Successes ATW born
ACROSS The Waves captain-coach David Jones admitted that luck was on their side after they broke a seven-year Division 1 drought with victory in Sunday’s grand final.
But they also were the most successful club for 2010/11 in seniors, also taking the Division 2 title after a totally dominant season, claimed the Division 3 minor premiership, and were beaten grand finalists in Divisions 3 and 4.
Jones returned “home” this season and guided them to the silverware after transferring to Brothers in 1997/98 and captaining them to their maiden Division 1 premiership that season and leading a successful title defence.
He led Brothers for five years, also guiding them to their third title in 2002, but he played only occasionally after that while focusing on greyhounds, and he won a Bundaberg trainers’ premiership.
Jones did not play at all in 2009/10 but after watching ATW implode in another grand final in December, he successfully applied to be captain-coach this season.
Even though he admitted Brothers losing their captain David Boge with a broken hand, then losing the toss had a big impact on the result, there is no doubt his leadership was a key factor.
However, the club’s heavy investment in juniors over the years under the leadership of hard-working club president Noel Stitt was where the seeds were sown.
Seven of both their D1 and 2 finals teams were club juniors.
In the former, player of the match Nathan Sarnadsky has been a magnificent club servant for years, Chris Duff is in his third season with the club, but their two English imports, Joe Padmore and Oliver Hardaker, had little impact.
It was a similar story in D2, with seven club juniors, captain Lachlan Donovan, a great club ambassador for over a decade, Liam Denning, who joined the club with Duff, an English import and one who transferred this season.
D2 Player of the Final Matt Fulton will lead them in tomorrow’s under-16 grand final against Brothers, while ATW will also take on Brothers in U-13, and Brothers will also meet YMCA in U-14 and U-12.