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 – August 2018

It has been a hot and steamy month this August in Dockerland. Not to mention the weather, which has been rather warm of late too. After a few disappointing weeks with low numbers at training we have seen a surge of late with nearly 20 on the track the last few sessions.

Awesome!

This has helped us to continue our match simulation drills and full field pieces.

We believe that if we can continue training in this game play style with a good number of players we will start seeing the results on the field. We have the talent in our ranks. We just need to continue working together to learn the most effective ways to limit scoring at our defensive end and transition down the field to maximize damage.

We have played 3 games since the last issue. The first was a full 4 quarter game against North Carolina Tigers. They unfortunately only had 14 or 15 players that travelled with them to Baltimore to face us and we won convincingly. The delivery to Ian Payne in the forward line was crisp and allowed him to run on to mark the ball out in front. He finished up with eight or so goals, and was the major goal kicker on the day. The biggest takeaway from this game was the attitude and team spirit that was evident from the start. We wanted to win and were willing to work together to make it happen.

Last weekend saw the Dockers travel up to Philly to play a mini tourney against them and D.C. We finished up 1 & 1. We easily took care of D.C. who unfortunately were missing a plethora of their usual best. They tried, but were unable to impact the scoreboard. Josh Richards led the way for the backline, the midfielders owned the middle and Ian Payne, Kit and the rest of the forward line finishing off with near constant scoring. Another team effort with all on the field putting their head and body on the line.

The Philadelphia Hawks have shown what it takes to win in this Eastern Division and have been the benchmark this year. We Dockers can take a leaf out of their book in relation to ball movement from the back half- something we will be working on every training session. We had a tough hit out against them, unfortunately going down by about 4 goals. Most of the Dockers (myself included) were out of legs and the fresh Hawks got away from us in the 2nd half. It was a good hit out though and I look forward to playing them again next month over 4 quarters to see where we really lie. Rocket ended up best on ground over the 2 games. Unfortunately, we say goodbye to Rocket until Nationals but we have improved as a playing group with the time he has spent with us.

August has been a good month for us. With consistent training and a well set game plan, there is no limit to how far this team can go in the USAFL. We continue to prepare for Nationals and have a very busy schedule in September.

Come see us play at our next home game. Bring a chair, bring your dog, and enjoy a sausage roll and a beer as we take on Philadelphia on September 8 (unless you want super fan credentials and travel to Boston next weekend!)

Thanks,

Bryn