GIRLS FOOTBALL

The West Footscray Football Club intends to field girls teams in the Under 12 and Under 15 age groups for the 2018 season and beyond. We are seeking players wishing to participate in these teams. We are having an information session where interested children and parents can register their interest in playing at our club for the 2018 season. This session will take place at Shorten Reserve, Essex Street West Footscray and will run between 5:00 and 6:00 pm.

There will be a clinic run for all interested participants and junior representatives there to answer any questions you may have regarding girls football.

We are very excited about the prospect of West Footscray fielding its first girls teams and we would love for you to be a part of it.

If you would like any further information regarding girls football or are unable to attend this session but would like to register your interest, please email us at w.f.roostersjuniors@gmail

Go Roosters!


Finals Week 3

Under 11s

 

If you had told me at the start of the year that these boys would be playing off for a spot in the Grand Final I would have been surprised. Not that I didn’t think they weren’t capable of amazing football. Of course I knew that. But to get within a game of the last dance in Division 2 would be an outstanding achievement. That is of course exactly what these guys did. To make it to the final game would require them to beat the team that is clearly the best in the competition. To compound the challenge facing them, the best team in the competition were looking to rebound from their only loss of the season from the week before. Presumably by now you all know that the Preliminary Final did not go our way and our season came to an end on Sunday. Rather than go over that morning in fine detail, I thought it much better to reflect on the players that make up this outstanding Under 11 side and the season that they have had. To say that I am immensely proud of their efforts this season would be an understatement. Every week of this season they would go to work against teams that were taller, stronger, almost always extremely capable and occasionally (unfortunately) overtly physical and downright nasty. Despite all this they continued to play the game with an attacking mindset.  Capable of the most beautiful football I have seen in juniors and always within the rules, regardless of what their opponents threw at them. Their style of play and the spirit in which they play the game is something they should be proud and seen them earn the respect of all those whom they played. The feedback I have received from opposing teams has been amazing and a true reflection of the way they have conducted themselves and the way that they play the game. This is my third season with these boys and they never cease to amaze me with their skill, spirit and most importantly, enjoyment of the game. I can’t begin to explain just how proud of them and their effort I am and thank them for making football so much fun within our team. As Bec would say, “You guys Rock!” I give you the 2017 West Footscray Under 11s.

 

#1 Zach.  You have been a revelation this year. Always dependable regardless of which end I put you at. I always know that you will give everything you have when you take the field. I can’t believe you didn’t snag a goal this season!  Your tackling has always been amazing (and a little frightening!), but this season your game sense has improved incredibly and you have really picked up some pace. Your game against Hoppers Crossing in Round 2 was amazing. Great season Zach. Really good job.

#2 Jack. 39 goals in any season as a junior is amazing. To score them while playing 99% of the time in the midfield is nothing short of remarkable. Your attack on the ball is incredible, your goal sense uncanny, your need for a haircut obvious! I had pretty high expectations for you this year and you went well beyond them.  5 goals in a quarter against Manor Lakes was phenomenal. 3rd in the league goal kicking and a top five finish in the league B&F. Jack Gerardi, take a bow. Brilliant.

#3 Samuel. Your best season yet Samuel. Your ability to play anywhere on the ground was a great asset to the team. I gave you jobs in the middle, the wing and down back and you never let me or your team down. Your finals series was outstanding but not unexpected. Your attack on the ball and desire to win it never faltered. You were amazing down back in the finals and played a massive part in the team getting as far as it did. Well done mate. A truly fantastic effort.

#4 Aaron. I gave you a fairly daunting job at Full Back and you did a magnificent job. I was genuinely impressed with the way you approached your role and the maturity you displayed throughout the season. Your goal saving efforts each week were reflected in your constantly dirty knees. Full Back is a tough gig and you should be proud of the way you handled it this season. Well done Aaron.

#5 Murphy. It can be a tough job being the coach’s son. I’ll admit to having pulled you to the pine much quicker than others. You were the first of this group to reach the 50 game mark. 10 goals for the year as a half forward was a great result. Your pace around the forward half was fantastic. Your kicking improved big time this season. Great work Murphy.

#6 Xavier. How good were you this year! Your improvement was off the charts. Your willingness to tackle opponents that were twice your size was always team lifting. Your match saving tackle against Altona was a season highlight for me. Your delightful selling of candy against Spotswood not far behind. Every time you took the field you gave 100%. I can’t ask for more than that. Well Done Xavier. A fantastic season due to hard work and effort.

#7 Cooper. How could a coach not love a player like you! Your season was amazing. You were the general at half back and a powerhouse in the middle. You also reached the 50 game mark this year. 3 goals for the year is a fantastic result considering the amount of time you spent back. The highlight for me was your leadership out on the ground. You organised players, encouraged and motivated your team mates and never took a backward step. Simply outstanding Coops.

#8 Angus. I’ll admit to never being quite sure as to wear you should play. I know now! Your move into the ruck against Spotswood was one of my favourite parts of the season. The way you played that day and every game after was simply amazing. Your ruckwork and follow up when the ball hit the ground were incredible and made our side so much better. Well done Angus. I look forward to next season to see just how good you can get! That’s exciting I think.

#9 Kadin. A move to the wing saw you play some of the best football of the year. The way you run, read the play and use the space available is amazing. You dance through packs like they aren’t there and bring your team mates into the game. 6 goals for the season was a great return. Your final against Sanctuary Lakes was so good I can’t describe it! Congrats on a fantastic season Kadin. Bonus points as well for being the first in the team to follow me on Instagram!

#10 Sean. His third season as a Rooster and easily his best. Sean has always had very nice skills but this season has produced those far more often as his confidence grew.  His game against Altona was fantastic late in the season. To produce good football against a very good team is a feather in his cap. His finals series saw him bring a more competitive edge to his game as his dirty knees would attest at the end of each game. 3 goals for this season was a nice return and a tally I’m sure he will build on next year. Great work Sean.

#11 Nathaniel. Great year for a young man that has never played before. Nathaniel was given the task of being our full forward. His work from the goal square was fantastic. His strength is better than most and he put it to use whenever he was given the chance. This combined with his stature constantly troubled defenders. He finished the season with 3 goals. His hard work and team play down forward created many more for the team. His skills improved dramatically as the season progressed and his efforts this year should certainly be a source of great pride. Well done.

#12 Leroy. Nugget brings a lot to his team. It’s hard not to like this kid. There is nothing he likes more than tackling. This is pretty handy as he is one of the best at it I have seen at this age. He never takes a backward step when the ball is there to be won, regardless of how many he needs to beat or their size.  His season was spent mainly down back with the odd cameo through the middle. The better the opponent, the better he played. Another of our 50 game brigade, Leroy’s season was fantastic. Top shelf again Nugget!

#13 Frank. There isn’t a team anywhere that wouldn’t want a Frank in its side. Every time he takes the field he gives it everything he has. Frank spent the majority of his season down back. This is his second year at the Roosters and his improvement was unbelievable. His leadership on the ground was fantastic and his voice at training and in the huddle was constant. His performance in the Preliminary Final was nothing short of sensational. Due to his time down back Frank only managed the one goal this year. His presence on the field contributed too many more and was a serious impediment to our opposition getting some as well. Absolutely brilliant Frankie!

#14 Yash. A fantastic season this year from Yash. He played the first few games on the wing before being changed to the ruck. Once this happened, Yash took his game to a whole new level. He was brilliant. Despite regularly giving away height to his opponents, he won more than his share of hit outs. Better still, once it hit the ground he would hunt the ball relentlessly. His drive from the midfield was amazing.  His attack on the ball and will to win it just brilliant. His goal tally finished at 3 but I can assure you he was responsible for countless more. His final against Flemington was absolutely amazing. Yash, you’re a gun!

#15 Mickey. Now in his second season, Mickey has become a vital cog in this team. From the Flemington game midseason until the end he was absolutely phenomenal. Playing at centre half forward he became the focal point for a lot of our attacks. He rarely drops it, kicks beautifully and always does the team thing. As the season progressed it became a common sight to see Mickey laying tackles, scrapping for the ball and winning it for the team. His tally of 2 goals this season fails to reflect his importance to the team. His preliminary final performance was remarkable and showcased just how hard he works on the field regardless of the score. Outstanding year Mickey.

#16 Felix. This fine young footballer spent the first half of the year on the wing and half forward. Midway through the season he was put in to the middle. WOW! Why didn’t I do that earlier? To say the rest of the season for Felix was incredible would be an understatement. Very few children at his age have the drive to get the ball like he does. He shone brightest against the better teams and never once looked like tiring. 2 goals this season was offset by the amount he assisted in getting for our team. His finals series was beyond belief. Congratulations on a remarkable year Felix.

#17 Vinh. Now in his third season, Vinh has proven to be one of our most important ingredients. His strength around packs is astounding, his skills are fantastic and decision making exceptional. He never gets flustered and goes about his business with a minimum of fuss. Once he wins the ball he seems to have all the time in the world to make the right decision. We lost Vinh for many weeks with a fractured finger and he was dearly missed. Another of our best performers in finals and the reason my biscuit bill goes through the roof at my house every football season! Fantastic again Vinh as expected.

#18 Elijah Moon. I swear this kid was back down at Shorten Reserve practicing within hours of our season ending! He was a constant there all summer as well. All that practice has to pay off and it did in a big way this year for E-M. His movement and goal sense in our attacking half was fantastic. His second half of the year saw his confidence really grow and this showed in his game. He is a bit of a dead eye around the sticks and his tally of 8 goals was a great return for him. Well done E-M! What a great year you had for your team.

#19 Aleks. What a year for this guy! Given the crucial role at centre half back, Aleks was a star! He marks anything that comes near him. Tackles like a machine and as the season progressed really honed his ability to dance through packs before driving it forward. He’s never flustered, rarely beaten and always smiling! His game in the Preliminary Final when required to ruck was outstanding. He even managed to snag a goal this year. His growing confidence and maturity were brilliant. Always a pleasure to have around and an absolute must to have in your team. Cracking season Aleks!

#22 Tito. Playing his first season of football, Tito learned a lot his year. One of these was how to avoid the warm up at training! Tito started forward, went back and then ended up forward again. He is a very good mark and was unlucky to not score a goal this year. As the season progressed I watched him gain confidence. I’m certain that the first goal was just around the corner. I look forward excitedly to see his continued improvement next season. Well done Tito.

#23 Christian. Another of our first year players. It would be fair to say that Christian landed on his feet the minute he arrived at the Roosters. He began as a half forward but it became apparent very early that he was a wingman. We already had quite a few of those but he had a headband and flouro boots! That makes him our number one wingman! After a cautious start Cristian really began to feel at home. He has silky skills, runs like the wind and can hit the scoreboard. These are pretty handy attributes. He finished the year with 6 goals and played many outstanding games. Awesome first season Christian.

#24 Sasmitha. Yet another first year player. Sas delayed his debut for a few weeks to ensure he was ready. He played his first game against St. Albans and was introduced off the bench. I can still see the look on his face as he ran on and the ball was sitting there waiting for him! How easy is this! A season played deep forward saw this guy come so close to scoring a goal it wasn’t funny. As his confidence grew I played him on the flank where he could use his greatest asset. His pace. Sas is quick, seriously quick.  His kicking is pretty useful as well. I really look forward to seeing what this guy can produce in 2018. Great first year mate.

#25 Weston. What a year! We are blessed with midfielders at the Roosters.  This guy compliments beautifully our attacking ones. Arguably the best reader of the play in our team, he always knows where the ball is going and is usually there waiting for it. His decision making is brilliant and his skills by hand and foot exceptional. He rarely misses a target and the number of goals he set up was extraordinary. He also managed to snag 9 himself. His sealer against Sanctuary Lakes in the semi-final was a season highlight. His will to win the ball was outstanding and his on field leadership was brilliant. This didn’t escape the umpires’ eye and has seen him finish in the top 5 for the league best and fairest. An absolutely amazing season Weston. Congratulations!

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I couldn’t be prouder of the effort from these boys this season. They’re a joy to watch, a pleasure to coach and seriously fun to be around.

Awesome kids usually come from amazing parents. This group is no exception. I thank all of you for your help and support this season. Bec, you’re a great team manager. Andrew and Chris, I couldn’t do it without you. Derek and Brendon, you’re amazing. Man we went through some ice packs this year! Sri and Fran, when I read the time on stuff for finals I was glad I wasn’t doing it! Thank you for all your volunteering this year. Omar, Trent, Dan, Chris, Paul, Vanessa……………I am so grateful to have so many parents willing to help out. I know I have missed a few of you and I apologise. Both I and the boys are so lucky to have so many committed and caring parents involved. It makes my job so much easier and this team to be one of the best things I have done.

 

Thank you all.

 

Go Roosters

 

Damian

 

 


Finals Week 2

Under 11 Division 2 First Semi Final

Sanctuary Lakes vs West Footscray

 

There was a bit of confidence in the group at training during the week.  The boys had enjoyed their first taste of finals and were keen on a second course. The WRFL finals system had prepared a set menu and Sanctuary Lakes would be the main course. The boys had not enjoyed the flavour of this team during the home and away season but their coach was hopeful they had developed a far more sophisticated palette in recent weeks or that they were just really hungry.  News spread through the rooms pre-game that “The Lump” would not take the field today for Sanctuary Lakes. The recipe had changed. Like taking pineapple off a pizza, today’s meal looked much more enjoyable already!

We had the entire squad of 23 available for the game this week. Excellent! Leroy would captain the side in his 50th appearance for the Roosters and would share the honour with Angus who had played a blinder in the ruck in his previous game.

 

We lost the toss and would kick with the breeze. The Sanctuary Lakes brains trust obviously dabble in amateur meteorology as we had pre-game, and predicted the breeze to be far more favourable  in the second half.  That’s what happens in finals. Everyone is an expert on everything!  The breeze would give us a chance to get a good start………..Hopefully!

The ball went up and Angus went to work. Even without “The Lump”, Sanctuary Lakes were still a very capable team and their boys went to work as well. A victory today would be hard won. After a few minutes we got our game going with more fluency. Angus was doing a magnificent job in the ruck and giving our mids a real advantage. Vinh was strong and assured in the clinches and fed it out beautifully.  Weston was his usual precise ball distribution show. Kadin and Christian were getting buckets of it out on their respective wings thanks to the work of the midfielders. Felix was starting on a flank today but pushing up to the contests. I can’t control that and don’t want to either. I will use it to our advantage instead. He was in everything and producing his standard win the ball at all costs approach to the game. Love it! We were peppering the goals but kept missing. I was nervous but the boys were unrelenting. Our forward line was getting scrappy and possession was hard to gain. This didn’t deter Jack though as he reeled out of pack and banged through our first of the day. Nice goal! Several minutes later he would produce a carbon copy of his first. We were away! Our backs saw a bit of it in this term but the majority of the play was at our end. Mickey was fantastic with his tackling and leading. He attracts the football and hunts it when he doesn’t have it. Elijah Moon was providing more options down forward with some smart leading. Murphy came on half way through the term and looked much livelier than he did at the breakfast table where it appeared his only achievement for the day would be to get through it without throwing up!

 

Quarter Time                     Sanctuary Lakes 0.2.2 vs West Footscray 2.6.18

 

We had controlled the first quarter but had sprayed it a bit. We knew Sanctuary Lakes were capable of kicking goals quickly so a goal into the breeze would be handy. As expected our opponents came out firing and our backline were seeing the ball a little too much. Samuel was a desperate man in the back pocket and laid countless tackles for his team. Frank was doing likewise. Aaron scrambled in the goal square to prevent them from scoring. Sanctuary lakes were unrelenting. Their number 10 was having a purple patch and continually pumped it back in. Leroy was having a real crack. Quite remarkable when you find out he went straight home to bed and has been crook as a dog since. The pressure was telling and the goals were starting to flow for Sanctuary Lakes. They were back in the game in a big way and it looked like we may be on their menu. Time after time Sanctuary Lakes drove it forward. Cooper was there every time when it arrived and was playing his best quarter for the year. He repelled many attacks and got flattened for his efforts whilst kicking. After staying down for a while he got back up and went straight back to work. Fantastic stuff Coops! Occasionally the ball did come down our end and our kids worked hard to capitalise on these rare events. Zach was down forward and making it very difficult for our opponents to clear it. Jack, Weston and Vinh were following it up and a goal looked a chance. Sean was on his knees trying to win the ball back from packs. Kadin and Christian were ready to pounce on anything that came their way. We would get a chance when Murphy pounced on a loose ball and smacked it straight through the middle. Great reward for team effort. We needed that one!

 

Half Time                             Sanctuary Lakes 4.5.29 vs West Footscray 3.7.25

 

Hurry up and eat your oranges I thought at the long break. I’m an impatient gent at the best of times. This is the term to get it done. Do the little things, follow the team rules, blah blah blah. Out they went, early as usual due to my impatience and the umpires apparently enjoying some morning tea! It is at this point of the game I should point out that our boys didn’t miss a beat for the rest of the day and put together the best half of football I have ever seen from them. Kadin was destroying them from his wing. Weston couldn’t stop getting it. Jack was everywhere with Felix right beside him. You’d have thought he was tagging him! Vinh was unstoppable. Xavier was locking it in our forward line every time it came down. It came down a lot! Kadin would get our first of the term after gliding inside fifty and pumping it from distance. Jack would add another shortly after. Not to be outdone, Kadin would grab one more for the team and his tally! Our boys were flying and Sanctuary Lakes were looking vulnerable.  Christian was flying on his wing as well and the Roosters were playing some blistering football. When it did get beyond the centre it was only brief. Aleks was cleaning up everything, pirouetting out of packs and smacking it back down the ground. Angus just kept getting better and better and has locked down our ruck spot for the finals. The tackling, the chasing, the running and the centred kicking were awesome. Nathaniel was a big presence in the goal square and used his strength to advantage on several occasions. One more goal would arrive in the third and it’s a bit of a mystery as to who got it. Kadin or Christian had a set shot which may or may not have cleared the line, Jack picked it up and smacked it through from the massive pack in the square. Either way two flags started waving (that’s always a good sign) or we had our fourth of the term. Sanctuary Lakes hadn’t scored and we were up and about. The boys had been outstanding and would head into the last change with a handy lead, a lot of pats on the back and encouragement from team mates and the smiles that go with them.

