Under 9 Blue – Match Report – Round 3 – Away to Albanvale.


Another game at an unfamiliar ground, against an new opposition.

The keenest of our Roosters beat the Coach to the ground again.

We were to play Albanvale in their North Melbourne looking kit. The sun was well and truly out and high balls looking North may cause some trouble.

Our Captains today were Ryan and Jackson.

We were one short today, with our winged Rooster Ed out for a few weeks – get well soon buddy, train any other skills you can and stay fit and ready for your return.

This left us a full team, but no bench today.

We won the toss and were kicking with the mildest of breezes.


1st Quarter;

From the first ruck we looked switched on.

Eli won a free kick and got the ball going our way to  Nathaniel, to Arlo, to Hudson.  There was good forward play, which was rewarded with a snapped GOAL to Jack.

Nathaniel and Arlo again combined to go around the opposition getting the ball into our attacking 50 again.

From a kick out, Harvey marked, he picked out Eli with a pass, who GOALed.

Did I mention we looked “on” today?

Dylan took a mark, Arlo was running and rebounding the ball in our direction.

Jack and Eli both got their second GOALS.

Hamish was starting to get into his role, linking up with Oscar(mark) and on to Hudson(mark).

Our forwards and midfield were keeping the ball in our half.  Goal-line pressure allowed Jackson© to pounce, snap – GOAL.

One forward thrust started with Finn taking a mark at the back of the centre square. He moved wide and forward to Arlo who ran his full distance, bounced, ran his ten again and hand-balled forward, regained possession and sent a (apply B.T. Commentary voice)  “beau-ti-ful_long_low_ball” into our attacking 50.  Jack kept his feet after an attempted mark, gathered up the ball and got his 3rd Sausage (Sausage Roll = Goal) for the Quarter.

I didn’t have much opportunity to mention our defence this quarter, the ball never entered there…


The players came running in at the Quarter Time break – eager to tell me how well we were doing!

Keep a lid on it Guys, beware of any change in play when they switch their players around, keep doing the same things – keeping your positions and don’t get cocky (Coaches muse : Rooster’s should be cocky though..?)


2nd Quarter;

Archer was now getting involved (must have been in defence last quarter). He started a chain of play that included a handball to Arlo and a mark to Hamish. This got the ball forward, Archer continued past the ball and found the smallest amount of time and space to snap a GOAL.

Dylan, Oscar, Ryan© and Nathaniel were taking marks.

Arlo kicked his set shot straight for his 1st GOAL.

Hamish weaved his way through heavy traffic and kicked to our goalsquare.  Archer made good position (Front and Square?) and got the ball off hands to snap another GOAL.

Eli was proving a handfull for the opposition, tracking the ball in front of himself, weaving around and having a look up before kicking.

Ryan© won a free kick for a good tackle.

Archer to Nathaneil(mark) to Eli(mark) to Arlo(mark) was a great play, all uncontested marks as the players ran to space and chose good options.


Half Time Oranges taste sweeter when things are going our way.  And that they were today.

It was becoming obvious that Albanvale didn’t have experienced players like we have.

Our Senior 9s were using the ball and space around the ground to great effect.  They were bringing our 1st year Roosters into the game and giving them a opportunities to strut their stuff also.

Our marking, link up play and positioning was again really good.

The message went to the players – no mouthing off about the state of play in the game.  We didn’t like it last week, lets not do it ourselves.


3rd Quarter;

Ryan© got a good handball to Arlo, who got the ball moving our way.

Hudson got himself a GOAL from the pocket.

Jack got the ballon to Jackson to Fletcher, who won a free kick.

Arlo managed an end-over-end dribbler GOAL from near the point post.

Jack burst through the pack, passed to Finn in our 50 and on to Arlo who marked.

His confidence was up – Arlo – set shot – GOAL.

