By Gary Stocks
In footy it’s rare that everything is smooth sailing. That a season progresses without the odd speed bump. The occasional challenge.
It doesn’t matter what the level, there are hurdles that have to be cleared. In the AFL those obstacles, because of the high level of interest, are magnified. But at community level similar issues are confronted.
And just as it is the case in elite football, organisations are measured on how they respond to those moments. To those speed bumps.
The O’Rourke Realty North Beach A-Grade team has been confronted with some challenges this year. There has been a massive shift in the maturity of the senior group, with Beau Witheridge the only member of the 2010 premiership team still running around.
It’s a youthful combination, with about 40 percent of the team representing the club on any given Saturday, still eligible to play colts. It’s a great initiative to promote youth and the club will eventually bear the fruits of taking this route.
Those youngsters have been impressive. There is inconsistency from week to week, even quarter to quarter, but there is some genuine excitement around what they offer. A reason for optimism in the future.
After losing to West Coast last Saturday, when the Beach was never really in the game, it was going to be about how they responded. And on the track this week, the players have been positive, energy levels have been up and they are ready to confront Fremantle CBC at Morris Buzzacott Reserve.
Again, there will be a strong emphasis on the deep pool of youthful talent available, with Jordan Gray one of the inclusions this week – along with Kyle Cranley, Andy Langsford and Mitch Cameron.
Both Gray and Cameron could still play colts footy, but there is no doubt their personal development – and that of the club – will benefit from their exposure to the higher level of competition.
There is also no doubt CBC represents a tough assignment, particularly on their own ground, but the Beach will meet that challenge head-on.
While the A-Grade team boasts a youthful base, the same could be said of the Credent Financial Services A-Reserves. They have opened the season in blazing fashion, winning all four games and Scott Holbrook and Greg Pires have them ticking along nicely.
Not they haven’t had their ups and downs, but they have been good enough to work their way through the tight moments in matches to claim victory.
And while the club’s senior teams have such a youthful feel, the Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts have dropped just one game.
Traditionally, CBC are strong in the 20-and-under competition, so this match will also represent a formidable contest, but Craig Dalton and his team will relish the opportunity.
Bill Duckworth’s Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade team also is undefeated to this stage of the year and with a sprinkling of emerging stars meshed in with seniority, they have played some exciting footy in the first four rounds.
They will play the main event at Charles Riley Reserve tomorrow, while the Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves, after suffering their first defeat of the season last Saturday, will look to redeem themselves against CBC.
The Redhill Brett Jones Colts will also confront CBC at home, while the Express Bins E1-Grade plays Roleystone at Aintree Reserve.
Round 5 fixtures
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Fremantle CBC v North Beach, Morris Buzzacott Reserve, 2.30pm
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
Fremantle CBC v North Beach, Morris Buzzacott Reserve, 12.35pm
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
Fremantle CBC v North Beach, Morris Buzzacott Reserve, 10.40am
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
North Beach v Fremantle CBC, Charles Riley Reserve, 2.30pm
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
North Beach v Fremantle CBC, Charles Riley Reserve, 12.35pm
Redhill Brett Jones Colts
North Beach v Fremantle CBC, Charles Riley Reserve, 10.40am
Express Bins E1-Grade
North Beach v Roleystone, Aintree Reserve, 2.30pm