide. To see him score his first try and the joy it brought was great to watch.
- Coaches Award – Oliver Kissane
It was Ollies first year with the team and a very valuable addition to the team. Ollie was a leader in our fitness training and during games one of the most fearless players I have ever seen for a player his size playing in the middle with the forwards and never taking a backward step.
- Best Forwards – Tom Heyes and Zak Sullivan
Coaches were split on this one. Both boys were having outstanding years. They led the team with barnstorming runs through the middle and hard hitting defence that lay the platform for the backs to do their work. Both took their games to the next level this season. Both boys are quietly spoken, but as they say actions speak louder than words. No team outmuscled or outplayed them.
- Best Back – Archie Brisot
Year in, year out Archie puts his body on the line and gives his all for the team in both attack and defence. Leading by example and with a fierce determination to win he was a wonderful leader of the team. Bobbing up and chiming in all over the field with his speed and footwork, he is a valuable asset to the team and often a target for opposition teams. I try not to be biased and am often harder on him at training being his dad, but I also use the comments of other parents to which base my decisions upon.
- Best and Fairest – Ben Stringer
Truly deserving of this award. Ben took his game to the next level this season and led the team around the field with class and led by example. A wonderful runner of the ball with a great passing game, speed to burn and rock-solid defence. When things were tight in games, Ben often finding something special to produce to balance things in our favour. To play #6 is not easy, but Ben managed to make it look easy this year. He took control and led the way forward.
Once again, thanks again to a awesome bunch of players and parents involved this year with the U14’s. I would especially like to thank Chris Heyes who assisted me in coaching the boys and had to endure my ranting and raving on the sidelines each week – couldn’t have done it without you. I’d also like to thank Damian Morabito for being manager again this year and doing all the admin paperwork, scoring on the sidelines and listening to my ranting as well – I’m sure you wont miss me continually asking ‘how long to go?’….
I’d also like to make a special call out and big thank you to the U13 players who stepped up and played for us this year when we were down on troops and needed some much added support and reinforcements – Jack Grofski, Lucas Heyes and Oscar Millard. Your contributions to the team did not go un-noticed and were greatly appreciated by the U14 squad. You went a long way in helping us maintain our winning record.