With a huge year for the Toowoomba AFC now almost behind us, I think we can all look back over our achievements this year and be extremely proud of the club that we are. I know we have talked about the amalgamation of both the Stingers and Tigers quite a bit over the past 2 years, but this year was extremely important to really cement that relationship. Unity was our key focus this year, and with all the hard work undertaken by a number of people in the club, that really came to fruition at our recent under 8's and 10's carnival. The number of people within the club who volunteered their time on the day was very pleasing. Thanks must also go to our senior players and coach helping out on the day - to have a bigger line-up of kids to have a go on the ruck bag than the jumping castle was fantastic to see. I received a number of favourable comments in relation to this, and this scenario in itself was very telling of we are as a club.
Junior footy on the downs this year showed a slight decline across the board, for a number of reasons. Of all the clubs in the league, there were only three that had any growth in numbers. Toowoomba AFC was the glaring discrepancy, with an overall growth of 36% - simply phenomenal!!! Speaking at the recent Strategic Workshop, the Regional Development Manager - Keith Webb, put this growth down to the fact that our coaches are first rate and tend to have a really good interaction not only with the kids, but also the parents. I can't agree more, and a huge thanks to all of our Junior coaches and assistants - Andrew, Grace, Nathan, Paul, Lawrie, Nev, Ari, Chewie and Box - you blokes do a fantastic job, we really appreciate your effort and time throughout the year.
Our Senior side this year, although probably struggled with numbers from week to week, I believe should hold their heads high for a really important season. The dedication of the coaches Talbo and Gomez, both in their first season of coaching are a credit to them both, and I this year will put them both in good stead for years to come. The core members of the Division 1 team also should be proud of their year, although tough some weekends on the scoreboard, I honestly believe that the team is really not that far off a good season in 2015. It will however depend on an honest pre-season and some smart recruiting on everyone's part to ensure that we attract and retain the right people.
Looking ahead to 2015, I can tell you that it will be another important year for the Tigers. For the first time, we will field a Women's team, and I wish the newly appointed coach Michael Bailey all the best. Judging by the grand final on the weekend, women's footy will extend our clubs family atmosphere, and if there are any doubters about the quality if this form of the game, I can assure you that you are in for a surprise!!!
Another important part of 2015 will be a Tigers reunion. I am really looking forward to this event, which will occur over a weekend early in the season. Our club goes back to the formation of the League in 1971, when we started out as "Pinkies" - from the word on the grapevine, this will be a huge event. There will be plenty of work over the off-season to organize this, so keep your eyes on our Facebook site!!!
Lastly, I would like to thank our "Division 3" team - the TAFC executive. This year was a little daunting at first for some of us, however as the year has progressed and we have found our "groove" we have performed well as a team. I personally have really enjoyed the challenge this year serving the club. We have an amazing group of people in the current executive, and I'd encourage anyone in the least bit interested in being part of the committee to get involved.
Thanks for the year, all the best over the break, and I hope to see you all again next year.
Up the Tigers!!
TAFC President 2104