Out of the middle, Hudson tracked the ball.  It wasn’t sitting up for him so he knocked it forward in front of himself.  This gave him another go at it, this time it did pop up.  He gathered, he kicked – a great little piece of play.

Into our forward line and Hudson again found himself with the ball and snapped from a tight angle – GOAL.

Oscar took a strong mark.  Tom and Leo were getting their hands on the ball in the congestion.

Lachie was holding position well and not letting the ball past him.

Jackson knocked the ball out of the pack into Jack’s path.  His kick to the goal-square saw Archer arrive 1st to the ball – GOAL to Archer.

Fletcher marked from the kick-off to finish the 3rd quarter.


4th Quarter;

With our field position dominance and constant supply by Eli, Arlo and Hamish, everyone was keen to play forward.

And that’s what seemed to happen.

As all our players rushed forward, the ball went to Albanvale’s end.

We were without Lachie for the last quarter due to a corky.

Albanvale were determined to finish the game well.  We may have run out of puff.

Archer received some pressure with a good defensive mark.

Eli(mark) to Jack(mark) and kick into our F50.

Jack kicked a high ball into our F50 – Jackson© took a mark.

His set shot was touched on the line.

The ball didn’t leave our Forward 50.  There was a shot at goal, Hudson spoiled a defensive mark attempt and Jack was front and square for another GOAL.

Harvey had a snap shot, brothers Ben and jack were running the defence ragged in the goal square.

Arlo tried a torpedo, which turned into a Kaos Ball, which ended up with Jackson© and another GOAL.


Well played today Roosters!

We were able to put into the game lots of different things we have been working on at training – and I’m so glad that you can now see why we do practice these.

Highlights for me;

  • Marking/ knocking the ball free/ looking to be next
  • Running to a position in space
  • Kicking to space if no other option
  • Holding a defensive position a kick off the ball.


Special mentions;

  • Heartland Award : Eli Despotellis – outstanding control of the loose ball around the ground, taking marks, holding position and 2 goals.
  • Goals : Jack/Archer/ Jackson -3 each, Hudson/Arlo/Eli – 2 each
  • Happy Birthday to Oscar for today, Happy Birthday to Fletcher and Arlo for mid-week.


We have a home game next week, against Flemington Juniors – expect a much bigger challenge in that game.


See you at training,



U9 Orange

Rd 3: West Footscray V Hopper Crossing

Another beautiful day! How good is getting up and going to the football when the weather is this great. Most of the team were very happy on the playground in the sun and no-one was rushing into the change rooms. Soon it was time to prepare and check our numbers as we had a few away or sick today. With no-one on the bench today, and the temperature rising, some extra effort would be needed.

The game started fast and furious for our backline. Bodee, Hugo W and Eamon where all quick to our defence. Hugo N. showed very good hands off the deck despite being sick all week, and Jack G was always reliable at centre half back. The Roosters had plenty of good possessions going forward as well with Jack M. taking a really good mark at centre half forward. Zeph kicked deep into our forward line where Malik swooped and kicked long for a point to get us on the board. Thomas won some good handballs and kicks today as he continued to get into the game. Kade and Eli started in the middle and had plenty of hard running to do around the ground. Hugo L. finished the quarter on the bench recovering from a blood lip.

The ball seemed trapped in our backline for a lot of the second quarter. It was tough going for all, and the umpire had to call for some space, as the players were drawn into one end. Enrique competed very well, with some great spoils to stop them marking in front of goals. Oliver C. made some good contests after he got focused.

The pressure continued in the third quarter with everyone working extra hard. Oliver R. was a rock at full back repelling many attacks. He also kicked out well using the whole goal square to Malik, then long for Hugo N. to take a ‘specky’ overhead right in front of the cheering fans. Paddy had a good quarter through the middle including a big chase down and tackle. Zeph was then crashed into the ground but showed great courage to shake it off and still take his free kick. Zeph took home a very well deserved Heartland award today.

