U9 Orange

Rd 10: West Footscray V Hopper Crossing

Sunday morning football games don’t seem so bad when it is a beautiful winter’s morning and you are playing at home. Despite some hint of frost on the oval cross as we walked across to the sheds at 8 am you could tell it was going to warm up nicely later on. Today we hosted Hoppers Crossing in our return match. They had been tough opposition first time around and the team seemed to remember that well. Attention spans were short during the preparations. After singing happy birthday to Jack G and Jimmy I reminded them we were here to play a game of football. Jack M and Kase led the team out as captains for the day.

We must have been thinking about birthdays still when Hoppers got the jump on us in the first quarter. Our defence was put straight to the test and they battled very well to limit their scoring. Kase continued his good form taking a strong mark at full back. Hugo N. was everywhere collecting marks and kicks. Jimmy was positioning well land using the bump perfectly to win the ball. Otto shepherded to help his teammates well. Jack M finished the quarter on a high pulling in a great one handed mark at CHF.

As seems to be our pattern we woke up for the second quarter and the ball was sent into our forward line regularly. The best passage of play involved linking kicks between Oliver R. Hugo N. Charlie, Jimmy and finally Hugo L. who finished it with a GOAL. Great to see what quick movement and hard running can do. Hugo L. followed up soon after with another snap that just hit the post. The Roosters seemed to have control of the game for a while. Eli was moving well on his wing and the ball was pushed forward where Charlie showed his style and booted a long bouncing GOAL himself.  Our backline was very solid when needed with Enrique and Thomas warming up to the contest. It was a great quarter by the Roosters.

The third quarter was more of an arm wrestle. There were some great kicks by Zeph and Jack G that really helped our position. Jimmy had an excellent quarter too kicking long and grabbing a big pack mark near the car park flank. Otto continued to put his body into the contest but coped a knock to his ear and needed some treatment. With no-one on the bench today he was back soon after. Eamon and Paddy also read the play well and attacked the ball every time it was in their zone.

It seemed we had run out of fuel in the last quarter as Hoppers piled on the pressure. Our backline performed very well with Bodee and Oliver R. pressuring their opponents and only allowing a series of points. Bodee also took a good mark in the backline. Jackson and Hugo W. kept playing well in the mid field this quarter to run the game out.

Hoppers were too strong and skilful for us today but the players all put in a great effort and showed some good football of their own for periods during the game.

Rooster of the week was Charlie for another great game of tackling, chasing and his own clean possessions.




U9 Blue – Round 10 – Away to Albion


I had been here before, but for cricket matches.  As we played that day, there was a photo shoot with ALFW players and the iconic silo’s as the backdrop.  

Could the famous Mirool Silo Challenge (that Billy Brownless famously completed – factcheck “Selwood Boys”) be as tall as these?

Our early arrival Roosters tried their own “up and over” challenge in clearing the net behind the goals.

The keen eyed noticed a basketball hoop on the back fence for those that needed another challenge…


The players from both Teams warmed up at one end, as the eastern end, even nearing 10 o’clock, was still in the shadow of the silos.

The winter sun was well and truly out and by the start of the game, it was a beautiful morning for footy.


Ed and Oscar were our Captains today.  Ed has been working his way into the Team after some time out with an injury.  Oscar is gaining in confidence and finding more opportunities to show off his left foot kick.


Leo was a late withdrawal.

Arlo was unable to play but took on a role as Assistant Coach today.

That left us with 17, which Albion was happy to replicate.


1st Quarter;

From the very first ball-up it was a hard fought contest, with strong tackling and pressure.

Jack won the first meaningful possession of the game, kicking it clear of the middle.

In amongst the scrums was Fletcher and Jackson.  Following on from his defensive efforts last week – Hamish was gathering the ball and breaking through packs.

Fletcher helped get the ball forward into our attacking 50.

Some great forward pressure resulted in a free kick to Hudson for an over exuberant tackle.  his shot fell short, but a mark was taken by Finn – playing in front. His set shot went wide to the near side.

Our players did well with ” no loose players” and made it difficult for Albion to find an option.  We locked it in our 50 and Jack got some room and a shot away – again wide to the near side.

