We may have narrowly lost the Grand Final but all of the lads can be very proud of the way they played.
To be Grand Finalists for the second year in a row is a huge achievement.
The coaching staff would like to congratulate all players that have contributed to assisting the First Grade squad reach the 2013 Grand Final. This year a total of 23 players have played in First Grade. It just shows how important it is to have a solid depth of talent in the Reserve Grade line up. Thank you guys and thank you to our Reserve Grade Coach and Manager, Keiran Clerke and Trevor Jones for your support throughout the year.
The squad trained well leading up to the Grand Final and the bbq’s at the ground after training and lunch at the Planto prior to the game were top team bonding sessions.
To see so many lovers of the World Game in the grand stands was fantastic and most importantly to see the Blue and White army of supporters was brilliant.
To the game itself. It was fast, intense, full of wonderful passages of possession, technical skill, fiery encounters and scoring opportunities galore. Coffs knew they had to be at their very best for this game but I sincerely believe they underestimated how competitive Storm would be. To say that Storm missed many chances is an understatement. It has to be said that Coffs missed chances as well but nowhere near as many as Storm. As one official said to me after the game, “That was the best game of footy I have seen all year and I can’t believe you lost when you had at least 60% possession - you were the dominant team”. I think this statement sums up the game.
Coffs scored in the 40th minute of the first half and again in the 27th minute of the second half. It wasn’t until the 38th minute of the second half that Storm’s super impact player, Daniel Keam, scored. Storm had squandered too many early chances but not one player gave up trying. Every player played their hearts out. Not just for themselves but their fellow team mates, family, friends and the great Northern Storm Club.
At the conclusion of the game there were many people shaking their heads, disbelieving that the game had slipped away from them. The lads remained truly professional throughout the award ceremony bearing in mind that it takes 2 top teams to make it to the Grand Final and the coaching staff were so proud of the lads in the manner in which they conducted themselves both on and off the field. The emotion was enormous and to see the expression on people’s faces was amazing. Our own No 1 supporter and life member “Widdow’ was in tears and inconsolable for some time after the game. When I was told that “Widow” was not good, I took him into our sheds and said to the lads “if you think you feel bad have a look at Widdow” – the lads could quickly see what it means to so many Club supporters to have their First Grade team in the Grand Final and to compete at such a high level. Widdow was embraced by the coaching staff and players and all was good thereafter. The time that man continues to put into the Club is unbelievable – the passion he has for the Storm Club is sensational. Thanks mate.
On behalf of the First Grade coaching staff and players, I would also like to thank every Storm Club player, coach, manager, fitness trainer, medic, assistants, parents, partners and supporters and the very hard working Club Committee members for all being part of the Storm Club and I hope that we see you at next week’s Presentation Awards. Sincere congratulations to our Over 35’s and 16 Girls who won their respective 2013 Premierships – YIP YAH
To Jade Porter – you did it again mate – a top effort. To Richard Frith, Brian Lacey, Keiran Clerke and Trevor Jones – you guys are simply brilliant.
To our First Grade squad – without you we can’t compete - You have done us proud again lads and thank you for the memories and the journey you have taken us on. You are a top group of men and I’m proud to have been a part of your life.
Man of the Match: Every Player
First Grade – report by Colin Scully