WEST FOOTSCRAY ROOSTERS – Under 9 Reds vs. Newport Power – Round Four – 7/5/17.

“The Department of Youth”

Wow Sports fans!  What a cracking game of football it was. The Niner’s rolled back into to town this week after notching their first win and were hungry for more. Shorten Reserve, bathed in resplendent sunshine, set the scene for what would be an epic battle. “Wins” don’t come easy and it is certainly isn’t made any easier up against a side like Newport Power.  Another team nestled on the Williamstown Road fault line, Newport are ornery critters! They love a good scrap, but you shouldn’t throw scraps at Roosters, especially not hungry ones!

Once again we were at full strength which meant three quarters of football each. Getting the balance of youth and experience right is our challenge and by giving experience to the youth, makes the challenge easier. As each game passes, we get to see everyone take that little extra step forward. Everyone is different and develops differently to the next player. It might not seem like much, but out in the middle, a tackle here a knock on there a quick kick out of congestion gives that little bit more confidence that says “Hey, I can do this”.

Let me give you a couple of quick examples; Lace-out-Lacey will have to change his nickname to Lace-up-Lacey. I lost count of how many tackles he layed today that stopped their momentum. Otto kicked his first goal through sheer forward pressure and persistence; he chased, caused the turnover, he kicked the goal!

Now let’s get down to business. Captains for the day would be Iggy and Harry. After another quick round of “guess in which hand is the umpires whistle” in which Newport guessed right, we were kicking to the car park.

The first quarter saw the Roosters pick up where they left off last week and dominate the play. Xavier would open the proceedings after pouncing on a loose ball and slotted the first one home. Again the mercy rule meant nothing to the hungry Roosters who refused Newport any forward entry. Riley is really finding his feet now as a menacing tall, Sasha the Dasher was relentless and desperate. Max “more than a” Phelan is smooth moving cat. He would take a great mark in front of goal and coolly pop it through. Archie and Xavier would round out the first quarter rout with beautiful running snaps for goals.

Just like last week, the second quarter saw the rotations swing back the momentum to the opposition. We expect this though. It is the best way to let everyone try and get their hands on the ball. Newport switched the power back on and managed to kick four goals. The difference from last week and the most pleasing aspect was that we were still able to get the ball forward to our little maestro Jami who kicked two goals against the tide. Louis was monumental; in my opinion his best game to date. Tackling, chasing, intercept marks, he did it all today. Well done Mate! Half time had us still in front on the back of a great team effort. Time for oranges and more rotations.

The third quarter was much like the second except we did not manage to score, even though we were a lot more competitive. Diesel (Jack Mosca) is a smart footballer much like his nick-namesake would suggest, for those of you old enough to remember!  Dylan, Jack G, Jack P, Oliver and Oscar were all battling hard in the forward line, Sasha and Archie were hard at work down back but it was not enough to stop Newport wrestling the lead into their favour. I told you they were ornery, the Power were buzzing and could smell victory.

The Forth Quarter would again bring the fresh legs and with it some more experience. If Newport thought that this game was theirs, they had better think again. Just as our newer teammates are making progress, so too are our older boys. This term would see Luca and Aiden step up to the plate and take matters into their own hands. Both boys were terrific were first and second efforts. I reckon Harry eats batteries for breakfast; he just keeps on keeping on. If there was a league stat for stealing the ball off the boot of an opposition player, he would be leading it. The Roosters were winding up now. Jackson was on the ball and getting busy, Iggy was at CHF and presenting well , Abby put the pressure on and got a few hand balls away and the back line was rock solid with a pair of  Mullaly’s blessed with natural speed. Clara’s attack and ball gathering is outstanding. We were also trialling another nick name today with Noah now known as “Dozer” getting his hands dirty in the middle with some great run and carry and as mentioned earlier Otto would kick his first goal. Just like in the first quarter, Xavier and Archie would both kick running goals with Xav dobbing his from the pocket if you don’t mind!

The siren would sound. At each break I would ask “who watched the Doggies last night”? I think they all did! There is nothing sweeter than a come from behind victory in a game in which we do not score (61–48)! And especially one against tough contested ball side like Newport.

“We’re the Department of Youth” “Who’s got the Power?” “WE HAVE”!

The Niner’s bus rolls back out of town this weekend with another tough assignment on the road pencilled in against Altona.

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.

