No shortage of guts and determination for Force
The North Coast Force program continues to make its mark on the representative scene with day two of the carnival marked by gutsy team and individual performances.
A bout of overnight illness impacted each team, meaning that they really had to dig deep and double down on their efforts to compete in each match. The standard of the day’s play was excellent from all competing teams and showed that the North Coast Force can match it with more fancied opponents even in testing circumstances.
The resilience shown by all teams was noted by Matt Anderson, Force Coaching Co-ordinator. “Day two is always hard because our players aren’t used to being repeatedly challenged and having to perform at that high level over an extended period,” Anderson said.
“Our coaches explained to the players that today was going to be all about being resilient – digging deep to find that extra effort whilst also maintaining a focus on playing their part in the team system. I thought our players were outstanding today and really showed that the North Coast Force can get in and compete no matter how hard the going gets.
“Players learn far more from a challenging day like today than they do from easy wins so this experience has been great for their development.”
No team had to battle harder than the Under 17 group, who were reduced to just 15 fit players by the last match. Their effort really set the tone for the whole program and, whilst a win eluded them, they were highly competitive in each match and deservedly earnt great respect from each of their opponents.
The Under 15 team turned in one of the bravest efforts to claim a thrilling win over Hunter Country in their last match to finish the event with two wins and two losses. Whilst the old adage “bad kicking’s bad footy” rang true for Hunter Country in this match, the footnote now reads that desperate defence forces bad kicking as the North Coast team were absolutely valiant when it came to protecting their goal.
The Youth Girls 13 team once again split their results to round out an excellent debut carnival. Many of the players in the team are in only their first year of playing competitive footy, and all but a couple had never played rep before, the overall performance was exceptional with each individual developing significantly over the two days.
The Under 13 boys had a challenging day two to go winless, but learnt a lot about staying in the contest and forcing further efforts out of tired bodies. On these fronts the team rated very highly, and have set a strong platform to build upon at the Coffs carnival in July.
The Youth Girls 17 were exemplary with not only their on field efforts but with their spirit and sportsmanship. Just like day one, the team finished with one win, one loss, but they impressed everyone with they way they individually and collectively lifted their efforts to execute the game plan whilst also being fully supportive of one another and their opponents.
The overall standings from the Hunter Challenge Cup were:
- Hunter Country
- Hunter Metro
- North Coast Force
- Central Coast
AFL North Coast thanks each of the coaches and managers on behalf of both the League and the families for their ongoing efforts and enthusiasm.
The representative focus now switches to the Northern NSW Championships to be staged in Coffs Harbour from Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 July where our teams will be looking to apply the learnings from this carnival and take their efforts to another level.