Match Report Round 18 & Season Wrap

Metaphorically a dark cloud casted over Ted Ajani at 1.45pm. Jarrod Prior helping out the reserves, in his last ten playing minutes in his beloved Blue and Gold found himself in what seemed a innocuous position with a contested ground ball, over 20 years of adult football he would have played out a similar scenario thousands of times. But on this particular occasion there was a freak awkwardness to it and he broke his leg. With 2 ambulances on the TAJ the vibe was sickening, not only for the excruciating pain Rusty was in but the ramifications that came with it. You think, you worry about his livelihood, his business, his family’s livelihood, this was not in the script, this was a cruel blow to a great human helping out the club he loves.
His been working his butt off the last few years, 80-100 hours a week, built his dream house and started his own business , him and Kate had set themselves and their 2 gorgeous boys up for a great life, it’s not all doom and gloom, the Prior’s and their close knit will rally and will find a way through but it just totally sucks.

The start of the game was delayed and we touched on honouring Rusty, we touched on honouring our efforts for the year, we touched on what was at stake with a loss meaning potential relegation, we touched on getting caught up in the overall picture would be walking into a trap and we committed to focus on the now, to be aware of the future but not let it distract us from the present, to play each minute as it came and just to play ball, we play our best when we just play ball.

There were lots of emotions bouncing about the walls of our inner sanctum and to the lads credit they embraced them with a coolness and calmness.

We welcomed in Cherbakof, Tribuzio, Aguis and King and the boys walked out with a steely resolve to take on 7th placed Eltham. Kicking with a 3 goal wind towards the Bone Hill end the turtles had certainly came to play and dominated the first few centre clearances and had the better of us for the first 5 minutes. We weren’t rattled and we worked ourselves into the game with Cherbakof kicking our first with a opportunistic soccer kick off the ground, a bit of dejavu from our last game against the turtles. Considine then kicked a classy running goal and Tribuzio a great long range set shot. Their gun forward was up and about with a couple of early ones but I really liked what I saw when we had the ball, there was a surety, we had a strong sense of confidence and belief in our talent and ability, mixed in with run , composure and instinctiveness, mixed in with passion and pride for our blue and gold jumper. It was good mix.
We moved Nick ‘the Hammer’ Palumbo onto their gun forward and he did a superb job on him for the rest of the game. Robo read it beautifully from the sidelines and we brought in our specialist sweeper Sir Robert Edsall into the stoppages to immediate effect and Scotty De Keizer also came in and did some ruck work which was hugely important in us establishing ourselves for the day. We went into quarter time 6.3 to Eltham’s 3.2 and with the strong wind the game was delicately poised.
The second quarter saw our gun midfield trio of J.Cowell, McLaughlin and Wilson imposed themselves onto the game with Lucisano super busy on the ground and in the air. Spiz was lively and smart at half forward too. Our defence was brilliant and cohesive with the likes of Tourogianis, M.Cowell, Wallis and Galapi repelling many attacks and Eltham didn’t kick a goal for the quarter and we kicked 2 and we went into the sheds at half time five goals up. It was one of our stand out quarters of the year.
Having a ponder now, our second quarter against Eltham last time was one of our worst, they kicked 7 straight and we went into the sheds at half time 40 points down. But in saying that it was a key moment in us discovering our new mindset of accountable football, a new heighten awareness and focus and commitment on putting pressure on the ball carrier and urgently getting back on our opponents  on rebound transitions. That second quarter they had time, space and room to steady and kick truly but on Saturday they had anything but.

Dakin capped off a great season and carved it up in the 3rd and was super all day playing and adapting in a variety of roles, Rob Brancatisano kept working and imposing himself at ground ball contests, Agius and Rogers kept putting on the tackling pressure. Eltham kept coming and we had a couple of things not go our way but we held our nerve. Burridge had a great quarter and gained allot of metres with his long boot.
We kicked 2 goals to Eltham’s 1 and it was a 6 goal game at 3 quarter time.
I guess it did have the makings of the last quarter against St Leos a few weeks earlier, similar score line, similar conditions, but we finished strong, we unleashed Kingy onto the ball and Big Tez was throwing his weight around in the ruck. They kicked a couple, we kicked a couple, we kept them at arms length, we knew the club was going to be safe and all the lads savoured the feeling of being out there, they savoured the feeling of playing, they savoured the feeling of being draped in blue and gold and chasing a red oval ball around a patch of grass we call our home with 21 mates and a community watching on and riding each and every bump.
I was so proud of the boys , it really was a clutch performance, you could see and feel how much it meant and we all sung our song from the place in our hearts that beats Bulleen Temp. The feeling in the rooms was of magic and appreciation for each and every one, it was a warm and fuzzy cocoon of Bull Ant love.