The temperature was still rising and everyone needed a big drink before the last quarter. Noah put his body in first and earnt several tough free kicks at half back to go with some good marks earlier. Hugo L. was showing some run through the middle and kicked well. Charlie was very lively this quarter as well and took some good marks. The ball was spending a lot more time in our forward half. Finally, the team was rewarded for some great forward pressure when Malik linked up several times before he slotted a great running GOAL!

We had some official league umpires today which was excellent. The young umpire did well for his first game, and his senior mentor was really good talking to the kids and deciding free kicks, while never leaving the centre circle. The game was played in good spirit and we will look forward to facing Hoppers again later in the season.

Rooster of the week was Kade, who is showing some great form to start the season.

The team played really well today, with some of their best possession football and personal efforts so far this season. The opposition were a little stronger and it was a tough day on the park, especially with some very cruel bounces of the ball. But the Roosters didn’t stop trying all game and I think they should have all headed home happy with the effort today.

Thanks also to all the families for their support, even when the rain set in, particularly this weeks’ helpers: Chris, Vilma, Dave, Andrew, Amy, Robyn, Bart, Nicolle and Rebecca.



Under 10 Blue

On another sunny but chilly Autumn Sunday morning, our boys warmed up with some shots at goal. Not sure if this was the reason we ended up with 3 goal kickers (Jake with 3, Alan with 1 and Max RB with 1) but I say let’s do that again this weekend.

Credit to the Coach and Team Manager from Caroline Springs for loaning us 1 player per quarter to even up the numbers. The 4 boys who played for us all put in a decent effort and it was a great example of Sportsmanship that we can all learn from. So thanks to Justin, Ben, Ramsay and Lucas from Caroline Springs for their efforts. At the end of the game I chatted with their team manager and she told me she thought we have a great group of boys and was very impressed with how welcoming and friendly we all were towards their team member each time they joined us. So you all deserve the Sportsmanship award and I can’t split that this week.

Once again the fighting spirit and hunger to be first at the ball put us in a strong position from the start to the end of this rounds game. With strong but fair tackling and some amazing chase downs our boys such as Steven, Jacob, Alan, Riley, Rylan, Mitchell and Jake all showed a level of desperation to win the ball that an AFL coach would have been proud of. Alex once again put his body (and shins) on the line to help win the ball and got back up and kept playing after a painful shin contact with one of the bigger lads from CS.

The spreading out that I’ve been banging on about was happening more and more meaning I didn’t have to keep asking some of you to drop back into space. I was super happy to see many of you using your awareness and movement to find space  on either goal side of the ball. In particular I remember seeing Iggy, Aiden, Jake, Wesley, Oscar, both Max’s, Sasha and Billy in great positions to either defend or attack once the ball was kicked out of the contest.

Another super awesome part of our game this week was the run and carry of the ball. Last week at training we worked on this with races up and back the ground. So when we ran the ball from the backline all the way down the ground with (so I’m told) Max P, Sasha, Wes and Mitch all part of the chain then with Max RB finishing it off with a goal, I couldn’t hold back the excitement was running down the ground giving low fives and celebrating such an impressive effort. I also have to mention Kai’s great run from outside 50 towards the goals, and even though the kick went a bit wonky I think it still ended up as a goal so that was a proud moment.

Thanks to this week’s leaders Aiden, Riley and Stephen for helping your squads and to Riley as our Captain for the week.

Also congrats to our award winners this week;

Teamwork – Max P

I think we have a future captain and leader in Max. He leads by example and works hard to help teammates find good positions without being bossy. Well done Max!

Effort – Alex

Alex made many strong efforts throughout the game and as mentioned above that even meant he got a pretty nasty shin knock and still got up and played on. Good stuff Alex!

Awareness – Wesley

I could see that Wes was focusing on his positioning and showing great awareness of where the ball was likely to go next. His best game of the year I reckon. Nice one Wes!