Again, the Roosters kept the ball in our half.  Fletcher marked a clearing kick – found Jackson (mark) – who found Nathaniel (overhead mark).

Albion finally broke clear of our man-on-man pressure.  Hamish nearly chased down the kicker. Dylan held position at Full Back and won the ball and cleared with one of his big kicks.

Hamish was at his rebounding best and marking under pressure. Tom was covering his opposite number and was solid in defense.

Dylan made a goal-saving spoil on the goal line.  His kick-in found Nathaniel. This started a run from our defence 50 to our attacking 50.  Jackson, Finn and Fletcher zig-zagged through the middle of the ground with handballs and kicks – Great Play to finish off the term.

A hard fought quarter with some excellent Team and individual plays, where we had held the opposition scoreless.


2nd Quarter;

Hamish started the term with another tackle and a free kick (nothing gets past the Wall).  Ben now followed his lead with repeat efforts in the middle of the ground to hold up play.

A chain of play with Archer – Tom – Finn – Eli and Tom got the ball into our attacking 50.

A couple of fumbles with bouncing on the run cost us possession (Coaches Note : work on running bounces and kicking at next week training)

Our pressure was good – typified by a chase and tackle by Archer on the wing.  His kick got the ball into our attacking 50, where it looked like Fletcher had a run on to the goals, but he was run down…

Oscar(C) got down to a low ball and won a free kick.

Harvey knocked the ball from a crowd out to Hudson, he kicked forward to space.  Fletcher ran on to the loose ball, gathered, ran, had a bounce, a side-step shimmy and shot for a GOAL! (not to be denied this time)

Archer was finding his groove – repelling the ball from our half-back line, Ben was going in hard, Eli and Jackson were starting to get their skates on and shift the ball quickly.

Oscar(C) was in amongst the packs in the middle of the ground and won a clearance by getting the ball out to Archer.


Players arrived to our Half Time huddle with a heap of enthusiasm – lead by Tom – for how we were playing.

More of the same, play in front and keep moving for each other.


3RD Quarter;

Hudson started us off with a clearance out from Half Back to Archer.

Lachie took a strong mark at Half forward and Ed(C) got in with a tackle to keep it in our attacking 50.

Hamish rebounded the ball on to Eli, who ran his measure and got a kick into our forward line.

Players were again holding positions pretty well.

Ryan had a couple of follow up efforts, gathering the ball and getting a kick away.

Nathaniel bodied a player off the ball and got a kick away.

The ball just was getting close enough to our scoring sticks for a shot, but Albion wasn’t scoring either.

Working out of our backline, Archer – Jackson (mark) – Eli (mark and play-on)

Jack got a spoil on the ball before it went through the Albion Big Sticks (point)

Hamish took a specky at Half Back and landed with a thump.

Lachie was getting confident on the ball in traffic, winning a 50-50 ball.

Harvey was making a good contest in the middle, Eli was chasing down everything, Fletcher was mopping up anything that got through and heading the ball back our way.


It was a tough quarter with a lot of tackling by both Teams.  It was end to end, but with little or no scoring.


4th Quarter;

The ball quickly headed to our defensive end.  Eli and Ben worked hard to clear the danger.

Hudson – Fletch – Finn worked a combination through the middle.

Tom was tidying up deep in our defence, Jackson was tackling hard in attack and Lachie was throwing his body into the contest in the middle.

Ed was running hard to chase down opponents

Eli and Fletcher worked a tidy 1-2 handball around an opponent.

Hamish and Ryan were again solid tacklers.

Jack marked Fletchers kick on the wing to finish the game.


All Players got plenty of miles into their legs, more than a few bumps and scrapes – but they never gave up and finished the game well.

It was a game which didn’t have many goals, but a lot of little victories for our roosters – both individually and as a Team.

All players are starting to gain their confidence in the crowded packs to get the ball and out in the open to express their skills.

Everyone played out of their skins with link-up play and really focused on our “no loose players” – There was times when Albion really struggled to find an option to kick to.


