BRYAN NOSEDA would have wanted nothing more than an Apollo Bay reserves win on Saturday, and that’s what his Hawks delivered in an emotion-charged day at the club.
Noseda, who died last week in a work incident at the coastal town, was the games record holder at Apollo Bay and an active member at the club, particularly the reserves side as an assistant coach and a player.
The Hawks backed up positive results in the opening two rounds with a comprehensive, 22.15 (147) to 2.3 (15) victory, to pay tribute to the father of three, Matt, 19, Joey, 17, and Isaac, 11.
His eldest son was a key contributor in the win, booting two goals and featuring in the team’s best players.
Joey and Isaac were also wearing the Hawks colours proudly on Saturday.
Isaac registered the first goal of the day, in the under-14.5s, and he also led the senior team out on to the field, where there was a minute’s silence before the main game, with the Hawks’ 2002 premiership flag, which Bryan coached, proudly on display at half mast.
Joey lined up in the B Grade netball game, which is the Bay’s top grade in 2016.
The reserves side was the only team to win out of the nine football and netball games against the Cats on Saturday, but the Hawks’ desire to win in all games was undeniable.
The seniors lost by a kick or less for the second-straight week, going down to the Imps by four points in a thriller.
Matt is also an assistant coach of the reserves, with the father-son duo sharing a special bond working alongside coach Harley Soall.
Soall said it was a special day for the club, which was eager to pay tribute to its legend.
Bryan Noseda’s close mate and champion Hawks footballer Colin Cooper gave an inspiring message to Soall’s playing group before the match.
“Colin sat down with the guys for about 10 minutes and paid a fantastic tribute to Bryan,” Soall said.
“Only being at the club for four or five years, it was great to have someone come in and let the boys know everything Bryan had done.
“Guys like Rowan Harwood and Luke Hume were desperate to play, a few guys had to miss out, but they were more than happy to step aside.
“It was awesome to be amongst it, the community was just fantastic, the people around the ground were unbelievable.”
Soall, who booted nine goals and took himself off in the last quarter as a tribute to Bryan, whose playing number was nine, said Bay officials were upbeat about their reserves side’s potential in 2016.
Bryan, who had to often pull on the boots late in his 500-plus game career, had no need to wear the jumper one more time this season, despite his hunger to don the brown and gold stripes.
“We’re quite fortunate this year to have numbers,” Soall said.
“Bryan and I worked quite hard to turn the attitude of playing reserves football around and we were starting to get there.
“We’re in a great position and the two senior coaches have been fantastic in helping us as well, they knew the direction we were going and they wanted to help us.
“Bryan was shattered last week, he took his gear to Lorne and wanted to play, but couldn’t get a game because we want to give the kids a game.”
Soall said the Hawks had promising footballers coming through the ranks in the lower-grade outfit, with Matt a good example of their next crop of talent.
He said teammates of the popular youngster were desperate to help him kick a goal in honour of his late father on Saturday.
“We got him a cheapy in the end, he said that’s what he wanted for the day,” he said.
“But he played fantastic, I think it took him a quarter or two to get the nerves and emotion out, but he stood tall in the second half.”