Tasmanian Tigers captain, Elyse Villani, encapsulated this beautifully in her thank you speech during the presentations at the end of the match.
For those of you who couldn’t be there, or perhaps were too overcome with emotion to take it all in, we’d like to share it with you again now…
Sorry, I apologise in advance for the prepared speech, no matter what the result was today I thought it was important to acknowledge and thank quite a few people, and I didn’t want to miss anyone…so strap yourselves in!
Firstly, I just wanted to thank South Australia and commend you on making the final - you had a great season and to think it started back in a pre-season camp where we played against each other is quite remarkable. I also want to congratulate Tegan McPharlin on your outstanding career with South Australia, and wish you the best of luck with what comes next.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank Olivia Thornton and Cricket ACT for all their hard work behind the scenes. They were so accommodating to us as an organisation when both Dom and Simon were adamant that bad weather wasn’t going to rob the team of such limited playing opportunities. They made us feel so welcome in Canberra, their hospitality was incredible, and we now call Canberra our second home.
To Cricket Tas, and in particular Dom and Simon, the support you show our program is first class. We truly do feel valued and respected as people first and athletes second and that’s because of the culture you help to create from the top.
To all the CT staff and board members who work their backsides off upstairs - Ella if you’re here, I’m referring to you, but I know how much you dread a compliment and dread seeing me come through the office doors so I’m going to just push on…
We really couldn’t have gotten to where we are today without the passion and genuine care everyone has shown us within the organisation...
Marcus and your team, thank you!
Fi and your team in the café and the catering staff, thank you!
Ali and the boys, thank you for your support in coming out today and throughout the season.
Dr Frances, thank you for being the most supportive and passionate doctor we know. The fact you flew into Canberra during the round games because we needed a doctor to get the game on speaks volumes about you as a person, and we love having you a part of our team.
Thank you to the umpires, match officials, the ACA and Cricket Australia, not just for today’s match but for your ongoing support in women’s cricket and the continual push to help make [what he have here] it the best domestic structure in the world - it provides us with so many opportunities for so many to play the game we love.
We’ve been extremely lucky to be supported both near and far by so many loved ones in which so many of them have been able to make it down here today. Firstly, I’d like to apologise to these special people for any mood swings that may have occurred throughout the season, it really is a sport full of highs and lows, and we really do love you always… so thank you! Our entire Tigers team - both players and staff alike - are so lucky to have you. To have unwavering love and support, no matter the result, is something we are grateful to have from you all.
Clive, Pikie, Michael, Harps, Nat, Tekkers, Mikey, Laura, Dohie, Em K and Ross thank you for pitching in in so many ways and supporting the program and our girls in so many capacities. We are so fortunate as a group to have outstanding support staff who are not just great at their jobs but more importantly incredible people first.
Sall and Dan - I’m a bit lost for words to be honest. Four years ago, you joined forces, and both started working on the dream and the journey together, firmly believing that together you could bring the group here. Your commitment, passion and belief over that time has never wavered. Thank you for your support to me personally in allowing me to jump on board the dream and the support you have shown the group as a whole.
I’m just so bloody pumped we did it!
To all the past players who have come before us and been a part of the journey, hopefully today we made you proud. And to the Tassie community who came out to support us - thank you! Hopefully we have gained a few more supporters and helped to inspire the next generation of Tassie Tigers.
Corinne Hall and Sasha Moloney, you’ve been a part of the set up since day dot and gone through some incredibly tough times over the last 12 years.
I hope today makes it all worth it!
And Corinne, to you personally, congratulations on your career. I’m so happy I got the opportunity to play with you, you really are a fantastic person and teammate, and I hope now in the not-too-distant future you can sleep with a few less pillows!
Finally, to say a few words about this incredible group of players…
I’m incredibly proud of each and every one of you and have loved being a part of this team. It’s been a challenging season at times and the way the entire group has handled themselves and been adaptable and stuck together has been amazing.
Although we lost Heather, Nic and Belinda post [the] December games, all three of those players were huge for us early on and helped get us to where we found ourselves today and all three have continued to support us from afar.
The depth of our squad is something I felt set us apart from other teams during the season, the ability for everyone to step up at different times and all be match winners and momentum shifters during the season is testament to the amount of work everyone has put in. The fact that we still had good players who didn’t get their opportunity on the field but always put the team first and continued to train hard and be ready is also a strong sign of where the group is at.
Leading this team this year has been a true honour and privilege and I’m just so bloody proud of everyone…