Oct 14, 35 days ago

Reserves Coach – 2018 Review

Glenn Lenher – Reserves Coach
NFNL Reserves Grand Final Team

What a season that was.
To have the club to make the decision to put up our senior under 19 players in to the development squad was a great decision along with a couple older heads around the group we thought this squad could cause some upsets though out the season.

With a hard pre season ahead my philosophy was simple. We play the senior game plan and put pressure on the senior team members to hold their spots.
We started the practise matches with a real sense of purpose and a will to attack the opposition with run and carry. The group started to gel nicely during those 3 games. To come out of the practise games with 2 Wins was awesome for these guys and gave them a huge boost going into round 1. Round 1 we played Heidelberg at home on a wet day. It was a scrap all day but our persistent pressure and effort all day got us a really good win. All of a sudden we were up and running. We got to Round 5 before dropping our first game. To win four games in a row at the start of the season l think sent a message to the whole competition that we are a improving side on the rise.

Then from Rounds 5-7 we dropped 3 games in a row and there was a some questions being asked of me and group as to why we had dropped off. We were 17 pts up on Monty and lost in the last 10 minutes. All of our hard was starting to look poor. We regrouped after round 7 and had a had a really hard fought win against Bundoora and we were back on track. At the half way mark of the season we were equal 2nd with a record of 6-3. At the half way mark Aaron and l knew we had a big chance of finishing Top 3 but we knew there would be some hard hurdles to over come before this could happen.

Rounds 10-14 and we were sitting a game clear in 2nd and playing really exciting team football and you could see the group enjoying there training, enjoying there time together, and more importantly enjoying the success they were creating. Rounds 15-18 went and we finished equal 2nd and achieved something really special by making finals for the first time in club history while playing Div 1.

Then we started finals against the best performed club in recent years. Playing Greensborough we knew was going to be tough. We knew Preston suited our game style and we needed to take the game to Greensborough if we wanted to beat them. We had a 1-1 record against them during the regular season. We played tough hard Whittlesea football and after beating Greensborough we had earnt the right to play West in the 2nd Semi Final. West had beaten us both times during the regular season so we were really looking forward to taking on the best side in 2019. The game was played on our terms all day and we had a great win and then created a bit more history by making the grand final.

Grand Final day and we are playing Bundoora. We had a 1-1 record against them this year and we were confident we could win and create more history. For 3 qtrs and 10 mins we were well on our way to winning. But as we all know a game of football is 120 mins and we came up short.

I am so proud of the squad and what they achieved this season. My thoughts were win or lose in the finals we had already won by just being there. To play in high pressure games was a great learning curb for the squad and me as well. I learnt a lot about myself during the finals as a coach which was pleasing.

To Dave Cardwell and the committee thank you for giving the chance to be apart of the senior group this year. To Jim Atkins, Brad Dean, Andrew Fairchild thank you for your support all season and also for the extra work you all did during finals and being apart of it. To Aaron Newport, Chris Hoysted and Mick Tyrell l thank you all for your efforts. Your support though out the whole season was just massive. The late night calls, the forward planning you all did was so much appreciated and l thank you.

Lastly to the players firstly the older heads around the group Tolly, Jezza, Ray, Ty and Brad Byrne l thank you all for being apart of this massive journey we went on together. To have your leadership on the ground was just super important to our young group. To the leadership group Jim, Nick and Joel l thank you guys for your honesty though out the season. I had some really tough calls to make at times and your openness, honesty and class was just great so again l thank you. To the rest of the group we had a really enjoyable season with so many positives that if l was to have to write them down it would end up being a novel written. You guys are all class and l hope you continue to grow inside this club and be apart of something special because l think you guys with all the other players in the club can have a great future and really take this club to highest its never reached before.

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