WEST FOOTSCRAY ROOSTERS – Under 9 Reds vs. Spotswood – Round Three – 30/4/17.

The last day of April would see the Little Red Roosters take their show on the road and head to Spotswood for another encounter with an unknown entity. Nestled at the foot of the entry/exit ramps to the Westgate Freeway, the Spotswood ground hums with the perpetual buzz of relentless traffic.

Our Captains for the day would be Dylan and Eamon and we would welcome Oliver and Noah for their first games. Other firsts for the season would see us graced with umpires and a full bench! This means everyone gets three quarters of football and rotates through the ground.

The absence of a coin for the toss meant a quick game of guess which hand is the umpire holding his whistle, which seemed to confuse all Captains, but anyway we eventually guessed wrong and were kicking to the freeway.

I was particularly interested to see if our “man up” training during the week would translate to game day but I did not get the chance as the Roosters dominated first quarter proceedings with menacing run and carry. They seemed to be in tune with the relentless traffic and were driving the ball forward at every opportunity.  The mercy rule meant nothing to the Niner’s who denied Spotswood any advance past the centre square after booting five majors and three behinds. The forwards and the mids were lining up, eyes wide, tongues out all desperate to convert.  A little more time to compose would have seen a lot more goals! Playing probably their best games for the club thus far, Luca and Riley kicked their first ever majors and Aiden also showed his class with a strong mark and goal. Archie and Sasha would round out the first quarter goal kickers with great running snaps. The first break would see our little Roosters a little “cock – a – hoop” you might say!!

Having a bench meant full ground rotations. Subsequently this saw a new mid field and forwards and back line reset for the second quarter. Spotswood were able to slow things down and kept the ball in their forward line and managed to outscore us two goals to one. Jami was unlucky to get pinged for “too far” which surely would have resulted in a goal, Harry was starting to get busy with his usual attack and also narrowly missed. Jackson, really starting to find his feet, took a beautiful mark. Louis, Clara and Max were making tracks and chasing down both ball and player. Riley would score our only major with a strong mark and set shot goal.

The third quarter would be a dire struggle. Spotswood had sensed a swing in momentum their way and the Roosters were desperate to swing it back. This happens when players change position. The benefit of the bench enables us to give everyone exposure across the ground and try their hand in back, mid and forward. The upside of this is everyone gets a chance to get the ball and kick a goal. The downside would be that the players do not get to settle into a position and that can let the opposition back in to the game. I prefer the upside, there has to be an upside! The pleasing aspect of this dire struggle was that everyone was prepared to dig deep. Noah, playing his first game, held sway across the centre, Abby was chasing, Jack Mosca had it on a string, and Jack G was very close to kicking a couple after presenting well at full forward.  Archer, Otto, Oscar, Jack P and Eamon were in and under.  Iggy, Dylan and Oliver were using their height to advantage. The quarter would end without any score to either side, such was the pressure. Great stuff!

The forth quarter would again see rotations. This would bring some experience back into the middle which would in turn wrestle back the momentum our way. Xavier, busy all day was on a mission to find the big sticks, Sasha and Archie would drive the ball forward time and again with both boys kicking goals. Jack Mosca, still with the ball on a string would also kick his first.

The siren would sound for a resounding “win”; 9.8.62 – 2.1.13. (So someone tells me!)

The Heartland would be awarded to Sasha the Dasher. His pace which creates his ability to find space would see him constantly on the end of it in an outstanding display. Well done Sash.

The Niner’s bus rolls back into town this weekend with a tough assignment pencilled in against Newport Power.

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

Richie and Kane.


Under 9 Blue

Round 3 – Away to Caroline Springs Lakers


30 April 2017.


I missed one game – and it seemed I came back to a different team!!

  • There was a massive improvement in our positioning, passing and teamwork.
  • A massive thankyou to Kieran and Ash for stepping in last week.


The First quarter started with great enthusiasm – and rightly so.

The Rooster’s dominated play and the ball was in our half and in our 50m most of the Quarter.

Our co-Captains today Jake Miller and Hadi El-Hodr both didn’t let the ball past them when they it came their way.