There were lots of hugs and high fives and it was great to see the Considine family Mum included in the rooms after selling  their family home earlier that day and then watching Micheal put on a Rolls Royce performance with 4 classy goals. How Brodie finished the season was rather remarkable, being out on his feet and copping a head knock late in the last with the game won yet wanting more and to go again. Billy Wilson was simple brilliant all day and lead from the front and showed some real leadership qualities. Jack Cowell  put in another special performance and Cherbs was all Bull Ant heart playing in pain and playing on one leg to get us across the line. Lucisano, Edsall, De Keizer , Tribuzio, Wallis, Tourogianis and Palumbo were all outstanding on the day and the rest was a very even team performance with everyone contributing.

Season review

By jingoes! What a thrilling relegation race it turned out to be, it had the lot! 8 point do or dies, upsets and it ultimately came down to percentage. As it turned out if we had of lost against Eltham we’d be heading down to Division 3 with 9th placed Glen Eira having a convincing 6 goal win over Old Parade. Parade went on to beat Melbourne High in the first semi by a couple of points, and then lead by 2 goals at 3 quarter time in the preliminary against West Brunswick to go down by 4 goals on the day. Glen Eira also beat finalist Melbourne High by 4 goals in round 17. It proved to be a remarkable, unusual and even season with 7th 8th and 9th all finishing on 7 wins. We over took Eltham on percentage and finished 7th on 97%, Eltham in 8th on 95% and Glen Eira in 9th on 90%. As it turned out each and every goal we kicked and saved over the season counted, and aside from the Prahran losses we only let the end score line get away from us on one occasion, which was by 37 points to Parade at home. The average losing margin for the 8 other losses was by only 15 points. And credit to the lads for never giving up and playing to the siren, combining that with our 69 point win over Glen Eira in round 15 and that is the difference between relegation and us
staying in D2. To be fair Glen Eira can consider themselves very unlucky to be relegated. Going over each and every division of the ammos for the last 7 years they are the only team to have been relegated on 7 wins. And on only 3 occasions there has been sides relegated on 6 wins, with the average 4. Although we didn’t make finals the last month was finals like and the lads were up to the challenge with 3 great clutch wins against Glen Eira, St Leos and Eltham. They stood up and played some great ball under allot of pressure which I think are now some fantastic foundations going into next season.
There is a small part of me that thinks what could have been, injuries to key personnel in Pace, Bettiol, Voglis and Springett early in the season was super unlucky. We only had our Bull Ant bus driver and skipper for 2 and half quarters, and when your thinking on this tangent if Pace was in the side you can’t help but entertain winning scenarios for our close losses in round 3, 4 and 5. Having seen and felt how the group responds to Micheal, how he inspires them and how he pokes them when they need a jolt to get in the moment and in touch with what we’re about, it’s contagious and healthy habits would have been created and been galvanised with the winning feeling. Instead the losses took us on a different path in addressing our bad habits which were costing us 3 to 5 goals a game which were a major contributor to those early losses. We came up with GOWI (get on with it), and played a inspiring, super positive, team oriented brand of football in round 6 for a great win away against Melbourne High. We got in touch with the good stuff of playing united selfless Bull Ant footy and I still vividly remember watching on that day with goosebumps. And then we lost our way at home against parade, I went too big picture before the game and didn’t address the blustery wind conditions which contributed to us going into our shells and playing a brand of football that wasn’t consistent with what we’re about.