Our Lone Goal Scorer was Fletcher

But we weren’t having shots from wide angles this week – thumbs up.


The Heartland Award went to Oscar – who was in amongst a lot of the play in all parts of the ground and had plenty of meaningful possessions.

We broke the mould a bit by presenting a couple of extra Rooster of the Week Awards to Nathaniel and Jackson – who both have played significant roles for the Team over many weeks.


Thanks to all our helpers – my Assistant Coach for the Day: Arlo, Whistle Blower, Flag Waver, Medic, H20, TM’s, Fruit Cutter, Magnet Movers, Jumper Washer and Cheersquad – you are all part of our well performing Team.


If anyone is getting away these School Holidays and are unable to meet our Volunteer Roster Roles, or a Player will be unavailable, please let Rachael or Sarah know as soon as you can.

See you at training.



WEST FOOTSCRAY ROOSTERS – Under 10 Reds vs. Caroline Springs – Round Ten – 1/7/18.


“You little thief….”

(I will come back to this)

Good Evening Sports Fans!

Well, they say a week is a long time in football. If so, then two weeks is a lifetime and three weeks is an eternity. The fortune of the Tenners had been somewhat of a rollercoaster in the last month. Three weeks ago, the football gods were angry. Torrential rains would see teams across the board reduced to shivering masses with some games cancelled and some abandoned. The Tenners would go down to the Vikings after losing multiple players throughout the game but battled bravely on for a rare loss. The next week would see them bounce back with a resounding win over the Woodsmen registering their biggest score for the year. This week would see us on the road travelling down to Point Cook and our first encounter with a synthetic deck. The first thing you notice about Salt Water Reserve is its sheer size. The second thing you notice is its concrete cricket pitch complete with actual mini trenches for the stumps and/or broken ankles. The third thing you notice is how slippery it becomes on an early Sunday morning in winter.

It had been an unusual build up. I myself had been out of action for the previous two games with some unexpected surgery. A big thanks to TM Kane who wore multiple hats over the fortnight and Brad and Des who helped run the training sessions in my absence. Much appreciated fellas. This week would also mark the first game of the school holidays.  All squads would take a hit in the personnel department with all T.M’s trading players like the national draft. The Elevens were felled the hardest having been cruelled with some long term injuries to boot. This has resulted in a number of tens being seconded for the rest of the season. In our case Hurricane and Archie, although they will play with us when our fixtures do not clash.

After having missed the previous two weeks myself, and although a little apprehensive, I was keen to see the Tenners back in action. The oracle of the radio would be summoned to help calm the nerves.

“You little thief, you little savage”. As Feargal Sharkey warbled from the speakers, I wondered if this meant that we would be pinching a win from the jaws of defeat. Time would tell.

True to from, the Tenners squad would further reduce down to 13 come game time on Sunday morning after losing Big Bad Bastien to a trampoline injury, Ozi to a broken finger, Efe to a fever, and Mezz and Kade to an Indonesian ash cloud! I think that is everything, trampoline, finger, fever, ash cloud, yep that’s everything. Point Cook would graciously lend us 5 players per quarter to even up the ledger.

A big plus however was the return of Artisan after his European sojourn for his first game in seven weeks. He would be anointed Captain in honour of his welcome return.

Unfortunately for the Tenners, the roller coaster would continue with Point Cook handing out a good old fashioned Sunday school football lesson. We were no match for the Bulldogs on the vast open artificial plains of Salt Water Reserve. In particular their overhead marking was spectacular. We were unable to come to terms with the slippery conditions either, especially through the middle of the ground. The game was stopped on two occasions by the umpire over his fears for player safety. The first time after Cruzer slipped attempting to kick and the second during the third quarter when he decided that he had had enough, declaring that football should never be played at this ground. Both coaches and all players were called to the centre for an impromptu meeting about staying out of the middle. If play were to venture through the middle of the ground, the game would stop with a ball up on the wing. Unusual scenes to say the least, but understandable in the scheme of things.

The Tenners battled hard but could not wait for the final siren to sound with the final margin in the vicinity of 77 points.

