Class of 2017 Football remember the season that was
What is success? – Success in school? Success in sport? Success in life? Success in Newington Football?
What is the yardstick for success? Is it simply the accumulation of silverware?
The 2017 Newington College Senior squads did amass silverware, tasted victory, scored goals, and earned representation at AAGPS level in record numbers. However success for Newington students must be measured through the growth of our boys characters, their genuine unity of purpose, the degrees to which they commit to the hard work required to forge those incremental steps, the respect transmitted to colleagues, staff, opponents and officials alike, the resilience which endures into adult life in so many facets of that life, and the ultimate satisfaction and enjoyment that only reveals itself when this progressive evolution comes to a finale.
This is indeed the story of the class of 2017, a class not just comprising the 11 players that started the final King’s match, but the 40 plus boys who individually committed to strive to attain the honour and distinction of wearing the white Wyvern-bedecked jersey, each boy sacrificing much on the journey.
But the journey for the departing Year 12 football contingent was not just a reflection of a single year, but the coalescence of years of football “growing up” at Newington, at Wyvern, at Lindfield, and at other educational institutions. Nobody tells it better than the boys themselves.
What did you take away from the Newington Football Program?
“I remember in Year 10, playing under Mr Mountain. He told me that if I didn’t work on my crossing, I’d never be able to make it in a senior team. I remember how deflated I was, yet how this encounter sparked a burning desire to improve. I think this memory reflects my experience of the Newington College Football Program. Celebrating the highs, and overcoming the lows, made my time at Newington Football a true rollercoaster ride, however I think it taught me a lot about resilience, about following passion, and making sacrifices for those around you. The opportunity over the last 6 years to be a part of something larger than myself, to work in a team to achieve common goals, has been a unique journey, and has made memories I’m sure I’ll cherish in years to come.”
“The camaraderie, the competitiveness and the bonds that were formed eclipsed all of my previous expectations.”
“Trips to Canberra and Narrabean for pre-season and to Adelaide for the IBC cup allowed all the boys to get close and really form a true squad of players who will fight for each other no matter the circumstances.”
“I guess Newington football been an integral part of my growth as an individual and character- being able to play with and learn from some of the most amazing people. I feel like what I’ve gained from the program is to treat every occasion as if it were your last, leaving yourself with no regrets and at the end of the season, in turn, allowing yourself to be the best player you can be.”
“The bonds and memories I have shared with the boys will be with me for years and years. Participating in the football program was an opportunity to test myself as a person and an athlete. It not only made me grow as an individual but taught me the value of teamwork.”
“Newington football has played a huge role in my schooling life, being involved in the program for 10 years. What I’ve found to be the best part of Newington football however is how its culture differs from the culture at many club organisations. You know you’ll be playing for the school week-in, week-out, and it’s always enjoyable to play with people who are your close mates and people who you see 6 times a week, and that’s why Newington football for me has been so special.”
“This program has allowed me to form memories and relationships that I will never forget. Besides this, the program has taught me to be resilient and possess grit.”
“How no individual, can ever exceed the importance of the team, no matter how well you’ve played, no matter how long you’ve played, and certainly no matter how good you think you are.
The GPS competition and CIS Cup, provide different types of opposition, widening your scope, in terms of football experience. To embrace the competition and battle within your team, but more so, yourself. Treat every moment in the limelight of Newington Football, whether you have your very own article or photo or mention on spaces, as a privilege and with humility. Because at no stage ever, in football and life is your position locked-in, because after every run, pass, half, game, season, your football ability and performance changes for the better or the worse. Treat every moment on the football pitch as an opportunity. Here at Newington, boys aren’t necessarily dropped to the bench, boys are given the opportunity to shine in a lower team.”
“If there’s one thing that this program has taught me, is what it means to be tough. To have a strong, secure, impenetrable mental and moral makeup, capable of responding to adversity with eager anticipation to overcome the opportunity. To be able to pick up a mirror, face your own flawed self, and refuse run away from your insecurities, so that you can develop self-sufficiency through self-perseverance and self-criticism.”
“I hope that you can receive that surprise call up to the firsts in the very first CIS Cup fixture next year, but also to hope that you open your emails to see that your name isn’t on the list, so you value the privilege of playing for the First XI of Newington College. I hope that you have the skill and composure to score the winning goal, or make the final penalty save in the premiership game of the 2018 GPS season, but also hope that you air-swing the final shot into an open goal, or mistime a tackle in your own penalty box, so you value the reaffirming trust and support from the coaching staff in your footballing ability to perform. It’s turbulent moments like these that create men, that separate boys from men, but more importantly contribute to the makeup of your character, which will act as a foundation for any future endeavours.”
“We were honoured to host former Socceroos Manager, Rale Rasic OAM, as he spoke to us about his footballing experiences. We remembered Rale’s advice on the key to success. To quote Rale, “In football, and in life, to succeed you need desire”. And it was this phrase that stuck within us all, becoming an unofficial motto for the Senior Squad of 2017. What we had was mateship, and in keeping with our school theme of My strength is you support, having all your teammates beside you when you’re feeling down gives you and incredible amount of strength to continue going.”
“I started high school football playing in the 13Bs coached by my then mentor, Mrs Diana Organ. I remember her speaking about her own coaching career, boasting an undefeated school record which she wanted to maintain. And yet, despite the pressure, we managed to do so, something I will forever cherish. Her passing was a significant loss for me and her spirit around the school will be dearly missed. Mrs Organ always encouraged us to pursue what we desired.”
“Never settle for mediocre, have the desire to want more.”
Now that’s Success. A growth Mindset. A willingness to acknowledge that meeting adversity and overcoming it is the true barometer of success in sport and in life. The 2017 Senior squad have left an indelible impression for the next generation. The baton passes on. The classes of 2018 and beyond have a clear “guide to success” writ large on their horizons. Success is a many faceted entity. Sincere thanks to all our departing Year 12 boys for leaving personal legacies which have enriched us all.