The week that followed was a real challenging one, I was consumed with getting my head around a personal derogatory comment towards a player written on our change room wall, our inner sanctum from a anonymous person or persons. It really affected me, it was really mean and went against the Bull Ant ethos of supporting and believing in each other.  All the other stuff that was by play of things I’d try, often unorthodox things I found very interesting. And I did notice a trend from the feedback that would filter through. The trend was people jumping on the negatives and what was wrong with it without considering the potential positives it could bring. I felt a underlining negative vibe in pockets around the place that has understandably crept in over the last few years. Around this time numbers started to drop on the track and outside the core senior players I probably lost the enthusiasm of allot of the playing group with the combined factor of a growing injury list, the colder weather creeping in and some disgruntled players, it’s happened for forever and a day, it’s been in all the clubs and teams I’ve been involved with , players thinking they are better than they actually are and then they naturally get found out on the footy field because there is no place to hide and then they shift their deficiencies to making excuses from the environment instead of hitting the track and working their arses off. But the last thing I wanted was to pressure the group to get to training because that can easily flip players from being committed and invested to feeling obligated which can lead to footy and the club becoming a chore in their lives. This has happen in recent years and we’ve lost great young men and talented footballers from the club. Obviously wins in the bank would have been a natural motivator, and the importance of getting to training after these mid season losses was spoken about by the players. But the proof was in the pudding on Tuesday and Thursday’s and throughout the course of the season there was probably a dozen times when it was 6 o’clock and only a handful of Bull Ants were in the rooms, I remember feeling absolutely devastated, but I’d go and have a moment with myself, re group and re load and with help from the core and Jumma we turned every training into a ripper session. You remember these nights , you remember the Bull Ants that were there.
Another trend I noticed was we had allot of good trainers when it was convenient for them, we had allot of great club people when it was convenient for them, we only had a handful of players that fronted up and got involved when it wasn’t convenient for them, that still wanted to be there when they didn’t feel like being there. And there in lies the character of a great club man. I’m not having a go at anyone I’m just saying that is how it was, and the prospect of 10-15 more Bull Ants discovering this distinction excites me incredible because that will lead to a successful era and prosperity for the club.
Round 7 against Parade , round 8 against Prahran and the first half against Eltham in round 9 was our lowest ebb of the year. They were searching times and as i mentioned earlier we discovered a new way to go about it with a strong defensive mindset. Training continued to be low numbers but credit to the lads because as a collective they brought it each week and came to play on game day. Round 10 was a fantastic high standard game of suburban football against second placed West Brunswick. I get along with their coach and he said he was very impressed with how we moved the ball. The result was on a pendulum and came down to a couple of plays late in the last and we were a bit unlucky that the Sherrin didn’t bounce our way. We really set ourselves for that one and I see that game as 1 of the four that could have gone our way. Another 2 were the Yarra Valley games, I just thought and felt we had their measure but credit to them they did what needed to be done. The other was the parade away game, 23 shots on goal to 5 at half time with only a 14 point lead and then they took their chances in the second half and that one was definitely one that got away. If a few things had of gone our way, if we had been more disciplined and taken our chances I think it’s reasonable to say we could have won 11 games and played finals. And i take full responsibility for that. In a few aspects I had a gut feeling on some things and wasn’t pro active enough. Getting 7 wins was important though , not just on staying in the grade but for the lads to get a taste of the winning feeling. It has a similar feeling to 2005 when we had a competitive year with 7 wins and consolidated. That was only the 3rd season this decade the club has had 7 or more wins in a season and the first time in the last 4 seasons. I remember many passages of play in the first half of the season where we were doing everything we could , we were in the right spots but somehow it would unravel with the opposition getting the ball and scoring which left me looking over to Rocket scratching my head thinking how did that just happen. In the second half of the year though, as we collectively gained more belief and confidence in our talent and ability these passages of play faded from our game and we even starting turning 40 / 60 ground/air contested ball chances our way. Going over the list each and every player has improved in some way shape or form and we really started to get a sense of and play to each other’s strengths. So all of that is really encouraging moving forward.