A big thanks to Maxi (more than a) Phelan, Jacob who would win the Heartland for his efforts and Finn who snuck in half a game before being whisked away to his own, and Griff took out R.O.T.W for another four quarter gut running performance, great work lads.

Goals – Walt 1:

“You left me broken, shattered and bleeding”

Maybe I should have listened to the whole song instead of just the first bit!

We now turn our attentions to next Friday night under lights against the might of Flemington.

Special Thanks to Brad for tending to the wounded and to those who lent us their children on a first up Sunday morning in Point Cook and to those 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.



U11s vs Tarneit, Wootton Road Reserve


Last year with the U10s I had time during the game.  Busy before, busy after, but time during the game while the coaches worked their stuff.  Time to have a laugh with Zoran. Time to have a chat with the kids on the bench. Time to take photos of all the players.  And time to take copious details for the match report. This year I have NO time. Because our kids keep scoring. And scoring and scoring. And oh, the paperwork it just comes on a-coming.  So I have no details for this week’s match report, but I do have lots and lots of thank you’s.


This is part tale of woe/part fairytale finish/part story of a great club culture.  Once upon a time (April) a team list formed with 22 healthy players and 2 experienced coaches.  Eager players turned up to training at the rate of 80+%, new players added their cross-sport expertise to an already strong list and the season promised a number of 50 game milestones.  2018 had success written all over it. So the football gods decided to even things up a bit for the benefit of the competition. In scenes reminiscent of the opening 27 minutes of Saving Private Ryan we suffered injury after bone-breaking injury… combined with several lengthy mid-season holidays and long distance work trips for both coaches and before we knew it we were staring down the barrel of 2 mid-season forfeits.


Forfeit?  Never! That’s not the Roosters way.  Haven’t you heard our song? To win is something ordinary, to lose is something rare.  We never give up, our bodies are firm and sound!!! No way were we going to hand the opposition not one but two forfeits, disappointing a host of kids in the process.  A plan had to be formed, there had to be a way for these brave soldiers to fight through.


Trumpets sounded, flags were waved, and in rode our 3 (groups of) musketeers on their mighty steeds to save the day.  Leading the charge were Damian and Jason who worked with us to formulate a plan with 2 aims: to avoid those dreaded forfeits and to ensure we had 18 fit players eligible for finals (should we make it).  Flanking those 2 were the Red team of Richie and Kane and the Blue team of Ash and Paul who, in unison shouted “What can we do to help?”


And so we reached July with a team held together by our good friends the U10s.  Sasha, Jake and Harry have joined us permanently, bolstering our goal-kicking capacity with their collective ferocious hunger and deadly aim.  Archie has joined us on a semi-regular basis and bravely took to the ground yesterday following a full 60 minute game down the road in Point Cook.  To add to those stocks we welcomed Mitchell, Kai and Oscar from U10s Bloosters backing up from their Friday night game. Every single one of these boys did themselves, their coaches and their parents proud with the determination and spirit they brought to the game.  They threw themselves into every contest and pounced on the ball at every opportunity, following the coach’s instructions and the leadership of the regular U11s. This match report would not complete with mentioning the extraordinary goal-kicking efforts of our U10 graduates who kicked 13 goals between them – 7 to Jake and 3 each to Sasha and Harry.


I have yet to mention that for this game we had NO COACH with Des and Tim both called away for work.  U10s Blues coach Ash stepped up to the plate and did a superb job with a brilliant pre-match address about being handed the keys to a friend’s car and having no idea how well it would go, imploring the boys to show him what they were capable of, and show him they sure did.  Not a single dropped clutch or grinding gear change followed.