Movement – Oscar

It seemed like we had 3 Oscars on the ground this week, he was everywhere. That sort of movement takes a lot of effort. Awesome work Oscar!

Sportsmanship – Our whole Team for welcoming the extra player loaned by Caroline Springs

It’s been a bit of a struggle to find ‘Rooster of the Week’ Award winners along with all the other awards but I think I’ve now come up with a way to award that. So the winner the first week was Billy because he played an awesome first ever game. I’ve decided to award the rest of the games to the person who did great work in all the TEAMS categories rather than excel in just one of them. So for Round 2 against Flemington I’ve awarded that to Rylan and for last weeks game I’m awarding it to Max RB. Sorry to those 2 lads for not awarding this on the day but well done to both of you. I’ll present both of these at the end of next week’s game and promise to announce a winner on the day from now on.

So this weekend we have a leisurely 12:05pm start at home against Altona. Lets expect another tough game and keep up the fighting spirit!

Go Roosters!



WEST FOOTSCRAY ROOSTERS – Under 10 Reds vs. Point Cook – Round Three – 6/5/18.

I am not kidding……..

“Promised you a miracle”

(I will come back to this)

Good Evening Sports Fans!

The Tenners road show rolled back into town after a week away plundering The Vikings village. Confidence was high after two on the trot but the prospect of facing Point Cook with 17 players might be a tall order for our vertically challenged Roosters. Regular followers of the Tenners would know that Bastien is doing some heavy time on the side lines and could be out for a while.  The Bulldogs are a strong club boasting three teams amongst most age groups with some seriously tall timber in their ranks. We do not always have the luxury of being able to bring players across to make up the numbers. The Ten Blues were on assignment across town in the same time slot and both nines were also on the road. Maybe we would be Ok with 17? We have been playing well enough to suggest that we would be competitive to say the least, it would be a great test of where we were at and might also provide a bit of an insight into any areas that might need attention on the training track.

OK, we are going in with 17; 17 it is, that is one less than 18 and one more than 16 if I am not mistaken. Yep, that all seems to add up. But, as our luck would have it, the squad would reduce to 16 in light of that news that Walt would miss due to business commitments. Walt had been asked to fly to the UK to officially photograph the recent arrival of Little Prince Louis for the Royal Family. Well, at least that is what I thought he said.  Alright, now we are starting to get a little thin, 16 would be a stretch.

I would awaken on Sunday morning to a text from T.M Kane. Ozi would also miss due to illness. I felt for Ozi, not only for being sick but he had been training the house down and I was keen to see him out there today. Alright 15 players; if 16 was stretch, then 15 would tear your hamstrings clean off the bone! This will require some divine intervention, it wouldn’t even have to be that divine you know, just something in the realms of the physically unexplainable would do.

Driving to the ground, I would once again turn to the oracle of FM radio. I had to be pushing my luck here. Surely there were more desperate people than me who needed help. Ok, here we go. Hmmm, don’t recognise this song, something about a Witch Doctor, but yeah, voodoo could work. All I would need is 26 little dolls in the exact replica of the Point Cook players. How much time do we have, half an hour, probably not a viable option at this stage.  Hit the scan button, “Promised you a miracle”. Yes!! ! Simple Minds.  “As golden days break wondering”.  I’ll take that miracle thanks!

We met Point Cook last year and managed to slug it out for a solid win. As it turned out, they would be the same side with the same coaches. A quick chat with them before the game would see them graciously give us three players per quarter to even out the teams. The bylaws actually state that each side must have same amount of players. The choice for the opposition is to either offer spare players if they have them or they must have extra players on the bench. In this instance, this would have meant 11 Point Cook Bulldogs sitting on the pine. Donning the Red and White for 12 minutes wouldn’t be so bad would it?