We had 46 Bull Ants play senior football in 2017. We had some fantastic new and returned additions to the club with Scott DeKeizer, Rob Brancatisano, Aaron Tribuzio, Micheal Considine and Tyler Aguis all making significant contributions to the senior side. It was great to see Jimmy Dedes come back from a long term injury and play some solid footy. We saw great development from our young ruckmen Terry Harrisou and Lachy Bruce. Our Co Captains Luca, Sir Rob and Leathal lead the way and gave me fantastic support the whole way through, all 3 are very special Bull Ants, Bull ants through and through and we are very lucky to have them. Our vice captains in Jack, Chance and Trojan were all fantastic too with all having a great feel and read on the game. Trojan was a breath of fresh air for the club and we all feed off and lifted to his high standards. Our ex Captains in Billy T and Cherbs were a great support and resource for the playing group and myself. And Brodie, Billy W and Daks showed great leadership qualities and i can see all of them leading the Bull Ants onto the TAJ at some stage in the years to come. Chris Galapi showed some exciting signs but with ongoing niggles struggled to find continuity in his footy but look out for a big 2018 from CG. It was great to see Nick Palumbo thrive in the pressure cooker of deep defence and Kristian Matuzzio further develop his game down back and in midfield roles. Oran Aziz was incredibly unlucky with injuries and never really got out of 2nd gear, I would have loved to have seen the X factor in 5th gear but it wasn’t to be and credit to him for getting to training and the games and supporting the lads when he couldn’t be out there running around. It was great to see Spiz play his 200th and then come back from a stint in the reserves and be a crucial cog for us in the last month. Matty Cowell was also a crucial cog for us in defence over the last month and played consistent footy over the season. Joseph Paolucci and Mathew Palexas had interrupted seasons but showed some great form when they played. Joey Moio fought his way into the senior side and showed some great signs. Micheal Rogers brought tackling tenacity week to week and found some really good form mid year. We exposed Leon Dimopoulos to a good stint of senior ball and he’ll be allot stronger for the run going into next season. We enjoyed having Oakleigh Charger and Bull Ant Luke Stacker come and play a couple of games with us, a huge talent and we wish him well and support him in which ever way he wants to take his football. Andrew Verga was very important in our Melbourne High away win and was building into some good form before unfortunately doing his knee. And it was great to see Ashwyn Mohandas return to the club and was building nicely towards becoming a senior regular before he too suffered a knee injury. And as I mentioned earlier Skipper Pace, Luke Bettiol, Pete Voglis and John Springett where all huge losses for us and we’re all carving it up before the footy gods dealt a cruel hand. And we only briefly saw the footy skills and smarts of Olli Schmidt and Alan Hodges. We exposed Joe Caridi, Anthony Poci, Anthony King and Luke Sheil to some senior football and we had some helping hand cameos from Ben O’Conner, Rusty, Odi and Benda.
And we celebrated some special milestones with Billy’s 250th, Spiz’s 200, Luca’s 150th, Jack’s 100th and Palumbo’s Joey’s and Galapi’s 50th senior games.

Top Tens

Best and fairest
1 BM 187
2 JC 105
3 BW 76
4 LW 74
5 RE 55
6 KC 54
7 SD 48
8 CB 31
9 PV 23
10 NP 21

Disposals                    Total.    Avg
1.Jack Cowell               492      28.9
2.Brodie McLaughlin   477      28
3.Billy Wilson               372       23.3
4.David Dakin.             312.      18.5
5.Rob Edsall.                278.      18.5
6.Leith Wallis.               262.     16.4
7.Kristian Cherbakof.   257.      17.1
8.Chance Burridge.     233.      16.6
E9.Aaron Tribuzio.       214.      19.5
E9.Ant Lucisano.          214.      16.5

*no stats recorded round 1

1.Brodie McLaughlin   112
2.Billy Wilson               107
3.Rob Edsall                 98
4.David Dakin.              97
5.Jack Cowell               70
6.Leith Wallis.               68
7.Anthony Lucisano.    67
8.Scott DeKeizer          59
9.Micheal Rogers.        58
10.Billy Tourogianis      57