Having sufficiently wiped our pre-season smugness of our faces the football gods handed us another surprise with a game-eve recruit.  To our shock and delight we had a new U11 make his club and team debut on Sunday, boosting our stocks in much needed fashion. The boys welcomed Harrison with open arms and he did superbly in his first ever competition game of Australian Rules football.  Congratulations Harrison on a fine debut (but best not expect such a comprehensive victory every week…)


Finally, my heart is bursting with pride for our U11 boys who took another giant step forward in their development this week.  They were determined to bring everything they had to this game, to show their absent coaches and their U10s friends exactly what they are made of.  I was so proud to be able to show them off as the talented, committed, hard-working and team-oriented squad they are. Every single one of them stuck to the parameters of their role and fulfilled it to the best of their ability.  But the most impressive sight was the way they supported one another, shielding the smaller bodies of their younger teammates, talking positively to one another, welcoming their newest member and cheering every little success along the way.  Our most-experienced player Ben was anointed captain to support the fill-in coach and players, but every single one of our squad demonstrated their leadership capabilities. You did the 2 boundary-side stalwarts of Zoran and me along with all your parents (and distant coaches) very very proud.


Thank you to…

  • Damian, Jason, Richie, Kane, Ash and Paul for enabling us just to get a team on the park
  • Ash for stepping into the coach’s role with such generosity and capability
  • The parents of our 3 U10 recruits who have so willingly adjusted their schedules mid-season to make this work
  • The parents of our U10 fill-ins who supported their boys to play a second game this week
  • All the parents who took on a job when I needed you most: Zoran (our rock), Pat (field umpire), Andrew (boundary umpire), Kylie (water, with teenage helpers!), Tania (runner), Kath (timekeeper), Dean (goal umpire), David (umpire escort) & Fran (jumpers & oranges).  Without your willingness to volunteer, there is no game.


The Heartland award went to Harry Gardner-Solomon who was quite simply, superb.  Not sure he had an opponent near him for the entire game. Ash gave Roosters of the Week awards to Ben & Reuben for their consistent efforts across the game.


West Footscray 15.18.108 def. Tarneit 0.0.0

Goals: Jake 7, Sasha 3, Harry 3, Asthon 1, Kiir 1


Till next week (when we have even more regular players away!)



Under 12 Round 10


West Footscray vs Werribee Districts


The Under 12s hadn’t played much in the last month because of a bye, public holidays and a washout. Half a game of football in total to be precise. This is hardly the ideal preparation for a game of football, particularly when you are to lock horns with an undefeated side sporting a percentage near to 2000! The dreaded school holiday curse had claimed to of our guns. Javier and Vinh were on holidays. We had one on the bench, a positive attitude and the chance to strut our stuff against the best going around. Nothing to lose!


With Javier unavailable Kadin was rucking for us this week. Jack, Frank and Weston were parked at his feet looking for his tap. He won the tap and our kids went to work. It was hard work getting it forward against this Werribee unit. They were super slick and organised. Their number 9 was outstanding, winning his own ball and running to all the damaging spots. His hair was top shelf as well. Not one out of place! Despite the fantastic efforts of our boys we found ourselves four goals down quickly. To my delight our Roosters didn’t drop their heads. They upped their work rate and began to play the way we want to. Fast and open. Xavier was sensational on the forward flank and took several crucial grabs. Yash and Christian were starting to find the ball in space now as well. Frank was in everything, Weston was getting busy as well. The hard work was repaid when Jack popped up inside 50 and did what Jack does. Smacked one through the middle. Not long after we were moving forward again. Nathaniel was providing a target and fighting to lock it in. Felix was feverish around the packs. Werribee were feeling a bit of pressure (something they rarely feel I suspect). Great work Roosters. This fantastic effort would result in a second goal as Kadin swooped into open space with the pill and drove it straight through the big sticks. What looked like being a hiding had now turned into a real contest. Our backline was superb. Aaron was filling in at full back and playing his heart out. Mickey was a rock at centre half back. Cooper rebounding everything. Leroy was outstanding. If he got down any lower in contests he would have grass stains on his chin! After a sluggish start (on the scoreboard anyway) we were right in this game.


¼ time West Footscray 2.0.12 vs Werribee Districts 5.1.31


I was happy with the first term. Tighten a few things up and ply with more width were the instructions. We were without a bench now as E-M was off injured and looked unlikely to come back on. Big effort required guys! Werribee Districts came out hard after the break and once again our backline had work to do. Zach was amazing. Tackles, shepherds and clearing kicks. Samuel was into it up to his eyeballs as well. Our mids were down there helping but gee it was hard work. Our half forwards were right up the ground looking to send us forward. Sean was having a real crack and lost the bark off his knees on the rock hard centre wicket trying to win the pill.  Murphy and Sas were despite their efforts, unable to get it forward. Werribee were so well drilled and disciplined.  A huge defensive effort from our kids in the second given the amount of ball coming into Werribee’s forward line. We conceded 4 goals but should have coughed up more than that. Fantastic effort lads.