Surprisingly, the game today would be officiated by a senior umpire and two juniors learning the ropes.  Our allocated Paddy Cooks were duly knighted, with two sent to the wings and one to the back pocket. It would be their choice to work out who went where. What’s great about junior footy is the pure enthusiasm to play, anywhere, anytime. The Paddy Cooks would discuss who went where based on their own knowledge of each other. “I’ll play on the wing ‘cos I’m fast, he can go back pocket ‘cos he’s slow”. Captains for the day would be Clara and Cruzer. The toss was lost and we were kicking to the car park.

Once again Mighty Miles would take rucking duties, backed up by the mosquito fleet of Arti and Hurricane with Griff in the engine room. It would not take long for them to hit top gear with the Sherrin heading straight to the car park as if it needed a spot to park. If I were a betting man (for money) which I am not, I would be straight down to the TAB pre- game and put a pineapple on Showboat to kick the first goal. Not that the odds would be great as he has done it two weeks in a row and this would be no different. He would kick our only two goals of the first half with the Bulldogs snagging one of their own. It was a tough contest and one that we had been expecting but we were holding more than our own. The back line hung tough and stood up again under some enormous pressure at times. Arch played that C.H Back role to great effect, intercepting and repelling at every opportunity. The General controlled the last line with his safe hands and silky skills, taking on the player with his speed. The General would spend the second half in the middle to have a bit of a run and was immediately amongst the action with a goal. They were ably assisted by Louie the Fly and Efe who started on the back flanks. Flies must like crackers because Louie had another one today and took some great grabs with his sticky mits. Efe uses the ball beautifully and I can’t wait for his confidence to catch up with his natural ability. When it does, he will be a force to reckon with. The back line was rounded out by Co-Captain Cruzer, another crafty young fella with a knack for finding the footy, usually under a pack of players.  Much like Efe, watch out when his confidence grows.

It was business as usual in the middle. Mighty Miles continues to take on their biggest each week with gusto. Not one to shy away from tackling, he is a modern day ruckmen, prepared to do the dirty work as well.  Griff’s style of play is crucial to our set up and game plan. His ability to read the play one step ahead and be in the right spot at the right time is uncanny. They are not always outside gets either. Junior footy delivery is not always pretty and there is plenty of hard work to do to get on the end of it. Hurricane got another dose of vinyl poisoning with his incessant attack. Much like his preferred AFL mascot of choice, he swoops on everything that is not tied down. Arti is all class. Can I call him Art Class? Doesn’t really roll off the tongue does it. I know, I will call him Artisan, given that is his name anyway! An artisan is someone skilled with his hands and this case his feet as well. I might have to call the good people at Oxford and inform them of this change.

Co-Captain Clara was rock solid again. Shaping up as one of our toughest players, she likes to extract the footy without administering any anaesthetic to unsuspecting opposition. Her partner in crime Mezz really did take it to the next level (Last time I, promise!) She took a great chest mark and the resultant kick saw Showboat register a major. The Dynamic Duo are looking increasingly comfortable in the heat of battle. Brayden’s hard work on the training track is paying dividends on the field. He won’t let me call him Boomer so maybe Rooster, given that right leg of his. I will still need his permission though! I hope that the headband was not just a one off! He would go on to win our “Rooster of the Week” award for his game today.

We have a pair of Noah’s except one is called Dozer. I thought Dozer had played his best game last week, but he proved me wrong when he played it this week. He was a little down on himself when he missed a set shot from long range, but goals will come if he keeps presenting the way he does. Our other Noah is learning his craft and is rapt to get a touch and that is all that really matters. There will never be pressure to be the best unless you put that on yourself. Noah is progressing well and he knows it and he will work hard to get where he wants to be.

It was a tough game of footy. In the end the Roosters would prevail with some unlikely goals from a couple of Paddy Cooks who would end up outscoring their own team. The last quarter saw the ball entrenched in our forward line with nine shots on goal for a return of one goal eight. Any time the ball got out passed our forward fifty it was quickly mopped up and sent back in. The Tenners played a great game today, their positioning and link up work was outstanding. Their willingness to keep pressuring and moving forward is also very pleasing as it is what we stress every week, but you wonder if it is sinking in. I feel like it might be.