18 JCw, BM ,DD
17 BT, BW, LW
16 RE, KC, NP
15 CB, MR
14 MCw, AL
13 MCs, RB
12 SD, AT
11 CG, KM, LD
9 LBr ,SL, TH
8 TA
6 OA, JM
5 PV
3 LBt
2 LSt , AK, AM, JS, JCa
1 MP, OS, AH, AP, BO, JPr, JO,JB, LSh

1.Kristian Cherbakof.          49
2.Anthony Lucisano.           20
3.Peter Voglis                      19
4.Micheal Considine.          15
5.Brodie McLaughlin.          14
6.Scott DeKeizer                 13
6.Jack Cowell                      13
8.Billy Wilson                         7
8.Rob Brancatisano.             7
8.Spiro Lambropolous          7

Congratulations to Brodie on winning the best and fairest with a amazing season of high level consistent footy that was great to watch. Stacked with talent and ability , a great attitude and hunger and was our best trainer and always the last one off the track. A pure football player, a most deserving winner , it was a very special season.

Congratulations to Jack on the runners up and a fantastic consistent season of high level footy. Jack had just 2 less votes than Brodie in my count. Going over the games each week I really got to go over and marvel at what Jack does out on the pitch. And he consistently did clutch things at clutch times. A pure footballer and also a very special season.

Congratulations to Billy on his 3rd place and a fantastic season. Brought it each week and totally dominated patches of matches. Played with his Bull Ant heart on his sleeve, one of our best tacklers ,one of our most inspiring players, took the game on and become a more rounded player and accumulator of the ball. A absolute beauty !

Congratulations to Leathal on 4th place and a fantastic season. Lead from the front and adapted beautifully to any given role and match up on the day which saw him go toe to toe with the giants of the comp in the goal square or shutting down a clever running player on the wing. A absolute beauty!

Congratulations to Kristian Cherbakof for winning the divisions goal kicking. Cherbs is all Bull Ant heart and cares deeply for the club. He was leading my vote count after round 5 and then was hampered with a ongoing injury and played restricted and in pain for the rest of the season, he shouldn’t have been playing the last month but willed himself too and was a major contributor to us staying in the grade


H, Russ, Andrew
The players biggest fans in President H Secretary Russ and Treasurer Andrew all gave me fantastic support over the year and we’re all titanium in the week to week running of the club. They ooze love for the club , what we represent and provide a great environment for young men and women to enjoy.
So a big huge thanks to H, Russ and Andrew for supporting me, for believing in me and for taking a chance and giving me a chance. Looking back over the year i have many fond memories of these great guys, one of Harry’s is his comedy form on the preseason camp, it was a ripper camp and H’s quick wit had Jumma and me in stitches all weekend, he was hilarious. And on a serious note how H handles and critiques the big and important things like the Dave Floz accident is pure first class. With Russ the fondest memory was when he got a little emotional talking on the Thursday before our grand final relegation game against Glen Eira, it was a beautiful pure moment that inspired the group. And with Andrew it was our weekly chats, touching base and talking Bull Ants.

To Jumma
It was a absolute delight to rekindle our friendship and take it to new levels. You were my week to week rock, and we rode
the bumps together , a great sounding board and a inspiration, I really admire how you tackle and breakdown situations, i learnt a great deal
from you and your enthusiasm was infectious.
We had allot of laughs, we had a lot of fun , thankyou for your unwavering support, love ya big fella

To Rocket
Was a amazing resource for me that has a fantastic read and feel on the playing group. Was able to accurately draw comparisons on where we were and where we had been which really helped gauge that we were on the right track. Really took on, understood and embraced where i was trying to go with things and saw the potential positives in them. This was massive for me, and I greatly appreciated that mate ,  your a gem and one of Bulleen Temps finest, thankyou

To Robo
We’ve always loved talking Bull Ants hours on end,  it’s both of ours favourite subject in the world so this year was just brilliant sharing the experience with you. You had a great articulate read on the game, your passion for the club shone through and your support for me unwavered. I enjoyed us having a laugh leaving the ground on match day feeling buggered as if we had played Thankyou Sir Paul

To Rusty
Brought fantastic footy smarts and ethos to the track and game day and was pivotal in installing how we moved the ball by coming up with ripper instructive drills. Was instrumental in finding the rotation groove that best suited the team. Thanks Rust for your efforts this year , to make time amongst huge business commitments and family and to come down and help me out I’ll always be so grateful for. It was really great to get the 3 musketeers in Robo, you and me back together.