We shared the ball around well when we had it and had good numbers near the ball when we didn’t.  Getting a lot of possessions this quarter was (C)Jake and Griffin. With their help and their Team-mates, we had 2 scoring shots – including a Goal, after a Good Mark – to Griffin.



2nd Quarter –

Caroline Springs lifted and started getting the ball going their way.

Our defensive effort was huge – although the ball was down their end and often in scoring range, we denied them any scores for long periods of time.

Jacob tried hard, clearing the ball out of the pack.

Eli took a fantastic mark, right on the Goal-line to save a score. He was the only player that really watched the ball and took a great field position.

Strong tackling by everyone, but especially Miles, Alex, Nathaniel and Cassius.

Sophia took a good mark and later laid particularly good tackle which won her a free kick.

(C) Hadi stayed in the packs and was determined to keep the ball with his Team.


In trying to get the ball our way – Jacob followed the ball and got good possessions, Oscar ran hard with pace with and without the ball.

Kai and Bastien worked together to keep the ball in front of them and moving our way.

Mitchell was getting good possessions and most often his passes went to his Teammates.

Noah and Arlo M kept going for the ball when they were near it.



3rd Quarter –

Another arm-wrestle of a quarter – Both Teams were playing well in bursts and very evenly overall.

Efe was getting touches by keeping side on to the ball on the wing.

Felix, Malik and Eli were still our fast outlets when we got the ball to them.

Arti(san) was starting to get more ball in open areas and get it forward.

Maya, Mitchell and Alex were again strong at the ball and re-butted the Caroline Springs attacks.

After long periods defending we allowed only a couple of scoring shots – only one goal.

4th Quarter –

The game had been played a great pace and had covered the length of the field may times.  These players deserved to feel tired – but they kept going and our speedsters were still fast.

Mitchell, (C)Jake, Griffin, Arti, were still marking the ball and linking well with Teammates.

Nathaniel, Arlo S-T and Oscar lifted – all taking good chestmarks under pressure.
Hugo got more important touches moving the ball forward.

Our good Teamwork and spreading the ball opened-up the Caroline Spring midfield.  Jake got himself forward of the ball and had 2 shots for goal – both from marks in good field positions.

Jake got the rewards of a goal – and his Teammates rightly got around him and each other for their good work.


A very entertaining and even match – thoroughly enjoyed by the spectators on both sides.

Great respect was shown at the end, by both Teams.


Notable mentions;

Captains  on the day – Jake and Hadi ; both gave 100% and were great example to their Teamamtes.

Heartland BOG – Arti(san) – improving his workrate and effectiveness with possessions in the 3rd and 4th quarters as the game level increased

Best Mark- Eli took a great mark on the defensive goaline

Best Goal – (c)Jake – showing great composure as our forward target in the last quarter.

Best Tackle – Sophia (in a close one – as there was so many) for her second effort tackle that won her a free kick


A big “Well Done Everyone” for your efforts – we can see some rewards coming out from them.



Things to work on this week –

  • Providing and choosing the best options when kicking out from defence.
  • Working sideways from packs and not over or through the pack.
  • Parents; please jot a few words about your own child and any general plays that you see from the sidelines, into our Games Comments book – that will help me a lot with this Game Report
  • I would love to see some more photos of our kids also



Thankyou Players, Parents, Helpers and our (actual, fair and authoritative) umpire.



See you next week at training…




Paul Cowie

Under 10s


We all need to blink. In fact, on average, we blink 15 times a minute in an effort to keep dust out of our eyes and to prevent our corneas from drying. If there is excessive wind or smoke, though, that number increases dramatically. Fortunately, there was no wind or smoke last Sunday morning when our tenacious Under 10’s took on Newport at the Shorten Reserve.


Two focused and intent teams, stared each other down, in a gripping head-to-head battle, that took the majority of the 60 minutes playing time to decide – and in doing so, shattering the previous world record for a stare-down, held at 41 minutes. For those who didn’t witness first hand this intense game, our wild eyed sons of West Footscray more than held their nerve to see Newport blink first. Score, WFR – 3 no-blinks and five eye-rolls vs Newport –  1 no-blink and no eye-rolls. Great no-blinking effort lads. For me, what was particularly pleasing was to observe every single WFR player pushing through their previously held footy beliefs/limitations – and in doing so, taking themselves and their team to a higher level. That’s all a coach/parent could ask for and I was very proud to witness these efforts 1st hand, even though I was probably blinking around 60 times a minute. I look forward to seeing this playing group push their boundaries further in coming matches.


