Masters Finals Appearance v Cranbourne.
After a difficult and multi faceted interrupted 6 week lead up to the finals, the Masters side was finalised on the morning of the game.
We had horrible luck with injury and ‘The ‘Sickness’ that went through the club like a fat kid through a donut shop.
As a Coach it was a frustrating time as at every twist and turn it seemed like the footy gods were against us.
Beating Cranbourne was always going to be an extremely difficult task but with a bit of preparation I thought we would of had their measure for longer than a half a game. History shows us that they were the best side all year by a long way and they proved this to us on game day.
We went out in the first quarter and really showed excellent discipline and fight. The game plan was adhered to and we knew we had a chance. The second quarter showed much the same and at half time we were still right in the game.
As we have done so many times this year our effort to stick to the task after the main break just wasn’t up to the intensified challenge that I knew the opposition would throw at us.
A dominant Cranbourne third quarter broke us and although some players were still trying their hardest to instigate some positive passages of play, we really wobbled into the last quarter just trying to maintain some scoreboard pride.
We were convincingly beaten in the end but we can take heart that we will have been taken out of the Grand Final race by what I think will be this years Premiers.
I’m really proud of the boys efforts throughout the year and in the finals and I know that we did the best we could and that each player gave their all on the day.
Thank you to all the players that came through the Masters this year (approx 50 at last count) it’s been fantastic to see this team grow in confidence and for everyone to embrace our systems and to genuinely want to play for each other.
I still stand by my observation that as a committed team we are one of the hardest sides to beat on our day.
I’d also like to thank our trainers Sarah and Paula, my team manager Daryl Borthwick and my ‘Gun’ Runner Mark Crawshaw JNR. Water boys/girls were also much appreciated.
It really has been a memorable and reasonably successful season for us. We’ve had fun while maintaining an edge of competitiveness. If we continue engage measures to become a more professional unit in our approach to next season I’m sure we can go one step further to putting some silverware on the shelf.
Remember what you’ve learnt over the past two seasons and build on it.
I wish all players, coaches and off field staff all the best for 2018.
Thank you for making my time as Raiders Masters Coach an enjoyable one.