 

3 Quarter Time                  Sanctuary Lakes 4.5.29 vs West Footscray 7.9.51

 

A 22 point lead is nice, but given they had kicked four goals with the wind in the second I wasn’t taking any chances. Once again I morphed into “That Coach” who stacks the backline to win the game. In all seriousness, I don’t like doing it but I will get over it. The back line was loaded but with a plan to snag a few more. Would it work? Presumably you already know the result and are just reading this to find your child’s name. I will ask you to forget about that and suspend reality. Jobs were assigned, directives given (I won’t divulge in case someone from Hoppers reads this!) Can we hang on? (Keep suspending belief) Sanctuary Lakes gave it their all. Number 10 was still a ball finding machine and pumped it forward regularly. Our back line was nothing short of brilliant. Aaron took marks, Cooper and Weston kept pumping it back. Aleks was amazing. Frank gave it everything. Vinh and Felix were constantly involved. Defending, then attacking in the blink of an eye. Sanctuary Lakes got one and I got worried! Could we hang on (I said suspend!)? I have seen a fair bit from our boys over the years, but the effort and desperation in the last had exceeded anything that had come before it. Jack came off after having his fingers kicked off (metaphorically of course. He still has his fingers). Yash took a massive pack mark to put the full stop on a brilliant game from him. You got the sense that our boys could smell blood at this stage. Not content with defending, they began to attack. With most of the combatants at the car park end, any counter attack quickly became potentially fatal for Sanctuary Lakes. We started to get the ball out and up the ground. We had a bunch of quick kids up there and they tore it up at every chance. Kadin would help himself to our first of the term after some amazing team play and hard running by him. Tito was in the goal square and played it perfectly. He began to lead and then back pedalled to the goal line leaving his opponent with a massive head ache and no idea of what to do. He settled on following Tito back leaving Kadin with a simple kick and another Roosters goal. That killed Sanctuary Lakes. Their heads dropped. We hadn’t finished yet though. Yet another counter attack saw West pick out Murphy at full pace racing forward. He fumbled the mark and Christian smacked it further forward. Weston had followed his kick up the ground and nonchalantly picked up the pill, summed up his options, took few steps and drilled a banana into the wind and straight through the middle. Goal of the day and the celebration almost made me vomit! Only joking west. That my friends, was game over!

 

Full Time                              Sanctuary Lakes 5.8.38 vs West Footscray 9.10.64

 

Easily the best game these boys have played in my three years as coach. The effort, particularly in the second half was brilliant. With every game these boys get better and some of these kids are showing amazing improvement. Angus in particular. If the boys bring that effort again this week……………….Who knows what will happen? Bring it and let’s find out.

 

Damian

 

 

Second Semi Final v Sunshine Heights @ Hogans Road Reserve #2

 

Preparation for direct passage to the GF was temporarily thrown into disarray with Henry copping a school yard injury on Friday and Lenny, Isaac C and Zidane laid low due to illness saw the Roosters have only 18 fit players to attempt to knock over the goliath of Division 3 – Sunshine Heights.  When we met during the H&A season Heights held sway comfortably winning on both occasions, however Finals footy has a knack of throwing up the unusual.

 

Winning the toss was the first victory for the boys in Red and White.  Alex, Liam, Soc and Jonathan had first crack at winning the all-important centre clearances (an area we were slaughtered in last time these sides met).  A couple of tweaks to the set-up saw Leo, Nav and Dan receive a bit of extra support in the backline through Luis and Ben.  Samuel and Nav were charged with repelling the Heights’ forward forays.  Full credit to the guys in the middle as they won the opening few stoppages.  This saw the beginning of what would be a 3 and a half quarter long arm-wrestle.

 

Sunshine Heights had trouble navigating these tactics and in doing so, Alex and Lockie bobbed up to snaffle the opening 2 goals.  Bailey, Isaac T, Hamish and Juma had battled manfully across the forward line to help lock the ball in the area to give these guys the opportunity to hit the scoreboard.  This gave the underdogs in Red and White a sniff of belief that would carry them through to the finish line.  The opening quarter came to a halt with West leading 2.0 to 0.3.  The panic was already setting in – Sunshine Heights hadn’t been kept goalless in a quarter all season.

 

The second quarter saw all players asked to maintain their discipline and be smart with ball movement.  Diesel was dominating his wing and more than justified the pre-match instruction of ‘kick it to Diesel’.  The Sunshine players were not their usual composed selves and our midfield brigade didn’t relent in their attack on the footy as more and more Heights players showed that they weren’t interested in putting their head over the footy to win the hard ball – as shown by Lockie, Liam and Nav (to name only a few).  The arm-wrestle continued with only 3 behinds registered to the boys from Shorten.  (2.3 to 0.3).

 

Half time came and in the rooms the boys went.  The resolve was in the eyes of each player who donned the jumper – the belief was there and they seemed to enjoy the panicked noises and self-doubt that had crept into the room next door.  With no rotations, Leo, Dan and Abdullahi were asked to keep doing what they were doing – all refused to yield under the desperate pressure from the top side.  Particularly pleasing was their positioning – reading the bounce and the tricky conditions and regularly being in the right position at the right time.  Sunshine finally kicked a goal, followed quickly by another to give them the lead.  At this point, every side in the comp has been run over by this impressive outfit – but not today.  The 3 qtr time siren sounded and there was 4 points in it (2.4 to 2.8).  The breeze was lifting at the backs of the Roosters, and at this point a final 17-minute effort was begged for.

 

A couple of minor adjustments to the set-up saw Luis moved forward, Lockie popped back into defence and Kailey working out the back.  All these moves had an impact as the early passages went West’s way.  The stumbling block was still across half forward and when Soc was swung into that position – it all opened up.  Luis kicked a great long goal from the boundary, Soc pounced on a loose ball to register another major and it looked like the unbeatable were about to be beaten.  Diesel slotted a long bouncing goal and when Liam got on the end of a Nav handball to send the ball over the umpires hat, it was just about complete.  7 minutes remained at this point and when Abdullahi gathered a loose ball to slot his first of the season, the game was done.  Sunshine Heights got a late consolation goal – but that was all it was and West booked their ticket to the big day with a very impressive 4 goal win.

 

Huge credit to every player who donned the jumper today – best efforts of the season from Bailey, Hamish, Isaac T, Leo, Dan, Abdullahi and Juma showed that when everyone is on, the Rooster machine is nigh on impossible to stop.

 

Plenty for the opposition to think about and we get 14 days to get our sick and injured Roosters fit and ready to hit the GF full on.

 

Thanks again to all the extra supporters on the day, particularly this weeks’ helpers: Con & Arjuna (security), Liza & Kris (water, fruit and jumpers), Briohny (the clock master) and Margriet with the medical bag.

 

 

West Footscray:  2 0   2 3   2 4   7 9    51

 

Def

 

Sunshine Heights: 0 3   0 3   2 8   3 9    27

 

Goals:  Alex, Lockie, Luis, Diesel, Liam, Soc, Abdullahi


Finals Week 1

Under 11 Division 2

Elimination Final

West Footscray vs Flemington Juniors

 

Finals are special. The old blokes say that’s when the real stuff starts. We wouldn’t know. We have never done it before. I should also point out that old blokes say a lot of stuff. Some of it factual, a fair bit of it made up, a little bit of it just weird and confusing but 100% of it is exaggerated. With this in mind I set out for Wyndhamvale with an open mind. It’s too hard to think of anything at that time of day on a Sunday anyway. 8:50 start? Surely a typo. Amateurs! Just in case I had pestered Bec and all the parents with a mountain of emails to remind them of the importance of punctuality at this time of the season (on the advice of some old bloke). We overtook the Thomas family just as we entered the freeway on route to the ground. Their car may have 67 HDMI inputs in the dashboard alone, yet it as no match for my new ute and my tendency to arrive everywhere at least 30 minutes ahead of schedule (insert the sound of Amy sighing). After reaching a top speed of 150+ kph on the freeway and running every red light we arrived at the ground. I was super pleased to see just how many had beaten me there. I was also super pleased to discover the benefit of playing the early game. You get a car park! This was of massive advantage as I was stricken with that nasty virus that is doing the rounds and couldn’t really be fagged walking too far. With the knowledge that the season could end within an hour or two I dragged by highly infectious body out of the car and towards the rooms in what was clearly the most superhuman, courageous, stoic and selfless act the 20 or so people at the ground would see before 9 am (for all screenplay rights enquiries, please see me at the conclusion of training on Friday).

Anyway, enough about me for now. All were available for our very first final with the exception of Angus. I had lost my ruckman. Not a great start as he had played a blinder the week before. That’s ok though. Yash can do it. He wasn’t there yet either! Thankfully he did arrive 20 minutes before the game.  Ironically his mum would be our timekeeper for the day! (Great Job Sri. That time on stuff did my head in when I read it!) He also had the wrong shorts on! Thankfully Leroy had packed spares. A warm up on the paddock then back into the rooms. The boys looked pretty excited by finals football. We emphasised the one percenters. Tackle, run, Shepherd and talk. They listened intently completely unaware that my gravelly voice, breath and it’s highly contagious contents had the capability to get them a week off school. A good coach will do that! Talking time is over. Let’s do this finals football thing!

Courtesy of a favourable coin toss we would kick with the wind in the first.  Weston would start at full forward to see if we could snag a few early ones and to ensure his ankle was up to playing a game. Leroy would also go forward to add a little steel to our forward half. The ball was bounced and Yash attacked the bounce with vigour. Felix attacked it on the ground with all he had. The boys had been instructed to play with more width today. The ball was continually fed out wide to Kadin and Christian and they were not wasting it. Christian played a fantastic first quarter. He showcased his usual run and clean disposal but had added some serious defensive work to his game. Kadin glided through traffic and set up his team mates further afield. Leroy had the Flemington boys thinking twice before taking possession. Jack was in everything. His attack on the ball was brilliant and he drove it forward repeatedly. Yash and Felix were doing the same and our forwards were seeing plenty of it. Weston may well have faked his ankle injury to get a run at full forward. He was moving beautifully! Half way through the first he gathered the ball and turned a few opponents inside out before snapping a beauty on his left. Great play! Several minutes later he hit Elijah Moon on the chest with a cracking pass from the forward pocket. E-M went back and coolly slotted our second to continue his great form of recent weeks. Vinh was proving why he had been so dearly missed with his injured finger. Cool as ice under pressure with great skills and decision making, he was controlling the game from the midfield and repeatedly setting us up. Flemington had their chances in the first but were unable to break our back six.  Cooper and Frank mopped up everything. The tackling in defence was outstanding with Samuel, Zack and Xavier leading the way.  Time after time we turned defence into attack. Kadin and Christian were killing it on their wings. Just before the siren Jack would find the ball with time and space inside our 50. That’s bad news for any team and Flemington would be no exception. Bang! His first and our third. Great Quarter Roosters.

Quarter Time     West Footscray 3.0.18 vs Flemington 0.0.0

The second term would see some tweaks made to the team. The wind was really blowing now and defending against it would be tough. Weston went to half back to help us clear the ball. Flemington were enjoying the wind and looked far more likely to score. Aleks was great at centre half back taking some great marks under pressure and sending the pill back our way.  Aaron deployed the golden fist on numerous occasions. Yash was pushing back deep from the ruck and was having a serious influence on the game. He is great in the ruck contests and plays like a midfielder when it hits the ground.  Felix is magnetically attracted to the leather. He was at every contest and exerting his influence as well. Xavier produced his weekly effort of dropping an opponent of twice his size in a tackle to win a free. As is often the case he hurt himself in the process. Great team play Xavier. I don’t know whether to applaud it or discourage it! Flemington did manage two goals with the breeze but were forced to defend regularly. Mickey has become a large presence in our forward line this year and this game would be no exception. He is a great lead with the surest of hands. He locks it in if he can’t mark and often wins it back. His efforts in the first half were awesome. Murphy was running hard on his flank to provide options. Sean was getting his knees dirty with some acts of desperation to win the ball. Nathaniel would find himself in a two on two late in the term. He flew for the mark and then followed it up on the ground. His fantastic shepherd allowed Jack the time he needed to gather and shoot. A great goal that came about from brilliant team play. Perfect Nathaniel. Absolutely Perfect. A goal into the breeze would be worth plenty today.

 

Half Time             West Footscray 4.1.25 vs Flemington 2.3.15

 

The mood in the huddle at the long break was positive and infectious. So was the breath of the coach whose voice was now starting to desert him. This is the quarter when we can put them away. We have the wind so let’s go for the jugular (metaphorically of course!). Goals were wanted. Jack went to full forward. Weston into the middle. The wind was really blowing now. It favoured our end slightly but was doing us no favours. Christian lined up from 25 out only to have the wind blow the ball away from his foot as he kicked. Jack suffered the same fate minutes later. The ball was coming in often enough but we just couldn’t land one. Zach was playing forward this term and laid some great tackles to lock it in. Is it just me or his getting quicker and quicker as this season progresses? Great work Zach. Murf got a few hurried kicks forward. Felix was amazing. Weston pin point. Sas and Tito looked likely to snag one but just couldn’t get it done thanks to the wind and the determined Flemington defence. Flemington did occasionally make it forward. This raids were short lived as Cooper and Frank mopped up repeatedly whilst Aleks weaved his way out of trouble on numerous occasions. We were still searching for a goal. It would come off the boot of Yash who gathered the ball at pace and smacked it through the middle to continue his brilliant game.

 

3 Quarter Time  West Footscray 5.4.34 vs Flemington 2.4.16

 

3 goals was a sizable lead given the scores at the last change. Would it be enough? I wasn’t going to take the chance of it not so I became the coach I despise in junior football. I played a loose defender! Would my shame be worth it? I hoped so. Jack and Weston had a back flank each. Cooper went to the middle. Mickey would be our loose. The last quarter was desperate. Flemington tried time after time to break through but couldn’t do it. Weston was always in the right spot and used it brilliantly coming back out. Yash and Felix showed no signs of fatigue in the middle. Aaron was a wall. Cooper a machine. Vinh played with the poise of a veteran. The boys looked determined to live another week and Flemington had their enthusiasm drain away with each unsuccessful attempt to score. The tackling and shepherding was fantastic. This pattern would continue for the entire last term. Neither team would manage a score. The siren sounded and signalled the end of a great season for Flemington.  We were still alive!

 

Full Time              West Footscray 5.4.34 vs Flemington 2.4.16

 

A great performance by our boys in their first ever final. There were nothing but smiles as they headed back to the rooms. Sanctuary Lakes and “The Lump” would be their next challenge. That could wait though as the song needed to be sung. “Take it away Felix!”

 

Damian

 

 

Qualifying Final: U13’s West Footscray V Sunshine

 

At last the finals have arrived. I am sure many of the players have been thinking about this week for a while now. Everyone was at the ground in time (thank you). Most of the team squeezed into some smaller (harder to tackle) jumpers as we looked for every advantage. Tim got around to each player with some instructions for the game. Finals can require some extra leadership on the field, and two of our best leaders in Samuel and Liam were announced as co-captains to cheers from the team.  These boys epitomise all that is good about Roosters footy and there is no doubt when these boys are ‘on’, the rest of the team follow their lead.  We love the way they play their footy and know when they are in possession of the ball, a sense of calm comes across not only the team, but also the supporter base.  We look forward to them leading the charge toward premiership glory.  The Roosters seemed switched on as they charged out onto the ground.

 

1st Quarter

The wind was still blowing strongly across the ground but the sun was out and the ground looked big and fast that should suit the Roosters. Finals are usually tough games and defence is usually the key to any victory. Sunshine got the first clearance and within a minute they had kicked the first goal. We had loaded our backline with experience in Leo, Lenny and Daniel and they didn’t panic - before long they had clamped down on Sunshine’s forwards and you can see from the final result what that means for the team. Isaac C started the game well with some good possessions and lots of work on the ‘windy’ wing. Navindu was switched on today using his pace and attack on the ball from half back. Alex started in the ruck and played a strong game all day against some big opponents. Zidane and Liam were strong in the contests and tackling Sunshine’s key play makers. The ball had spent some time in our forward line before Samuel cruised through half forward and got us on the board with a long goal. Diesel was fast and fearless as usual and was rewarded with two excellent goals, and before the quarter was done we were back in front 3. 2. 20 to 1. 0. 6.

 

2nd Quarter

Juma, Lockie and Isaac T were swung into the action to give us some fresh energy and keep the pressure right on Sunshine. Ben was playing the wing on the attacking side really well giving us plenty of options to switch play and launch attacks. The umpires were good at rewarding the player in first to the ball and Henry collected his share of free kicks today, as well as winning plenty of the ball from running hard all day. Kailey and Luis presented well across half forward threatening to open the game up. Liam and Socrates gave everything to the contest and also did the job this quarter on the scoreboard with a goal each.

Half time and the Roosters had the result 5. 4. 34 to 1. 2. 8, but the game didn’t feel easy.

 

3rd Quarter

The arm wrestle continued mostly around the east side of the ground thanks to the wind – that boundary umpire was working overtime. Sunshine kicked the first goal of the quarter and the pressure was on. The Roosters were playing smarter and harder football though just couldn’t convert with 5 straight points, it looked like it was going to be a tense last quarter. Just before the quarter ended Jonathan suddenly found the key to unlock the coop – grabbing the ball in traffic he sold the candy 1… 2… 3 times in a row (even ankle breaking the great Gi Gi – ask the boys what that means) before finishing with the goal of the day. The team all got around him and the energy went off the scale. Zidane ripped the ball from the next centre bounce and the Roosters were flying. Another goal to Socrates just before the siren saw the Roosters finally take control of the game. 7. 9. 51 to 2. 2. 14.

