2019 will be remembered for the blooding of a new group of young men and women that have been exposed to the Djarrak Way - that behaviours are just as important off the field as on. Indeed, Better People Make Better Players has been absorbed by our new group of club players.
More than a club. In many ways Djarrak Football Club is more than a club. It is a gathering place for our people. It is an environment where our people are held to task in terms of development as footballers but also held to task as the quality of person they are. 2019 has been a season of growth amongst our staff and players alike.
The mens side had Steven Raymond as Senior Coach for 2019 after he had 7 rounds in 2018 in the role as part of his coaching development plan. Our club has been fortunate that Raymond attended the 2019 Footy Means Business AFL Indigenous Program and he has been exposed to professional development that has impacted our playing group this year. He has been assisted by Bernie Price and Hayden Rickard throughout the season.
The club has become the destination zone for youth players and we have had eleven 15-17 year aged players go through our senior side this season. The growth of the playing group has been a highlight with high hopes for our Darwin exchange to further add to the football development amongst this group which will clearly be the future of the side in the years to come.
A number of players have taken on the responsibility of holding leadership roles during the season with our past captain Djayminy Marika supporting our emerging leaders in Dale Dhamarrandji, Luke Maymuru, Lee Mununggurr and Justin Talal. Paul Campbell was again our Darwin Buffaloes exchange player and passed on his football IQ to our young squad.
The side fell one game short of a Grand Final after being eliminated in the Preliminary Final. It was poor execution of skills under pressure that was the difference between challenging for a flag or not. These shortcomings can be ironed out across the Darwin Season where the majority of our work is craft based due smaller working group of players.
Our Womens Program has had a disrupted season due a limited 3 team competition. Despite work commitments, overseas travel, ceremony and general community challenges our team had a core group of players that drove the side this season. Under the tutelage of Sione Hale who took on coaching responsibilities after his managerial role in 2018. Tim Blake again contributed when his work allowed and Araluen Maymuru remained the key contact as well as absorbing manager duties.
Laelia Dunn added an experienced voice to the side and proved a point of difference with her positioning down back. The side lost young gun Gawiya Mununggurr to boarding school but a number of ladies put their hands up for work including Mawuru Marika, Jubilee Weo and Shanita Garrawurra. Nikki O'Hara returned to play following a season off to begin a family and brought her abrasive and confrontational brand of footy to the side to bringing some starch to the group.
We also hosted our first Darwin Buffettes with Chevaunne Fewings and Jemma Iacono contributing to our group both on and off the field. It is hoped that we are able to introduce a host of our womens players into the Rirratjingu Football Program where the Buffettes can continue to mentor our players during the NTFL Season.
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS