As parents and players receive their letters of offer after the conclusion of trials, the office is continually having to explain why players did not get in the SAP or Komodo or Goanna teams. We are fielding questions about what divisions players will be competing in next season.

I thought it best to try and explain a few things in an effort to allay any fears or uncertainties.

1. The letters are sent out to SAP/QPL selected players first, followed by Komodo/Divisional players and then Goanna players.

I get far too many callers asking me, “My son’s school mate received his letter why didn’t my son”? The answer is because your son did not get selected in the same team as his school mate.

The reason behind this process is because all players are ranked at the trials and when players reject offers, their spot is allocated to the next highest ranked player.

Were we to send all the letters out simultaneously we would end up with a number of incomplete teams and this will result in problems during the season when players are away and we cannot field teams.

2. It appears that too much emphasis is placed on the level of team that a player is selected in. It is very simple really. The SAP & QPL squads train three times per week; the Komodo and highest divisional teams in each age group train twice per week and the Goannas and lower divisional teams train once per week. The cost of registration & fees are priced accordingly.

I get asked, “How can my son/daughter improve if they are not training like the other squads” ? I am happy for players to train three times per week with an accredited coach provided that all the players in the team are involved and the parents are prepared to pay the same price as the SAP/QPL squads.

3. Parents have complained about their kids teams having parent coaches, and ask why they cannot have accredited coaches. The answer is that they too can have accredited coaches provided they pay a coaching levy. The problem is that more often than not parents are happy with training once per week with a volunteer parent coach as it meets their budget and/or their weekly activity commitments.

Ideally as TD I would like to see accredited coaches coaching every team at the club but accredited coaches come at a cost which has to be financed in a user pay system.

I am running a coaching course for parent/volunteer coaches before the end of the year in an effort to get volunteers accredited. This is always dependent upon attendance naturally. The accreditation is an FFA accreditation which I run myself at the club on behalf of the FFA.

4. The other common question is, “My son/daughter had high hopes of making the QPL/SAP team they are not happy about being selected in Komodo/Goanna/Divisional. I do not know how to respond to this in any tactful manner. I select players on ability and place them accordingly.

This emphasis on competition names is disappointing. At the Hawks I am not about misleading parents. Other clubs are doing plenty of that as it is!

If your child is selected in a Goanna team and a parent want him/her in a Komodo team its easy for me to tell the parent that their child is in Komodo 2 or Komodo 3 but the fact is that the child will play in a Goanna competition.

There are parents who take their kids to clubs because they are promised SAP/Komodo etc. I can tell you that there are parents that will go to clubs offering them SAP only to discover that it is SAP 2 which in reality is Komodo. Take this as GOSPEL clubs CANNOT have two SAP teams! They can mislead people to Stroke egos and they can charge SAP fees but the fact will always be that there is only ONE SAP team per club with an SAP licence.

I too can call all our teams SAP but that would be misleading and parents and players need to accept that at the Hawks players are placed in teams which best suit their development. Pushing a player beyond their capabilities is not helping kids to fulfil their potential and many that are pushing their kids will find that those kids will give up on the game.

There are many ways to name teams to avoid parents and players worrying about which team is better than the other and preventing parents comparing their kids skill level with other parents.
If we named teams by numbers it will always be that 1 is better than 2 and so on. If we name teams Roar or Melbourne Victory etc it will be why can’t my son play in the Roar team, and then there is the request for players to play with their mates. I promise you all that where it is in both players interest I will make every effort to do this. The problem here is that the skill level may not be the same and the better player may not want to play with his mate in a lower grade.

I urge parents to help their kids become resilient by making them understand that not every player can make the top team and not every top team can win championships. As parents and coaches we have a responsibility to prepare youngsters to deal with disappointment and teach them to work harder to earn what they deserve. Kids have to deal with NAPLAN results, regular testing at school, competing in sporting contests at school etc etc.

I personally think that in our efforts we confuse what we want for our children with what our children want for themselves.

As the Technical Director I will do what is best for your child without any bias so please trust my many years of experience in the job and Know that I look at all of the players you only look at your child.