 

4th Quarter

The energy continued into the last quarter. Daniel gathering cleanly to repel Sunshine attacks. Hamish also gaining confidence as the game went on with some good possessions. Sunshine managed a couple of points, which just gave Samuel a chance to reload from the kick in and launch another offensive around the attacking side of the ground. The ball was spending a lot of time in our forward half now and Alex got on the end of one while resting at full forward. Jonathan also kicked another from a loose ball in the goal square. Abdullahi came to life in the forward pocket with his evasive skills and a great mark running back with the flight - his shot hitting the post. Abdullahi’s best play was a centring kick to Liam from the boundary, who went back and kicked an excellent goal in the wind. Bailey was also applying great pressure in our forward line with some tough contests to lock the ball in. Diesel wasn’t done either yet, having run the Sunshine players ragged all day, he took this burst ‘ALL THE WAY’ and slotted the Roosters fourth for the quarter. Sunshine did keep battling to their credit and were rewarded with another goal before the end.

 

Great start to the finals campaign! The team should be very proud of their season so far. Next week is another big challenge against Sunshine Heights but the team should take some confidence from this first win and the knowledge that they can play really good team football when the pressure is on.

 

Huge appreciation for the boys asked to do the team thing today.  The point was made in the post-match address that all 22 are required to play their role in order for the team to achieve success and that will mean sometimes more out of position play will be required, or heavier rotation through the bench.  Having now guaranteed at least 3 finals, the opportunity to swing players will be greater and different roles will be assigned at various stages.  Credit to the boys for taking these challenges on and who knows what can be achieved – needless to say, exciting times are ahead.

 

Thanks to all the supporters on the day, particularly this weeks’ helpers: Con & Arjuna (double the security), Liza & Kris (the Lakusa water team), Briohny (great job handling time-on with the clock), medico Margriet, and Andrea with the fruit and jumpers (never enough football). Also good to see Jack running the game out on his dodgy calf. Well done Tim on your calm and motivating approach to coaching the whole team. Look forward to seeing you all next week.

 

Roosters 11. 10. 76 def Sunshine 3. 4. 22

 

Goals: Diesel 3, Liam 2, Socrates 2, Jonathan 2, Samuel 1, Alex 1

 

 

 

 


Round 14

Round 14 – Home to Caroline Springs

 

Other than an injured Oscar, we had a full coop today.  Before the game we talked about how proud all the Parents were of this Team.  We started with just a couple of players who had played Team Football before – and all in different Teams.  We were a group of players, who ended up as a Team.  The individuals all understand and appreciates each others roles within the Team and the camaraderie has been outstanding.  We checked how we had progressed against our early season goals;

Did we have Fun? – Tick

Did we learn about Teamwork? - Tick

Did we improve our skills? – Tick

Ok Roosters here is our last chance to show everyone just how much we have improved.  Keep it simple today; Play in Front, Mark the ball out in Front and keep the ball in front of you.

 

Maya and Mitchell were nominated as captains for the day.

 

1st Quarter;

Efe started the game of with a confident mark, Arti gathered the ball off the ground while running at speed, Bastien won a free kick with a strong tackle.  Mitchell had a run and bounce through the midfield.

We scored a goal – but it was disallowed as it was kicked off the ground.

Mrinal had a good clearing kick into space. Mitchell took a mark at half-forward and Arlo S-T laid a goal-saving tackle in the last line of defence. Maya was making sure the ball was not getting past her in defence.

We had made a solid start to the game – keep at it.

 

2nd Quarter;

We had two early shots at goal by Efe and Griffin, both from near the boundary.  Both players were apologetic to there Team-mates for not centring the ball.  Our forwards were playing in from the and kept the ball in ourselves 50m arch. Malik burst through a large pack at Centre Half Forward, he had a bounce and somehow found space to have a ping a the Big Sticks. He kicked truly for our first Goal.

Eli to a safe mark in defence with pressure coming. He passed on to Alan (mark) and then on to Arti again on the run. Sophia was trying hard, as she always does and got a pass away.

We were again passing the ball well and gaining ground.  Alan kicked into our forward 50, Max marked the kick, he turned quickly and passed to Felix – which he then marked. On a 45* angle at at his full distance Felix kicked through the hey-diddle-diddle – for his first Goal of the season.

  • I am particularly chuffed that Felix got a Goal for his Team, as he will be playing under different colours next year, after his family moves to the Macedon Ranges.

We had our (Rooster) tails up now…

Jake smothered a kick then followed up with a tackle on our defensive 50.

Soon after Jake took a screamer of a mark.

Arti again burst forward of the pack , had a bounce, ran his full distance, but his kick for goal fell just short (when the ball bounced on its point and backwards)

Alan laid a strong tackle to keep the ball in our attacking 50m.

A couple of goals has evened up the scoreboard, in a highly enjoyable and even game on the field.

In between our oranges the message was fairly simple – “Guys, just keep going - you’re doing all the right things and they are working out for us

 

3rd Quarter;

Eli had a clearing kick out of the pack.  Mitch had a kick-in marked by Eli.  Jake had another good mark and later a strong tackle.  Alan (again) and Eli(again) were applying good pressure around the ball.  Alex took a solid overhead mark.  Arlo M was still running hard to chase and tackle, Noah found his element around the packs with Hadi, muscling the ball forward.  Bastien ran hard and chased down an opponent.  Kai was presenting in good field positions and getting a few touches.

We had good play through the centre; Alan marked and on to Malik who marked and kicked. Nathaniel, Jake and Hugo combined well down the wing with kicks and handballs.

 

4th Quarter;

I knew the game was close, I knew we were playing as well as we had all season – I hoped we could finish off strong.  I called for one final effort – this is the final term of our season, there is no need for any unused energy after this.

Mitchell won a Ruck tap. Malik took a mark – he had a Dribble shot at goal, that went just wide.  From the Caroline Springs lick in we played in front and kept the pressure on.  Malik got on the end of a loose ball and he was able to snap his second Goal of the game.

Griffin was again providing good run a clearing kicks to his Team mates.

Still at our attacking end, Jake marked another kick-out – he played on, dodged past 2 players to get in front of goal and kicked his Goal.

At the other end,  Jacob took on 3 attacking players in the Caroline Springs goal square.  With eyes on the ball and determination he won the ball and cleared the danger zone.

At the end of the quarter,  Sophia was battling hard on our goal line – looking for her first goal, but couldn’t get a clear possession before the final siren sounded.
 

We didn’t give out an individual award today, but instead we congratulated each and every Rooster for their outstanding game and Season – this included Oscar also who was on crutches today.

I couldn’t have asked for any more effort or demonstration of our skills and teamwork we learnt this season.

For the record I think we did win this game.

But even better is we have shown ourselves and others that we can be a Team that plays some really good footy.

A lot of backslapping, “well done”s and “thankyou”s post match in the rooms made for a fantastic atmosphere.

Thankyou everyone for being part of this adventure – most of all to Monique who really did a lot of the organising that facilitated the games going ahead. But to all the Parents– with everyone chipping in, we managed a successful first season.

I really have enjoyed the journey – and I certainly wont forget my first year with the Roosters.

I look forward to seeing (most of) you around the Club again next year.

Enjoy your Sunday morning sleep-ins or cartoons again…

 

Cheers,

Paul.

 

 

WEST FOOTSCRAY ROOSTERS - Under 9 Reds vs. Spotswood – Round Fourteen - 21/7/17.

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning”
Good Evening Sports Fans.

The words of Winston Churchill echoed around the flanks of Shorten Reserve on Friday night. For some, their first season had drawn to a close, for others, another year under their belts, for most, the seed had/has been planted.  This may be the end of our season but it is only the beginning of the time of our lives. Football….. an oddly shaped ball kicked around an oddly shaped ground with no apparent rules or plans. A 360 degree free for all of desperation, hope and desire. Ask those who watch it why it thrills us, better still, ask those who play it. You probably won’t get a definitive answer, but you will get the idea. The final siren only signalled the end of an epic battle under Friday night lights. One that unfortunately had a fair bit of niggle about it. Not so much from the players on the field, you are always going to get that, heat of the battle, frustrations, all that stuff. You should never hear it from the sidelines though and most certainly never to an official of the game. I don’t want to give any further airtime to certain (unknown) individuals but I will say one thing. A big thankyou to Ben (Woody) Wood for donning the whistle and rising above in somewhat trying conditions. I know that you would be fairly used to it in your line of work big fella, but that does not make it acceptable. Thanks Mate.

Anyways, on to the news.

We met Spotswood away in round three. It would turn out to be our first win of the season and it really kick started what would be a pretty successful year for the Niner’s. That game was officially umpired and although frustrating at times, it helped us understand that rules are rules.  Accept it and move on, a mantra that we would enforce each pre-game address. It took a little while to get going that day, but once it did there was no turning back.

Before the game we felt that we should be able to account for Spotswood but we should not rest on our laurels. We had improved, so there is no reason why they should not have improved either.

Our Captains for the night would be Archie and Rylan. We lost the toss and were kicking to the dog park. For the second week in a row the centre bounce went the other way, they had improved. They certainly were not the same side. They had a few prime movers whom I could not recall from last time and they kept our fleet footed mid field on their toes. The first quarter would belong to the Roosters though and in particular our Little Maestro Jami who would kick three in the first and would go on to kick five for the night. I am positive that he is not a pest at home, but he bugs the hell out of the opposing back lines.

As I mentioned, they had a few prime movers who threatened to spoil our Friday Night party. There was plenty of run and carry from both sides tonight and they certainly felt that they could take this one home. Fortunately for us, this was our party and nobody was going to spoil it. It would not have mattered who it was. Out in the middle you could feel the tension of a not so much “see sawing” battle because I do not think that were headed except for maybe the first goal, but a relentless one. The skilful reliability of the Niner’s would shine through. Knowing that your teammate will deliver and not that everyone must be in the contest is a fine line between confidence and interference. Last week we left it all too too few. This week saw great endeavour with some of our more experienced players “allowing” our younger Roosters a chance at getting the ball. Jack P would play his best game tonight. Under the pressure of some unwarranted and unsettling attention at times, Jack decided to let his footy do the talking and was instrumental in a number of big plays. Luca, Louie and Aiden all had crackers. All three boys took it to the next level. I have said before that it all clicks for different people at different times. If Friday night was half way through the season, then these boys would be unstoppable come seasons end. Oliver assumed the role of our “swingman” of sorts and rotated through the centre all night. Oscar would have enjoyed having his old man on the ground as he too was getting his hands on it. Dozer was another who had his best game, determined to kick a goal, he came so close and took a couple of grabs and laid some tackles. Speaking of laying tackles, he gets a mention every week for Lacing Up his opponents. One of our smallest Roosters he knows his strengths and sticks to it by sticking them.  A smiling assassin of sorts! Archer, Iggy and Otto will be ready made next year and ready to step it up. All it takes is a bit of confidence in yourself; I feel these boys got a real taste of it this year. Dylan and Jack G will also benefit from feeling the heat of the battle; Jack kicked a couple of goals this year on more than one occasion, a terrific effort. Diesel and Action Jackson were busy tonight, great awareness around the ball and great skills for a couple of mosquito fleeters.  When we talk of endeavour and commitment and attitude, you cannot help but to think of Abby and Clara. Both girls learning the game, both girls are outstanding, both girls are a pleasure to coach. Riley thinks he might be leaving the coup this year but is unsure. One thing is for sure; he loves to compete and imposes himself on every contest he attends. He kicked a goal and stood tall when we needed him. Max ‘more than a’ Phelan and Harry would be two o f the hardest players to bring to ground. Both fellas have their own brand of escapism. Maxie has this head turn and body twist that I have never seen before and once he is through, good luck catching him and Harry is a bullock, best to stay out of his way for your own safety.  They can both run and carry and are devastating inside 50. Archie and Rylan are very similar in the way they play. Attack the ball, get the ball, run with the ball and deliver the ball. Be it off the half back line or half forward line both have great leg speed and confidence and skill. Sasha the Dasher, his name says it all, his unusual check side kicking around boundary lines is something to witness, he is not only quick but has a tank on him that does not empty. Last but not least, The General, Howe Diddy. Nobody can read the play like he does. His nous is exceptional his leg speed and skills are electric. I don’t know how many times through out the year that I heard “who is on 17?”

In the end, I think we got up by about six goals, the game much like the season is over in the blink of an eye.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank a few people if I may.

Firstly, the Mighty Roosters Junior Footy Club for being the best club to be a part of. The Junior Committee has been outstanding in the rebuild and it is a pleasure to be able to be a part of it. To Kane Simmons for his exceptional management skills and professional and fair approach. To James for taking on a big part of helping to train/coach the squad, it is most appreciated mate, especially when you only got to see two full games due to work commitments. To Brad and Libby for looking after the wounded, we had some tough ones this year, it was comforting to have you out there with us, knowing we could concentrate on getting the job done. To Ethan and Lorelei for the abundance of amazing photos of our little roosters, there are some absolutely cracking photos that you have so generously supplied. To Pistol, Ben and Brad for donning the whistle when we needed, there is no footy without umpires, thanks fellas. To Pistol, Brad, Tony, Ethan, Alan, Simon and Chris for helping out at training and on game days, it never goes astray to have extra hands. To all who filled all the volunteered roles, the unglamorous side of washing jumpers, cutting oranges, manning canteens, escorting umpires, goal umpiring, running out water  and cheering us on, we appreciate it so much and cannot be done without you all. Big thanks to all the parents who have allowed us to indulge ourselves in the big time of junior footy, you are the best parents in the WRFL.

Last but certainly not least, thanks to all of the Niner’s what a cracking year you’ve had, I had fun, I hope that you did too. I can’t say what I will be doing next year, but I hope you all stick around. The community spirit and  the club is getting bigger and it really is something to be a part of.

Richie and Kane.

 

Under 10’s: Rd 14: vs Flemington: Home

This is a tough report to write – for a few reasons. Some good, some bad. The good - our Under 10’s again showed their tremendous fighting will and determination to peg back a poor start and put the acid on the opposition. A real credit to this team and what they have shown all year – they will never drop their heads and always play the game with the intensity it demands. In my view, this group has played beyond their expected age maturity. Why? Because playing determined, focused & unrelenting football requires a selflessness and desire to work for each other beyond many 9 and 10 year olds. And this group has displayed this throughout the entire 14 rounds, in training and on game day. It is something I am proud to witness 1st hand and will cherish from this season. It also demands the opposition to either play with equal will and intent or return what I would call the ‘snipe’. We have seen both responses in our oppositions this year. However, to our lads credit they took it all in their stride, kept their eye on the next contest, and played the game with the right spirit no matter what was thrown at them.

On Sunday, we again started slowly, with Flemington kicking 3 of their 4 goals with the wind in the 1st quarter. After quarter time we locked the ball into our forward half for the majority of the game but again our kicking for goal let us down. Some of it was execution, some of it bad luck – (e.g. Ziggy’s fantastic snap on the run. Classy play Ziggy - the thud of ball on mental was lamented around the ground. Also Alex & Ash missed a couple of shots they would normally get.) But poor kicking is poor football so no doubt honing our skills will be a focus for this group as they move up to Under 11’s.

The bad – well the season is done and dusted. I will miss the great spirit and laughter this team shared with each other. Maybe the Sunday morning sleep in might help. J Although the 10’s are done it is good to see the Roosters 11’s & 13’s are playing on and I wish them and Damian and Tim all the best for the finals. I am in the process of writing a few sentences on each of our Under 10 players as a summary for their year. Not quite finished so I will hold that over for next week’s newsletter which I hope is ok.

But I will take this opportunity to thank a few people who have made a tremendous commitment and dedication to our young Roosters. I tried to do so pregame but sadly forgot to make sure the people you are thanking are in the room!? Give me lines and I am ok but this public speaking stuff is a bit out of my league.

To Andrea – I just simply cannot express enough my gratitude for all your work, dedication and leadership. The year ran like a dream and it flowed from all your forethought, preparation and humour. I have no doubt it showed out on the field with our laid back but committed team. We were very lucky to have you at the helm and once again I would like to give my heart felts thanks.

To Zoran – a big thank you for your calming presence, clear advice & humour at training and on game day. I really appreciate that and I know our lads walk taller with you around.

To Dave Hall – amazing effort Dave. Not only your assistance at training but also your unbiased umpiring and timely advice. It always made rethink things clearer.

To Kiernan – Big Thank you to you Kiernan, for stepping in on numerous occasions at training and against Williamstown. Also for your eye on game day. Thought we complemented each other pretty well and enjoyed your company. Thanks Kiernan.

To Tim Grant – love your approach Tim and driving our team on at crucial times. Learnt a lot from you from just listening. I hope you and the 13s have a great final season.

To Damian – don’t know how you do it Damo but with all your dedication and humour – you are a legend. Big Thanks.

To all the parents of these amazing Under 10’s - A big, big Thank you for all your support and dedication to these young Roosters. I am sorry I’m not more of a people person but I really respect all of the family’s and each and every one of our Under 10’s. I tried to be as fair as I can. I just hope you all forget the cold, early Sunday mornings, the dirty washing and ever missing mouth guards and be back next year. This is a great group.

Finally, to all our young Roosters – my heartfelt thanks. I am so proud of you 2017 achievements and grit. You have all worked very hard, listened to this knuckle head and never taken yourselves too seriously. Every time you were called upon (and before) to help each other out, you responded in abundance. Simply amazing and your future teams will benefit from this amazing approach. (Next week I will have a little break down on each individual.)

Thank you to everyone for an amazing and rewarding year. I will miss it. Cheers Des.

