Development Squad player-coach Nick Thurley reviews the 2018 season…
The Reserves season of 2018 could best be described as ‘up and down like Storphs undies.’
We began our journey at Aquinas College in April in a match where a team that we managed to somehow throw together with a mixture of mates, family, employees and a few randoms that Jacko found at the pub, went down convincingly by 111 points.
The next month was a similar story as we lost three of the next four by 109, 126 and 35. We did manage to pull out an unexpected victory against Canterbury, thanks to the assistance of club legends Dan Lyne, Fluff and Boyd and the addition of former Rugby great Charlie Sullivan.
It’s said that the night is darkest before the dawn, and our turning point came in round 6 against a battling La Trobe with an 86-point victory.
As our self-belief grew, and buoyed by the enticement of victory beers, we carried on the winning form scratching out 5 and 4-point wins against Swinburne and Richmond respectively.
Sensing a potential of becoming more than just a bunch of drunks who play footy together we carried on our rich vein of form. 7 wins came from the next 9 outings.
More notably these included a 162-point drubbing of La Trobe, a 66-point victory over Hawthorn who had beaten us by 126 in round 4 and a 32-point win over minor premiers Glen Eira who took it as Glen Eira do, poorly.
Due to our poor start to the season our finals hopes came down to the final round and it was a simple equation. Between us and Westbourne the winner played finals and the loser got to wear fancy dress and do bad things for the rest of the weekend.
Unfortunately we were unable to carry on our 7 game winning streak, and even though we never gave in, we just weren’t able to keep up with the Warriors as we went down by 28 points.
The coaches would like to give a big thank you to a few people; Webby, for all your help on the boundary, would have been double if you’d made it on time.
Jacko, for (shhh shhh) being our number one recruiter and all round good bloke.
Shops and Disco, for the ongoing support especially at the pointy end of the season.
Tyson, Lucas and the committee, as above. And for ignoring the unusual uniform distribution…
Timmy and Adam, for strapping Wills knee every week even though there was nothing wrong with it.
Shops Sr, solid 80th year on this earth and behind the goals mate!
Mick, Smokes and Brittle, for umpiring and maybe turning a blind eye sometimes?
Dee and the girls, for looking after the canteen.
The supporters, there weren’t too many of you but we hope we did you proud.
And of course, a huge thanks to the entire team and everyone who gave us a chop out throughout the year. We had a total of 74 different players strap on the boots for us this season. They sacrificed shifts at work and time with family, holidays, some travelled over an hour to games and our job just wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of every one of them.
We copped a lot this season for being everything from thugs to cheats to seniors playing down. In reality we were nothing but a bunch of blokes who loved a beer and social footy, and we did those things pretty well.
Hope to see you all again next year. We may find ourselves in Div 4 but we have our songs.
*Who was the Silly Sunday Flusher? We need to shut the gate on that one!