Round 4 – Home to Hoppers Crossing Warriors.

 

I had nearly lost my voice the night before as I rode the emotional roller coaster of the Bulldogs last quarter efforts and victory.

Today we were in front of Home Supporters, who were basking in Autumn sun and the joy of a home win by the Under 9 Reds – it was easy to get excited by our own possibilities, a chance to build on a good performance last week.

(Our last weeks game was very close – only a point in it.  We thought we had won, but so did Caroline Springs..)

 

Our Co-Captains for this week were Griffin Barker and Sophia Cowall.

 

1st Quarter;

I was sure the game was to start at 10:50, but Hoppers Crossing was on the field and in positions as we finished our warm-up.  Luckily the Team knew what I was asking for – spread out, play keepy-off when we have the ball and find an opposition player when we don’t.

After we got a hurry up from the umpire – we were on the field, and it was the Roosters who started the best.

We kept good distance between each other, moved the ball quickly by hand to good options sideways – then the kick forward.  We were taking marks all over the ground.

The ball was going our way and our forward pressure especially by Mitchell and Felix, ment we able to lock it in our 50.

Our efforts were rewarded with a goal to Griffin(C).

Further forward pressure ended with Malik providing a holding-the-ball tackle.  He converted his shot at goal from his free kick.

Maya laid terrific tackles, stopping the Hoppers Crossing forward plays and rarely letting the ball get past her. Her Ruck work later in the game was also impressive.

The Team had certainly lifted – Miles was having his best game : confident under marks and busting out of packs.

Mrinal kept his position, used the ball well – including knocking the ball out of congestion to keep it moving our way.

 

2nd Quarter;

I’m not sure if we relaxed, Hoppers Crossing lifted, or both – but the game evened up.

We were not without effort – just not as efficient or effective with the ball.

When Hoppers had the ball, they were doing to us what we had been doing to them – kicking to players in space.

It was a battle in the midfields, with not much ball in either forward 50.

We were still marking well – particularly Jake (Birthday Boy), Griffin(C), Efe and Miles.  Best of all was Malik and Oscar, who were throwing themselves amongst the packs.

Jake, Hadi and Max stood tall under pressure from the opposition.

Kai had important touches in defence and attack.  Nathaniel kept in good spaces going forward and closely watched an opponent in defence – he was rewarded with possessions.

Sophia(C), Noah and Efe kept going in for the ball.

Mitchell laid another great tackle in our forward line and the ball finished the Quarter down our end.

 

3rd Quarter;

The long break didn’t help us – the tide had turned.It now wasn’t so much an even game – Hoppers was now on top!

We were drawn too close to the ball, trying to win it back.  We were bunched up and lost our shape.  We were crashing into each other, getting in each other’s way and going for the same mark. And when we did get the ball, there was no-one forward to kick it to – Griff(C) was hand balling over-the-top to himself…

We were in full defensive mode.

Arlo M stood strong as the ball and opposition came rushing towards him.

Alex was going for his marks and watching for his opponent.

Hadi followed the packs all day and did his best to force the ball our way.

Sophia(C) was running hard to chase down the ball and opponents.

Miles did well in the Ruck.

Felix and Eli used their pace to get to the ball, but it was mostly in a defensive act.

Mitchell was trying hard and Oscar kept flying for any mark.

Hoppers had outscored us this quarter and the last – they were now in front on the scoreboard and had the momentum.

The things we did so well in the 1st quarter, we weren’t doing any more.

 

4th Quarter;

I called for a “Big Effort”. Get the ball, spread out and play keepy-off – just like we did so well at the start of the game.

I wasn’t sure if we had enough legs left (were our water boys right?).

Mitchell and Oscar were on our wings – giving our wide option.  Malik kept a kick forward of the play.  Jake and Griff(C) were communicating in the midfield.  Things were clicking again – a bit of time, space and providing options.

Our fast feet brigade – Arti, Felix, Oscar and Eli were now running forward and linking with our marking options – Jake, Griff(C), Maya, Miles and Malik.  We were looking for our next pass option and supporting each other around the ball.

Efe found his form from last week again, finding space and the ball.

Nathaniel provided good options in space and took some marks.

Oscar got reward for good forward positioning – taking a mark and kicking a goal.

The game was now close.

The ball didn’t get through our defence – Maya, Alex and Noah especially.