The final score line of 6.8.44 – 1.03.09 did not really reflect how tough it was but shows how tough our Roosters resolve is.

Goals – Showboat 2 – Hurricane 1 – General 1 – Paddy Cook 2:

We now turn our attentions to next Sunday, away against Flemington on Mothers Day. (Maybe I should have kept that miracle in my pocket!)

“Everything is possible”

Special Thanks to Brad for tending to the wounded 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.


U11 vs Tarneit at Shorten Reserve


It was Irish novelist Samuel Beckett who said “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”


This week had disaster written all over it.  Both coaches and team manager sick.  One trainer rostered on at work.  Rory away, Luke suspected broken thumb and Zeke ill leaving us with no interchange.  No field umpire.  The script called for a terrible game of football.  And yet…


Tarneit had their own woes, requesting to borrow a trainer early in the week and then arriving with only 16 players.  With Flynn running late due to a suspected broken leg (according to his basketball teammates) the coaches agreed we’d play 16 each, handing us a surprise surplus player on the bench.  Lo and behold Flynn arrived as the game got underway and our bench swelled to 2.


The game began with a tight struggle across the ground and a dour affair appeared to be on the cards.  One sensed that any score on the board would be important as the absence of 2 players on the ground for both sides was keenly felt.  Nonetheless our boys ground away and eventually gained the ascendency, a position they held throughout the remainder of the game.  Ashton dominated the ruck contests and Kiir and Reuben cleared the ball with regularity into our waiting forwards.  Zaw Zaw came off early with a jarred finger (his first of a couple of injuries in a tough game for him), replaced by Marlon who joined the centre fray.  Hamish and Angus provided useful running support on the wings, with Hamish kicking our first goal from a clean snap.  The forwards: Ziggy, Oliver, Nicholas and Eli pounced on anything that came close and only some desperate defence from Tarneit (including their Heartland winner #9) prevented the floodgates from opening in the first term.  Eventually Flynn broke through with a great overhead snap, leaving spectators to wonder if perhaps his leg wasn’t broken after all!


Tarneit hunkered down in the 2nd term and this time it was our defenders proving their mettle.  Patrick, Joharo and Tem are building a solid defensive structure from week to week and each time the ball entered the Tarneit forward line with a score threatening, these 3 quickly sent it back the other way.  The ball bounced back and forth throughout the second term with no goals scored by either side.


At the half time break spirits were high, elevated even further by Des’ words of inspiration and Tim’s magnet board magic.  As the 3rd quarter got underway our boys patrolled the ground with a fair degree of swagger, confident their second win was not too far away.  Tarneit didn’t give up and kept trying to push the ball forward but by now Ben had taken ownership of the half back line, and seemingly without an opponent, was magically in the right position to mark the ball with every Tarneit forward play.  Quick hands to Thomas and Caleb saw the ball repeatedly repelled into our forward line and into the waiting arms of Kiir and Ashton who both kicked truly.


The final quarter was a formality, despite the barracking of all parents on the sidelines (including those from West Footscray) for a Tarneit goal, which did eventuate.  Time after time our boys worked the ball cleverly into position with Ashton the target up forward.  Unfortunately Ashton’s accuracy did not do justice to his talent or his teammate’s persistence and his return of 1.4 for the quarter stopped the score from being the blow-out that threatened.  In the end it was a deserved 5 goal victory – could have been more, and we may not get away with such inaccuracy in finals, but today it was enough.  Congratulations to Tarneit though who really were up against it from the word go but never dropped their heads and played the game in a lovely spirit.


Massive thanks to all parent helpers today: Dave field umpire, Dennis boundary, Patrick goal, Joanne and Lucy on water, Shawn on the clock and Tania on orange slicing and jumper washing duty.  Carol has done a great job as solo trainer for past two weeks but is looking forward to Zoran’s return.