 

 

Under 11 Round 14

West Footscray vs Spotswood

 

Milestone Round at home would see 6 of our Under 11s celebrate reaching the 50 game mark. Leroy, Weston, Cooper, Jack, Murphy and Aaron had a banner to tear to bits. That’s if the combination of a strong wind and the inexperience of our crafty team of banner makers didn’t do it first. Running out behind them would be a full squad, with the exception of Christian, who had endured some fine tuning on his knee on the Friday night. He was there to cheer his team mates on though. Aaron was playing his 50th on the day and was given the task of captaining the team along with Vinh who was making his much awaited return from a fractured finger and an overseas trip. Spotswood were an unknown quantity after joining our competition mid-season due to being graded down from division one. They had won the unwinnable and lost the unlosable since joining our completion. What would they produce today?

It was a good toss to win with the wind blowing so hard. Unfortunately we didn’t win it. Spotswood had some big kids and looked polished in the warm up. Could they play? The simple answer was a categorical yes! Yash was in the ruck and was giving away plenty of height against his opponent. Despite his best efforts, the giant from Spotswood was giving his midfielders plenty of opportunity to win the ball. Jack, Weston and Felix were forced to chase the pill and to work overtime to win it back. With the wind at their sizable backs, the kids of Spotswood continually drove the ball forward. Our backs were under siege. Aaron was tireless and smart at full back. He stayed when he needed to stay and hunted the ball when required. He saved our skins on more than one occasion in what would be his best game of the year to date. Frank was producing effort after effort in attempt to stem the tide. Samuel was strong over the ball and helped to mitigate the damage. Despite our efforts, Spotswood were hitting the scoreboard regularly. Cooper was doing his best to kick start our game off half back. Weston used the ball well when he had it. Jack kept crashing in to packs to win the ball and Felix was amazing in his efforts to drive it forward. It was hard work getting it forward. Spotswood would score the first 4 goals of the game with a blitz that had our boys rattled. Late in the first we got our run going. Kadin was dominating his wing and moving it towards our forwards. Mickey fought like a man possessed to get his hands on it when it got there. We would get our first goal of the game off the boot of Weston who had followed the play inside 50 and coolly finished from 25 out. Spotswood would get another almost immediately after the restart. Our boys kept working into the wind. Murphy was starting to find it a bit and would pump it forward to Elijah Moon. The ball would evade him but Kadin was on hand to pick up the crumbs and slotted a nice goal just before the siren.

 

Quarter Time     West Footscray 2.0.12 vs Spotswood 5.2.32

 

We had the wind but needed a few tweaks. Vinh would go into the middle. His impact was immediate. Strong over the ball and clean with his disposal. Hardly the expected traits of a boy that had missed 7 games of football. Welcome back Vinh. Spotswood had dropped an extra defender back and the ball kept finding him. Then the injuries started! In the space of a minute or two, much to my horror Weston would roll his ankle, Jack would do likewise and Cooper would be carried off after getting stood on. Neither Jack nor Weston would see any action for the rest of the game. The midfield would need a major reshuffle. Back in went Felix and Murphy went with him. Felix was amazing. He gets better each week and his form had now reached critical mass. He was everywhere. I urged our half forwards to get moving. Sean did just that. He led up the wing right in front of our bench, took a mark and instantly dished off the slickest, quickest handball to Kadin who was flying by on the boundary. Elijah Moon was getting his hands on it a fair bit now at half forward. He’s been very lively over the last month. Leroy wasn’t looking overly lively today though. He looked uncomfortable running and was holding his stomach. His discomfort was apparently the result of attempting hundreds of sit ups the previous evening. We were doing well in the second but just couldn’t land those goals due to Spotswood’s defending. The ball was getting in enough. Nathaniel was bullocking deep in our forward line trying to win the ball. Tito got his hands on it as well. Yash was still going at a million miles an hour, roving his own ruck contests and driving it forward. Unfortunately we just couldn’t get that goal and would head to the main break with the same deficit from the first break.

 

Half Time             West Footscray 2.1.13 vs Spotswood 5.3.33

 

Cooper was ok to come back on in the third. We were against the wind again and his football smarts would be handy. The game had evened up a bit in the second term in terms of possession and I hoped this would continue in the third. If we defended well enough we could have a reasonable score to chase down at the final break. Firstly, we had to prevent Spotswood from doing any more damage. Our backs defended well in the third. Aaron continued his great game at full back. Zach was giving his all as usual and laid some crucial tackles. Sas was playing in the back pocket and was growing in confidence. The scoring wouldn’t come as easily this time for Spotswood. We were getting the ball forward into the wind much better that we had in the first quarter. Mickey was an obvious target for our attacking play. Elijah Moon was getting a fair bit as well. Murphy was playing higher up the ground and finding it as well. Yash was looking tired after his efforts in the ruck. Angus was shifted into the middle to try and combat the height of the ruckman from Spotswood. Angus was a revelation! He won the taps, hunted the ball on the ground and won it for our team. Awesome Angus. Absolutely awesome! Cooper was running hard. Felix just kept out running everyone in a phenomenal display. Vinh was proving why he had been so dearly missed. Frank was defending his backside off. Aleks was right there with him. Spotswood had managed to score one goal with the breeze but had still left us with a sizable score to try and run down.

 

¾ Time                  West Footscray 2.2.14 vs Spotswood 6.9.45

 

Reeling in 31 points is a very ambitious target when you have only scored 14 for the day. Despite this we would give it a go. Angus was really starting to be a big influence in the game by now. His efforts in the air and on the ground were giving us a chance. Yash was amazing. He was in everything. Felix was simply brilliant. Continually we drove the ball forward only to have Spotswood’s big number 10 gobble it up every time. Kadin was simply brilliant in front of the scoreboard when he beat several opponents to win the ball only to be penalised for holding the ball the very moment he picked it up. The amount of time he had to get rid of it could only be measured on an atomic clock. I have considerable doubt as to whether the umpire was in possession of such a timepiece, and suspect that he might have just guessed how many nanoseconds had elapsed. Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to criticise his credentials as an umpire or nuclear physicist, but suspect any dreams he had of working at the Hadron Collider may have passed him by……………quite some time ago. This period of time could be measured on calendars or by carbon dating! This decision would drain the last drop of hope out of our boys but here were still some highlights to be had. Xavier (the wallet) got out of the back pocket and up to the flank. He won the bouncing ball and shaped to drive it back our way with a sizable Spotswood boy closing in fast. He then sold the most delightful candy, stepped around the hapless opponent and smacked it long down the ground with a noticeable grin on his face. Textbook Xav! Nice Work. Moments later Aleks would get his hands on the ball in our forward 50. This is uncommon territory for Aleks this year. You wouldn’t have known it though as he reeled around on his trusty left and banged it through the big sticks a zeptosecond (it’s real. Google it) before the final siren. (According the umpires calculations)

 

Full Time              West Footscray 3.2.20 vs Spotswood 6.9.45

 

A 25 point defeat isn’t exactly what we were after as we head into an elimination final. Having said that there were quite a few positives to take from the loss. We kept a very good team to just one goal for three quarters. Angus has emerged as a very impressive ruck option. Felix is running so hot right now you fry an egg on him (just a metaphor people, please don’t try this) and Vinh is back and looking like he hasn’t missed a game. The biggest positive though is that you guys are playing finals! I’ll admit it will be hard to win it from fourth, but it is impossible to win it from 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th. Give it your best and you never know what might happen. For what it’s worth, I think you can do it.

 

Damian

 

The last game of the home and away season pitted first v second – an eagerly anticipated contest that was going to provide a good insight in to what might be in store for the finals.

 

Unfortunately for the boys in Red and White, the Sunshine Heights outfit were a slick, well drilled and fearsome unit.  The next 2 hours showed the Roosters just how Sunshine Heights have managed to go undefeated with a mammoth percentage.

 

What these 2 hours also showed was that when West Footscray do manage to control the footy and find some open space, the opportunity to hit the scoreboard presented.

 

With all 22 listed players on deck, we had the chance to celebrate the 50 game milestone for Zidane, Nav, Luis, Isaac C, Henry and Lenny:  All dedicated and hard-working Roosters.  Well done boys!!

 

The edict was to tackle, spread the footy and be tight in defence.  All was going to plan in the first quarter with several holding the balls paid West’s way, and Bailey bobbing up to take a couple of good marks across half forward.  The midfielders were assigned roles that they admirably tried to perform.  Zidane and Nav working with Juma and Daniel in the middle fought hard to get their hands on the footy.  Kailey up against much taller opponents toiled well all day.  Our wingmen – Jonathan and Ben started well, positioning to allow the outlet kick to come their way.  Samuel, Bailey, Henry and Luis patrolled the half forward line and stuck to their task.  The backs – Liam, Isaac C, Isaac T, Alex, Lenny and Leo all faced off with taller opponents and on occasion, quicker.  The visitors had the better of the first quarter, aided by some unusually undisciplined defence – not punching the ball from behind (Something we need to improve in a hurry).  The magnets got shuffled around in the second with Hamish and Abdullah working across half forward, and Diesel and Henry operating the wings.  Our usual ferocious tackling slipped down a couple of notches and a dose of the fumbles swept through the boys as the Heights boys and girl upped the ante.  We were in the midst of genuine finals pressure and it was great to see Henry, Samuel, Diesel and Nav rise to the occasion.  A few more bumps and hard hits to Lockie, Luis, Liam and Alex hammered home the point.  The game continued in much the same manner for the remainder – the magnets continued to be swung around and with Soc (having registered our only major) having a run through the middle, and Dan and Juma up forward, we were out classed and out muscled. We will learn a few lessons for the next time we take them on.  A disappointing day. Hopefully the next occasion we can keep the pressure on and hit the scoreboard more often.

 

Thanks to our band of volunteers again today – Simon R in goals, Simon M on boundary duties, special guest appearance from Andrea on running duties (both calves remain intact), Yenni in the casualty ward, Mark on the clock, Con on BBQ and security, the Lakusa water team and Arjuna providing the oranges.  Great job all.

 

We move into the finals finishing a well-deserved second place with a double chance and a game against Sunshine next week.  We should be confident going into this game having comfortably beaten them twice during the regular season.

 

Training needs to go up a cog as does our focus and attention to detail.  The boys learnt a few things today and now we get the chance to put them into practice.  Rest up – big few weeks coming up. Hopefully everyone can get along and support the team in the finals.


Round 13

Round 13 – Away to Deer Park Lions

 

Footy certainly is a winter sport – especially when it is the early Sunday start.  The Deer Park Ground had some lovely old Gum trees around it.  Though these were nice look look at, they were blocking the suns warming rays, but not the Arctic wind.  I have not seen our warm up star jumps and sprints so keenly participated in – I may have glanced some of our spectators on the side lines jumping about also…

In speaking to the Lions Coach pre-game I found out;

They had been performing well except against a few of the stronger Teams (similar to us)

They had quite a few Second year players, and will be losing more than half there Team to the next age level next year (rather different to us)

We were up against another Team with solid bodies and confident in their skills.

 

1st Quarter;

We won the toss – a good start.

Captains today Eli and Mrinal – chose to have the chilly wind behind them.

After a early home team goal – it was fairly even contest between the 50m archs.

Kai got the ball in a good position and completed his pass.

Efe was full of running.

Arlo S-T lead well to the ball and was strong at ground level.

Arlo M had a clearing kick.

Felix and Jacob combined well on the wing.  Griffin was as determined as always around the ball, Mitchell was distributing the ball well by foot.

 

2nd Quarter;

We had a gauge on this team (I was away at Easter when we 1st played the Lions) they were explosive around the ball, breaking our tackles and moving the ball into well positioned players.

We were being tested and for a large parts we were resisting the Lions forward thrusts.

Sophia copped an whack in her mouth, but was brave and came back on

(C)Eli was doing his best in the middle with repeated efforts at the ball.

(C)Mrinal did a solid defensive job at full back

Oscar made some great tackles in defence and saved a goal. His strong efforts continued throughout the game.

Hadi was driving the ball forward, often dragging many opposition players with him.

Miles tackled hard and presented as a marking option.

 

At Half Time – we repeated our chat about trying to move the ball quicker by running as far as we can, bounce and run again if possible and to kick the ball whenever we can

The sun had now risen above the gum trees and the day was warming up (enough that the coach even removed his hoodie)

 

3rd Quarter;

Our Team had now warmed into the game also.

Felix burst forward out of a pack.  Nathaniel won a free kick and started a chin of 3 kick-marks down the wing.  Max did well getting the ball out of congestion to (c)Mrinal who then had a clearing kick.

Alex helped us get the ball out of some tight situations.

Griffin ran hard all day, with and without the ball.  He had many possessions and took some good marks.

Malik was good with his run out of defence and more responsibility in our kick-out and kick-off positions.

Jacob was starting to run into space on the wing.

Mitchell agin provided some good tackles and was effective with his kicks.

This was a much improved term, the game had evened up on the ground.

 

4th Quarter;

The ball was generally in our forward half, but our forward line was crowded.  From there it was difficult to get a final telling pass or possession.

Through a scramble and a large pack we got the ball to Griff who was well positioned just forward of the pack.  With a hurried possession he managed to get the ball through the big sticks.  A well deserved GOAL!

For all our efforts and approach to the game, we deserved at least that one.

In fact this was our best term of the match.

Maya had kept trying hard and had particularly good efforts in this quarter with her tackles and off the ground work.

Hugo got more possession this term by playing in space forward of the pack.

Max was strong in defence and showed some of his improved passing.

Alan had numerous defensive efforts and took a good mark.

Another good chain of pensions between a fast-feet players Felix – Alan – Eli again using the width of the oval.

The was another good quarter by our Team – in fact I think the best term of today's game.

We had good attack around the ball, but now spread once we won it, and reacted better when we didn’t.

 

Our Rooster Encouragement awards today went to;

Kai Fraser – had his best game this year, was getting plenty of possessions by holding his position and then being in the right place.

Oscar Ferraro – for his consistent efforts each time he plays both around the ball and as a marking target.

 

Things we did well;

  • We played out the game and improved in each quarter.
  • Started to link-up chains of possessions
  • The final quarter had the ball in our half for the majority of the time.

 

Things to work on;

  • Our first receiver of the ball needs to be 2 steps further away to have more room.
  • Continue improving our kicking accuracy.

Well done everyone today.

I hope you are feeling better Monique.  Ash,  Magnet movers, Flag wavers, water carriers, medics, cheer squad, paparazzi and scribes – thankyou all.  One more early Sunday to go and at home this week.

 

See you at training.

Paul.

 

WEST FOOTSCRAY ROOSTERS - Under 9 Reds vs. Yarraville/Seddon Eagles – Round Thirteen - 16/7/17.

Good Evening Sports Fans.

The Niner’s bus would roll out of town down ol’ Willi Rd for their penultimate game of the season. I have spoken before about the teams located on the Williamstown Rd fault line. The further you go, the better they seem to get.  That is not to say that the Reds have not been able to stand and deliver, in fact quite the contrary.

Round Thirteen meant that we had already done the circuit once and were now starting to come across teams that we had played in the first three rounds. The first three rounds were interesting in that we would still be finding our way as a team together and still without a full squad due to the holidays. Funnily enough we would face Yarraville/Seddon in the holidays again. The Eagles would hand us our heaviest defeat of the season that day in round two. When I say heaviest we are only talking thirteen points. The symmetry was unfolding before my eyes. This was Round Thirteen! Could we turn the tables and repay the favour and beat them by two points? They were a good side The Eagles, but had we improved enough?

The morning would prove to be the coldest one on record ever (unofficially). It was reasonably sunny, but there was a chill in the wind that cut straight through you like a hot knife through cold butter or a cold knife through hot butter, depending on which way you butter your bread.   Why am I hungry all of a sudden…….! There was no protection from said wind on the vast expansive plains of Oval #2. I wore shorts to be in simpatico with the Little Red Roosters, but Roosters don’t have chicken legs, I do!

The Captain for the Day would be Dozer and we would be missing Aiden, Dylan, Luca and Oscar to holiday duties. We lost the toss and they were kicking with the butter slicing, finger breaking wind.

Our centre clearances have been outstanding this year, especially at first bounce. For the first time in a long time the first one went the other way. I knew we had a contest on our hands! As it turns out, this entire game would be played between the two forward fifty arcs. It was such a struggle that no team could gain any real ascendancy throughout the day. It would be a huge battle in the mid field. One team would get as far as the forward arc only to be denied entry. When it did venture in, it would be run off the half back line, when it got past there it would be run off the full back line. It was dour Fremantle style football. Having said that, it was an unbelievable display of under 9’s footy. It was in complete contrast to last week’s free flowing encounter. My opposing coach and I had a fair bit of time to not only comment but compliment each others teams. It was tackle after stoppage after tackle all day. Much like last week though, my notes from the game were sparse. Partly due to the defensive mindset and partly due to the icy wind which had cruelled my hand around my metal team board into a bony claw. The Eagles were exceptional at creating their version of the wall by setting up behind the ball at every stoppage. We struggled to man up unfortunately which hurt us as they were able to run in packs and also stop any forward entries. We must have been just as good though. They suffered the same fate only because we had some outstanding individual efforts. On more than one occasion was there a lonely Rooster taking on three or four Eagles at a time, desperately waiting for the cavalry to come. Too much was left to too few today. It was understandable though. It was really hard to keep motivated, desperately hoping that footy would not dislocate your fingers from worm burning kicks. Everything hurts so much more in the cold; it is not often that I get asked by a player if they can go to the bench!

The final siren would sound after four gruelling quarters of gut and finger busting footy. I was ready to proclaim myself as a Prophet, I had us up by two points 22 – 20. They seemed unusually happy! Oliver pointed me in the direction of a portable scoreboard. Where did that come from, we don’t score in under 9’s…….. Do we?  Eagles 26 – Visitors 22! Were they counting the touched goal as a goal? There was only one flag waved, it got kicked out from full back! Ah well, it does not matter. It was a (bone) cracking contest.

Archie would win his first Heartland and we had three Roosters of the Week in Otto, Abby and Rylan.