Noah was unlucky not to be paid a great effort at a contested mark.

Mitchell, Jake, Oscar & Malik had a lot of the ball It went into our 50.  Arlo S-T lead back to goal and took a great mark, close to goal, on an angle. Arlo steadied, took his kick – and got his goal.  A 2-fist-in-the-air celebration followed, for what turned out to be the match winner.

The siren sounded with Malik going for yet another mark.

The Team was understandably and suitably excited – no question on the result today!

 

Special Mentions;

  • For Best Game so far this year – the whole Team. Well done everyone.
  • Happy Birthday Jake.
  • Focus for next week; What we did well in the 1st and last quarters.

 

Thankyou to all our Helpers, especially

Paul – for helping as trainer/ runner.

Ash – filling in as umpire (you were clear and fair with your calls)

Photographers – great to see more images

Writers – for helping with our game notes.

Monique – for arranging so much of our Game Day duties.

 

See you next week – Away to Tarneit.  Please be there for 8:00am.

 

 

Regards,

Paul

 

Under 10s Match Report Round 4 PEGS v West Footscray at PEGS

 

‘How’s the serenity?’ we mused as we journeyed out to the third runway to take on PEGS.  It’s a pristine ground with superb facilities and the added bonus of a free air-show featuring frequent low flying kangaroos, predictably accompanied by a gale force wind.

 

Despite the wind and the cold, the sun shone brightly as our little roosters took to the ground.  Being without an umpire AGAIN meant the PEGS coach had to step up and although we were unable to provide him with a Wests counterpart I’m proud to say the $4 Best & Less white t-shirt he wore was supplied by us.  It possibly wasn’t the worst week to be without an umpire as this young buck was a Seniors footballer from PEGS and the mental image of him donning a snugly fitting Aston Villa-esque guernsey was not entirely displeasing.  But I digress.

 

Our own coach implored his charges to improve from last week by increasing the shepherding and holding our structure.  This proved to be handy advice as the first quarter was a tense back and forth tussle between two evenly matched sides.  PEGS had the better of us out of the blocks, applying ferocious tackling and consistently moving the ball into their forward line.  Some great physical work by Nicholas and Ziggy with smothering and tackling, Ashton with quick pack clearances and Paddy barrelling in and under stopped the regular threat of scoring.  Manny patrolled the centre and regularly passed to Hamish whose first quarter set the tone for a high quality match, pouncing on anything loose and doing his upmost to send the ball in our forward direction.  PEGS weren’t going to be so easily dismissed, but thankfully some brilliant defensive work from Zaw Zaw saved 3 goals and when Alex marked and goaled with seconds to go we went into the first quarter break a goal up, sneaking in front of PEGS who up until then had the better of us.

 

I apologise for this break in transmission for an occupational health and safety reminder.  One of our boys had to come off the ground to remove a hoodie from under his guernsey.  There is a league rule that the kids are not to play in hoodies for a very good reason – it’s dangerous.  Please remind your kids of this rule.  However I’ve also noted a number of boys, including my own, training in hoodies.  This is really dangerous practice.  Yes it’s cold, yes they wear the red and white with pride but please speak with the boys about how dangerous it is if they are accidentally grabbed by the hood.  Now back to the footy…

 

The quarter time address summed up our first term as sloppy and our boys were urged for more of everything: tackling, shepherding, attention and pressure.  They responded by immediately lifting at the start of the second to counter PEGS’ attack with the wind.  Reuben worked hard in the face of intense pressure – one suspects the opposition scouts had targeted our slick midfielder and he was double/triple/quadruple-teamed every time he scooped up the ball, without ever giving up.  After an opening quarter on the pine Benny was injected into the mix and with quick hands and even quicker feet he was regularly moving the ball forward, consistently putting the ball in the hands of Joharo.  Eli and Kiir threatened up forward making life difficult for the PEGS defence.  Meanwhile Leo, Moses, Tem and Zeke held up the half back line stopping any movement forward for PEGS.  Our boys went into half time with a spring in their collective step having kept PEGS to a scoreless 2nd quarter kicking with the wind.

