Finished 5th in the League in 2017
Assistant Coaches: Terry Taia and Lax Ahio
Awards for 2017
Best and Fairest: Evander Waitoa
I promised we would talk about the game that V showed up clearly having already begun his post-game celebration. He was lucky that his performance was worthy of celebration. That indiscretion aside, V performed at his brilliant best again this season. He played in the halved and at hooker – wherever the team needed him. And each game his passion was clearly on display. Either through his solid defence, or classy playmaking, V was in the middle of everything this year.
Players Player: David Taufa
It’s a great honour to be named Players Player. Espcially when you are the team captain. It shows that you are leading your team from the front, and are inspiration enough that the team is willing to follow you. We congratulate DT on what has been a great year for him.
Best Forward: David Taufa
Moving into the forward pack in 2018 agreed with big DT. He was always on hand to take the hard yards, and was dangerous when running wide. He lead his side from the front.
Best Back: Tulsa Saumamao
Tulsa joined us this year after playing in the NSW cup last year. He showed class in every game, scoring tried freely. His actions on the field made the players around him better, and you don’t get many bigger wraps than that.
Senior Club Person: Gary Malcolm
There are no words to do justice to the amount of work put into the club by Gary Malcolm. Whether it be setting up fields, cooking BBQ’s, selling raffle tickets, strapping players, transporting gear, offering game plan advice to coaches and players, or chewing of your ear over a Tooheys Old, there is nothing Gary doesn’t do for the club.
Pursuit of Excellence: Kelly Sionemale
Kel’s pursuit of excellence in clearly on display simply by looking at a photo of him from 18 months ago. Physically, Kel is half the man he was then, but in every other way Kel has grown. His game has gone from strength to strength, ever game getting sharper. His personal pursuit of excellence was a shining light for the people around him to push themselves further too.
Coaches Award: Laufili Liva
Fili continued to be an extremely important member of the team this year. He switched to the unfamiliar position of lock for the majority of the season, and handled it beautifully. Fili showed great commitment to training and the team, and the results showed in his performances on the field.
K Beutel & T Rudd Trophy for Top Point Scorer Sunday Competition: Evander Waitoa
2017 Season Report
2017 started off for A-Grade with a new coach, a new looking roster, and a lot of enthusiasm for what promised to be an exciting season ahead.
After working with a couple of other clubs, and gaining coaching experience with the Belrose Sydney Shield side over the past couple of years, Junior returned to Manly Brothers A-Grade, where his coaching career began.
With a lot of retirements from an already small 2016 squad, recruitment was going to be the key to ensure a successful season.
With former Manly Brothers A-Grader Nick Kissina joining the coaching staff, along with local league legend Terry Taia, and Lax Ahio, the players were showing up in good numbers to preseason training, early. But with the start of the season drawing near, numbers started to waiver, and there were early signs that retaining players, and continuing to add to the playing group was going to continue to be of the utmost importance.
Despite low numbers, the season started off well. We had a narrow loss on the bell to Narrabeen in the first round, then won 8 of the next 9 games. Over that period, player numbers and confidence continued to grow, and we sat on top of the table with only a few games remaining in the regular season.
Unfortunately injury struck halfback Ray Ioane, and centre Johnny Fakai, and with the loss of these 2 crucial players, the season finished poorly, and we scraped into the semi finals in 5th position.
We went into the semi-final with just 12 players, and made a valiant effort against eventual premiers Avalon bulldogs, but the season ended in the first round of the semi finals.
2017 will be the last season with official involvement from Al Choy. Al has as much time as anyone to the club over the past 15 years since he first met Gary Malcolm in the Steyne hotel one Friday afternoon. Al has moved up to the central coast for work, but I dare say that he hasn’t sold his last raffle ticket just yet. I would like to thank Al for all his hard work over the year. He is going to be a hard man to replace.
Gary Malcolm has also threatened to retire again this season (yeah right…). But just in case Christine actually gets her way this year, and the Malcolms do spend 2018 following the Bunnies around the country, we again thank Gary for his enormous contribution to the A-grade side this year, and over the last 30+ years. Gary is always the first there to training and the last to leave. He transports the gear for all of the away games, and for the home games, when he is not strapping ankles, he is setting up the fields, or sweeping out the change sheds. Every club needs a Gary Malcolm.
Thank you to our sponsors who made this year possible for us.
The Steyne Hotel were a great contributor, and always looked after us when we went down after games.
The Cube Gym were very accommodating to us all season, and allowed us to make use of their great facility.
Brooks Pharmacy continued their support of the A-Grade again in 2017 which was very much appreciated.
And all our minor sponsors who’s support kept our players kitted out in some very smart training attire.
A special thankyou to LIVIN for their partnership with the side this year. It was a great honour to have the side associated with a brand that is doing such a great job in spreading such an important message, and removing the stigma associated with mental health. IT AIN’T WEAK TO SPEAK.
Thanks again to Foxy and Fleur for the great food they always put on for us.
Thanks to Junior and all of the coaching staff for the time and effort they put into the team,
Finally, thanks to the players who showed up week after week, particularly towards the end of the season when everyone’s patience was being tested.
I hope everyone enjoys a relaxing off season, and gets themselves ready to come back in 2018 ready to do it all again.