|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on October 7, 2011 at 8:50 AM|
OVINGHAM was not talking up its finals chances ahead of this football season.
Coach Darryn Butler was not even worried about winning games, instead hoping the club simply managed to field full teams every week.
But now the Cats are clawing their way back in the amateur league, winning eight of 11 clashes. The team is sitting third on the C2 ladder, two points behind equal leaders Rostrevor and Prince Alfred Old Collegians.
“We’re pretty happy with ourselves down here,” Butler said.
“We’re doing really well and we’ve exceeded everyone’s expectations, including our own.”
Its resurgence is in stark contrast to April last year when the 104-year-old club came close to folding because of a lack of players.
It staged a short comeback when other clubs donated players, but forfeited the season after playing just four games, including a 218-point loss to Gepps Cross in round nine.
The club now has 54 players, including a large group of recruits from the Woodside Army Barracks. But even with his team hovering near the top of the ladder, Butler was reluctant to talk up the Cats’ finals chances.
He said his next challenge would be to continue fielding teams each week, with many players out with injuries or scheduled to serve in Afghanistan. “All I want to do is remain competitive and finish financially viable,” he said.
“If we play in one final, it’s a bonus.”
Captain Phil Lillywhite said he was “pretty surprised and happy” with his team’s progress.
“To fill a side every week was our main goal at the start of the year, but to win games and compete with the top sides, we’re very happy,” Lillywhite said.
Ovingham Cats clawing back to life Local News 12 Jul 11 @ 09:00am by Lisa Bachmayer