What does the perfect Horsham district league footballer look like?

IF YOU could sign the perfect footballer for the Horsham district league, what abilities would that player have?

That’s the question the Mail-Times has posed to football coaches and presidents from around the region. According to them, this is what the ideal district league footballer looks like:

Skills 

THE perfect footballer for the district league would be a highly skilled player. 

Swifts coach Scott Carey said he looks for versatility in an ideal player. 

“You want someone who can hit a target on both left and right foot,” he said.

Carey also said speed is important in the Horsham district league. 

“Speed is a pretty handy thing to have around this area,” he said. 

According to Taylors Lake coach Jye Smith, the ideal player will be someone who can deal with the physicality of the league and put in a good performance most weeks. 

“It’s a lot more physical than the Wimmera League,” he said. 

“You want someone who is consistent.” 

Communication 

WHEN it comes to regional football, being a good communicator can go a long way.

Harrow-Balmoral president Rosemary Langley said communication is vital to ensure personal and club success.

“It’s communication – that’s the most important thing for any player in a regional area,” she said. 

SKILFUL: Laharum's Todd Heynen was runner-up in the league's best and fairest last season. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

SKILFUL: Laharum's Todd Heynen was runner-up in the league's best and fairest last season. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

Leadership 

A SENTIMENT shared by many of our local footballing representatives was that the ideal Horsham district league footballer would show plenty of leadership qualities. 

Edenhope-Apsley president Carolyn Middleton said while on-field skills are important, a top player will show signs of leadership. 

“We want a player who shows high standards of talent but we are really looking for them to be leaders in the club and taking the juniors under their wing,” she said. 

Taylors Lake president Tammy McDonald said the ideal player would help develop others around them to contribute to the entire club’s success. 

“I think it has to be club focused,” she said.

“It’s abut the team and the club as a whole. You don’t get individual success without club success. If you’re there and you are a team player the success will follow.”

Langley said a leader who pushed other players to achieve their best was also a great attribute to have.

“Someone who can push players (is valued), because we do have a lot of skillful players in our league,” she said.

Humour 

KNOWING when to have a laugh and when to focus on the job at hand is important for a district league footballer. 

“You always want someone to have a bit of voice on and off the field, someone who is willing enough to know when to be serious but also can have a joke with the boys,” Carey said. 

The seasons are long in the Wimmera and a sense of humour can go a long way in helping get a side through those tough times.

Langley said: “A good sense of humour is certainly needed to get through any season.”

“Someone that brings a sense of camaraderie to the club is important.” 

LEADER: Natimuk United playing coach Sam Anson is a leader on and off the field. Picture: STUART McGUCKIN

LEADER: Natimuk United playing coach Sam Anson is a leader on and off the field. Picture: STUART McGUCKIN

Attitude 

WHEN coaches are looking to sign players, they don’t always focus on a player’s skills. 

Smith said a player’s attitude is the most important thing when it comes to finding the ideal player for the district league. 

“For me, skill probably comes second,” he said. 

“District league is a lot different to the Wimmera League. First and foremost you need to have a crack and be prepared to take the hits.

“Some of the best footballers in our league aren’t the most naturally skilled.”

Smith said experienced players should help set the tone for the younger players, while also helping out the club as a whole.

“Off the field you need players who set a good example for the younger guys – someone who is willing to help out the club,” Smith said.

“A lot of players these days just want the club to look after them but it works out both ways.

“If the player looks after the club that’s when the club gets a lot of success.”