You really couldn’t say we played our best game.  But, with things not quite going our way and arrangements not quite falling into place our boys got the job done.  So we’ll finish with another Beckett quote: “We are not saints, but we have kept our appointment. How many people can boast as much?”


West Footscray 5.6.36 def. Tarneit 1.0.6

Goals: Ashton 2, Kiir, Hamish, Flynn




Under 14 Match Report

West Footscray Roosters v Flemington, Sunday 6 May, 2018


Glorious conditions greeted players and spectators at our quirky, undulating home ground at a time when footy should be played: 2:10pm in the arvo. We were taking on one of the ladder leaders, and the Flemington Colts looked more like thoroughbreds when they ran out. This assessment was confirmed in the first ten seconds when their number 3, Noah galloped past five of our players for a spectacular goal.


But my horse theme has meant I’ve jumped out of the gates too soon, without acknowledging the somewhat shambolic pre-match. Xavier Cahill, who made an electric debut in the red and white last week, was ruled out with a heel complaint. Our own Jonah Lomu, Zidane Scanlon-Jones was also ruled out with, apparently, a groin complaint. I thought only Matthew Kreuzer and Chris Phelan succumbed to the ‘groin’. Then, with minutes before the opening bounce our irrepressible and usually pretty unflustered Team Manager Liza L discovered Alex Q was also out – on camp. There goes three of our best players. Coach Josh tried to focus the boys: not worrying about the ‘outs’, tackle pressure, and using our pace on the outside.


Meanwhile Liza was screaming: “Murphy, Murphy, can you play?” A quick glance at his dad, Damian, followed by a “heck yeah”, or “sick”, or something involving an affirmative answer, and he was in the team. We just needed to find him a jumper, which was in the boot of a car about to leave Shorten. Murphy’s name was quickly added to the team sheet, umpires advised, and along with fellow under 12 Cooper, we managed to field a side.


At the quarter time break the scores were 43 to 0. We weren’t 43. This could get ugly. That said, we started to get in to the game. Our lads began to realise #3 tended to try to run too far, and do too much. He was pinged for holding the ball about 8 times in the course of the game, I reckon. That is a credit to our under-sized lads who kept chasing and courageously taking him on. Sam Vlaeminck started in the ruck, and his basketball skills showed through with some nice tap work. His contesting efforts will get better as the season continues – “he’s got a nice size about him”, as they say.


Liam, Henry and Navindu contested well. A theme that would run through the day. The second quarter began with a shirt-front on Murphy, and Damian muttering things about what Amy would think about her little fella playing against the Flemington thoroughbreds.


Samuel H started to exert his influence across half back, cleaning up loose balls and taking a lot of intercept marks to then launch our forays. Often he would find Ben Murphy streaming through the midfield from his wing – a great play for us. Socrates took a number of nice marks with his incredibly clean hands, but had to work higher up the ground today, so didn’t impact the scoreboard.


Inside ball-winner Henry flicked one out to Murphy (who had recovered), on to Diesel for a blazing point from 25 metres out directly in front. The kick-in out to the 42.5 metre arc was then intercepted by Diesel (again) who launched a huge snap which somehow bounced and bounced and bounced through – goal to West Footscray!


#1 for Flemington was repelling a lot of our forward entries, and played an exceptional game, but our onballers were incredibly tenacious and determined in this second quarter – Liam, Kailey, Nav, Jonathan. One of our finest pieces of play came in the second quarter with Samuel spearing a pass to Soc who quickly switched inboard to Ben M, on to Sam V, a Henry tackle, a great mark by Steven (who almost qualifies for the under 12’s!), he handpassed to Sam V for a great team goal. Meanwhile on the bench Murphy suggested he was the human Ventolin for this team. Fair enough, too. Certainly the Roosters had plenty of breath in their tenacious lungs, and we outscored the thoroughbreds in the second quarter. #3 was getting a little sick of the close attention Liam was paying him – one suspects he’s used to running where he likes on a footy field – it was a different story today.


