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.
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!
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.
Saturday June 9th saw the Dockers host their first EAFL tournament that saw three outstanding Eastern Region teams converging on Baltimore, MD. The teams consisted of the Philadelphia Hawks and DC Eagles with the Baltimore Dockers serving as hosts. The game was played at Bocek Park in Baltimore City and in true Baltimore City fashion the day turned from a hot sunny day to a wet cold monsoon in a matter of hours that saw teams playing in water ankle deep.
Game 1: Battle of the Beltway, Game 2
The rain held off for the first game where the DC Eagles took on the Baltimore Dockers in the second game of the “Dennis Ryan Cup”. The first half went back and forth, with DC pulling ahead at halftime. As the second half began, the Dockers where able to trim the Eagles lead but in the end fell short. Game 2 went to the Eagles by a score of 6.4.40 to 8.3.51. In the end, DC’s midfield with standout performances from Jake Moyer and Sam Radcliffe served too much for the Dockers to overcome. Standouts for the Dockers were Josh Richardson and Mike Horney.
Game 2: Dockers vs the Philly Hawks
The second game started shortly after the first one ended and saw the Dockers take on the Philadelphia Hawks. Hawks jumped out early on the Dockers kicking three quick goals. The Dockers were able to answer in the first half with a goal of their own two behinds. At halftime the heavens opened up and it was a torrential downpour that lasted for about 20 minutes. As players and spectators took shelter the rain, thunder and lightning lasted for about 20 minutes.
With a break in the weather the second half started. With ankle deep water all over the field it turned to a very sloppy game of footy with each team just trying to gain territory in each other’s scoring half. The Hawks were able to pull away with some timely marks and straight goal kicking to come out on top of the Dockers by a score of 3.3.21 – 6.8.44. The Dockers were led by Ian Payne, Terrance McAuliffe, and Mike Horney who won Iron Man honors for his effort in both games.