First and foremost I would like to thank all those involved in the Junior Committee over the past 12 months. Our committee has seen some big changes over the last year and we now have a strong and dedicated team who have made a real difference to our junior club.
Volunteers are what make our club tick and we would like to thank Lotto for their generous donation acknowledging the hard work put in by the junior team.
This season we would also like to say thank you to Professionals, Upper Hutt Car Sales and our junior strip sponsors Save2Learn, Cartridge World, B&P Engineering, Carnivore Candy and PSC Power Systems. We greatly appreciate their financial support without it, the purchase of balls, bibs, strips and coaching courses and many other items would not have been possible.
The club had just under 600 youth on the field on any given Saturday throughout the season and I would just like to acknowledge the hard work put in by the grade managers in particular and our ever patient equipment officer, keeping that many players kitted up and in the right place at the right time is an impressive feat and requires a considerable amount of time and effort off the pitch.
The Girls Development Squad continued this season, with Lorraine Bowring away overseas we have a much better understanding of just how much work she has done to prepare our girls to be competitive at a high level both locally and nationally. The girls again represented the club with distinction at Taupo.
The season has had some great highlights this year we introduce an “orange day” theme for our junior registration day. Which included everything from, face painting and cross bar challenges to “dunk” the coach. This day was a huge success amongst players and parents alike and it is our goal to repeat this again in the coming season.
Another highlight was the arrival of the U20s World Cup that came to our clubrooms we found that our children loved the chance to be photographed with the trophy. It also helped inspire our youth players giving them another clear pathway and something to aim for.
One area that we had highlighted for improvement was the number of individual players achieving representative honours. It’s been a priority of both the junior committee and the executive to ensure we have the right people and programs in place to improve this area. Our junior academy has come a long way in filling this gap and thanks must go to Phil Gorman and Pedro for the work that has gone into making this happen. This year we have seen the fruits of the hard work from previous seasons with 24 players being selected for 2015. Of special note 8 girls were selected for the October NTC and 1 Boy. This again has improved at the end of the season with 2 more of our boys being selected for the Capital Football team in the National Age Grade tournament being held this weekend.
This is the first year we have held additional training sessions from Pedro and Wendi prior to FTC trials for those players trialling for the first time. Which has been a great help and something we would like to see continue into the new season.
Football is still a growing sport in our community and we have some real opportunities to get involved in our local schools to promote the beautiful game we are looking at making that a priority in the next few years.
Lastly thanks to all players, parents, coaches and managers for their efforts over the last season.
Acting Junior Club Captain
Upper Hutt City Football