Jonathon Newman has a different way of defining Southern United’s success from their inaugural season of the Coastal Premier League Men’s.
While he is understandably proud of the fledgling club’s ability to feature on the final day of the season, it was what they achieved off the field that was arguably the most telling.
“It depends on what you define as success,” he said.
A third-place finish after the regular season ensured they had achieved a level of success from 22 matches.
“Once you make a finals series, whether you’re first or sixth, you can still win the whole thing,” he said.
“The other measure of success for us was how well we could bring together our town which has traditionally had two very strong, rival clubs within it.
“So to see a good contingent of people from our town at a grand final all wearing the same t-shirt and all cheering for the same team… if that’s not a measure of success I don’t know what is.”
All in all, Newman admitted he was pleased with how the season turned out in the end.
“We certainly had a big task ahead of us at the start of the season and when I had to register myself to play reserve grade in the second round I thought ‘crickey this isn’t real good’,” he said.
To finish third with a fledgling club in their first year with a crew of players who had never played together before, was a fair result.
“For the players to put previous differences aside and gell together across the course of our first season was really good to end up where we did. To say I was happy would understate it heavily.”
However, there is an element of unfinished business from down at Forster where they went so close.
It took them a while to get going but eventually Newman said they met their pre-season expectations although there were a few nervous moments along the way.
“When I looked at the squad we had assembled back in December I thought if we miss the finals we will have underachieved,” he said.
“You’ve got to get a little bit of slice of luck and on that last day of the season we could have still finished as low as eighth.
“For first season, maybe we defied everybody else’s expectations, but you’d have to say in the end I’m disappointed not to come away with all the toys.”