To Murph
Thankyou for your support and your words of wisdom. You created a great vibe in the rooms on game day for the lads and have the operation down to tee and I didn’t have to worry about anything but coaching because you had it all sorted. And you chimed in and stood up beautifully when needed and you rallying everyone together for a pizza night after our 20 goal Prahran loss was one of those times. Thanks mate

To Bobby
Those cold winter Tuesday nights after a loss where only a few showed i could always count
on Bobby to be there and we’d sit down and go over the game and start planning for that weeks games before training was massive. Thankyou mate

Adam Taylor
Set us up really well with a super preseason, brought a real edge, energy, intensity and esprit de corp to the group. Embraced the club and just loved it and we all learnt allot from you through your great story telling. Thanks Tails and thankyou to Kingy and Healthy Vibes.

A big huge thanks to Simo our stats man, Simo was a great addition to the team and amidst the frenetic pace of game day he had a real calming influence on me and gave a articulate fresh perspective and read on the game. The stats were a fantastic resource and gave us a gauge on what was happening on match day. I also love that they show the body of work the players have done over the season. Thanks Simo

Pete Satori
Just a massive effort, this selfless great Bull Ant was everywhere and was always happy to help in whatever capacity, in all my time at the club I’ve never seen a Bull Ant wear as many hats as Pete did this year. Thankyou Pete for your support and all the chop outs you gave me.

Thanks to Kenyan, Tullsy and Vergs for helping me out on the sidelines and on the training track at various times throughout the season and for all of the great advice.

Congratulations to Vergs, Pete, Chris Galapi and their colts teams on winning a double premiership, an amazing effort supported and assisted beautifully by the Junior Prez Matthew Agrotis, a great Bull Ant.

We were flying brother and i was loving every minute, the drives to and from training , the banter , we were nutting it out, we were on top of the world, sharing the dream and going for it. I missed you mate.
And it is absolutely fantastic news for the club that your going to give football another crack, this warms my heart and come on football gods give Skip a good run at it!

To Luca who backed me to the hilt, you remember moments and early on I had a few shadows of doubt and Luca would roll in and in his subtle way be this big ball of positive energy   that believed in me and that gave me so much confidence. Thankyou brother

To Sir Rob
A massive support to me and a great sounding board that gave me great feedback. Always there bringing the good vibes, bringing the ptraining treats, bringing a elite training and playing attitude. Thankyou Sir Rob

To Leathal
Missed one session for the year, was relentless on rallying the troops, getting the group organised, I have so much respect for this. Backed me and really took on board and tried to understand whatever tangent I was trying to explain. Thankyou Leathal

A big huge thanks to the Canteen crew, gee they do it well, Santino, Pep, Boydy, Daks,Pino Nick P and co run a well refined smooth operation and they treated us all year. It’s not only the good food but it’s the good vibes they bring. And I loved my Tuesday chats with Santino each week, thanks mate

Harry Urwin
Was a absolute delight to work with and I can’t imagine anyone else doing a better job. He absolutely nailed it embracing the club and introducing our new sisters into our football community family.

Chris Costa and Co
I can’t thank enough the guys that got behind camera and filmed our games, it really was a sacrificial role and proved to be a amazing tool for us to learn and develop from. A massive thanks to Chris Costas who did the bulk of the filming and thanks to Lachy Bruce, Matty Nicolas, Oran Aziz, Toota, Pep, George, Moza, Sir Rob ,Micky Rogers and Pete Sartori who pitched in brilliantly.

