To set the scene, right now, the Toowoomba Under 14’s side sits second on the AFLDD Under 14’s McDonalds Shield. That fact alone tells plenty of this side, and the reasons for their success this far comes down to a number of things.
Ability. We believe that the current team has the ability to win the Grand Final at the end of the year. We have a number of very good players, who, on their day can play to a very high standard.
Persistence. Last Thursday it was wet. It was cold. It was unpleasant at training. The under 14’s were at training from 4:30 to 6pm, and they wanted to keep playing when two cold and withered coaches called it quits. This was on a week when we had a scheduled bye, and it would have been easy to send a text to their coaches that they had to stay home and change the gold-fish’s water. Two coaches were told – thanks for the best training session we’ve had this year.
Discipline. Every successful team needs to be disciplined. Our under 14’s have displayed that they can maintain focus on the task at hand. On our teambuilding day in the last school holidays, it was clearly evident that we had a great group of young players. The ability for everybody to perform at a high level despite some apparent and real hardships was pleasing to see.
Pride. Pride is something you feel. To be witness to the under 14’s pulling on their Tigers jumper for the first time, to hear them sing “Tigerland” after a win, and to see the chests pump out when they are told “Great kick Tiger” by one of the senior players, well pride is all over Rockville oval.
Team. Team is not just about what happens on the field. It’s about those things that happen at training, before and after games. Our under 14’s are a tight group. They are mates and they all want to do the best to help each other out. This extends through to helping out around the club on game days in a number of ways.
Fun. The very reason we have a group of 24 consistently turning up to training and games.
Now, we only have 7 matches of football left before the finals and we have to make a choice. Do we want to make a difference in the finals or do we want to just get there??
We can use all of the facets listed above: our ability, our persistence, our discipline, our pride, our team and our fun. We can put all these things together and really make an effort at training and on game day.
It would be great to say to ourselves at the end of the year that we “had a red-hot go this year”.
It is good to win against teams but the real joy comes from winning against a team we weren’t expected to beat.
Now is the time to make that decision that we want to make a difference, not at half time in the first final at the end of the year.
There isn’t a lot of joy around winning games for the Tigers as a whole this year – so the club will be looking to the 14’s to have a real go.
It is up to all of us as a team.
Jeremy & Nev.