 

Over the munching of oranges Des asked for even more pressure and attention to our structure – stop the finessing and keep it simple; just pick up the ball and kick it.  As the 3rd quarter began our tackling stepped up another level with Flynn terrifying the opposition with his ferocious determination.  Rory found his way into the action, directing some great team combinations enabling the ball to weave its way into ever reliable goal-kicking machine Noah’s arms; the result was a foregone conclusion.  After the centre clearance Rory booted the ball into our forward line again, then followed up with 2 great tackles and finished this superb piece of play with a goal himself – a beautiful example of reward for effort.

 

At ¾ time Des engaged in psychological warfare noting that the opposition’s heads had dropped and it was time to turn the screws.  Out we came to finish them off and it was Joharo who led the way, capping off his best game so far this season.  Kicking with the wind PEGS scored their first and only goal for the game but not without some intense pressure from our defence including some sublime blocking from Marlon.  As the clock on the very impressive PEGS scoreboard wound down the result was beyond doubt but in the dying seconds Nicholas kicked his first ever goal for the club; a truly joyous moment.

 

Look I’m not going to lie, this was a scrappy game.  PEGS were a much tougher competitor than the scoreline implies and we weren’t at our best.  But there’s a magical quality with good teams; they find a way to win when things aren’t necessarily going their way.  Great job Des who tapped into the momentum of the game and coached the boys to perfection.  Huge thanks to all the parents who keep volunteering week after week.

 

Congratulations to Hamish Vlaeminck, a well-deserved Heartland Award winner.

 

Goals: Alex 2, Rory, Nicholas, Noah 1

 

 

Under 11 Division 2

Round 4 St. Albans vs West Footscray

 

8:50 am? Is this some sort of sick joke? I had assumed that the Under 11s wouldn’t be subjected to that ungodly time slot this year. Apparently I was wrong. That happens on the odd rare occasion. Full of hate for the league, I made my way to the ground. Driving by my favourite skate park, which incidentally was empty (insert sobbing adult noise here), it was hard to be enthused. We arrived at the ground before anyone else (standard operating procedure) to find Kings Park Reserve to be damp, cold and rather uninviting. Thankfully our kids had played St. Albans roughly 37 times last season, so we knew where to go. The visitors’ rooms were unlocked and we were greeted with that old damp, musty smell that was a mix of wet cat and cheese. It reminded me of my early years as a renter. This time however I wouldn’t have to step over anyone to get inside. Spirits slightly lifted! Not long after our boys began to arrive as did the team from St. Albans. All were available this week with the exception of Christian who was nursing an injured finger from training. That was a big disappointment as he was clearly getting in the mood during the second half of the previous weeks fixture. We would need two captains. Nathaniel and Xavier got the gig thanks to their fine team efforts the week prior. Their first duty would be to pick the match ball. Some indecision from the boys in doing this. Thankfully the 20+ kids behind them were yelling advice. Ball picked………..Let’s play some football!

 

Someone won the toss and picked a direction. I have no idea who that was, but as a result we would kick to the Las Vegas end of the ground. St. Albans had caught us napping in our 85th and final meeting last year. Would the result be reversed this time? Are the boys awake? They shouldn’t be! It’s 8:50 am! No one should be!

The ball went up and our boys were indeed awake. Kadin won the tap and put it straight down Jacks throat. He took off like he’d stolen something and smashed it into our forward line. The ball cannoned through a few sets of hands before hitting the turf. Murphy then hit it at a million miles an hour and snapped at goal. BANG! GOAL! The boys looked pretty pleased with that. The clock showed a grand total of 10 seconds had been played. Yep.  They’re awake alright! Cooper was starting in the middle this week and was back to his bullocking best. Weston was hitting team mates with pin point passing. Vinh was mopping up everything that got beyond the middle and sending it straight back. Kadin was dominating the ruck and giving our mids first use of the ball. Sean (the hi-vis man) was loving the wide flanks. Xavier (the doona) was locking the ball in. St Albans were under siege and not even Steven Segal could help them. Jack added our second midway through the first in his usual frantic attack on the ball. Micky got his hands on it early and was using it well. Felix is a machine. His tackles, chases and a booming left foot were a treat to watch. Sass was injected into the game for his debut game and had the pill in his hands within seconds of taking the field. Brilliant! Time after time we surged forward. Elijah Moon was attracting the ball at centre half forward like a magnet. What he missed (not much) was mopped up by Murphy who was on fire at half forward. Just before the break Weston found himself with the ball, space and time, and a clear run at the sticks perfectly setup for his lethal left boot. Boom! That’s 3. Cracking football boys.