And there’s so many more thankyous and things I enjoyed throughout the season which all add up to making the Bull Ants a great place to be. I enjoyed seeing Johnny Matthews bringing in a box of freshly pressed VAFA records each Thursday night, I enjoyed seeing Jack Millar on the step platform on the side of the scoreboard having a dart each game day. Daks senior was always around to lend a helping hand. Santino’s white lines on the ground were exquisite. Andrew and Pete Sartori and co were always all welcoming smiles behind the bar. Our Vice President Andrew ‘Soy’ Sholakis was great support for Harry and had us decked out in top notch attire. And the rest of the committee in Dakati, Pete S, Pete V, Paul L, Santino, Anthony D, Toota, Luca, Spiz and co kept the Bull Ant wheels turning with after hours meetings, and the same with JP with our website and Moose recording games played. Thankyou to everyone for your efforts.
The Ladies day and Mr Bull Ant night was a highlight with Vergs, Toota, Nick and co doing a truckload of work bringing it all together. And Toota and co again for the cocktail night.  Robo, Nipper and co did a awesome job with the past players day and Keasty, Murph and co had another great club 100 luncheon. It was great to see Colt players in Jack Galapi, the Voglis twins and co run water for us and doing the boundary.  Tony Cowell was a precise technician behind the goals and I always enjoyed looking over and seeing Mr Stott, Micky T and co waving the flags.  And there would always be a great Bull Ant in Stevie P, Daniel Tonelli and co with a whistle in their hand in the reserves game and the same with the interchange stewards. And how good is Georgie, always around loving the vibe and he helped me out many times, thanks George.
The trainers in Cam, Jake, Lauren, Alexi, Rou and co were absolutely fantastic and all embraced the club and jumped on the roller coaster with us. Seeing Cam injured in a moon boot not able to train but still at games to cheer us on was awesome! And how about those Bones in Pete, Nick and Damo with Robo fixing our lights, that was massively important with 4 teams training on the TAJ at the one time and using every inch of it, thankyou to you legends, Bull Ants through and through. How everyone rallied and got behind Dave Floz and the Florence family was very special and seeing him back on the track was my highlight for the year, it really was a real life miracle. Marc Iacuone paying full subs when he was only planning to play a few games was pretty special. And Sabba’s, Rexy’s, Pete V’s, Leath’s, Soy’s , Pacey’s, Edsall’s and Toota’s efforts selling club memberships was special too. Trish Matthews’s stall of hand knitted apparel amongst the reptiles in the club rooms as Dave Floz whirled some fairy floss for the kiddies out the front on family fun day was awesome. Rob Edsall’s old man’s war jeep at the front on Anzac say was really cool. Toota on the commentary during the Hawthorn game was one of the more funnier moments for the season, it was classic Toota. And best parent supporter has to go to Suzanne who was there religiously every week cheering on her boy Brodie and the Bull Ants. Poci and Sabba’s quiz for the pre season camp was a beauty and Rexy’s hosting the queens birthday bbq at his work was awesome. And spin the wheel one week raised the roof and was the biggest group laugh we’ve enjoyed in many a year, what a classic. Jumma’s blindfolded trust exercise pre season was also a classic.
And there’s many many more little efforts and big efforts which all made the Bull Ants nest a great place to be.

But there is definitely a unhealthy balance there in regard to workloads and the week to week running of the club. Too few did too much, and I reckon it’s burnt out a few great Bull Ants, as a club we need to get better at this , I’d love to see more parents come down and get involved and help share the load, and when you are helping behind the scenes you feel more engaged in the game because your apart of it. And that is a great thrill.

On a personal level it was a great honour to coach our proud club, on the whole I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, it was very stimulating and I enjoyed and valued being engaged in many Bull Ant lives. We had a crack and I really feel we have found our mojo and have set some fantastic foundations and healthy habits moving into the future.
The club is advertising for the 2018 coaching position and has invited me to apply for the job.
This time last year I felt in my heart of hearts that I was the right man for the job, but at this very moment I’m not sure,  it is a all consuming lifestyle so I’m going to let the dust settle for a few more weeks and see how I feel, see how hungry I am and see if I feel that I am the right man for the job. At this moment I might not be, there might be a ex AFL player out there keen for the challenge or there might a Bull Ant super keen and super hungry for the challenge. Robo, Vergs and Rusty would all be fantastic coaches. Every year is precious, it really is,  and I feel we are a sleeping giant that’s about to wake up.
Once again thankyou to every single Bull Ant out there, we really are a special club and are a great community.
There’s nothing better than being a Bull Ant.
Love Chivs