Following the conclusion of winter sports, the Parkes Champion Post is running a series of season reviews about district level teams.
Team: Parkes Cobras
League: Western Premier League
Captain: Brent Tucker
Coach: Meghan Kempson
Finished: 7th (out of 7)
Overview: 2020 was the first ever year for the Parkes Cobras, who competed in the newly formed Western Premier League, a huge step up in standard from local football.
Not much was expected of the Cobras outside the confines of Woodward Oval prior to the season, but there was no doubt that complacency worked to their advantage as they pushed each opponent to the brink.
Coach Meghan Kempson did a fantastic job to unite the new side and get them playing a game style that would hold up at the higher level.
"The boys had arguably the hardest task out of all teams in the comp - to amalgamate a range of local teams and develop a sense of chemistry on the field immediately.
"I think the boys deserve a lot of credit for how well they united and took on the challenge of representing the Parkes Cobras in its inaugural season," says Kempson.
The Cobras got their first ever win in round 9 against Orana Spurs, and were one of only three teams to knock off the eventual premiers, Dubbo Bulls.
Surprisingly, given the close nature and condensed form of the competition, Parkes was still in finals contention right up until the penultimate round and if not for a couple of costly concentration lapses throughout the year, they could have been playing finals in their debut season.
In a nutshell: The Cobras had the game plan and roster to challenge the top sides but they just weren't able to produce their best football for 90 minutes.
What worked: Kempson spent much of their limited preseason hammering home a possession game style that featured an emphasis on counter attacking down both wings. It was a resounding success.
Captain Brent Tucker was crucial, controlling play in the middle of the park while the speedy wingers continuously put opposition defenders on the back foot.
It meant the Cobras played a particularly aesthetically pleasing style of football, which drew in local supporters who heavily invested themselves in their new side.
What didn't: For whatever reason, the Cobras always seemed to always have a 10 minute lapse right before half time, and around the 75 minute mark of the second half, no matter what Kempson did. It cost them several games.
The side also lacked a killer instinct in front of goal. Particularly towards the back end of the season when they were playing their best football, they would let the easiest of chances in front of an open goal slip, and it had Kempson tearing her hair out. This was where the Cobras lack of experience at the higher level hurt them.
MVP: Star winger Brent Morgan is an exciting player to watch and was a threat every time he had the ball at his feet. He is one of the most skilful players in the entire competition, but is also a two-way runner who works tirelessly to help out the defence. The whole package.
Young gun: He was voted Rookie of the Year and Haiden Clark showed enormous improvement throughout the season and edged his way into the starting lineup in the back half of the year.
2021 Headline: Cobras slither into finals against the odds