Well Little Red Roosters, only one to go. We get the honour of kicking off Round Fourteen in style, once again under Friday Night Lights against Spotswood. We would really love a big turn out for this one so we hope you all can make it down.

Special thanks to Libby for tending to the wounded as Brad had succumbed to Man Flu, and to everyone who filled the volunteered roles, and to those who cheered us on away from home, we can’t do this without you, it is most appreciated.

Richie and Kane.

 

 

Under 10’s: Rd 13: Vs St Bernard’s: Away

 

An almighty effort from our joyous band of Under 10 brothers on the weekend. After a narrow loss to Williamstown the week before, (which by all accounts was a very determined and dogged performance, thanks Kiernan) I was expecting a let down from the lads - but no way – once again this group took themselves to another level. St Bernard’s had cleaned us up in the 1st round so this game was always going to show our progress and pleasingly we showed our improvement in spades. Score West Footscray 4G 9B = 33 to St Bernard’s 5G 3B = 33.  Our 3rd draw for the year and our hundred in behinds!!!

 

In typical fashion, all our young Roosters were out and running amok before any St Bernard’s players or officials were seen. Maybe it was the 3 degrees and the wind off the Maribyrnong River but the Shed Keeper, the Lord of the Keys, must have slept in, because they were never all day. (This same person had mysteriously forgotten to mark the lines as well.) Or perhaps it was a St Bernard’s psychological ploy, because oddly enough I do remember them running out of somewhere, but whatever the reason, our boys showed grit on and off the field and took it all in their stride with joy, as they have all year.

 

Our Captains for the day were Ezekiel and Nicholas and both provided the leadership and drive for the entire match. Nicholas has had a fantastic year and is one of those players who keeps raising his game every week. Nothing stands in his way and his repeat efforts were outstanding. Ezekiel has been tracking the same path and was also in & amongst it, laying some big tackles and winning the ball in close and dishing it out to our runners.

 

Pleasingly, we didn’t have out usual slow start and our young Roosters laid on their renowned pressure right from the bounce. They quickly locked the ball into our forward half for most of the quarter, in fact for most of the game and peppered the goals. Kiir, as he has done all year, took to St Bernard’s with his usual unrelenting tenacity, constantly breaking lines and carrying the ball forward while bringing his teammates into the game. Benny was everywhere early on and he is really starting to time his dashing runs to perfection. A born leader and inspirer, Benny is one player looking forward to having the one-bounce shackle released from him next year. His 3rd, 4th & 5th efforts are coaches joy to watch. Leo was another who took his game to another level and it was great to see him rewarded for his hard work at training and on game day with some excellent pressure and running to cover loose opponents. Manny has been in the goals of late but he started in defense and played the rebounding role to perfection, constantly cutting of St Bernard’s while outnumber by three to one. Thomas, fresh from warm Queensland, really knuckled down to the cold and was in and under all game, laying some big tackles and willing himself onto the next contest.

 

However, St Bernard’s are a pretty skillful side and when they did break through our lines they quickly moved the ball forward, catching us off guard and scoring 2 of their 5 goals in an entertaining 1st quarter. As usual our kicking for goal let us down but we did manage to kick one and by the end of the 1st quarter I knew we would be in for a special day.

 

The 2nd quarter saw both teams knuckle down to an intense see-sawing battle of nerve and attrition. Our boys dominated possession but St Bernard’s preyed on our short lapses of concentration with some accurate kicking. Noah, who advised me at the start of the game, that he had just come off an all-nighter playing (and winning apparently) a PlayStation FIFA Tournament against opponents all over the world, really started to make his presence felt in the real thing. His kicking has always been a feature but now he is added some neat evasion which is buying him more time to punish the opposition. Noah, the 2018 will be big for you, if go as hard as you with FIFA.   Tem, fresh from Vietnam, was injected into the game and immediately went to work, with run and tackles that help thwart several St Bernard’s potential goals.

 

Joharo, is another who has really put in a solid year, building every game. He covered a lot of ground with some gut running, constantly putting himself in the right positions over the four quarters. His disposals need some work but it’s still effective and his marking around the ground is starting to click.  Will really threw himself into the contests laying some big tackles and providing the run & carry from defense that we needed and which proved to be critical to the end result. Ash dominated around the ground and was literally driving us forward, his 2nd and 3rd efforts a real standout. His ability to cover the ground and help out his defense a feature. We outscored them in this quarter and at half time both teams had 3 goals on the board.

 

The 3rd and 4th quarters were an epic battle with the goals drying up, but not our points. Ziggy, who had an excellent 1st half, laid some big tackles in the 2nd half, to send a clear message to St Bernard’s that we were not surrendering. Ziggy’s repeat pressure in close, combined with slick handballs to our runners, helped provide the drive we needed around the contest. Flynn’s ability to read the play, break tackles, and take telling marks a real feature. Flynn was super cool under pressure and doesn’t take any nonsense. Likewise Henry, our newest Rooster, was another who brought a smile. Playing in the last line, Henry was often outnumbered by 3 and 4 to one but somehow, through guile and determination saved numerous St Bernard’s goals. I had seen his efforts at training in the brief time he has joined us, but I had sadly missed his debut, but I predict Henry will have a big Under 11 ‘s year if we see him back at West Footscray next year. Well done Henry. Hamish’s debut year has also been one to relish. Hamish has that vital combination of a fearless attack on the ball, with his long, accurate kicking and is able to run all day. Without doubt, if he continues with his committed work rate, Hamish is heading for big year in 2018. Zaw Zaw has really knuckled down in the 2nd of the season and taken his game to another level. Also a reliable goal kicker, Zaw Zaw’s has added some excellent 2nd and 3rd efforts to his danger around goal, ala Paul Chapman. And finally, after a long and committed effort over the season, it was great to see Reuben rewarded with a Heartland Award. Reuben has been challenged by the coaches this year and I am pleased he listened and responded. A naturally gifted player and amazing runner, Reuben works hard and is another who will be freed up when he plays Under 11’s. Well done Reuben.

 

It was another outstanding team effort by our young Roosters but most pleasing for me, is that these boys place no limitations on what they can achieve and back themselves in every week. They keep raising the bar and I look forward to our final game against Flemington, which is always a close affair.

 

On a personal note, I just want to say thank you to everyone for your kind words and support on the arrival of our latest. After a nine-year gap, I had forgotten the joys of a new born and their sleeping patterns, so I am in a bit of la-la land and still dealing with the shock. (But don’t tell my partner I said that). Thank you for understanding while I was away.

 

Also a big, big, thank you to Andrea for her support, organisation, & laughter whilst I was away - truly amazing and very much appreciated. Also a big thank you to Kiernan for stepping in training and game day – I know the team is better for your knowledge, patience and input. 

Hopefully I get this right and the wonders of digital world work in my favor but attach a photo of our latest recruit. See you all for the last game 10.20 this Sunday at home. Also special hanks to Dave Hall, Zoran, Richie & Tim Grant.

 

 


Round 12

WEST FOOTSCRAY ROOSTERS – Under 9 Reds vs. Williamstown - Round Twelve – 7/7/17.

This one had been stuck in the craw since Round One. The appalling conditions of that day coupled with six players away and the on field presence of some dubiously aged men-child(ren) had rankled the Niner’s coup. Only 2 points shy on the final siren was an outstanding first up outing for a new side. We looked stoically forward to our next encounter at full strength, on our turf.

The bye had given us the extra weeks rest and Desmond Deckers Tens had given us a healthy scratchie on the Wednesday night as preparation for any “oversized” nines that might run out. What better way to kick off the round than Friday Night under lights. The atmosphere is always buzzing and the Niner’s were ready, willing and hopefully, able.

The pre-game instruction was simple, have fun. Yes, we have a game of footy to play but we only have three to go in the season so let’s savour it while we can. Friday nights after training are usually reserved for watching footy or movies. This would be a combination of both, but which movie? For the title alone, “The Fast and the Furious” would later spring to mind.

Our Captains for the night would be Sasha and Xavier. The toss was lost and we were kicking to the dog park.

Boy, it was fast and it was furious. The Niner’s were electric. Such was the pace that I could not keep up with my notes; it was a blur of red and white flashes. So much so that this report is being recounted from memory…… which is not a good thing! Now where did I put my keys………

What I can report is this. There were a couple of the aforementioned oversized nines. Their coach made mention of them having a few players away on holidays and having to “move” a couple across from other sides to make up the numbers. No issue there, but from which sides were they moving! It mattered for nought as the Niner’s clinically dismantled them in the first quarter. Much like the Doggies this year being the “hunted”, Williamstown would bear the same fate of their reputation preceding them. This one meant something to us and we wanted to win. The pressure was relentless, the tackling was fierce, the footy was fantastic. I can’t begin to describe the way they played tonight. It is lucky that I lost track of keeping notes as this report would have gone on forever. I say it every week how pleasing it is to see our younger Roosters take that next step. This game would see Abby take her first mark, Oliver laying his first smother, Oscar roving the packs, Otto laying multiple tackles, Archer taking a speccy, Lace Up climbing out from under every pack (again!), Jack P and Jack G chasing down opponents, Iggy standing up in tackles, Diesel snapping for goals or Jackson, Clara and Dozer putting on the after burners on the wings, their progress is this year has been terrific. As for the hardened veterans of the squad, well, what can I say. They have played and lead by example all year and tonight would be no different. Sasha the Dasher and Howe Diddy got things going early with pure pace and attack on the ball, Max ‘more than a’ Phelan not only eludes tackles he chases them down as well. Archie used his raking right foot to great advantage on many occasions to send the ball deep into attack. Aiden had a ripping third quarter as did Louis up forward. Luca and Jami were also dangerous around the ball and Rylan and Riley used their bigger bodies to tackle Williamstown into submission. Then of course there is Harry. You can call him “Six Goal Solomon” if you like! That’s right, six goals! What a performance. I don’t know if it was the new “Jamie Elliot do” or if he really just wanted revenge from round one, but H turned it on.

The game was over before I knew it. It had seemed close, like I said I lost track just watching them play but the end result was somewhere in the vicinity of 36 points I think, outstanding!

Well, two to go. The Niner’s bus will roll out of town to Yarraville/Seddon on Sunday morning before heading back for the last game of the season, once again under Friday Night Lights.

Special Thanks to Brad for tending to the wounded and James for running and to those who filled the volunteered roles and to those who cheered us on, we can’t do this without you, it is most appreciated.

Richie + Kane.

 

Round 12 – Home to Point Cook Bulldogs

 

We have now made our way through all the Teams in our league.

We reviewed our goals as a Team we set at the beginning of the year – it was agreed that we have:

-              Had Fun

-              Developed our Teamwork

-              Improved our skills.

We have come a long way, considering all but one of us had been part of a footy team before. The very first Team we played was the same team we play today – the Point Cook Bulldogs.  That cold and partly wet day, we were shown up by this team, well and truly, we scored a pair of donuts (0.0) that day.

Today we where determined to show that we have improved our skills and teamwork and we are having more fun. Hands in – Roosters-Roosters-Roosters….

The visitors were shorter on numbers than us – it was to be 16 per side on the field, which allowed us 4 on the bench. (Alan, Jake, Malik, Oscar and Bastien were not with us today)

Our Captains today were Hugo and Max – recognising their ongoing efforts at contributing to the team.

 

1st Quarter;

Arlo M started strongly and applied repeated efforts at the ball in the centre of the ground.

Sophia had one of her best quarters – going at both ball and players in defence.

The ball was up the Point Cook goalscoring end most of the term.

Mitchell was providing some good run out of defence, Kai took a good mark.

Nathaniel was at fullback and had a few good kick-outs. The best one set of a chain of possessions -> Felix -> Griffin -> Jacob. From Full back up to the wing – well played, great teamwork.

We were under huge field pressure this quarter, but held up fairly well.

 

2nd Quarter;

Efe made a good chase and tackle after a turnover.

Jacob the ball out, in front of the pack and snapped a GOAL!

The was another great chain of 4 or 5 possessions in a row from back pocket to our half forward. Our players ran into space ahead of the ball and our passes were accurate (I could barely keep up on the field!)

Alex was again crunched in a marking contest, but stood strong. Another occasion he stopped an opposition goal on the line.

Arlo M was scrapping for the ball in the centre.

Griffin was laying tackles and getting the ball out to his team mates.

 

 

3rd Quarter;

Eli did well to keep the bouncing ball in front of himself and got his kick away.

Arlo S-T made a great eat solo effort in defence that stopped a certain goal.

After repeat entries into our forward line, Jacob took a mark, steadied and kicked truly from his full distance out – GOAL!

Felix was good again in defence and attack, especially when he got into some space.

Miles was committed when he went for the ball and took a few marks.

Arti was nimble as always darting around the packs.

Mitchell was getting a few good kicks away.

 

4th Quarter;

Mrinal ran hard and got into the action more in the last quarter.

Griffen somehow managed to hod up the ball against 3 opposition players.

Felix took a good mark. Noah kept up his strong tackling attitude, Hadi was barging his way through packs and getting the ball out to team mates.

Hugo took a good mark in space, in the centre of the ground.

Maya ran hard all day, both forward to space and back in defence.

 

Things I liked today;

-              We never dropped our heads – even when the (non-existing) scoreboard was mounting against us.

-              We made some really impressive multi-possession plays.

-              We ran out the game hard – though getting back for the kick offs were getting slower the more we needed to do it.

-              Our Goal accuracy was 100% thanks to Jacob (2.0)

-              We got out-marked in this game by a generally taller team (we missed our taller marking players today)

-              But when the ball was on the ground it was a fairly even game.

-              We did improve on our donuts from Round 1, we showed our improved skills and Teamwork, and in the end we skill had some fun.

 

Rooster Awards for today went to;

Alex Scanlon – who has got battered a couple of times in the last couple of weeks, but never complained and battled on for his team.

Eli Despotellis – for always giving his all for his team, and getting his share of the ball.

 

2 games to go – last couple of things to work on;

-              Stand in front of a player in defence.

-              Punch the ball if caught behind in a marking contest.

 

Thankyou again; Monique, Ash, Colin for umpiring, Flag Wavers, H2O holders, cheer squad, medics, canteen, scribes and paparazzi and anyone else I have managed to miss.

 

I’ll see at training.

Regards,

Paul.

 

 

There’s a special thing about coaches.

 

Gone are the days (or they should be) when good coaching is measured by the degree of abuse hurled from the sidelines or the dripping of humiliating sarcasm doled out at quarter time breaks.  It’s widely accepted that a coach plays an important role in the formative years of a child and in my 7 seasons at the club my children have indeed been lucky with the guidance they’ve received.    As Des has worked so skilfully with this terrific bunch of kids this year it’s been clear that the partnership forged between Richie and he in 2016 was a key factor in the quick gelling of this group, and Des has been able to build on that solid base.  Similarly the quiet, gentle handprint of Kiernan is evident in the 2016 group he handed onto Tim and Jack, poised to become a powerhouse of the 2017 U13 competition.

 

Without a team to coach in 2017 and with no children playing at the club it was assumed Mr Box would disappear into the leafy eastern suburbs, only to be spotted at school pick-up.  However, like Mr Parker with the prestigious 9A’s, the lure of junior football was too strong to ignore and he’s continued to be a regular visitor to Shorten Reserve.  Despite not having an official role he’s managed to fill several; assistant coach, game-day runner and even occasional shoulder to cry on.  We’re extremely grateful he was able to fill in as Coach for Round 12 as Des tended to family matters.

 

This week we also welcomed a debut player Henry Seymour, recruited in a late season draft from Yarraville-Seddon.  An accidental visitor to training a couple of weeks ago, he reported to his parents that he liked ‘the vibe’ of the team and asked to come back.  A very handy pick-up with the high school-holiday absenteeism Henry was welcomed with open arms, presented with the #13 guernsey and appointed co-captain for the day with Kiir.

 

The boys took to the field against Williamstown Juniors, the Hawthorn of the WRFL: supremely skilled, über-professional, filled with swaggering self-belief and penchant for knowing just how much they can get away with.  Like Hawthorn, they also do not enjoy being challenged by a gritty little underdog like West Footscray and that’s exactly what our chickies did in this game.

 

Willie jumped out of the blocks early and perhaps our fellas were a little overawed by their reputation and slick skills, as our defence was pounded for the entire first quarter.  Highlights included Thomas with his 2nd and 3rd efforts, Zaw Zaw with his desperate last line tackling, Ashton a strong target from the kick out and Ben’s ferocious attack on the ball.  Willie continued to attack heavily, flooding their forward line and scoring a multitude of points while Reuben’s desperate run in and out of the goal square (and onto his left) saved what would have been their first goal.  Our midfielders and forwards had no choice but to follow their opponents into defence; consequently nearly every West player played a part in defending against the heavy onslaught in this quarter.  Hamish and Eli utilised their trademark running games to endeavour to move the ball our way.  Flynn made several long kicks to clear the forward arc, one resulting in a brilliant mark to Ziggy who passed it cleanly to Manny.  Noah marked strongly at full-back saving several goals.  Zeke and Alex ran the ball smoothly out of defence.  Kiir used his body superbly and kicked long.  Each time however we were thwarted at the centre and Willie pushed the ball straight back into their forward arc.  At the quarter time break they were a couple of goals in front and we’d had no opportunities to score.

