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Coaching Corner

Nhämirri Bukmak,

As Djarrak Football Club Head Coach for 2016 I would like to extend a warm welcome to our loyal and passionate fan base for the coming season. I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the Djarrak Football Club for appointing me in the role for this coming Gove AFL Season 2016. The supporter group will notice a lot of changes around the club including my appointment. I thank outgoing coach Vernon Patullo for his many years of service to the team, particularly guiding Djarrak Football Club to the Gove AFL 2015 Premiership.

Djarrak Football Club has only once in its history won back to back Premierships dating all the way to the 1980 and 1981 seasons. Acknowledging how hard it is to win multiple titles, the club will leave no stone unturned in terms of giving our playing group the best possible chance to develop as people and a team. A major focus for our group is "Better People Make Better Players" and our approach for the team is to provide ongoing education and support towards improving social behaviours and outcomes that lead to employment opportunities, responsible choices surrounding alcohol and living and leading the way in honouring the No More campaign that confronts family violence.

Our approach this year aligns significantly with the successful first year of the Rirratjingu Football Program. Our pathway as feeder club to the program, with Darwin Buffaloes Football Club hosting participants to play NTFL football in Darwin, has lead to a reduction in alcohol consumption by participants and a improvement in healthy choices and behaviours.

Aside from our social endeavours this year, our football department has assembled an experienced and motivated support staff. Ishmael Marika and Harold Koops have accepted roles as Assistant Coaches and will oversee Defence and Midfield Zones respectively. Danny Beadman continues his association with the club as Manager and will be in charge of logistics and match day preparation.

At Gove AFL level, Djarrak Football Club is well represented with the newly appointed GAFL President Joe Martin-Jard bringing experience from his vocational background and as a member of Darwin Buffaloes Football Club Inc Committee. Rhian Oliver has been nominated and accepted as Vice President. Stuart MacLean will assist Gove AFL with fundraising and special events with a number of exciting projects on the horizon.

I personally would like to acknowledge Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation for their ongoing support to the club. The corporation has been instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition from Rirratjingu Football Program through to planning, financial and logistical support to guarantee our playing group a professional sporting environment that borrows from the Darwin Buffaloes Football Club set-up.

Our early training sessions have been supported by a number of Rirratjingu elders that have addressed the group. The message has been to "work hard,enjoy the season and be responsible around alcohol".

We have a lot of new faces at training. A number of homelands based players are yet to relocate for the season. The group has been very enthusiastic and diligent with their approach to our new structure. Our fitness base needs a lot of work and some tough sessions await the team in the coming weeks. We have a plan, we have a new structure to implement, whilst that won't necessarily lead to immediate success, we believe we have the foundation to launch a campaign that will build positively over the course of 15 competition rounds.

As head coach I won't guarantee success, but I will guarantee our team will be worked the hardest in the competition.

Our first match of the year will be a Grand Final rematch with fellow Yirrkala based team, Nguykal Football Club. This match will give an early gauge of where we stand especially as Nguykal have contested and won two of the last three Premierships. The match is scheduled for Round 1 this Saturday April 30 at our home field, Yirrkala Football Ground, with first bounce at 4:00PM.

I will give regular updates through this forum during the competition. The club looks forward to seeing plenty of our supporters donned in brown and gold when we begin playing matches later this week.

Hayden Rickard

Head Coach | Djarrak FC

#WeAreDjarrak #DjarrakAlways

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