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.