AJAX Football Club 2016 Season Review
The Jackas ended another season without a finals berth in B-Grade, losing to top-side Beaumaris by 36 points at Gary Smorgon Oval on Saturday.
During the week leading up to the final game of the season, Club President Ronnie Lewis announced to supporters that they will be searching for a new Senior Coach in 2017.
“After one season as Director of Coaching at our Junior Club and two seasons as our Senior Coach, Marty Pask has decided to move on”, Lewis said in a Club email.
He thanked Pask for his contribution and wished him well for the future.
“Marty has made a great contribution to both our Junior and Senior Clubs and his time with the Club will be well remembered and regarded, in particular this season where he assisted the Club in maintaining our position in B-Grade, our fifth straight in that division.”
“We wish Marty every success in his future endeavours and he will be a welcomed friend at our Club in the future”, Lewis said.
In Pask’s two seasons in charge of the senior team he coached 17 wins in 36 matches.
In 2015 the Jackas finished 5th, equal on points with 4th, with 22% separating them and a finals spot.
This season the seniors were caught up in a short-lived relegation fight, but eventually avoided it to finish 7th, three games off the bottom two, and four games behind 4th.
“I have enjoyed my time with the AJAX Football Club and have built many great relationships, many that will continue,” Pask told the Club.
“To all the parents, players and supporters I have had the pleasure of knowing, thank you for all your support. My family and I have had a fantastic time being involved with the AJAX Football Community.”
The Jackas are now in the market for their third Senior Coach in five years, with the process already underway.
“We’ve got quite a young list, so we’re looking for an educator, someone who understands amateur footy particularly the VAFA”, Lewis told the AJN.
“It’s tough because you have got to balance the will to win and getting a coach that is really determined to do that and also balancing the requirements of a unique community club.”
On the field, the Jackas unearthed a host of future prospects, handing senior debuts to five youngsters.
“I believe the players we blooded this year are 150 to 200-game players, and potential leaders of our Club. They’re all classy and have shown that they can really mix it with the best”, Lewis said.
Of those to debut, 18-year old Jordan Cohen and 19-year old Josh Baron both played ten games, combined for 11 goals and were mentioned seven times in the best, collectively.
Further afield it wasn’t any regular season for star-forward David Fayman, although he did storm home to become the joint-winner of the Premier B goal-kicking award, etching his name into VAFA history with his 6th ‘Coleman’ Medal.
Fayman was trialled in few different roles, but still managed to produce a highlight-packed season that delivered 46 goals.
“I spent a lot of time in the midfield which made it harder but I guess I got a little lucky winning it on 46 goals. It’s certainly not the best of the six”, Fayman told the AJN.
After 12 rounds he had kicked 22 goals, but a permanent move back to the forward line saw him kick 24 goals in the remaining six matches.
His best game of the season came in his 150th against Hampton in round 13. He had five goals to quarter time and ended up with nine for the match.
“After the game someone told me I was only seven goals back with five games left so I thought I was a huge chance to win it”, Fayman said.
His best season came in the Jackas’ Premiership year of 2011, where he kicked 94 goals.
“I think I can get to the century mark if I played a whole season at full forward. Physically I’m as strong and fit as I’ve ever been”.
Photo: VAFA Media
The 27-year old enters next season on 155 games and an astonishing 575 goals.
Fayman is one of three favourites to feature heavily on the Club’s Best & Fairest night on October 6th.
The front-runner is utility Brad Caplan who kicked 16 goals in 17 games and was named in the best on 14 occasions.
Skipper Nick Marks also enjoyed an injury-free season to lead from the front in the back-half. His second half of the season was exceptional featuring in the best players in each of the final eight games.
The reserves’ season under Rob Paterson was a tale of missed opportunities with a number of close results taking its toll in the first half of the season.
Plenty of positives emerged, though, including defender-turned-forward Jeremy Forbes kicking 25 goals from 16 games, while the Best & Fairest race is bound to be a close one with Dov Paltiel, Roi Abraham, Nathan Zielinski and the retiring Nadav Harel all having strong years.
The reserves finished the season in 6th, with eight wins, one draw and nine losses, just two games outside the finals.
The thirds and Jackettes both enjoyed successful seasons finishing in the top two, but fell short at the pointy end losing in their respective Preliminary Finals.
Thirds’ Skipper Zev Aron finished the regular season with the most goals in his team’s division (38). For the girls, Rebecca Bennett combined with Toni Hamilton for 23 goals, while Danielle Robinson, Tamara Epshtein and Maya Glikfeld were a few of the best performers all year.
The under 19s coached by Ash Shenker are the only AJAX team still kicking. They finished 2nd and will play for a spot in the Grand Final this Sunday against Preston Bullants at Garvey Oval, Bundoora at 9.30am.
AJAX Amateur Football Club
Media & Communications Manager