 

To their enormous credit not one player’s face was downcast and the coach’s address was upbeat.  He reminded them that while Willie were indeed a good side with several very skilled players the same could be said of us.  The call was to run, run, run, tackle hard and stick like glue to #32.  As the second quarter began it was clear the momentum had shifted and the energy in the Roosters group was brilliant to see.  Noah remained impenetrable at full-back, Hamish and Flynn ran and ran to clear defence and Thomas and Ben continued to tackle hard.  Now, our centre started to kick into action and Alex, Nicholas and Henry all played a role in pushing the ball forward, while Ziggy used his height to great advantage with strong marking and long kicking.  Willie recognised the game was no longer being played entirely on their terms and a few rather ugly sling tackles crept into their play, earning some gasps from the sidelines and some well-deserved free kicks to the Roosters.  The boys took it on themselves to double-tag #32, an extremely skilled player for Willie who had destroyed us in the first quarter.  The way they collectively swamped him, talking with each other to never let him run free was a real delight to see.  He certainly did not like the close attention and attempted several backhanders on Ben who was yapping at his heels like a Fox Terrier at an Alsatian.  Luckily Ben is very small and easily ducked each wild swing.  However, the biggest highlight of the second quarter was the attempted mark by the coach on the goal-line.  It truly was all hands to the wheel, and no goals were scored at all in a dour effort by both sides which utterly changed the dynamic of the game.

 

As the second half began the intensity lifted yet again as another whole team effort saw us attack our forward line.  Nicholas engaged in some creative play, onto Patrick who kicked beautifully to Ashton for our first shot on goal, and he didn’t disappoint.  There was a sense of excitement in the air which was justified as Hamish passed it to Zaw Zaw to take it forward again.  #32 was lurking but Noah tackled him strongly and when Ben passed it to Ziggy in front he delivered to kick his first ever goal in junior football.  It was a wonderful moment for players and parents and there was a buzz around the ground – game on!  Flynn, Paddy, Thomas, Eli and Henry all continued to work hard in the centre but Willie weren’t going away and responded with a goal of their own.  Noah had waited long enough though and responded with his first for the game – his goal-kicking has become a real feature of the U10s’ season and I look forward to seeing his game develop in coming years.  The scores were level but Willie weren’t letting us escape that easily and kicked a couple to re-claim the ascendency, finishing the quarter with a very lucky goal that bounced through.

 

Incredibly, West lifted again as the final quarter began and William and Leo’s tackling in the middle was a highlight.  Within minutes the ball was in our forward line and with Noah barrelling through their defence we found ourselves with the rarity of 3 options all on their own in the goal square.  Eli was the grateful recipient and he kicked truly – once again for his first ever goal in junior football.  Other highlights to round out the game included Nicholas’ gutsy effort as the sole defender against 6 forwards, saving a certain goal, a beautiful mark to Patrick in the centre to switch the play, William’s attempt to mark the ball while holding onto his mouthguard, Patrick’s long kick for goal from the 40m mark which deserved better than the resulting point, Flynn’s strong body work on #32 to cut him out of the game and a massive goal to Noah which never looked like missing.  As the final siren sounded they’d pipped us 6 goals to 5, which was an incredible effort after they destroyed us in the first term.

 

This team have played some brilliant games this season but this effort was one to truly be proud of.  Their consistent improvement over the course of the game and never-say-die attitude against a highly skilled opponent was a joy to watch.  Their committed tackling and attack on the ball was strong, and the way they listened to their coach was so impressive.  Sometimes young kids can be slow to adjust to changes in routine but they were determined to make Des proud in his absence and they did it in spades.  They approached this game with the maturity of a much older group and I can’t wait to see their continued development in U11s next year.

 

Huge thanks to Dave for umpiring yet again, Kiernan for coaching, Tim for helping out at training the past 3 weeks and all the parents for taking on jobs.  We’re looking forward to welcoming Des back for the final 2 games of the season.

 

Andrea

 

 

Under 11 Round 12

Sanctuary Lakes vs West Footscray

 

The Under 11s made their way to Sanctuary Lakes for their round 12 clash. The Sanctuary Lakes side had pipped us by 2 points in our previous encounter. At home they loomed as a difficult opponent in a run of games that had already seen us play the top two teams in succession. Sanctuary Lakes have “The Lump” in their side. He’s a large lad with a dubious temperament, but a very capable footballer. Our task would be made all the more difficult with several players away on holidays. Kadin and Christian were off playing basketball. Vinh was in Vietnam, whilst Aleks was on the Murray chasing some winter sun. This would leave us with 19. Leroy arrived looking as pale as a ghost due to a stomach bug. He would make the team sheet but would spend 99% of the game on the bench ready to grab a bucket instead of the ball. Not ideal, but it was what it was. Weston was back this week and would captain the side with Angus in honour of his 51st game. He chalked up his 50th filling in for the Under 13s a few weeks earlier. He too had been crook all week. This would require a very special effort to get the points today.

 

The Roosters had the wind in the first quarter. That’s a meteorological reference. Nothing to do with flatulence. Samuel was injected into the midfield this week in an attempt to slow down The Lump. Much to our surprise The Lump would start in the ruck. Yash would be in for a big day in the ruck. The wind was blowing pretty strongly and forcing most of the play onto the outer wing of the ground. The ground it must be said is massive. Identifying exactly who had the ball was near impossible given the distance between our bench and the other side of the ground. Boot colour would play a massive part in this match report. Yash leapt high at the opening bounce and won the tap. The Lump didn’t like it. Weston, Jack and Samuel went to work. It was tight and physical early on and our boys did well against their larger opponents. Felix was on a wing but was let loose to hunt the ball. Mickey was on the other wing today and continued his sterling form of the last month. It was hard work but we were getting the ball forward. Sean is in career best form at the moment. His growing confidence was evident in the first term as he was involved in plenty of the play. Jack is always in good form. He would score his first for the day with a ridiculously difficult dribble from the forward pocket. It was a great goal, a fact he was quick to inform me of at the first break! Sanctuary Lakes were getting their fair share of the ball but were unable to get beyond our half back line.  Cooper, Frank and Zach were repelling everything. Yash was brilliant in the ruck. He regularly beat The Lump and was reefing it out of packs and driving it forward when it was on the ground.  Samuel was a tackling machine. Fearless and driven to win the ball. Brilliant Sam! Weston showed no signs of his week in bed. He won plenty of it and used it with his usual effectiveness. Half way through the first Jack would once again find it in the tough pocket and coolly slot his, and our second of the day. Our forwards were seeing plenty of it. Angus was providing a big target out of the pocket and was moving constantly. Sas was running hard and getting involved. Not long before the break, Elijah Moon would have his chance to hit the scoreboard from the difficult pocket. He seemed confident, and rightly so. His kick went straight through the middle. We had 3 now. Good start Roosters.

 

Quarter time Sanctuary lakes 0.0.0 vs West Footscray 3.0.18

The wind would favour the opposition in the second. Everyone stayed in their positions from the first term as the backs hadn’t seen a great deal of it in the first. That would change quickly. The Lump was still locking horns with Yash in the middle. Yash was getting the better of him. Unfortunately for Yash, The Lumps temperament was getting the better of him as well. A couple of cheap rib ticklers were the result. Our backs would be under siege this quarter as the wind was favouring the boys from Sanctuary Lakes. Cooper and Frank would be super busy this term. Our mids dropped back to help them. Felix and Samuel were sensational. Weston and Jack worked their butts off trying to drive it forward. Tito got plenty of it. Xavier was laying tackle after tackle. Zach did likewise. Eventually the wind and the bigger bodies would win out as The Lump scored a major. Not long after they would add a second. Our forwards barely got a look at it. Aaron was superb on the last line of defines. He save the day on numerous occasions from the goal square. Great work Aaron. We had a chance to get one back deep in the last when Nathaniel found himself in a foot race deep in our forward half. He used his strength to win the ball but was unable to get it away. The siren would sound before we got a chance to cash in on his hard work.

 

Half Time Sanctuary Lakes 2.6.18 vs West Footscray 3.0.18

 

The instructions were pretty straight forward at the long break. We have the wind and we need to cash in. Once again the players would stay in their positions. The physical nature of the game was showing on the boys with several nursing a few bruises that had been acquired after they had cleared the pill. I hadn’t received the email from the league about a sheep station being on offer to the victor. It had obviously landed in the inbox at Sanctuary Lakes as they dropped a couple of loose players into our forward 50. I don’t particularly care for sheep but do enjoy winning, so Cooper was swung forward in an attempt to counter this move. We had plenty of the ball in the third. Mickey was awesome on his wing. He gets better each week and was clearly enjoying his run up the ground. Felix was feverish around the packs. Samuel was outstanding. He along with Frank would be awarded the ultimate honour from the Sanctuary Lakes kids for their dominant game. More rib ticklers. Jack and Weston were in everything. Murphy marked just inside 50 and drilled a pass to Elijah Moon who played on and shot only to watch his kick slide agonisingly wide. Yash was arguably the best player on the ground at this stage. He was brilliant in the ruck and devastating when it hit the ground. His running shot was touched on the line. He was also still attracting plenty of attention from the Sanctuary Lakes kids after he cleared the ball. Despite this he just kept getting up and playing his brilliant game. Perfect response Yash.

 

3 Quarter Time Sanctuary Lakes 3.6.24 vs West Footscray 3.2.20

 

It would take a very special effort to get the win today. The boys were looking tired at the last change and quite a few of our more influential players had worn a few whacks during the course of the morning. The wind would play a massive part in the last as it had all game. We would need to score a couple into it if we were to have a chance. Once again our backs would find themselves under the pump. They defended bravely. Countless tackles were laid, hard balls won, and big shepherds laid. We were bringing the ball out through the open side. Weston was seemingly involved in every attempt. Frank and Cooper were once again amazing. Yash unstoppable. Weston laid the best shepherd/bump of the game on one of the rib specialists. He had clearly had enough of the treatment both he and his team mates had received during the game. Try and try again, we just couldn’t get it far enough forward. The intensity had gone up in a big way. Cooper hurt his leg and had to be carried off. This would have left us with only 17 on the ground but Leroy, despite his obvious illness would throw in his mouth guard and take to the field. Within a minute head had laid his first tackle. Selfless and brave. That’s what we have come expect from Leroy. Well Done Nugget. Despite our best efforts those goals we required would not come.

 

Full Time Sanctuary Lakes 5.7.37 vs West Footscray 3.2.20

 

It’s been a tough few weeks for the 11 kids. Undermanned against the best in the comp is never ideal. The physicality of the previous few games has also caused a few problems. It sounds like a weird thing to say, but I think our boys are just too nice! They don’t indulge in the cheap stuff, nor do they retaliate when subjected to it. This has given me some things to think about. We have two games left to find a few answers before the real stuff begins.

 

Damian

 

Back on the road again - this time to Deer Park and we weren't 100% sure of what to expect.  We knocked them off by 170 odd points last time but knew they had improved.  Recent efforts showed they had a system that seemed to be working.  Still down a couple of players we weren't fully aware of who would make the trek.  Kailey and Leo were late withdrawals so we took to the task with 19.  Isaac T captained the side and despite losing the toss, led the team well.  Kicking into a swirly breeze made it tough for the Roosters to show their wares.  Alex, Lenny, Juma and Lachie had first crack in the middle and they managed to keep the Deer Park midfield in check and won their fair share of the ball too.  A scrappy 20 minutes ensued, which saw a one goal quarter - to west (of course), meant it was game on at the first break.  Disciplined and unselfish footy was the theme for the day and this call was echoed at the huddle.  Deer Park attempted to impose themselves on the game through some of the dark arts but credit to Henry, Lachie and Liam - to not engage and focus on the footy.  The second quarter saw normal transmission resume with Samuel, Diesel and Zidane getting their hands on the footy and Soc, Nav and Liam managing to take advantage by registering some majors.  Isaac C, Abdullahi and Hamish were providing useful link ups across half forward that had the Deer Park brains trust not quite sure who to lock down on.  Bailey kept himself busy in the contest and nearly managed to register a 6-pointer.  Half time came and a chance to refocus in the comforts of the 'smoke-infused' change room.  The third quarter required the sleeves to be rolled up - Dan and Luis answered the call and got their hands dirty.  A comfortable 6 goal lead was protected and credit goes to the high half forward group of Henry, Isaac T, Lenny and Soc.  Our backs kept tabs on #22 and #15, who both showed they had the capabilities of doing some scoreboard damage.  Liam, Zidane and Samuel controlled that zone quite skilfully.  The 3 quarter time huddle demanded a disciplined last quarter - tempers were fraying and a massive shout out to Shaun Hudson, who took the whistle (after Jack succumbed to the dreaded nicked calf in the first quarter) and kept the boys' focus on the footy.  The last quarter was another scrappy 20 minutes.  Glimpses of good link up play out of the back line via Samuel, Henry, Jonathan through to Soc and Nav saw the goals tick over.  Diesel capped a fine game with the last goal and when the siren sounded a comfortable victory was banked by the boys in Red and White.  Alex topped his fine all round game with the Heartland Award, and Isaac C and Luis took home the pizza vouchers on the back of team oriented and courageous football.

 

The side continues to roll on and with second spot locked away, a trip to Glenorden then home to the top side rounds out the last two weeks of the Home and Away season.

 

Gritty performance from the group again today - sometimes you have to win ugly and be happy with the 4 points and today was one of those occasions. Well done boys - hit the track, the real stuff is about to begin!

 

Thanks to our army of volunteers again: Rohan (big game on the leeward side all day), Clayton, Margriet (got to use some bandages today!), Jamie in goals, Con (extra effort cleaning up their ground), Liza and Kris, and Mark with fruit.  Rest up Jack, we need you back ASAP.

 

Roosters 8. 11. 59 def Deer Park 1. 5. 11

 

Goals: Socrates 3, Samuel 2, Navindu 1, Liam 1, Diesel 1

 

 


Round 11

Round 11 - Under 9’s Blue vs St Albans Saints

This week at training we concentrated on where our players should be positioned with the ball in different parts of the field – holding our shape, looking for optimism ions that are not always straight in front of us, kicking and marking.

Our Captains today ;

Nathaniel – for continued Teamwork and pressure and Max – some great handballs out of tackles and showing good courage.

 

1st Quarter;

We were kicking to the Playground end.

From the first centre clearance – Mrinal held his halfback position and took a safe mark.

Griffin won a free kick from a good tackle, he played on with a wrap around handball to Mitchell running past – Great Vision, calling and pass.

Felix was taking some marks and getting his possessions out on the Members Wing (his best quarter yet – he was in everything)

Mitchell again launched from half-back with a run-bounce-run and kick through the centre and into our forward 50.

Griff was giving his best with repeated efforts around the ball, Oscar dived on the loose ball.

It was an end-to-end game with the only score going to the Saints.

Well done Team – we are right in this..

 

2nd Quarter;

Players moved positions up the board, “stay wide, stay in your zone, only 4 near the ball, use the first option, kick when you can”

Our skills were on show again – Mitchell took a mark running back with the flight of the ball. Arti was great around the ball getting it out of congestion – but his best work was when he was off the pack and we got it out to him.

Sophia was strong at the ball, not letting it get past her again.  Arlo S-T was great in defence and saved a sure goal. Malik was going for and getting his marks. Jake was having one of his best games – drop punt kicks only, took good options and took a few great overhead marks.

Hugo came out of a St Albans sandwich with a free kick – he is starting to understand his speed works better in open spaces.

We were getting the ball into our Forward 50 but we struggled to get a clear possession close enough to goal to shoot.

Our defence in the middle of the ground was good, and another repeat entry Mitch centred to Jake, he kicked to the top of the square, in amongst the scramble Efe knocked the ball out to Malik who found enough space to burst through and GOAL!

 

The half-time chat between oranges was around how we were doing things well, a couple of unlucky bounces elite her stopped our scoring or allowed the Saints. Keep the course we are following and keep up to he effort.

 

3rd Quarter;

We started re-invigoured;

Mile had no-fear with a fend-off to allow him time to get his kick away. Noah was persistent at the ball, (C) Max was helping his Teammates by getting touches while playing in position.  Alex stood his ground in defence – in front of the biggest kid I have seen(a child-mouintain).  He may have a sore shoulder, but Alex did win a free kick.  Efe was good in close and stayed wide when needed.  Hadi had 3 tackles in a row!! – strong effort.

We were rewarded when Mitchell was disciplined and kicked to the top of the square, Arlo S-T got goalside of his opponent and scored a close range GOAL!

Alan took a mark in defence, Arti had a quick gather and kick from a Ruck tap.

Arlo M was trying hard and was getting possessions through the midfield, Eli didn’t flinch under pressure and got his kicks away.

Griff was in it all again – from selling dummies, tackling the child-mountain…

A great piece of Team play;

Arlo S-T got a kick through this he middle of the ground to Hugo.  He got it to Centre Half Forward, (C)Nathaniel helped lock it in our area, it came out to Malik – who got it to our goalsquare, where Mitchell had  held his position and ran in to an open GOAL!

 

At 3/4 time there was some sore bodies.  Our normal rotations were altered as a few requests to be off for the last were granted.

 

4th Quarter;

Kai was one wounded soldier who was brave to return – and continued his strong game.

The ball was up and back the length of the ground and out to both wings and flanks – this was a good contest!

We eventually got the ball deep into our attack thanks to Jake’s kick , where Oscar got on the end of it and snapped a left-foot GOAL!

We got caught out (for the second time this game) by a quick reply goal the other way – we may have been celebrating too much.

The rest of the game was again an even battle – we played out well till the final siren.

If we were scoring, I think we fell less than a goal short, but I was more than happy with our effort, skills and positioning – I actually think this could overall been our best played game.

 

Special mention Awards to;

Hugo Newman – Was in hard at the ball when required, but is starting to understand his speed works better in open spaces

Mitchell Houareau – his best game on top of many good games.  Broke the line with his run and carry, took good options with his possessions and kept his field position.

 

I was impressed with;

-              Our kicking; all nice drop-punts, no unnecessary torpedo bomb attaempts

-              Positioning; everyone is starting to see the reward of being “next”

-              Teamwork; talk and correct decisions on the ground

-              We didn’t shy away from some bigger players (and the Child-Mountain)

-              There was no score from any of our kick-outs

-              We didn't drop our heads when the quick-reply goals were scored

 

We really were a couple of lucky vs unlucky bounces away from winning this game.

 

This to work on;

-              Getting back to the centre quicker after a goal.