Captains for the day were Ezekiel & Alex. Ezekiel was one of those who took his game to another level, particularly in defence where he constantly put himself in the right position at the right time, with some telling marks and critical tackles. Alex continued on his good form from last week, starting the game with a commanding hit out and going on to play a vital role for us all day, especially as the pressure mounted and he shifted into defence in the 2nd half. Thanks Captains, well led and please keep building on these excellent performances.


Q1: Newport are a well drilled outfit, who put a lot of focus on maintaining structure around the ground (an area we are quickly improving on but still with a bit to do). They began cleanly and soon had us under pressure in our defensive half. A test we had expected, with the knowledge that determined teams and intent players always find a way to respond; and so our young Rooster’s did.


Hamish, starting on the wing, was one player who quickly summed up the occasion and seized the day; peeling off some superb run, chase downs and general reading of the play, he constantly pushed himself deep into our defence and was then able to gut ran his way forward, often with the ball in hand and linking up the play. Hamish was outstanding all day and is building for a big season. Ash at full-back provided the cool head and decisive decision making that is required when the pressure is on. He followed this up with some significant ruck work in the 2nd half and a great set shot no-blink at a crucial time in the 4th quarter. Flynn, fresh from his basketball heroics, showed he is one cool head when the pressure is on. Starting in the back pocket, ‘I Take No Nonsense Flynn’ is rarely beaten in one-on-one contests and posses a good instinct of when to roll the dice and leave his opponent, which proved to be vital for us throughout the day. Rory playing at CHB, was also pivotal in the 1st quarter. He consistently willed himself to physical contest after physical contest giving his team the dominance around the stoppages. Rory, the enforcer, followed this up with some bold midfield work in the 2nd half.


This year the length of our quarters is 15 minutes, an increase of 2 from the Under 9’s. It doesn’t sound much, but for a team that thrives in applying pressure to their opposition, it can lower the fuel tank, especially for our midfielders. So this week, it was decided to try some rotations during the quarter, to keep the engine purring, so to speak. Breaking a player’s flow can be counterproductive though, especially if a player is on a good streak – but this week it seemed to work in our favour; we will experiment further to find the right balance. Manny, interchanged into the play in the 2nd half of Q1 and 2, and in both quarters immediately added bite and pace to our crumbing and rebound. Combining his skill of slick evasion with precision timing runs, Manny proved to be crucial in breaking through Newports tightening ‘structure’ and he generated many of our Inside 50’s. Nicholas, was another who seemed to revel in the half quarter bursts; with some excellent reading of the play and repeated 3rd and 4th efforts, Nicholas was in everything. Elijah, taking over from Alex in the ruck, played some inspired football. A quick mover for his size, Elijah respond to the coaches challenge ‘to be everywhere, to do everything’, going on to dominate both the ruck and the bottom of the packs. End of Q1 – No Blinking Blinks anywhere.


Q2: During the Q break, you could sense a determination amongst the group. They had dished out plenty of pressure and absorbed Newports, however looking into 23 non-blinking eyes, I sensed that they wanted to raise the stakes further. And so they did with the 2nd Q proving to be a mirror of the 1st but with the Roosters now pinning Newport down into their defensive 50. Patrick (another who is building into a big year), followed up his strong rebounding 1st Q by dominating across the centre line, constantly cutting off Newport as they tried to escape. His precision kicking cut through Newport’s congestion, setting up our forwards. Tem joined him on the wing; and without doubt this was Tem’s best game so far. Getting to the right spots at the right time cannot be taught and Tem is now constantly doing this, as well as applying the pressure and tackles. On the other wing, young Will I sense, is on the cusp of a breakout game. Some players just know how to cut through the traffic when they have the ball and Will is one. Keep building Will. Benny, as always was reading the play to perfection. Benny’s combination of inside/outside gives our midfield that spark and it was great to see him back his pace and carry the ball forward with some sizzling runs through Newport. I look forward to the day he is permitted to have more than one bounce. On the end of these many strong efforts, Kiir came into to his own. Prowling the forward line, Kiir used both his brain and muscle to set up several shots on goal and capped off a great half with two decisive goals. Half-Time WFR – 2 No Blinks & 2 eye rolls: NP – Some Blinking Blinks


