It has been a year of personal milestones for the Yass Redbacks men’s soccer teams this year.
So far, four players have taken the field for the 200th time this season, while two others reached their hundredth games as well.
Most recently, Brad Nielson – who plays in the Men’s Division Three Competition – and Elliott Southwell – who plays in Division Ten – reached their 200th and 100th games respectively on Saturday the 29th of July.
Redbacks coach Grant Taylor, who mentors all three Redbacks teams in the men's divisions, shared some of his thoughts on the most recent pair to hit personal benchmarks.
Taylor praised Nielson’s drive and personal qualities, saying that “he is a dedicated trainer who rarely misses a session. He is passionate about the game, a quiet achiever and possibly a bit critical of himself when he feels his performance on the field could have been better.”
“His position is usually right wing as Brad possesses good speed in attack and defence. Brad is respectful of all involved in the game in Yass and fosters good relationships with players in the lower grades.”
Of Southwell, Taylor was more forthright, simply saying that “the tallest man in the Club at well over 6 foot, handy when you’re a keeper, he has kept many clean sheets throughout the season.”
“Elliot enjoys his football and has plenty to say when saving goals and when his defence lets him down.”
The pair’s milestones came just before arguably the most successful week in the season so far for Division Three.
Over the course of seven days, the Redbacks played Canberra Olympic, Canberra City, and Gundaroo, and beat them all soundly.
What makes this feat even more impressive is that the week prior, Gundaroo, City, and Olympic were the first, second, and third ranked teams on the ladder.
Taylor said that the team’s form is “pretty good” after last week’s performances, and is expecting the Redbacks to carry that confidence into finals.
The only problem, as he sees it, is that despite victories over the top three sides, the Redbacks will either be in third or fourth position going into finals.
In an ideal situation, the Redbacks would be in the top two, which would thereby guarantee them two chances to make the grand final.
In the first round of the finals, the first and second ranked teams play against one another, and the third and fourth ranked teams play each other.
The winner from the former match goes through to the final, while the winner of the latter will play the loser of the first game a week later to decide the second team in the grand final.
By Taylor’s calculations, the Redbacks will fall short of the top two by a single point, regardless of the outcome of the final match of the season this coming weekend.