½ time West Footscray 2.0.12 vs Werribee Districts 9.3.57


Some changes were made in for the third term. Mickey tried his hand in the ruck and Kadin out to the wing. Leroy was injected into the middle and Frank went back after a great first half. It would require a massive comeback to win from here. I knew that was unlikely and so did the boys I suspect. I was most interested in whether they would attack the game with the same vigour that they did in the first. They did! Despite being outplayed the effort was once again brilliant. The style of play when we had it was improved as well. They were looking to switch it more now and we were finding more space than we had been afforded in the first half. Mickey was having big dip in the ruck. Jack and Weston were tireless in their efforts to win the ball and Leroy had a few opponents second guessing whether taking possession was a wise decision.  Sas looked certain to score his first ever goal when he gathered on the run inside 50. He shot as his opponent was about to wrap him up only to see his kick marked right on the goal line by a defender. Boooooo! Christian was getting on top on his wing and Kadin likewise on the other. The ball was coming in quickly now. Murphy almost hit E-M on the lead with a sizzling bullet pass. Nathaniel and Xavier were providing targets as well. When Werribee did go forward they were finding it more difficult. Yash was to be avoided at centre half back. He won plenty and drove it back. Aaron was fantastic at full back. Considering we had no bench for most of the game and how tired our boys were, the effort they continued to produce was fantastic.


¾ time West Footscray 2.0.12 vs Werribee Districts 12.4.76


One last big effort guys. Let’s out score them in the last. Despite the scoreboard, heads were still held high and enthusiasm for the contest was evident. A few more tweaks. Yash into the ruck. The game opened up a bit in the last which suited us nicely. There were some very tired boys out there in red and white, but they were still putting everything they had into the game. Samuel was sensational in close down back. He wanted the ball. Zach received the best falcon of 2018 in the last. He shook it off almost instantly and took off after the ball laying multiple  tackles in repeat efforts. Fantastic Zach.  Sean was moving well at half forward and providing options. Nathaniel was flexing his muscle down there as well. A lot of the boys were looking to switch it now and on quite a few occasions managed to really open the game up. Our persistence paid off as Jack hit Weston on the chest dead in front of goal. He slotted it with a minimum of fuss.  The siren would soon sound. We hadn’t quite managed to outscore them but had gotten within 3 points in the final term. Great effort guys!


Full time West Footscray 3.0.18 vs Werribee Districts 13.7.85


If you put the scoreboard aside, this was a ridiculously good performance. We were missing our ruckman and our full back against the best side in the comp. We played most of the game without a bench and it was practically our first game in almost a month. We showed our ability to open them up when we played with more width on numerous occasions. There were a great deal more positives to come from this game than negatives I believe. Great effort guys. Next week it’s the peanut!




Under 14s


After a tough last couple games, the boys came up against Sunshine Heights for the second edition of the grand final rematch from last year. This time at their home ground. The boys were told before the game to start well and put Sunshine on the back foot early. Luis kicked the first goal of the game and from there we played some of the best footy we have seen since before the bye. Everyone was contributing. With the boys up by 78 points at half time, my fellow coaches and I tried to reiterate to them that the game wasn’t over and still another half to go. In the 3rd quarter I decided to make changes and allow players who weren’t getting much of the play down back, to be positioned up forward. Isaac who was playing his best game of the year down back at that point was put in the forward line and managed to kick 3 goals for the game. His first 3 goals for the season. Hamish was put at full forward and every time the roosters got the ball down forward, Zidane would be the one yelling at the other end of the ground “Give it to Hamish!!” The roosters ended up winning 144-16 but to Sunshine Heights credit they didn’t give up till the final siren. Congratulations to Isaac on winning the Heartland award!!!!