It’s been roughly 10 weeks since my last communication to you and there are always things evolving. It is important that we connect to our members and supporters and my aim is to be as transparent as possible on an ongoing basis.
Our centre of excellence sides are experiencing mixed results. Ultimately, the aim of this program is to develop, educate and fast-track as many players as appropriate to the senior program in future years. What I do know is that, there is far more to it than the win-loss ratio. I am confident that we will see many players from these current squads progress in the years to come. The values, terminology, game fundamentals and expectations are adopted in a layered format to ensure smooth transition. We know we are placing a high emphasis on junior progression as part of our overall football plan. Many of this 2023 cohort will play a big part in our future, just as we’ve seen league debutants this year from previous year’s centre of excellence programs.
I would like to thank Scott Patching who has recently stepped down from his role as Under-16 coach due to employment relocation. Scott has been a highly valued member of our coaching team for a number of years and we wish him and his family all the best. Paul Hollands has commenced in the coaching role on an interim basis for the remainder of the year and we thank Paul for accepting this challenge.
We continue to enjoy a close connection to our local zones – both in the city and regional areas. Our talent team are regularly on the road to the Riverland, Mallee and River Murray regions – and recently returned from a trip to Roxby Downs which remains an important area of development for us. Both our mens and womens squads have visited our city-zoned clubs to attend and assist with junior training sessions also which they always enjoy doing.
Our womens side will officially conclude their season with their Best and Fairest presentations this Saturday night. While this event will acknowledge individual performances, it is important to remember that everyone involved plays a part in the team. I know there are thorough reviews taking place and recommendations being made to ensure the program continues to evolve and thrive. Despite their season finishing only a few weeks ago, many of the girls are back in the gym and training, which is a testament to their commitment to the club.
On the field with the mens team, we have seen mixed results to date. There is no doubt, that the group are trending in the right direction and showing that they’re learning, developing and fighting out games to the end. The obvious highlights include the wins over South Adelaide, Norwood and North Adelaide; however, I am also proud of the effort shown in other games, including the narrow loss to Sturt at Unley.
Unfortunately, we do have a small group of players on the sidelines currently due to injury. Not everyone would know that Dylan McCormick and Sam Frost were hurting for most of the North game, but they were determined to stay on the field and ultimately were large contributors to the result – a great reflection of the relentless mindset we are working towards as a group.
Whilst it’s nice to show some improvement, we all want ongoing success. Everyone at the club remains committed to this and it drives everything we do. Our players, coaching team and support staff are always striving for improvement and our list management team are putting plans in place to ensure we are well positioned to build on our current strengths.
We have a number of players across all teams that have received recognition by being selected in state squads and teams this year. The Club is always proud to see our players recognised at this level for the time and effort they put in to their games.
Finally, I’m sure you’ve seen Kaiden Brand in the green uniform as our runner on match days. Kaiden suffered a serious concussion last season that he is still recovering from. He is doing everything possible to maintain his match fitness, he is completing full non contact training with the group which is a positive, however there is no set timeline on his potential return date. Kaiden has remained positive throughout this time and his presence around the club is of great value despite him not being able to play. Kaiden continues to make progress and is hopeful of a return to the field in 2023.
We thank you for your ongoing support and hope to see many of you at Hisense Stadium on Saturday.
Paul Streatfield – Head of Football & Talent