-              Kicking on the run and into space

-              Turn forward to kick quicker, or run backwards to prepare for our kick.

Not a lot, just some tweaking – really well played today.

 

Thankyou Monique, Ash, Paul and all our helpers, cheer-squad, paparazzi and scribes.

We have only a few weeks left – please check the roster that Monique prepared.  If you are down for a role you either are unavailable for or feel uncomfortable doing, please let the other Parents know and between us we may be able to arrange a swap of roles or something.

 

I hope there will be some of you able to stay back after training this Friday as the 9’s Red Roosters play under lights – I’d like the chance to talk to the players parents also.

 

Regards,

Paul

 

Under 10 Match Report Round 11 vs PEGS

 

Round 11 saw a return to our regular 8.50 timeslot hosting PEGS at the Coop.  The Round 4 encounter against the flight crew was a tough slog resulting in a narrow victory to the Roosters, and so the boys knew PEGS would be keen for revenge.  Assistant Coach Kiernan worked the boys hard on the track during the week and they were primed, as switched on for the contest as they have been all season.

 

But first to our celebrations, continuing the theme of 50 game milestones; this time to Manny.  Now is a good opportunity to thank his mum Lisa who has taken on a role nearly every round and assumed the position as our regular water person doing a brilliant job.  This week to acknowledge the special ‘50’ the match report comes as a decade of cinquains:

 

Manny

50 games

Big game performer

Appointed captain for today

Congratulations

 

Dave

Umpiring again

No bias shown

Don’t run too far!

Thanks

 

Siren

Straight in

Nicholas Ziggy Reuben

Alex pass to Hamish

Goal!

 

Defence

No mercy

Patrick William Kiir

PEGS couldn’t break through

Scoreless

 

Centre

Zeke dominating

Ben Marlon Rory

Running the ball clear

Flow

 

Marking

Great display

Best efforts ever

Kiir Reuben Flynn Manny

Skills

 

Tackling

Smothering too

Great effort Leo

Leaving the opposition shellshocked

Strong

 

 

 

 

Ash

Long kicking

Hitting the forwards

Joharo scoring shots aplenty

Unlucky

 

Recovery

Zaw Zaw

Off the bench

Kicked a great goal

Miraculous

 

Time

Huge result

Dominated all game

Fantastic all team effort

Victory!!

 

13 goals to 1, multiple goals to Hamish, Manny & Alex.  Brilliant all round team effort, superbly coached by Des with much-appreciated support from Kiernan.  Huge thanks to all our parent helpers, this and every week.  Please let me know if you’re away during school holidays as numbers will be tight in coming weeks.

 

Andrea

 

 

Under 11 Round 11

West Footscray vs Hoppers Crossing

 

It’s hard to write a match report about a game where you got touched up to the tune of 100 points. Given this fact, I won’t even try it. I will however give you a rundown of every player this season, with the odd snippet about the previously mentioned game thrown in from time to time.

#1. Zach (The Blanket): In his third year of football at the Roosters, Zach has shown improvement beyond our expectations. He is a tackling machine. It should be noted that he always was. This season has seen him seriously improve his game awareness which has allowed him to have far greater impact on matches. It’s a travesty that he hasn’t bagged a goal yet. He has narrowly missed on so many occasions. Can play at either end as either a dour defender or a defensive forward. Either way I know that I will get 100% effort every time he hits the field. Great season Zach.

#2. Jack. As expected, Jack has had an amazing year. 25 goals from 10 games in the midfield is an amazing return. Fast on the outside of packs and hard at it inside of them. Big marks running back with the flight and a stack of tackles. Tinkered with a headband briefly which would have seen him dropped from the squad, Jack has put together a season to this point which has been outstanding.

#3. Samuel. This young man’s last month of football has been brilliant. A key plank down back. His attack on the ball is sensational. He appears to go better against bigger opponents which is a pretty handy attribute given some of the sides we play. Will see a bit of time further up the ground in coming weeks. His game against Hoppers was his best yet at the club. Keep it going Sam. You’re coach is loving it.

#4 Aaron. Has been given the unenviable task of playing full back this year. He has done it well. He is quickly learning when to leave his opponent to attack the pill and when to stay at home. Aaron has taken countless goal saving grabs on the last line of defence. Keep it up mate. It’s one of the toughest jobs in the team and you are getting better at it each time you play. Cracking year so far.

#5 Murphy. Murphy has found himself at half forward this season. He is there for a reason as well. Quick as a flash with a knack for hitting the scoreboard.  9 goals this season so far. His field kicking has improved out of sight. His confidence in taking on opponents and running is growing and will be much needed in the finals campaign. Great work Murf!

#6 Xavier (The Wallet/Doona). There is no opponent that this young man will not tackle. His stature belies a fierce competitive streak where he refuses to be beaten. His tackle in the dying moments of our victory against Altona is a season highlight for me. A back pocket specialist (hence “the wallet”) who can always be depended upon to do the hard work and lay that important tackle. A vital cog down back. Well done Xavier.

#7. Cooper. Chalked up his 50th game in what has been an amazing season. Cooper is rock solid down back and ultra-attacking in the middle. Loves to tackle and not afraid to take opponents on. Every possession he wins, Cooper will always look to attack with it. When Cooper is up and running we rarely lose. A couple of goals this year, a thousand touches and a fantastic season from someone we knew was good already, but has still exceeded our expectations.

#8 Angus. This fine young man is a sleeping giant. Angus can’t make every game, but when he has been available has shown a growing confidence and will to get the ball. For a large guy he does his best work in close where his strength and height are used to advantage. His skills have improved out of sight and we look forward to seeing him pull on the red and white again this season.

#9. Kadin. Nobody in the team moves like Kadin. A natural athlete with silky skills. A great mark overhead with pin point kicking and handballs. Spent the first half of the season in the ruck before moving to the wing. He hated the move when told. This faded quickly however when in his first game on the wing he tore the game to pieces and scored a Heartland Award. Kadin has 2 goals this year but has set up countless others. This boy could be anything. He just needs the self-belief now. Kadin, I know you can an absolute game winner.

#10 Sean. A forward line specialist who has played back to back career best games. His game against Hoppers Crossing as captain was brilliant. Sean has always possessed good skills, but has in recent weeks added some seriously improved movement and attack on the ball to his game. This will be super important for the team as we head towards finals. His 3 goal tally is certain to be improved if he keeps going like this. Great work Sean. Keep it going mate.

#11. Nathaniel. A first year player who has developed well beyond our expectations. Plays the role of the deep forward target. His strength in the forward line is an invaluable asset. Does the one percenters every time. Shepherds, tackles and the grunt work are his forte when the pill hits the ground. Has a strong mark as well which has enabled him to slot 3 goals for the season. Love your work Nathaniel. Awesome first year of football.

#12 Leroy (Nugget). An absolute contested ball animal. The harder the contest, the better he goes. Leroy has spent most of the season frustrating opposition teams in the backline. He has some serious closing speed and a bone jarring tackle technique. Leroy played the best game I’ve ever seen from him against Hoppers Crossing last week as a midfielder. He did all the little things we love and added some serious pace once he got clear of the pack.  Super important cog in this team. Keep it coming Nugget. Last week was absolutely brilliant!

#13 Frank. Being a coach is like being a parent. You’re not supposed to have favourites. You will have to excuse me when it comes to Frank. The ultimate team man. He is also the ultimate utility. When I ask Frank to a job I know it will get done. In his second season in 2017, Frank has been an absolute revelation. His development as a footballer has been nothing short of incredible. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty and is amazing in tight around the packs and damaging when he finds it in space. The gap between his best and worst games is tiny. Franks best is very, very good. I love the effort you give every week Frank. You’re amazing.

#14 Yash. Another second year player who has come along in leaps and bounds. Yash started the season as a wingman where his run and attacking skills were amazing. He swapped into the ruck (I can still the look on his face when told him) and has been playing amazing football ever since. He out rucks far taller opponents and instantly goes to work in tight when it hits the ground. His pace enables him to break from packs and launch attacks for his team. He has also bagged 2 goals this year. His game last weekend against Hoppers was fantastic and quite possibly his best game for the Roosters yet. The  ruck is a tough gig, especially when you are almost always shorter.  The way Yash has approached this task is brilliant and a great example to his team mates. Awesome.

#15. Mickey.  To say that this guys last month has been fantastic would be an understatement. He has been outstanding. Mickey has always looked silky on the training track but has taken a bit longer to produce this form consistently in games. That is now a thing of the past. His leading and clean marking are fantastic. His confidence around packs is also greatly improved. Mickey now wins his own ball on the ground and then uses it to bring his team mates into the action. Mickey has 2 goals this season in a tally that is certain to increase. His game vs Hopers Crossing last week was fantastic. He gives you 100% every game and is quickly becoming one of the more accomplished players in the squad.

#16. Felix. The boy is a machine! Felix started the season as a half forward. His goal sense is second to none. As the season progressed it become clear that this Rooster needed to play in the middle. Quick, desperate, crafty and tireless, he is an absolute blessing to have in the middle of the park. His attack on the ball is ferocious, his tackling outstanding and his run on the outside amazing. Felix has 3 goals to his name this season and would have had plenty more if he wasn’t in the middle so often. Another of our 100% effort guys. Brilliant against Hoppers Crossing last week. Felix, you are a gun!

#17 Vinh. Hard as nails with beautiful skills. Who wouldn’t want Vinh in the team? He spends his time rotating between the middle and half back. Vinh possesses a very cool head when under the pump and seemingly always makes the right decision. His game is selfless and everything he does is to the benefit of the team. Unfortunately Vinh has missed a lot of games recently due to a fractured finger and will miss a few more courtesy of a trip to Vietnam. Hurry back Vinh! A vital piece of our U11 team puzzle who has left a large void in his absence. Vinh, you’re a gun!

#18 Elijah-Moon. This young gent was a permanent fixture at Shorten Reserve over the off season as he honed his goal kicking.  His football has improved steadily as the season has progressed. His leading is beginning to bring him more and more of the ball. That’s a good thing as he is pretty handy in front of the sticks as his 6 goals this season would attest.  I am really looking forward to his next month given his improvement. With some hard work at training learning his craft I think there is a very real chance that we can greatly improve his goal tally.

#19 Aleks. I must admit that it has taken me a few years to really figure out where this chaps best position is. Early season training confirmed that he needed to be a key defender. A lot of kids hate it when they are told they are going to the backline. Aleks embraced it. Even better is that he is seriously good at it. Blessed with amazing overhead marking, fantastic ability to read the play and a booming left boot, Aleks is both our first line of defence and our first line of attack. He is pretty handy at weaving his way through packs when needed and has done some pinch hitting in the ruck where he been fantastic. We would be a far lesser team without you Aleks. Stupendous season so far!

#22 Tito. This young man came to our team several weeks after the season had started. It is always hard to figure out the best place to play new players. After playing the first few weeks in the forward half it was decided that Tito would be pretty useful down back. He has size and strength. His tackling is best avoided. His marking under pressure is very solid and this has enabled him to bail us out on more than one occasion. Each week he shows a little bit more that he has brought to his game. Keep it up Tito. Nice work.

#23 Christian.  Another late comer to this season. Christian only played a couple of games before it was obvious. This boy is a wingman. He has a seriously quick set of wheels and a beautiful kick. Once he gets free he is hard to catch. His speed and attacking game have seen him score 3 goals this year. His game against Hoppers Crossing last week was particularly pleasing. I asked him to take players on and he did. Repeatedly. Hoppers Crossing found this hard to counter. That’s pretty handy to know. Awesome game last week and a brilliant first season. His confidence is still building and it’s exciting to think of what he is capable of producing. Great work Christian.

#24 Sasmitha. 7 games into his Roosters career and I get a sense that things are beginning to click with this boy. Another of our speedsters, Sas has been deployed in the forward line. He has come agonisingly close to scoring his maiden goal and I am absolutely certain it won’t be far away. His efforts last week against Hoppers Crossing were great. He attacked the ball and got it. Keep doing it mate. Once you get away, you probably won’t get caught. A very good start to your first season buddy. Keep working at it and I know you will get rewarded. You’ve got the skills and speed to be a real threat down forward.

#25 Weston. Wow! What a season so far. Weston has been integral to our season. Blessed with great decision making, a laser like left boot, a pretty accurate right boot and seemingly all the time in the world when he has the pill. A great mark as well. Weston has bagged 6 goals this year from the centre. His goal sense is impeccable and would have surely scored more if not for his highly accountable style of play and his team first mentality by positioning himself behind the play in our forward line. An amazing season so far from a young man who has developed his game beyond our already high expectations. Absolutely brilliant.

 

We have 3 big games to go before the finals. I am still firmly of the belief that our best is good enough to beat every side we play. By fine tuning and working on little things like our tackling, shepherding and attack on the ball, we will surely give all comers in the finals a real run for their money. Let’s do it!

 

Damian

 

Rd 11: U13’s West Footscray V Williamstown Juniors

 

Home game this week and with most of our players back we actually had a bench. We were facing up to Willi juniors and expecting a real challenge as they are 3rd on the ladder. It had been a huge day at Rooster central with this being the fourth and last game for the day, starting at 2.05pm. A big thanks to the parents who kept the canteen going all day, particularly Vicki Roberts who did a few shifts today.

 

It didn’t look like the opposition had loaded up their team based on the warmups but they started well with a quick clearance and goal in the first minute of the game. There was a steady breeze across the ground favouring the horsey park end which we were kicking to but it didn’t seem to be helping much. Most of the Rooster’s looked like they were still asleep - maybe they thought it was siesta time due to the late start, or just school holidays daze.

 

A few players were starting out of their usual position to try and keep Willi guessing. Maybe that had our own players guessing too. Eventually the ball spent some time in our forward half and Henry weaved through the traffic to get the Roosters on the board with a goal. Overall we seemed to be struggling with the basics today. The pressure from Willi was showing with lots of scrambling play and missed kicks. Liam made the most of his chances at full forward kicking a couple as well – including another out of the ground.

 

The second quarter continued much like the first with skill errors around the ground but a least our pressure and effort were there. Willi had a few good fast players which took some chasing, but they didn’t like it if they were caught. Kailey took great pleasure in wrapping up one little speedster to the cry of ballllll from the crowd and a well earnt free kick. Desperate efforts by Lenny, Bailey, Isaac T and Leo held Willi off even though they had the breeze. The long break came and we had the close one 4.2.26 to 4.4.28, although the Roosters were down.

 

I didn’t hear the coaching message during the break but it must have been good because the Roosters finally got going. Zidane worked himself into the game as it went on and his warm holiday became a memory – glad to have you back. Navindu showed some glimpses of his electric speed and Hamish continued his good start in football with some clean possessions. Jonathan always seems to have time to make the right decision passing with the ball, and Henry took full advantage kicking a long set shot goal with the breeze. Willi were scoreless for the quarter thanks to some excellent defence from Juma, Isaac C and Luis, and pressure in the forward half from Diesel, Daniel and Lachlan. Samuel was left free across half back and he cleaned up beautifully – can’t believe Willi made that mistake. The game had swung our way with a handy lead now 8.3.51 to 4.4.28.

 

By the last quarter Willi seemed to have lost their run. Socrates, back in his usual territory in front of goals, took a good overhead mark and goaled to start the last quarter well into the breeze. Alex was great in defence all game and changing into the ruck. Sam and Liam had a well-earned rest on the bench to finish the game. Willi had the last few scores that balanced up the scoreboard a little but the Roosters finished with a good win in the end.

 

With finals just around the corner now we will have to really sharpen up our skills and teamwork. We will meet Willi again in the first week of finals and they are going to be harderthen so we can’t afford a slow start again.

 

Thanks to the volunteer umpires today as the league couldn’t provide any. One was a player from the Roosters seniors so thanks very much.

 

Thanks also to all the parents supporting on the day, particularly helpers this week: Kris in goals & Liza with the ice water, Con on security, Rohan running boundary (the dead side all game), Margriet (no major injuries), Briohny (cold with the clock) and Jamie T with fruit and jumpers.

 

Roosters 10. 9. 65 def Point Cook 5. 9. 39

 

Goals: Liam 3, Henry 2, Socrates 2, Diesel 1, Zidane1

 


Round 10

WEST FOOTSCRAY ROOSTERS - Under 9 Reds vs. Flemington Juniors – Round Ten - 23/6/17.

Good Evening Sports Fans.

It was always there in the fixture, Round Ten. Even after round one, it was still nine rounds away so mathematically it had to come. Sure enough, a round nine win against Albion meant a Round Ten clash with Flemington was imminent. At least we had nine rounds to prepare.  Not necessarily preparing for the best team, but there is something about them that makes you want to play your best. Is it because last year they were coached by Scotty Cummings? Is it because they film every game? I don’t know, just a bit of ego talkin’ I guess.  We have a good record against The Colts though. Recent history has at one win a piece. It would be nice to go one up!

Our Captains for the day would be Otto and Riley. We lost the toss and were kicking to the Commissions.

Wait….. Is that a drone hovering over our heads?! What did I tell ya!

The first stanza would prove to be a tight tussle but the Niner’s would prove to be a little bit slicker than the Colts. It took a few minutes of sizing each other up before Archie, determined not to repeat his inaccuracy from last week, kicked his and our first for the day. As I mentioned, it was tight, but we had all the answers. Sasha the Dasher, as usual ran his socks off and Howe Diddy was electric. Raz was monstrous, I might have to start calling him “Hurls” such is his strength. Clara and Archer kept up the pressure in the forward line as did Oliver and Jack P in defence. Harry and Archie took fine marks and at the siren, it was close with the Niner’s up by seven points, 19 to 12.

The Second Quarter would be just as tight as the first. The effort of Niner’s was outstanding across the board. Diesel was chasing and tackling as was Abby. Lace Up, like the Joker, was at the bottom of most packs, Dylan and Jack G kept up the heat in the middle and Dozer and Aiden patrolled the forward line like hungry dogs looking for scraps. Oscar and Jack G linked up for a nice play which made me think that we have come a long way this year. The only score of the quarter would be a goal to Howe Diddy who owned the footy and would prompt Kane’s opposite Manager to call the Heartland before half time!

