In the long run this year will be great for both Potter and the club. In a funny kind of way I am enjoying it more then many of the previous years. Both Potter and the club are going to benefit from this kind of year because of the amount of adversity and the experiences gained. We could have had another year of the Top 20 squad players blowing hot and cold hoping to catch fire in the Top 8 late in the year. Another year of hoping the same old players revitalise themselves. Or we could have a year like this. A year of crisis, mass injuries, floggings, youngsters, unlikely wins, turmoil etc. Where basically every single player has a chance to sink or swim, gets games under their belt.
Potter has had to stand up to an incredible amount of circumstances. The inherited squad, inherited coaches, massive injuries, board and ceo drama. I am not saying he has passed it with flying colours. Like most rookie coaches, he has made mistakes. He will probably finish in the bottom 4. However i have been very impressed how he hasn’t lost his rag. He hasn’t thrown a wobbly or made 1000 excuses like Tim Sheens used to do. He wants us still to win and be accountable. Not all the squad are responding to him. However Potter will be able to read those signs in that regard and make decisions of his own soon in that regard. In a few ways he already has. I was been happy with the way he has juggled the side in general, giving young players tastes of the action without burying them in the week in week out grind. Basically this baptism of fire could not have been any harsher for Potter, and this sort of experience will steel him for the years to come. He looks like a man up for the fight.
Its also great to see young players with enthusiasum, playing for contracts, competing for spots. Not all of them are going great guns,. Some won’t make the cut, some will come on quicker then expected. We have shown a lot of ticker in the past couple of games in circumstances where we should basically have no chance to win the game. It has been the youngsters leading the way as well, Blair, Marshall, Anasta haven’t done much as our senior pros. For me it is a bonus that we are getting 10-15 games into these kids before they are ready. Even if they are getting a hiding most weeks, the experience will benefit them in the long run. The last couple of rounds have shown the likes of Moltzen, Lawrence, Ayshford, Tuqiri, Utai, Fulton that they can’t come waltzing back into the team and they can’t afford to go through the motions like in previous stints.
I don’ think this winning streak will amount to much to be honest. I expect us to get towelled up a few more times and finish in the bottom 4. Im not saying we are on the crest of a wave. More that this year is the year we had to have in a way. That Potter and the players will be battle hardened by the experience. That Potter will be in a great position of power to make sensible and calculated alls on the future roster. I’m seeing positive signs with the young talent and the backbone they are showing. Like we all know we also have a couple of very smart halves that might come into play later in the year or early next year. The way things have unfolded this year gives us a better chance of making the right decisions and being higher up the ladder in 2014 and 2015. Like I said in a strange way i’m enjoying it more then some other years, and i think we will benefit from it.