 

Quarter time St. Albans 0.0.0 vs West Footscray 3.3.21

 

The second term saw players shuffled around. The backs had hardly seen it in the first and were given the chance to get their shorts dirty. I might have moved them too much as now St. Albans looked far more lively kicking to the Keno end of the ground. The irony of it. Now our backs would get warm with hard work whilst our forwards were standing around. Alek was amazing. He’s an awesome backman and won contest after contest for the Roosters. Frank was everywhere. His improvement this year has been amazing and his addition to the midfield a massive boost for the team. Samuel is a quiet accumulator of possessions. He seems to get to almost every contest. His tackling is fantastic and won us the ball on numerous occasions. Zach (the blanket) was brilliant. He’s a little battering ram and had the boys from St. Albans second guessing the value of taking possession of the ball. Leroy seemed intent on doing it even better. Fast and low, right at the hips. His tackles are unbreakable and his reward would be free kicks, a pile of vanquished opponents and a nickname (The Convincer). There was some forward line action for our boys. Murphy, Weston, Frank and Vinh kept smacking it in. Angus was a big target deep in the forward line. He got his hands on it but the congested area made it hard to find space. Nathaniel was giving it 100% and doing all the 1%’s. Tito was looking busy as well. Still we couldn’t snag that goal.

 

Half time St. Albans 1.1.7 vs West Footscray 3.3.21

 

The wind had picked up a bit in the third. It wasn’t really favouring either end but a crafty coach tried to convince his boys that it was. Clearly a two goal breeze blowing to the Tabaret end. They didn’t appear to be buying this line, but the coach persisted anyway. Yash moved into the ruck after an awesome first half on a back flank. Careful Yash. Great defensive work might make you a regular down there. He won the first tap in the ruck and most of the others that followed. Jack was on fire. So was Weston. Kadin had been given a wing and was loving the freedom. Aaron was down forward this term and looked the goods. It’s amazing how the sniff of a goal opportunity can spark them up! The first of the third would come off the boot of Yash. On fire and on the run. It was always going through the big sticks.  Great goal Yash. We were peppering the goals but St. Albans refused to roll over. Felix was a blur. He was in everything. Cooper was pumping it long and our forwards looked certain to cash in. Xavier got loads of it. Murphy continued to burn the turf. Elijah Moon got hurt again! Eventually Jack got the ball with time to burn. That’s bad news for most teams and St. Albans would not escape his love of a goal. His team mates begging for the ball would look on as it sailed through for his second of the day. St. Albans continued to defend valiantly and made a few forays forward. They were quickly repelled by our back 6 who never looked like conceding a goal. Right on the siren Murphy would rip the ball from and a pack and roost a snap straight through the middle only to have it disallowed due to a free kick payed to St. Albans. Shocking decision and the WRFL will hear about it! Great term gents!

 

3 Quarter Time St. Albans 1.1.7 vs West Footscray 5.7.37

 

Would St. Albans be able to respond? Have I run out of gambling references? The answer to both of these questions is possibly. The breeze was now favouring an end.  Ours! Woot! Alek got a run in the middle and was moving with renewed vigour. St. Albans were industrious and found themselves deep in their forward line at the $2 scratchy end but couldn’t get that goal. Great defending made it an impossible task. Yash was playing out of his skin. He had the ball on a string like a yo-yo. Clearly that is a dated reference that most of these children are far too young to understand. I apologise, but I can’t work a spinner (why do they even exist?) in to this report. Samuel and Frank kept banging away. Angus and Tito looked closer than ever to their first goals of the year. Weston had tired of gaining countless possessions and had now added some Harlem Globetrotter style taps to his bag of tricks. It’s a big bag and he’s still yet to produce the handball to himself this year. Perhaps he’s found some better options? Goals are a good option. He found one of those after marking in our forward line. He coolly slotted the set shot for his second of the day. A few other things happened that I should report, but as is usually the case I am writing this at the last minute and still have the newsletter to do! When will I learn!

 

Full Time St. Albans 1.2.8 vs West Footscray 6.10.46

 

Great game boys, in particular Yash who picked up his first Heartland Award for a fantastic game. 4 Rounds in and we are in second spot on the ladder. The training drills are really starting to show up I the games now. Still lots of room for improvement which is great. Wyndhamvale await his week. I don’t even know where that is. