Who’d be a coach?
Andrew Bryson has experienced the peaks and troughs of coaching in his first two weeks in charge of Albanvale in Western Region Football League division 3.
After the season opener, the Cobras were being hailed as flag contenders.
But they were knocked down a peg by surprise packet Glen Orden in a 47-point loss in their home opener at Robert Bruce Oval on Saturday.
Bryson was disappointed for the expectant home crowd.
“We wanted a really strong win at home with all the hard work that has been done over the pre-season,” he said.
“To Glen Orden’s credit, they came to play, they were really switched on early and we were a bit too loose with our structures and probably didn’t respect them the way that we should’ve.”
After a nip-and-tuck first quarter in which both sides kicked two goals, Glen Orden turned up the heat with a six-goals-to-nil second quarter.
Albanvale was forced into errors by the Hawks, who feasted on their turnovers to get to a big 36-point half-time lead.
“The second quarter, we just weren’t able to get the footy in our hands enough,” Bryson said. “When we did, we made poor decisions.”
Albanvale offered a response after half-time, but could not make a dent in the margin.
The Cobras had sustained periods of momentum, but fell short of doing damage on the scoreboard.
“We felt that we were in it for the most part of that third quarter, but we just weren’t able to get the score on the board,” Bryson said.
Not having key forward Nathan Black available after quarter-time unbalanced Albanvale.
Black, the prized off-season signing who kicked 10 goals in the thrashing of Sunshine Heights in round one, succumbed to his nagging achilles issue.
“His achilles was playing up last week and it flared up again,” Bryson said.
“We’re confident our forward six is good enough that if it’s not him kicking those goals, it will be someone else.
“Last week was really good – we had seven different goalkickers. But coming into the forward half this week, we made poor decisions when we had the ball through the middle of the ground, which put pressure on our forwards.”
Ricky Cameron and David Azzopardi fought the game out well for Albanvale.
Both snared two goals while splitting time between midfield and forward. Liam Ryan was impressive across half-back and Kym Taylor provided home fans with the highlight of the day – a mark Bryson described as a “screamer”.
In division 1, Caroline Springs opened its account with a 50-point win over Point Cook.
The pain goes on for Albion. After a 188-point round one loss to Werribee Districts, the Cats backed it up with a 166-point thrashing from Spotswood.
Deer Park made it two-from-two in a 69-point win over Sunshine, while St Albans was pipped by a point by Hoppers Crossing.
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