Q3: There always a danger after a good quarter for a team to be lulled into coasting, but not these Roosters. Thomas had now taken up a midfield role and he proved to be crucial as Newport attempted to fight back. Thomas has a great burst of speed, with that Chris Judd sense of hitting the pack with explosive power and he is another building towards a big season. Joharo moved into the middle and provided the inside pressure we needed, releasing the ball out to our runners with some quick handballs and knock ons. Our back line was again under pressure but we were ably led by Leo now at Full Back. Leo showed some outstanding composure under pressure clearing the ball from the last line on numerous occasions. Moses now playing on the wing, capped off a terrific game, running long & hard from wing to deep defence. His ability to get to the right spots saved us several times with some telling marks & clearances. Just like in the 1st quarter it looked like we would again hold out Newport, but it only takes a small lapse in concentration and we blinked, setting up a tense final quarter.


Q4: With eyes wide open, this quarter was always about which team had applied the most pressure. Marlon, who has been building his running game all season added another element to his game on Sunday; that of ruthless defence with the ability to win those tight one-on-one battles. Marlon was another who showed great composure when the stakes were high. Noah now back into the forward half, provided his usual strong forward pressure, enabling his team to have repeated shots on goal with the game still in the balance. Noah has some fierce will and I sense will be important player for us in the coming weeks. Ziggy grew stronger the longer the game went on and gave us real bite around the packs in the 2nd half and his penetrating kick is a real weapon. Zaw Zaw always knows where the goals are but it was pleasing to see his defensive work in the back pocket in the last quarter. All I ask is that you beat your direct opponent Zaw Zaw, and that you did, a vital element to the end result. Reuben, the running machine, had his best game of the season, being everywhere when the contest was at its hottest. Mixing his ‘hot knife through butter’ runs with some big tackles, and all round football nous, Reuben is building a big season.


Finally our sustained pressure was taking its toll and when Ash marked and kicked truly, the eye stare-down was done. A full four quarter effort by these Roosters which came from their own determination and commitment. Great to see this freight train go to another level. Also congratulations to Newport who pushed us all the way, giving us some homework to work on. We look forward to our next stare down encounter.


Thank you to all the parents who volunteered for all the various match roles. Not much happens without you and giving up your Sunday morning sleep-ins deserves a big thank you. Also a special thank you to Andrea for all her hard work during the week, simply amazing. What a footy household.

Next Game: PEGS Juniors vs West Footscray: 8:50 AM / Sun 7 May PEGS Sports Field



Round 3 Under 11 Division 2: West Footscray Vs Altona


Round 3 came around pretty quickly for our boys. The loss from the previous week had given us plenty to play with during the week, and boys had trained the house down once the waters had receded at Shorten Reserve and allowed us to hit the track. Angus, Manny (Back to the 10s where he played brilliantly) and Sass were unavailable for the game. We had plenty of big ins though. Leroy, Yash, Mickey, Tito (debut appearance in the Red and the White, as well as Andrew who was back after regressing into his youth and playing Super Rules football for the opening two games. Grow up mate! Weston and  Altona would be an unknown quantity as we had never played them before. More giant children? You know it!


I won’t go into enormous detail as to where everyone was playing in the first quarter, as if I’m to be honest, it would be an utter fabrication. I can tell you that Kadin was in the ruck and Jack, Weston and Vinh started in the square with him. Kadin won the opening hit out and we were under way. The game was moving quickly and it was clear that Altona would be no push over. There were open spaces on either wing that neither team was able to exploit due to the tight, contested nature of the play. Weston was getting plenty of the pill and feeding it out. Jack and Vinh were flat out trying to gain us an advantage as well.  Despite being the shorter ruckman, Kadin was doing an awesome job and winning the majority of the taps to our advantage. Murphy was getting a lot of early touches across half forward as was Felix. Eventually one of our forward moves broke through the Altona defence and the ball landed about 20 out from our goal. Nathaniel shepherded perfectly allowing for Jack to gain possession and snap truly. Brilliant work Nathaniel who had only just moments earlier narrowly missed scoring his debut goal from a tight angle. Not to be outdone, Altona won the subsequent bounce and raced forward. Unable to clear the ball out, Altona scored and we were level again. Onwards with the arm wrestle. Our wingmen and half forwards were seeing plenty of it. Elijah Moon and Murphy continued to win the ball and drive it further forward. Christian found a bit of space in our forward 50 (actually about 40 I’m told), won the ball and put his foot down. A great running goal was his reward in his second game. Altona once again stormed forward from the bounce. Cooper was running red hot down back. Tackles, shepherding and clearing kicks were his stock and trade. He was ably assisted by Frank and Samuel. Altona got another, but given their time down forward our backs had done a sterling job keeping them to one.