The tussle would continue in the third, with both goal umpires drinking Latte’s and enjoying a little down time in the morning sun. However the battle between the opposing goal posts was fierce. Louis and Max ‘more than a’ Phelan were injected into the mid field and kept the Roosters engine rumbling. Riley assumed his usual third quarter role in the ruck with his newly shaved scone adding to the physical menace that he provides. Archer, who is taking it up a notch each week, was crunched in bone rattling tackle that shook him up momentarily but he continued on, not wanting to miss out on the action. Iggy had a terrific second half, he looks to be really enjoying getting his hands dirty and went on to win Rooster of the Week for his efforts and Captain Otto had his skates on chasing the footy through the middle. The back line was strong with Jami, Archie and Harry providing the run off half back and Rylan hanging tough at full back.

It was still close at the beginning of the last, only fourteen points. Considering that they had only kicked twelve points so far, it seemed unlikely. You could feel the energy in the huddle, like a shaken can of Coke ready to be opened by an unwitting Rube .The past two quarters had been restricting and The Little Red Roosters were ready to offer our hosts a little drink.

“Why thank you Roosters, don’t mind if we do”!

Siren sounds, whistle blows, then silence, everything appears in slow motion. Everything except the Niners!  Enough was enough; they exploded from the blocks leaving the Colts at the gates. Harry kicked the first. Raz crashed his way forward to land one on the chest of Iggy. Unfortunately it drifted across the face for a Wilbur Poster. Marking would be a pleasing feature of the quarter with Harry, Louis, Archie, Dozer, Maxie and Iggy all taking grabs. The pressure on the Colts was relentless. Archer and Action Jackson kept the wings flapping. Archie roved to kick his third, Raz attacked to kick his first, Maxie ducked and weaved for his first and Archie would round it out with his forth. The Colts would manage one, their first score since the first quarter but the rout had already been inflicted; 9.4.58 – 3.0.18. Five goals to one in the last, well done Roosters. Ego soothed!

Well, we have earned it. Our turn for a rest this weekend with the Niner’s snagging the bye in the first week of school hols. Enjoy your time off Little Red Roosters. Our next game will be a cracker under Friday Night Lights against the mite of Williamstown. We will be keen to follow on from the success of the Blues in what we hope will be an annual tradition of Friday night footy. We hope to see you all there.

Special thanks to Brad for tending to the wounded, and to everyone who filled the volunteered roles, and to those who cheered us on away from home, we can’t do this without you, it is most appreciated.

Richie and Kane. Round 10 – Away to Altona Vikings.

 

After last weeks strong and disciplined performance we had a spring in our step as we prepared in the chilly morning air for this encounter.

 

Our Captains today are Alan Luu and Miles Martin – a good reward for ongoing strong efforts and improvements.

 

1st Quarter;

The first tap of the day was won by Jake, down to Arti, who then moved it on to Mitchell – we were away immediately with some good Teamwork. Mitchell applied good pressure around a loose ball which eventually came out to Oscar – who kicked the games first Goal.

From the kick-off, the ball headed the other way through loose Viking players and and their good foot passing.

We re-focussed and the game became more of a battle between the 50m archs.

Efe was working hard at getting the ball forward for us, Alex had some big kicks – clearing players in defence.  Mitchell was rewarded for a strong tackle in our goalsquare with a free kick – he settled and kicked truly for another Goal.

Oscar kept tackling hard and Bastien was rewarded for repeat efforts at tackling with a free kick.

 

2nd Quarter;

We lost our shape and concentration a bit in this period of the game.  We were struggling to defend against the Vikings spread out players and didn't have options ourselves when we had the ball.

(C)Alan was harassing the Viking whenever he was near the ball,  there was strong tacklers in Malik, Arti, Maya and Arlo S-T.

We had some goal saving efforts by Jake, Bastien and (C)Miles.

Jacob and Nathaniel took a good marks.  Max did well under pressure to get a handball away to a Teammate.  Sophia did well to keep the ball in our area. Jake made a great smother on the mark and rolled up with a tackle.

 

At half time we talked about how we had gone away from doing all the good things that had helped us last week and in the first quarter.

Let's get the Vitamin c into us, and lets start this game from now and try to keep our shape and kick to the first option.

 

3rd Quarter;

The game had maybe gotten away from us in the second quarter – but there was a re-need enthusiasm after the long break.

Kai set the example of sticking close to the Viking opposition, Eli and Alex were still applying pressure, Malik had a good kick through the centre of the ground.

We were passing the ball a bit more (sometimes not quite far enough – but the right idea) and working the ball out of defence along the boundary (sometimes going out – but again, the right idea)

Maya had a good handball out of the pack to a Teammate.  Griffin continued his strong all round efforts – highlighted by a smother creating a point scored.

Hadi was bustling the ball forward for his Team.  Felix was strong in defence – watching the ball when surrounded by Vikings.  Noah was watching the play better and sticking to his opposition. Oscar won himself another kick with a great tackle.

A very even quarter – a big improvement from the Second – with not much scoring by either Team.

 

 

4th Quarter;

Ok Team, we have got back into the game - lets finish strong.

Mrinal laid tackles, got some possessions and kept up our pressure.

Max again quickly got a handball out of the pack to Oscar – kick to our goalsquare, where Jacob gathered the ball and Goaled.

Oscar took another good mark, Felix saved a goal in defence and kept going at the ball.  Arlo M guarded his space in defence and made a good tackle.  Hadi had a good kick out of defence.  Nathaniel kept running and offering an option to pass to.  Griff was trying to link with his Teammates.

Late in the quarter, Jake bustled across our crowded goalsquare and snapped the last Goal of the day.

-              A great way to finish the game.

 

Today the Heartland Award went to (C)Miles Martin – for ongoing efforts with and without the ball.

 

Our Rooster Awards went to Maya and Oscar – for continually setting good examples of effort and Teamwork.

 

 

We played well in patches today – but went away from holding our shape at times, and that is when we were scored against.

 

 

Things to work on this week;

-              Kicking on the run.

-              Keepy - off how to keep passing the ball to an option in space.

-              What positions should our players be in when the ball is in different spots on the field.

 

Overall well done Players,

well done Flag-wavers, Whistle-blowers, H2O Holders, Magnet Movers, Orange-Quarterers, First aid, Press, Paparazzi and Cheer-squad,

Thank-you (as always) Ash, Monique and Paul, and anyone who cannot fit themselves into a previous mentioned spot.

 

See you at training,

Regards,

Paul

 

 

 

U10 Match Report Round 10 Newport vs West Footscray

 

I adore all of these little boys, but there’s one I feel a particularly filial, dna-induced affection for.  Luckily for me, I have the pleasure of living with Benny the Dentist and so have been privy to the weekly countdown to his fiftieth game (a countdown in train since July 2016…).  At 9 years, 10 months and 24 days he surely has to be the youngest player in the history of the club to manage that milestone.  Could he possibly play 200 games for West Footscray?  Bronze sculpture on its way.  Please excuse the self-indulgence, but hey, write a match report and you too can wax lyrical about your own child.

 

In the spirit of the theme, I thought I’d base this report around the top 50 highlights of what was a super, all-round brilliant team effort this week.

 

1st quarter…

  • More than half the team arriving before the door was even unlocked. We’re getting better folks!

 

  • Several parents offering extra assistance despite all jobs being filled. Thanks for all your support, it makes the game flow so much more smoothly.

 

  • Marlon forgetting his socks, just when I thought the manager’s kit bag had every possible spare item imaginable.

 

  • The guard of honour provided by the Newport team to welcome Benny onto the ground. Set the tone for a lovely match played in a really great spirit.

 

  • The 5XL runner’s polo, looking more like a tent than a shirt. A comical highlight for all but the runner.

 

  • Marlon’s immediate push forward from the middle, catching Newport unawares.

 

  • Manny’s quick snap on goal within the first few minutes.

 

  • The 2nd, 3rd and 4th efforts by Eli in tackling, chasing, and smothering which he kept up for the entire match, earning him the Heartland Award.

 

  • A brilliant mark by Patrick to swing the flow immediately to our forward line.

 

  • Alex running around 4 opponents to pass it to Noah the goal machine, who kicked truly.

 

  • Great smother by the Dentist, first of many for the game.

 

  • Impressive body work by Flynn stopping any attempt by Newport to clear the ball out of their defence.

 

  • Terrific defensive work on the Newport forward line by Nicholas, tackling and smothering, which continued throughout the game.

 

  • Great mark by Rory in the middle just as Newport were pushing forward. He held this position solidly all game.

 

  • The Kiir-Hamish-Noah combination terrifying the Newport back line.

 

  • An opposition parent overheard exclaiming “gee that Number 18” can run! Yes, Reuben sure can.

 

  • Great work out of defence by Zaw Zaw, preventing Newport from getting close to scoring.

 

  • A goal by Hamish just on the siren, taking us into the quarter-time break at 2.4 having kicked with the (icy) wind.

 

  • Mad dash to the change rooms to rescue an errant mouthguard – aside from the mid-game workout for the manager this was not a highlight but it doesn’t hurt to slot in a reminder to all players to have all gear organised and ready to go.

 

2nd quarter…

  • Goal to Ashton shortly after play resumed.

 

  • Very cosy bench blankies supplied by Lisa, which up until this point have been surplus to requirements but which had a serious workout on Sunday.

 

  • Ferocious tackling in the backline from Patrick, Zeke, Leo, Ben, Reuben, Hamish… Newport just couldn’t break through.

 

  • Great reading of the play by Leo and William to clear the ball out of defence time after time.

 

  • Joharo patrolling the centre like a general and directing the ball forward.

 

  • Strong kicking into the wind by Kiir to clear the ball from danger.

 

  • Restricting Newport to a 1 point quarter with the wind, while kicking several of our own (our conversion could still do with some work though!).

 

3rd quarter…

  • An immediate goal to Alex within seconds of play resuming.

 

  • Brilliant reading of the play by Thomas, swooping as he did all game to get the ball quickly to Patrick.

 

  • Umpire Dave pinging Patrick for running too far. Not a highlight, but it couldn’t go un-mentioned.

 

  • Swarming of Ashton-Manny-Alex in the forward line to repeatedly pepper the goals (did I already mention that conversion rate…?)

 

  • A brilliant, text-book tackle by Ben earning a free kick and saving a sure Newport goal.

 

  • Umpire Dave paying a second free for running too far, this time against Ben. Again not a highlight, but you could never question his bias.

 

  • A courageous smother by Flynn thwarting Newport’s first set shot on goal.

 

  • An exciting, attention-grabbing passage from Reuben hoovering the ball from the centre, streaming down the wing and booting the ball towards goal – deserved better than a point.

 

  • Patrick marking the kick-in and immediately kicking a goal.

 

  • Brilliant mark to Reuben on the half-back line, followed by the trademark run-around-onto-his-left-foot (and-by-now-every-scout-knows-this-kid-is-a-ball-magnet-and-can-run-like-the-wind-so-just-be-sure-to-keep-him-off-his-left).

 

  • Flynn emerging from the pack for an impressive, if awry kick on goal.

 

  • Alex seizing on the subsequent scrum to finish off the quarter with a goal.

 

  • Des’ 3/4 time address, drawing on his trademark wisdom and imparting a few life lessons along the way. This particular address congratulated the boys on their whole-team effort to that point and encouraged them to bring it home.  It went something along the lines of… "It's got to be a do-or-die effort. It's got to be a determined effort. You've got to show me all the guts and determination you've got in your body. You've got to inspire me with this last quarter finish. You've been in front all day and you've got to stay there."  Pretty good stuff.

 

4th quarter…

  • William desperately diving on a Newport-bound ball to thwart any chance of a final quarter comeback.

 

  • Ben surging through the middle from the backline to take a terrific mark.

 

  • Marlon bursting through the pack to somehow find a way forward to Noah.

 

  • Kiir guarding the Newport goals, preventing any last minute scoring.

 

  • Dave throwing in yet another ‘ran too far’ free to Newport. Seriously, he’s umpiring with one of those wheel things we used to have in primary school in the 80s, before lasers, and digital technology and the like, (you know the ones that you roll around and they click when you pass certain increments.  I think it’s called a trundle wheel.  Stay with me.)

 

  • The final tally of 7 goals (and too many points) while restricting Newport to 1.1.

 

  • The attempt by several boys to chair Ben off the ground, nearly dropping him on his head in the process.

 

  • The eventually successful chair-off managed by Kiir (on his own).

 

  • The glorious, joyful performance of ‘Roosters, Roosters, Roosters, cock-a-doodle-do’ heard bellowing from the Visitors’ change-rooms (thank God the U13s have moved onto something a little more manly… I really can’t imagine the likes of Zidane and Juma belting that one out...)

 

  • The support of all our parent volunteers today, including Craig whose son Tem was a late withdrawal but he still donned the yellow escort vest nonetheless.

 

  • The dedication and commitment of Coach Des who gives these boys so much, week after week even though his time is well and truly taken up by other matters at present. Love your work, Des!

 

Andrea

 

Here we go;

 

Round 10 was the first of the return matches and so we ventured to Kinder Smith (what or who is Kinder Smith?  Google failed to enlighten this seasoned scribe) to take on Sunshine.  We delved into the notebook on what they served up last time and all the notes centred on #12.  There was no question the lad could play (he played interleague so we weren’t the only ones that knew he could play).

 

We had a couple of late (very late) withdrawals leaving us with 16.  We did have Jack and Weston on the fast train from Altona, but we took the field without them.  Jonathan won the toss and we kicked with the breeze – massive bonus, as we surged out of the middle via Alex, Lenny and our skipper, Jonathan.  This gave plenty of supply for Soc and Diesel to do their usual bit and hit the scoreboard early.  The boys, however, were only in second gear – drifting, grouping and kicking down the line; all things we wish to avoid and after a lacklustre quarter, 4 goals to 1 with a significant breeze gave the coaching staff a bit to ponder.

 

Hamish making his debut proved a handy asset and one of the highlights was him getting his first goal – into the breeze no less, that allowed us to score 2 goals to none in the second.  Henry and Ben were winning their positions – something Sunshine didn’t handle at all.  Combine that with Juma, Leo, Isaac, Bailey and Samuel holding down the fort in the backline – West asserted their dominance.  Juma playing very tight, Leo – reading the play well and both Isaac and Bailey refusing to let the ball past.  All traits of dominant sides.  Lenny continued to marshal the troops, I love the way he plays, he puts his head over it, knows how to look for an option and doesn’t buckle under pressure from the opposition.  The long break came with the Roosters in control 6.5 to 1.1.

 

The instructions at half time was to sharpen the skills, play to the whistle and put Sunshine away in the 3rd quarter.  Juma was moved forward, Hamish slotted onto the back flank, Ben into the ruck and Diesel up onto a wing.  This gave Sunshine even more to think about.  #12 was struggling to assert any influence – particularly given Liam was assigned the task of minimising his impact; a job he mastered with aplomb.  The third started with Jack and Weston (much needed reinforcements) hovering around half forward, and what a nuisance they proved to be.  Time and time again, they got on the end of the clearance and set up chances for Soc, Juma and Nav.  Nav, despite a return bout of the fumbles, continued to involve himself in many passages of play and proved a massive headache for our hosts.    6 goals to none ended the contest but there was still work to do.  One of the highlights was Juma winning a deliberate rushed behind free kick to kick one of our 6 goals for the quarter – a rule rarely seen enforced at this level, but strictly speaking it was the right call.

 

The last 20 minutes saw another reshuffle of the borad.  Lachie – who had been very solid all game, involved himself again to bob up and kick a vital goal into the wind.  Henry and Samuel continued to dominate their positions.  Samuel playing a very impressive game across half back and repelling the odd wave of Sunshine attack.  His kicking continues to impress.  Hitting targets, both long and short is a skill all would do well to try to replicate.  Henry, time and time again shows his elite running power and we have yet to see anyone who can match it with him.  Not to be outdone was Bailey, who again shows his worth to his team through his versatility.  When the time comes for him to go, he goes and is rarely beaten in a 1-on-1 contest.  Although the opposition coach may have had his wires crossed re our goal kickers, Bailey was a deserved winner of the Heartland Award today.  His season to date has been one of consistency.  He is always willing to play the role asked of him and it is always carried out with a minimum of fuss – well deserved Bailey!

 

The final siren sounded to confirm another solid Rooster victory.  The boys had survived being the hunted – yet that mantle will not disappear over the remaining 4 home and away games.  The challenges keep on coming, with a loaded Williamstown arriving at Shorten on Sunday looking to atone for their last effort against our Red & White machine.

 

Thanks to Weston and Jack for answering our SOS – particularly Jack who felt the full brunt of U13 footy; rest up pal, we may need you again soon.  Thanks also go to our band of helpers and supporters.  Shannon with the fruit, Simon M on boundary (keep practicing those throw ins), Margriet on first aid duties, Yenny & Thomas with drinks, Jamie T in goals and Con escorting umpires and Arjuna on the clock.

 

We get a few boys back next game, but that by no means suggests the load will be taken up by others.  Continue working on the track boys, plenty of hard work is ahead of us.  The WRFL just don’t hand out awards for 10 games.  The season is hotting up and it is time for the Roosters to take it to the next level.

 

Our regular team awards were shared amongst Diesel and Samuel today.  We pride our performance on team first and play your role accountability and these two fine young Roosters continue to display these traits in spades.  Well earnt boys!!

 

Onwards we go and make sure we get to training to keep working hard on our game.

 

Scores:  WFFC 15.9.99 def Sunshine 2.2.14

Goals: Soc 3, Nav 2, Diesel 2, Juma 2, Hamish 1, Lachie 1, Weston 1, Liam 1, Henry 1, Ben 1