A big year of development and growth for the Dungog junior soccer under-7 and under-9 teams has come to an end.
In their final game of the season, the under-7 boys took on local rivals Gresford at a blustery Barnes Oval last Saturday.
With a band of loyal supporters looking on proudly, the Boomerangs showed just how much improvement can occur in the space of one season.
Finn had his best game of the year on Saturday. Given this is Finn's first year of soccer and he is playing up a year in age, he is doing a superb job!
He was solidly involved in many of the defensive and attack plays. Finn displayed some lovely passing skills to his teammate Clarry and worked the ball toward the goal in the first half making a great goal scoring attempt.
Finn had a top game and we look forward to seeing him back on the soccer field next winter. Great job buddy.
Like Finn, it is often difficult to believe that this is Evan's first year of soccer. Evan has blended into the Boomerang side beautifully and has proven an enormous asset to the team.
He landed a smashing clearing kick towards our goal on Saturday and went close to scoring on another occasion in the second half. Evan teamed up with Clarry in a beautiful display of teamwork defence. Awesome season Evan.
Harry H had a one of his best games on Saturday, getting far more involved in the on-field action.
He had some terrific on field kicks, driving the ball away from opposition territory. Harry H had some mammoth sideline kick-ins again, with one of his kicks nearly being booted straight into the goal! Top job Harry H.
Toby has perfected the very professional looking slide-in kick, busting through the pack of play to shoot the soccer ball in any direction that is required.
Toby was magnificent in both offence and defence and shows determination and skill whenever he's on the paddock. He nailed a sideline kick-in barely missing the goal mouth and then backed up twice more, only to miss scoring by the smallest of margins! Super star Toby.
Sam had another strong game on Saturday and, like many others on the team, he continues to improve every game.
Sam shows flashes of brilliance and at one point made many metre as he determinedly dribbled the ball toward our posts in the first half. Sam's soccer skills have really improved this year. It's been terrific watching him tackle, dribble and kick better and better every game. Superb Sam.
Tireless is the best adjective to use to describe our little player from Stroud Hill. Clarry loves being on the field and seems only unhappy when he's on the sideline knowing he could be doing work on the field.
Clarry puts his body in the line and took a few spectacular dives in an attempt to secure the ball for our team. He demonstrated some great attacking ability, but then turned the tide and defended through some superstar tackles and blocks.
Clarry teamed up with several of his teammates throughout the game and his efforts were justly rewarded with a magnificent goal in the second half! Excellent game Clarry!
Along with teammates Evan, Clarry and Toby, Harry S demonstrated some spectacular team defence as the boys mixed their legs with the opposition determined to get the ball.
Harry S has a great game every week and is always there, whether he's cover defending, tackling fiercely, booting the ball away from opposition scoring attempts or pushing the ball forward using lovely dribbling skills.
He is always skilled and determined and is a huge asset to our team. Harry has enjoyed a wonderful season of improvement and has gone so close to scoring on a number of occasions - next year Harry S.
The under-7 parents would like to say a massive thank you to Paul and Linda Stephenson.
Paul has done a phenomenal job coaching the boys this year, teaching them the layout of the game and is always extremely patient and encouraging.
Linda is totally organised and kept the boys’ energy levels up most weeks with delicious oranges from their trees.
Our under-7s are extremely lucky to have such a wonderful couple supporting them. Thanks also to Tim Francey who stepped in as coach on three Saturdays and also did a top job with the boys.
And last but not least, a big thank you to our seven little superstars who turn up every Saturday and do their best. It has been great watching you boys improve throughout this season and you should all be very proud of yourselves.
The last game of the season truly showed how far the under 9s have come this year.
Gresford are a strong team who move the ball quickly and the Dungog boys had to work incredibly hard to repel their attack.
Defensively Tully, Baxta and Blake were rock solid and supported their keepers Keaghan in the first half and Callum in the second to keep clean sheets.
Max, Caleb and Wyatt battled on to create opportunities up front but to no avail and the game ended in the first scoreless draw for the year.
The team struggled to combine early in the season but with hard work, good training and perseverance they have become a cohesive unit capable of matching it with all of their opponents.
A massive thank you to Paul Stephenson for coaching the team, it is no easy task to get a group of nine year olds with very different personalities to work together.
Thank you also to the parents, relatives and friends who cheer on the boys each week and make for a fantastic, friendly atmosphere.
Throughout the season the team has called on the support of the under-8s for which we are very grateful. It has been an amazing season with many highs, well done boys and bring on season 2018.