The Baltimore Dockers are USAFL Division IV National Champions!

 

The Baltimore Dockers are USAFL Division IV National Champions!

What an intro to Coach’s Corner this month. While the bruises are still purple and the body sore from our weekend in Racine WI at the USAFL National Tournament, the smile has not yet faded.  We went to Racine to win our division and after a hard-fought win against Seattle (combined with Las Vegas and Arizona) in the grand final we did just that.

I am very proud of all those who put the boots on for Baltimore this year as we went about establishing ourselves both on and off the field. It has been a steep learning curve for myself in a coaching role, no less so than those who have had a run around playing “footy” with us for the first time ever this year.

The Dockers had a solid training regime coming into the Nationals competition and I believe this helped us achieve our goal for 2018. The additional numbers we had helped us train in the style we wanted to play- to hold possession and to lock the ball into our offensive half as much as possible. Game style football training (practice) is where I believe we need to direct our focus to continue to develop as a club and achieve higher goals moving forward. We trained hard in the final month and it really did show on the field. Skills and fitness will obviously be a steady diet for the Aussie footy player but where we can really develop the nuances of the game is with game style training.

In the first game of Nationals 2018, Baltimore were a little slow out of the blocks. This was against Seattle, our Nationals nemesis. Whilst not outplayed, missed scoring shots and a lack of focus had the Dockers with their backs against the wall. The second half was a very different story however and Baltimore were very unlucky after sustained pressure to lose by 4 points.

This was the last game they lost and from then on Baltimore played “Our Style of Footy”. This oft repeated mantra (cue Ian Payne and myself) related to the type of football we wanted to play and what that meant if we played that style- i.e. we would play clean, tough, fast moving football. We would be having fun on the field and all this together will lead to victory. Essentially this is the style we want play and what we want to be known for in the future.

This determined play style led to the team hoisting the DIV IV Cup and celebrating the tough victory at Nationals.

This really is an amazing achievement for a new club. This has been made possible due to the massive amounts of hard work put in behind the scenes by the Dockers board members. I thank you for all your efforts. I also thank all those that came down and had a run and for those that helped throughout the year. Thank you to those that flew back from Aus to put the boots on for us again, you know who you are.

It has been a great year for the Baltimore Dockers and I believe this success will continue if we can stay together and continue having fun as a team (and as always at the end of my coach’s corner, KEEP COMING TO TRAINING!)

See you all at the end of year windup.

Brynno

Coach’s Corner September 2018

It seems like just yesterday I sat down to write the last spiel in Coach’s Corner, such is the speed of how time seems to fly by. With that said, it also seems like just last month that the Docker’s season kicked off and we were having our first run against the Tigers in Wilmington N.C.

We have had a great season overall, and though this is not an end of year recap it won’t be long until we are having a rest from footy. This weekend is our last regular season game where we head up to Philadelphia to face the Hawks and the N.Y. Magpies. It will be a very tough hit out as both these teams are skilled, experienced and are bringing plenty of players.

The Dockers have played only one game this month after a tough loss in Boston at the end of August. On September 8, we faced the Philly Hawks at home on a windy and dreary day. Conditions were very wet, making it difficult to play a brand of attractive footy. In a low scoring, scrappy affair the lead changed hands several times and Baltimore narrowly held back a determined Philadelphia to come away with a 1 point victory. Philly did not have their full contingent but did have a lot of experience and it was a very solid effort put forward by all Dockers to come away with the chocolates.

Results

TeamGoalsBehindsTotal
Baltimore Dockers4933
Philadelphia Hawks4832

The defense did very well all day led by Stacks and Horney, as did Kit Drury in the ruck. Johnny also did very well and is showing signs of becoming a very good footballer as he continues to learn the game. Overall, it was a solid team effort on the day with all players helping each other out and willing to put their heads over the ball. It certainly was a good feeling when the siren (or whistle in this case) sounded and we could all relax and enjoy a hard earned cold one. Good Times!

We have the National competition starting in less than a month in sunny Racine and we will be needing to ramp up our fitness levels from here on in. Obviously, we need to get to training but I recommend all the Dockers to start getting 2 or 3 high intensity cardio workouts a week between now and then. The short format games we play require a quick recovery and interval training is a good way to simulate the way that footy is played. We need to be fit and ready to go to maximize our chances of coming home with the cup! That will be a good feeling boys and one that we have the capability of achieving!

 

Bryn

 

 

Coach’s Corner: Exciting Times Ahead

The Baltimore Dockers have been very busy this summer. Training, playing, socialising and saying goodbye to a couple of midfield legends we have been playing alongside with over this year and for some many years. It is sad to see Brent Bates and Neale Williams head back to Australia but we wish them the best and thank them for being such good clubmates.

These departures have created a good opportunity for some new blood in the middle of the field, or “the guts” as it is known. These positional changes have occurred not only in the middle, but right across the field as we are trying to find the best suited positions for both our new and veteran players. This is one of the many challenges we face as a new club.

To paraphrase Jay Z, we got 99 problems, but lack of numbers on gameday ain’t one.

We have been very fortunate to have great numbers at our games this year, typically above 25 people. This is due to the incredible work being done behind the scenes by the Docker’s board and the commitment being shown by the players.

On the field of late we have had mixed results. We went 1-2 in Div 2 at the Eastern Regional Tournament hosted by Philadelphia, with a great win against DC following losses to Columbus and Boston. We have been playing with a lot of heart and endeavor, and I firmly believe that once we get more experience playing together and iron out the problem areas we have identified then we will turn the corner.

We had the opportunity to host NY and Columbus this past weekend in Baltimore and over all we had a very successful day in Baltimore. We played NY first and showed great promise in the first half, however in the second they showed why they’re considered the best of the East, coming away with a 6 goal win.

We were trailing against Columbus when in the second half we showed how good we could be. Great field movement followed by strong marking and conversions from Ian Payne pulled Baltimore right back into the game. The clock got the best of us with all the momentum and the siren went with us just one goal behind Columbus.

This 10 minute spell highlighted how well we can play and shows the potential this Dockers team has. Exciting times are definitely ahead of us.

Stand outs players for us of late have been Josh Richardson, Nick Sisca, and Rocket. A special note to all the new recruits who have been learning the ins and outs of footy and training as often as they can.

Thanks to all those that helped on the sidelines over the weekend.

Bryn