Sup­port for the team

Liv­ing in a more dis­tantly re­mote part of Otago while com­pet­ing in a top level com­pe­ti­tion brings with it many chal­lenges for a side that not only in­cludes team mem­bers, coach and man­age­ment, but has to con­sider sup­port­ive fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ties and their

Central Otago Mirror - - LAKES DISTRICT NEWS -

But for the play­ers in par­tic­u­lar in the Mt As­pir­ing Col­lege 1st XV, the ben­e­fits achieved far out­weigh all of th­ese as­pects ac­cord­ing to coach Hamish Cros­bie. ‘‘Our big­gest chal­lenge is the qual­ity of the op­po­si­tion we face,’’ said Cros­bie. ‘‘But this is also the big­gest pos­i­tive.’’ ‘‘Our play­ers are ben­e­fit­ting from play­ing against the best play­ers in the lower half of the South Is­land, and our level of play has in­creased rapidly, and the play­ers re­alise the level of ded­i­ca­tion and train­ing it takes just to be com­pet­i­tive.’’ Other chal­lenges in­clude travel costs and the dis­tances that must be trav­elled to bring play­ers to­gether from each of the re­gions three times a week to en­able the side to firstly com­plete two train­ing ses­sions and then play their com­pe­ti­tion game. While the buildup has been in­tense it has def­i­nitely been re­ward­ing for the play­ers, and al­though some games have re­sulted in a loss, it has all added to the ex­pe­ri­ence gained. Be­ing able to tap into the ex­per­tise of high pro­file coaches Mike Cron and Aussie McLean has been hugely ben­e­fi­cial as were the warm up games played against var­i­ous teams in the build-up to the start of the com­pe­ti­tion. Cros­bie is ev­i­dently proud of his play­ers de­scrib­ing them as a ‘Good bunch of boys’, keen to put time and ef­fort into their train­ing and their play. ‘‘The amount of ef­fort they are putting in is amaz­ing,’’ he said, ‘‘and it has been good for them to be play­ing at this level.’’ With their last game sched­uled for Au­gust 24th, there are still many games to be played, the com­pe­ti­tion now split­ting into two sec­tions. ‘‘We head into the bot­tom six of the com­pe­ti­tion, which will bring our side up against teams who will be con­sis­tently more at their level,’’ Cros­bie said. Be­ing able to keep the sup­port­ers and spon­sors of the side proud of them, to whom they are very grate­ful to, is all part of the game plan in the en­su­ing weeks. ‘‘We have re­ceived fan­tas­tic sup­port over the past months,’’ Cros­bie said, ‘‘and for this we are very grate­ful.’’

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