Quarter time: Roosters 2.1.13 vs Altona 2.3.15


A few tweaks at quarter time. Cooper and Frank moved onto the ball while Weston and Jack went to half back. The ball once again took up residency between the half forward lines. Open possession was hard gained easily. Murphy was on a wing now and providing some run and drive. Samuel was doing likewise on his. Altona continually drove it forward only to be frustrated by our defenders. Leroy took several crucial marks on the last line and was instrumental in keeping us in the game. Alek has developed into a seriously premium defender and was spoiling bigger opponents and winning the ball off the deck. Our endeavour and toil were beginning to earn results. Our half forwards were now able to get a look at it. Mickey was busy as was Zach (the Blanket). They combined well to drive it forward and keep it there. Sean (the invisible man) was now there to see for everyone. His season has been brilliant so far and today would be no exception. Great leads and marks. Felix was on fire down forward and his hard work saw the ball land in the hands of Sean (the hi-visibility man) who slotted our third for the day and his third for the season. A great quarter by the boys. We had hit the front and kept our bigger opponents scoreless.


Half Time: Roosters 3.2.20 vs Altona 2.3.15


The third was more of the same from the opening half. Altona had set their big guys up across half back providing a wall that was incredibly difficult to get through. Despite constantly driving it forward, it just kept coming back. Aaron was under the pump at full back. He worked tirelessly to prevent Altona from scoring. Vinh was in every pack, Kadin was running hard and Frank playing a stellar game. Weston and Jack continually drove it forward. Cooper and his cohorts stopped attack after attack. Try and try again. Only to see the big 23 from Altona smack it straight back. Tito was warming to the contest down forward and took a great mark. Christian was super busy. Sean was a beacon and drew the ball wherever he went. Altona clearly preferred kicking to the carpark end and spent plenty of time down there. Our boys were awesome down back. Leroy continued to mark everything that came near him. Xavier (the Doona) was attached to every Altona player who had the ball. Despite the desperate defending of our backs we would concede two goals in a few minutes and find ourselves on the wrong side of the score. The boys didn’t panic though. They continued to work hard and link up. Cooper and Kadin were awesome. Chains of running marks and long kicks saw the ball in our forward line once more. Not to let an opportunity slip, Jack would pounce to score his second of the day and put us in front by a solitary point at the final change. Great quarter guys!


3 Quarter Time: Roosters 4.5.29 vs Altona 4.4.28


Some tweaks were required at the last change. A four man half forward line would be implemented to counteract the Altona Wall. Kadin give the responsibility of nullifying the big 23 from Altona at centre half back. Aaron moved into the ruck. He was great and won as many as he lost against a bigger opponent. The game had really picked up now. Weston was tireless as usual. Samuel and Yash were everywhere. Frank returned to the contest after getting a nasty knock and instantly began winning crucial balls. Leroy was brilliant deep in defence. Christian kept running. Felix and Zack desperate down forward. The wall of Altona was starting to crumble and our boys didn’t let up. Time after time we drove it forward with little result. That was until Yash found himself on the run with ball in hand deep in our forward line. He loves a goal Yash, and wasn’t about to miss out today. Bang! The Roosters now had a nice lead and their fifth of the morning. A great reward for some amazing hard work! Altona were still giving it their all, as were the crowd in front of the rooms who had found their voice in a big way. This would be a close one, and the defib machine behind the bar may be required.  With bare a few minutes to go in the game, Xavier (the Doona) found himself pitted in a one on one deep in the forward pocket with a kid  that was twice his height. Collective breaths were held as the ball floated toward them. Xavier would produce a great spoil to bring the ball to ground. His opponent won the ball and fancied his chances against The Doona. Bad move champ! Xavier wrapped him up tighter than a Chupa Chup (I can never open the stupid things) and had him cold! Trapped under the Doona in a footballing Dutch Oven was the reward for his over confidence. Holding the ball! The crowd loved it and Xavier had saved the day! The siren would sound not long after.  Altona had been kept scoreless again in the last term and the Roosters had won a ripping game of football.


