So the hard slog of the season came down to the last game of the season for the boys. The winners would go home grinners and the losers would continue to wonder ‘what if’. It was close throughout the whole game, with missed opportunities in the first half providing a one point deficit at half time for the Under 12 2 Cats (or Supercats according to the court announcer). With the scores level going into the last minute of the game, it was time for the stars to shine. Will McDonald showed the crowd how to do a coast-to-coast move, and ended it with a no look pass to Quinny who finished it with an easy two points. Then the cats stole the ball back and with 10 seconds to go, Will McDonald decided to put the game out of reach and hit a clutch ‘swish’ 3-pointer.

Congratulations to Will McDonald for winning MVP of the game. An amazing achievement considering he just played enough games to qualify due to 6-months out with a dislocated hip. Harry Shannon played brilliantly in defence all game, and never runs out of energy (even when the coach leaves him on for all of the second half). His composure in the last few minutes of the game ensured the cats had the best chance of winning. Nathan Gillespie, Lucas Matsubara, William ‘Hummer’ Humble, Jacob ‘J’ Willis and Jacob (samo) played a finals series to remember. These young guns are the future of Geelong Cats. Lucas and Nathan especially came of age in the later stages of the season. Quinny is amazing. Whenever he didn’t play during the season, the team missed him dearly. His 20+ boards a game ensured many second chance shots for us and none for the opposition – especially in the grand final. Captain Dion matured beyond his years as a season went on. His support for his teammates throughout the finals series was extraordinary. Ethan Braslis provided flexibility for the team. When talls were missing or in foul trouble, he played 4 in offence. When we decided to play tall, he played 2 in offence and could shutdown a defender half his size.

After the game, most of the team headed off to Lygon Street for some well deserved pizza and pasta. The parents and coach needed some wine to ease the buzz!

As coach, I would like to thank the boys for a great season. Their support was amazing, their improvement as the season progressed even more amazing. The boys wouldn’t be who they are without the support of their parents. They drove them around the state for games and were full of encouragement throughout the whole season. It was a pleasure to coach such a wonderful team, with great support from their families. Thanks also go to Tim O’Leary and the first team for letting us train with them every Sunday. The drills we ran together only helped with our development. Thanks to Lisa Wilkinson for helping out with training when I wasn’t available and Brenton O’Brien for coaching them in a few games while I was overseas, working or in hospital! Brenton and Tim were also my ‘yelling’ coaches during the final series. I really need to find a booming voice from somewhere! Finally, thanks to my fiance for putting up with my constant babbling about the team in the last year!

All the best in the future boys. Hopefully I’ll coach you again soon.