WELL, the 2006 football season may well have been run and won but the planning for 2007 has been in full swing for a number of weeks.
Many changes to the Dolphin Oval complex will be obvious over the off-season with major redevelopment work to Talobilla Park already under way. This work will have the Talobilla fields at a top-notch standard for the start of next season.
Also obvious to all who travel past the Leagues Club is the "great wall" of Dolphin Oval. The wall will soon become the new football building which will be the biggest around and will contain all of the necessities to cope with junior and senior football.
It will house six huge dressing rooms, fully equipped gym for the seniors, meeting rooms, medical and strapping rooms for both home and away teams as well as storage room for equipment.
While on the subject of equipment, the junior Dolphins have just purchased $2000 worth of tackle shields. We can all thank Redcliffe's Miss Junior Rugby League entrant Andrea Chapman for this purchase as the funds she raised this season paid for the shields and will also pay for more training aids in the coming months.
A fabulous night was had by our coaches and managers in the Leagues Club last month.
This night is to say thank you to a group of people who make it possible each weekend for the kids to enjoy their football, make friends and develop skills.
The importance of these people is not lost on this club and will never be. We all enjoyed a wonderful meal, individual award for each team, trivia quiz and sing-a-long music by guitarist and vocalist Trevor Day.
Officials from the Narangba Rangers Club also enjoyed the night and shared some stories of 2006.
Congratulations to Jane Mulhern from the under 13 division 1 for taking out the Manager of the Year award for her efforts in 2006.
Jane has a happy knack of finding a positive in every situation during the season and because of this the players, coach and parents all seem to enjoy their year a little more. Well done Jane.
Our two development squads completed their commitments recently with matches against Wynnum's Development Academy.
The under 13 to 15 squad proved too strong for the baysiders from Wynnum, winning 44-4. Nathan Karami and Kyle Hall were two of the home team's best on the night.
The under 16 to 18 squad game did not pan out at all similar to the early match, even though we won 12-8. The squad of 2006 has shown maturity and discipline beyond its years.
Their last two games for the season have been won in the final seconds. Best on the night were Mitchell Rivett and Ryan Best. Both squads have been great to work with all season and I am sure they learned a lot during 2006.
Finally, congratulations to all of the award winners at junior presentations at the end of last month.
The under 13s to 17s enjoyed a top night in the Leagues Club while the little fellas had a fun day on Dolphin Oval to cap off a super year. Coaching applications for next season should be received by me by the first week in November.
The Junior Award winners were
Best & Fairest Rhys Cooke
Best Back Jack Reed
Most Consistent Clayton Grant
Most improved Cameron Durston
THE representative season is almost at an end for the junior Dolphins.
The highlight was the selection of promising under 17 and Colts front-rower David Hala into what is the pinnacle of schoolboy football, the Australian Open Schoolboys team.
The 24-man squad is set to tour England, France and Wales at the end of the season. Having known David since his inclusion in the 2005 Classic Sportswear Development Squad, I can safely say that his selection is a very fitting reward for a lot of hard work over the past two seasons.
Not only has he worked hard at organised training sessions, he has also been keen to improve his game by working hard in his own time by himself.
It is a good lesson for boys playing our game that if you want to make a career in rugby league you have to work hard, extra hard and the rewards will come. Well done David and all the very best of luck on what should be a great tour.
Queensland merit teams were picked this month in the under 13 age group at the state championships at Maroochydore. Congratulations to Heymel Hunt and Luke Eustace, who were selected in the state team with Tia Pule, Redcliffe's other player at the carnival, playing some good football over the week but missing out narrowly on state selection.
The coaching clinic conducted over the school holidays was a lot of fun for the 40 boys who attended from the under 12 to under 14 age group.
They received coaching from QRL development officers, AFL kicking coaches, Brian Winney, Steve Peoples and myself on everything from ball handling and tackle technique to footwork, evasion and respecting the game's rules and referees. The clinic finished with a barbecue and cold drinks for all.
Our last Development Squad dinner was a great night with former Dolphin first grader and Wembley Cup final winner Jamie Sandy the guest speaker.
Jamie spoke to the squad about his life in rugby league, what it was like to play in front of 100,000 people in the cup final along with the more important topic of alcohol and drugs in sport.
Jamie certainly had the boys thinking about making the right choices when it comes to drinking and drugs and the effects it can have on a young person's life if the wrong choices are made.
The squad's main charter is to ready the boys for senior football at the highest level but the responsibility we also have is to ensure they also reach the highest level they can as a person in their society. Speakers of the calibre of Jamie Sandy make this possible.
Coaching and development manager
SIGN-ON day with the junior Dolphins saw one of the Peninsula's favourite sons return to Dolphin Oval. Current Bronco and international front-rower Petero Civoniceva spent the morning welcoming more than 200 new kids to the club which helped get his own career on the road to success. The most new registrations in quite some time is a testament to the popularity of the game at the moment, particularly in the primary schools in our district.Thank you to all who volunteered to help out on the day. Without your efforts the day would not have run so smoothly. The Dolphins Old Boys and Keystar Auto World kept the crowd busy with free food and drinks and other giveaways on the day.Our season kicks off with trials on March 5 and 12. All teams will trial on these days against clubs including Norths and Aspley as well as the Kawana club, which will travel to Dolphin Oval this year. The Allan's Tiles pre-season challenge will start on the weekend of March 17-19 for the competition age groups. Fixtures for the under sevens to under 10s will also start on that weekend. Enjoyment is the priority for all those involved with our junior players at the Dolphins, so let's get behind the kids this year and support them in their efforts to learn more about this great game and to have fun during the football season.Grant ClealCoaching and development manager