The Hermit Park Tigers senior team won the AFL Townsville premiership on the 9th of September, an incredible result in itself, but the Tigers also managed premierships in the reserves, under-17s, under-15s and women’s.
Coach of the Tigers, Jamie Fogg narrows it all down to the hard work and dedication put in by the club well before the season started.
“The motto that we have gone with at our club, is that the hard work pays off,” Fogg said.
“We put in the effort at the start of year, trained twice a week and looked after ourselves before the weekend.
“Our players are committed to the club and the hard work that they put in, not only on the track but off the track has paid off and we have reaped the reward with a premiership.”
Fogg also believes the ability to create a one club mentality where anyone is welcome to play, is another facter that has contributed to their success.
The coach is all about creating an environment that people feel comfortable in and can play no matter who they are.
“Mid-season a photo was taken and put of Facebook of our six foot eight ruckmen hugging our five-foot kid after he kicked a goal. People were saying that’s our club and it’s who we are,” the coach said.
“I also have guys on Facebook who post how glad that they have come to the club and how they have been so welcomed.
“If you have players that feel comfortable in a club and invite their families to support them, then their football is going to be good as well.”
According to Fogg, the Tigers’ ability to foster and develop junior players and for them to have the capability to play at senior level is another feature that sets them apart from other clubs.
“The senior side that played on the weekend had eight kids who came through our junior program,” he said.
“Ryan Gilmore who won the clubs best and fairest is only seventeen years old and has gone on to play for Queensland Under-17’s also well as being as part of the Gold Coast Academy.”
Hermit Park had 11 players in the Townsville all-star team this year, a clear sign that their success on-field hasn’t come at the hands of one or two stars, but a whole group of dedicated players.
“Leroy Larson joined us from Darwin and we were missing some key forwards so he joined us and kicked 61 goals,” Fogg said.
“We had Matt McGrath join us, who has represented the army at national level and he is another key forward.
“We even had the Agita bothers with coming back this year. They both went away to represent Pupa New Guinea in the international cup and they won that.”
As for right now, players and coaches are winding down before the hard work begins again with another season on the horizon. Given the way things are going at Hermit Park, the 2018 season looks promising for the yellow and black.