Season 2017 was yet another successful campaign laden with fantastic results, growth and development for the UWA-Nedlands Football Club across the Junior, Amateur, Women’s and Senior divisions. With league titles claimed by a number of the club’s teams, as well as record-equalling points tallies from many other sides, the entire UWANFC family is looking forward to 2018 and beyond with an abundance of hope, enthusiasm and determination.
We sat down with our Director of Football, Gerhard Janssen, to discuss how he viewed the season for all our side’s and the developments that have been made in another year filled with growth.
UWA: Gerhard, our club has been known for it’s thriving youth setup, with UWA boasting one of the highest participation rates in the state. How did you view their progression in 2017?
GJ: It was great to see some significant growth in the Juniors department this year, with more players and teams competing compared to 2016. Not only did the numbers improve, but the quality also raised to a new level with the U12, U14, U15 and U16 sides all making finals, with the U12's winning the league and Grand Final, while the U16's also won their finals series.
The board is extremely pleased with the development of not only the players but the coaches in the youth setup as well, with their commitment and football philosophy amalgamating in some great results.
UWA: I believe there will be plenty of football for the juniors in the off-season?
GJ: The U14 and U15 sides will be continuing their season as they participated in the annual Bunbury Cup on the 6th-8th of October, which combined with the fact all junior teams are training for free until the end of November to work on their touch and development characterises the club’s attitude and mentality towards our next generation of stars, while also continuing to work towards becoming a Junior NPL side in 2018.
The club is also proud to announce that players from the U14 and U15’s sides will again be flying to Singapore to compete in the 7-a-side tournament where we became the first Western Australian team to do so in 2016.
Next season will see more coaches per team, with the addition of assistant coaches and a specialised goalkeeper coach for the youth teams.
UWA: It was quite an impressive year for the Amateur sides. What was the highlight in your opinion?
GJ: It was to be a very rewarding campaign for our Amateur sides, with the Amateur First Team claiming their second league title in succession and in the process earning promotion to the Amateur Premier Division, which is a brilliant achievement and testament to Arthur Hiemstra’s tireless work over his many years involved with UWA-Nedlands.
It was also great to see a number of U18’s players moving into the Amateur setup if not selected into the State League side where they were able to develop their game in a competitive and friendly environment.
UWA: It was a fantastic year for our Women’s setup, headlined by our triumphant Div 1 reserves. What were some of the other positives?
It was great to see the club continue to increase its numbers in regards to the women's teams and achieve success on the field.
It truly was an exceptional campaign for the Division 1 Reserves side winning the league on the final day.
We can't wait to see the women's sides continues to strengthen and progress at the club next season.
- Woman's State league div 1 reserves 1st place in their league
- Woman's State league div 1 first team 3rd place in their league
- Metro Div 2 league 1st place
- Woman's State League 1st team through to the quarterfinals of the Football West Cup
- Woman's section successfully expanded from three teams to four from 2016-2017
UWA: It was another season full of development and promise for our State League side’s. What did you make of the season and what were you most pleased with?
GJ: Following a club record-breaking season in his first season as Head Coach of the First Team, Michael Janssen has overseen further development amongst the squad. The boys finished in 5th with 32 points from 20 games, which equals their best ever record in Division 1 of the State League having played two fewer games than in 2016 where they achieved the same standing and points tally. With a large majority of the squad already committing to the cause for 2018, the side is poised to build on the encouraging results gained over the past two season.
It was great to see that so many young players establish themselves in the First Team setup this year, with Anthony Terpkos and Joseph Hayden making their debuts after rising through the ranks in the U18’s and Reserves sides, with plenty more players looking to make that jump up next year.
The U18’s enjoyed a progressive season under the tutelage of Viny Kapur, as he integrated a host of new players that ended the season with consecutive wins. Kapur’s selfless work and dogged determination has seen him promoted to Assistant Coach of the First Team for season 2018.
UWA: Can you fill us in on what is new for UWA heading into pre-season over the summer?
GJ: The 1st team, Reserve and U18 start on the 9th January 2018 with pre-season after finishing late November. We will adding to the coaching team and continuing our work with Goalie-Coach Rhys MacFarlane. Our 1st Team became a unit and we're looking for a few more players to increase our competitiveness in all parts of the team. The plan is to prepare for a season where a new strong team will be added to the State Divison 1 with Mandurah as first relegated team from the NPL ever and the newcomers Gwellup will further add to the quality. Saying that, the last year had shown that the quality of Division 1 is not below that of the average of the NPL. Many Div 1 teams have proven this by beating NPL Teams in the Cup. We won spectacularly against Subiaco, Western Knights even won the cup. Equally important is that Forrestfield, whom I would see on an equal level to our team, won the relegation battle against Mandurah very much deserved.
We will integrate the new players very quickly to attack the league as high as possible. That is the nature of a successful and ambitious team. At the same time our U18 team is expected to be stronger. While keeping the players available from last year, a few players with good quality from other clubs asked to join us and some players from last year’s U15 are strong enough to skip the U16 and go straight into senior football.
But overall we will improve our environment for our players in small steps towards more professionalism, not forgetting where we come from and that the developing players and their character in our style of football is paramount.