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!
Women’s team victory in Boston
The Lady Eagles traveled to Boston at the end of August to take on the Boston Lady Demons on a combined team with the Philadelphia Hawks. We played with smaller sides on a condensed field, which led to a very fast paced game. Strong defensive play by Lough and Christina prevented many scoring opportunities by the Lady Demons and enabled quick transitions into the midfield and forward lines. Our midfield and forwards were dominant, scoring 16 goals and 17 behinds over 4 quarters of play. The Lady Eagles emerged victorious. We celebrated our victory with a night out in the city and some Australian pies and sausage rolls then capped off the celebration with a boat race win!
East/West Showdown: Magpie shutout, then shut out by the Maidens
In early September, the Lady Eagles traveled to New York for the East/West Showdown and the end of the regular footy season. This tournament featured teams and players from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic along with California, Arizona, and Seattle. We began our tournament with a game against our Eastern Region rivals, the New York Lady Magpies. The Lady Eagles were dominant all game. The defense was a wall, blocking any scoring chances. The midfield led by Molly and Karen kept up the pressure, turning over the ball and transitioning it well up-field. We had good intensity and communicated well. Kristin scored the two goals for the Lady Eagles in their decisive victory.
Next, we took on the San Francisco Iron Maidens, who were the Division I USAFL National Champions in 2017. The Iron Maidens were a very strong side and moved the ball well throughout the game. We played well defensively but our communication broke down, which made it difficult to effectively clear and transition the footy down the field. Despite the loss, the game was an excellent learning opportunity and helped us prepare further for USAFL Nationals. The San Francisco Iron Maidens also beat New York and were crowned the winners of the East/ West Showdown. Following the games, we celebrated all together in the city!
Our fantastic regular season has come to a close. We went 5-2 in regular season play and won the USAFL Eastern Regional Championship. Next up, we travel to Racine, Wisconsin on October 14 for the USAFL Nationals. We will play combined with another team (to be announced) in Division II as we look to continue our winning season and hopefully bring back some hardware! Stay tuned!
The Dockers’ doubleheader against the Chicago Swans and the DC Eagles, scheduled for Saturday, September 15 in Washington has been CANCELLED due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence.
The Dockers’ men’s team plays its next game on Saturday, September 22nd at noon against our rivals, the Philadelphia Hawks.
The Hurricanes maintain their undefeated record through all of world history.
Seriously, everyone stay safe, especially our mates from the North Carolina Tigers, who are directly in the path of the storm.
Follow the progress of the storm from the advisories of the National Hurricane Center.