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Nhamirri Buk'mak. It has been a while since my preseason address, and we have now seen 13 rounds of Gove AFL action in the season thus far. We have two more rounds for the regular season. On current standings on the Gove AFL ladder where we sit equal points with Baywarra Football Club, outside the four on points percentage, two rounds equals two opportunities for the club to earn a finals berth.

If I was asked would I be comfortable at this stage of the year to be battling to make the top four earlier in the year, my answer would have been an emphatic no. What's changed? Our ethos around producing better people first has been a huge focus for the club and one that I am personally thrilled with. We have drawn a line in the sand regarding social responsibility and to date we have addressed topics including family violence, substance abuse and we have removed alcohol from club gatherings. These topics and issues set up our playing group for life and if a our groups learning from this season prevent anti-social behaviour in the future then as a club we have done a service to our people and community.

The season so far has shown the importance of accountability. Our team being such a new group together with a number of youth players moving into senior ranks has seen a few performances where we have really be dealt lessons when we have failed to match up on our individual opponents. These lessons have been costly in that a number of blowouts have impacted our percentage and may come into effect at end of the season as to whether we play finals this year or not. The fact we have had adversity this season, we have been able to address that we are humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Its a lesson for our team to treat others after the game how we would expect to be treated. Further ideals to create better people.

As a group we have improved markedly and we continue to develop positive habits. A number of players have been putting themselves in the selection framework for the upcoming Rirratjingu Football Program Version 2.0 that will enable a number of players the opportunity to play NTFL football for Darwin Buffaloes Football Club. We definitely have an eye to the future with this group and I particularly make mention of Justin Burarrwanga and Billy Wanambi as two youth players that have really developed over the season.

We lost a the nucleus of the 2015 Premiership side this season and this cannot be understated along with the loss of intellectual knowledge from a number of former Rirratjingu Football Program participants that parted ways. The moving on of some of these players was disappointing, yet it was seen as an opportunity for the club to find a new identity and what it takes to be a 'Djarrak Person' so we have really been able to develop some of our new group this year.

The club has been served well by some of our older players and Michael 'Longy' Maymuru continues to defy age with a number of standout performances which will see him go close to player of the year honours. Also in this group would be Brendan Marika and Shaun Mununggurr. Both players started the year so well and we will be expecting a huge two weeks coming up from these players. Captain and newcomer Ricky Rose has demonstrated week in week out his football nous and he has filled key positions both forward and back.

Djarrak FC have also welcomed former Hawthorn player and current Darwin Buffaloes stalwart Cameron Stokes. Cameron has been a positive influence on the group thus far and a prime reason for our recent step up in intensity shown over the last few weeks. It is hoped Cameron will join the Rirratjingu Football Program in an official capacity with a number of coaching duties on offer should he decide to stay in Nhulunbuy in the near future.

We have some exciting weeks ahead as we push for a finals berth. We appreciate our support thus far and hope to provide more reasons for our supporters to be proud as our group strive to improve further.

Hayden Rickard

Head Coach

Djarrak Football Club

#DjarrakAlways #WeAreDjarrak

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