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.





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.





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.




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