Coach Josh made a couple of positional changes, bringing Daniel Hudson up on to a wing for the third quarter, and shifting Ben Murphy to full forward. Kailey moved in to the ruck and competed really well. It’s great to have him out there playing for the good old red and white. Jonathan’s quick clean hands fed the ball out to Liam for a long kick in to Steven for another goal. Steven was proving a great target up forward. Cooper kicked a behind (not a literalism or a euphemism), but the Flemington full-back picked up the wrong footy to resume play – a light-red, deflated synthetic job. Juma started to exert his influence in the back line, blocking, tackling and feeding the ball out. Samuel H was enormous across half-back with intercept marks, driving runs and long kicks. Leo got a great little tap out to set a team-mate up for a dashing run. Sam V had a harsh free-kick paid against him (it is a hard game to umpire), and Flemington pounced. The thoroughbreds ran in bursts and broke the game right open with a few goals in a row. At 3 qtr time the score was 20 to 83. We weren’t 83… but we were putting up one heck of a contest.


Liam G started on fire (not literally or euphemistically) in the 4th quarter, strolling out of the centre bounce, at one point looking around to see if anyone was following. He kicked it long to Steven for another great mark and goal. Kailey copped a high tackle, got it on to Liam for a towering, raking, Billy-Brownless special of a goal from at least 38.5 metres. Steven added to his highlight reel with a one-handed mark near the point post, putting up his right arm like a traffic cop and having the ball roll down it in to his lap. A quick play on snap went behind the stick. Luis, as he often does, quietly went about his business, taking a few good marks and kicking beautifully – he is one of the best kicks in our team.


Towards the end of the game Daniel (aka uncle Terry) found himself in the defensive 50 with the ball near the goals and not much else around him. In his inimitable style he sauntered back and very quietly waited for the trouble to arrive before escorting the ball over for a rushed behind. Smart footy.


Isaac C was also involved throughout the day with a lot of pressure acts (to use the AFL vernacular), blocks, shepherds and handballs. Diesel was amazing, continually contesting against much bigger boys and bringing the ball to ground. Nav showed electric, steam-train express speed coming out of the backline, until he hit the end of the line – well, two Flemington thoroughbreds. Crunch, bang, he still managed to flick out the handpass before slumping to the ground. All smiles after the game. Hamish was another who pressured hard all day, especially in the forward line. He copped an almighty falcon in the final quarter, but earnt a pizza voucher for his efforts, so surely that cancels out the headache.


Sometimes, well probably quite often, kids sport is not about the final result. Without three of our best from last week, and with Lenny still out with a back complaint, these Roosters should be very proud of their efforts. This could have been a 150 point shellacking, but the Flemington thoroughbreds had to run hard down the back straight and around the bend. Our attack, pressure and tackling was excellent. A huge thanks to Cooper and Murphy for filling in, and playing great games.


Let’s all help Coach Josh to build on the game structure Tim and Jack taught us from last season – a handpass out the back of the pack, put pressure on, look for the 45 or 90 degree kick, run and go.


Final score: Flemington 102, West Footscray 35.


Goal kickers: Steven 2, Liam 1, Diesel 1, Sam V 1


Better players: well it was a great team effort, but some better players (from the match reporter’s perspective) were: Liam Grant, Navindu G, Samuel Hall, Henry Lovell, Diesel Lim.


Next week we take on Williamstown, hopefully with a couple of handy “in’s”. A big thanks to all the adults who contributed to the game – coach Josh, runner Jack, boundary umpire Gerald, water runners (Hamish’s brother and ??), trainer Yenny, goal umpire Clayton, and of course our terrific Team Manager Liza L.


Cheers for now, Dave Hall.