Full Time: Roosters 5.6.36 vs Altona 4.4.28


For the second consecutive week the Under 11s had produced the best game I had ever seen them play. Their confidence is growing and their game style improving every week. Altona had thrown everything at them, including their larger frames, yet our boys just kept plugging away at it and got a very well deserved win. Easily their best team effort yet where every single one of them did their bit and as a result scored the 4 points. Super job guys!



U13’s West Footscray V Deer Park

Round 3, and we were the final act at the Roosters big day of home games. The grass was holding up really well after a wet week and four games already this weekend. A perfect Autumn afternoon awaited to watch what this team would bring today after the great effort last week.

From the outset the Roosters set the scene moving the ball into our forward half for long periods of the game. The Deer Park opponents had some big players but they couldn’t keep up with our movement and skill.  Socrates showed his class up forward again today early with a fantastic running goal from near the playground boundary. Although he collected another bag himself most pleasing was his passing to teammates in the forward area. Navindu started the game in the back line and showed a glimpse of what was to come with a blistering run past the club rooms. When he got his chance up forward later in the game he continued weaving his way goal ward, leaving a trail of opponents clutching at thin air, and collected a bag of 6 goals for the day. Henry was itching to get on the ground and when he got a chance made plenty of daring runs as well as some big tackles and bumps.

The second quarter saw more of the same from the Roosters with Liam driving the ball forward numerous times from the middle.  Whenever the ball did enter our backline the players were holding their positions well and eager to get involved. In particular Samuel’s reading of the game and precision passing is great to watch, and Diesel was turbo charged as he raced across the field.  Kailey and Alex both had strong games again today in the ruck and around the ground, and they both got on the score board too. Lenny’s voice can be heard organising the team at the right times during the game and he kicked sweetly off both feet today. Leo and Luis were also busy around the ground stopping any Deer Park attacks with brave tackling and clearances against some bigger opponents. Lachie played a good game, fearless contesting in the packs and running into space beautifully at times.

The third quarter continued with more Rooster dominance despite numerous changes to the line-up which is great to have versatile players. Juma got going this quarter in front of goal, with some excellent second efforts being rewarded with 4 goals for the game. Zidane played a great game in different positions around the ground and displayed some excellent long kicking. Jonathan is one of the youngest members but plays with great vision and hands to create some great passages of play. Isaac T also relished his opportunities today clutching some good marks up forward and passing cleanly to team mates. Daniel got involved midfield this term with some good possessions including copping a shirt front after delivering a good kick. Isaac C was lively all game on the wing but was winged himself as a large opponent stepped on his arm. Frustrations grew among some of the opposition and some cooling off time was needed just before the siren.

Final quarter and there was a little confusion about the number of players allowed on the ground to start the quarter with a ‘count of heads’ called for but it mattered little to the game. Due to the one sided nature of the game players positions were moved around a lot but the team work and scoring remained consistent every quarter which was pleasing for everyone to get involved. The scoring continued to flow so much that our goal umpire (Simon R) got sore arms and needed some help to wave the flags from some eager U10 players. Bailey’s confidence grows with each game as he marked and played on quickly. Abdullahi also was in the action a lot with an excellent play midfield to turn the ball around and create another Rooster attack. The pace drained out of the game as Deer Park got tired of chasing the Roosters around the park although they did manage a nice consolation goal before the end.

Thanks to all the parents helping and supporting on the day. We look forward to a bigger challenge next week against St Albans.

Roosters 25. 18. 168 def Deer Park 1. 0. 6

Goals: Navindu 6, Socrates 4, Juma 4, Lachlan2, Alex 2, Zidane 2, Jonathan 2, Liam, Henry, Kailey