NFC Under 15’s Championship Review:
Coming into the Under 15 Intra State Championships our squad had seen some tremendous improvement over a long trial program. Despite having a mixed bag of results in the trial matches pre carnival, this was merely an opportunity for the boys to learn and play different positions – so we could best develop each player and find the right team balance. We brought in a talented and deep squad for the championships and began the week at home against South Adelaide. Despite having the ball down in our forward half, getting inside 50 and having more scoring shots – our inefficiency cost us as we went down in trying conditions by 9 points.
We went across to City Mazda Stadium the following day having spent some time looking at our performance the day before – and came with a focus to improve. The boys came out much more focused than the previous match and were able to finally display some passages of play more in line with the brand of football we demanded from ourselves – as we comfortably controlled the game from start to finish opening up West across the ground and running away with a 37-point victory.
Heading into the final round robin match we required a result to go our way across town, while also needing to defeat the Eagles comfortably at Woodville. Understanding the situation the boys came determined to control their own destinies and put forward the best result they could to put them through. Despite displaying some elite pressure in the first half, we lacked the conversion on the scoreboard we required. As we left the half time huddle the news came through that the match across town had the result we needed – and the news really elevate the groups drive and output. We came out in the final terms and put together the elite pressure we had all game with better efficiency going forward – and were able to run away with a 42 point win. Heading into the change room we nervously waited on the SANFL to calculate percentages – and with the call coming through that we had come 1st in the division by percentage – the boys erupted in scenes of pure excitement. Once the adrenaline had calmed, the boys began to immediately turn their attention to preparing for the next match – we still had one more box to tick.
Making it into the final for the carnival the boys could be excused for becoming daunted or anxious by the stage – playing on Thebarton Oval in front of a decent crowd – but there were no signs of nerves. The boys came into the game proud of their efforts but well aware that we had one more job to do – and what was needed to complete that job. Coming up against an undefeated opponent (whom we had seen plenty of in the trial phase) the boys remained resolute on what we needed to display – a rounded game style of fast spreading offence and tight organized defence. In tough swaying conditions the match was relatively close for the first half. Coming into the 3rd quarter we held a small lead but the boys set the target to put the game out of reach while going against the breeze. In what was a dominant showing for 17 minutes the boys put the game out of reach and controlled the game in the final term. Running out eventual winners by a solid 35 points the boys completed a tremendous carnival and were well deserved champions.
We are extremely proud of the efforts the boys put forth over the championship week and the program as a whole. It was a testament the character of the group that every player played a role over the week and embodied our club values on and off the field. We look forward to seeing these young men bring the same character, effort and passion to future Norwood programs in coming years – understanding if they do this same success will continue to be produced.
U15 Metro Coach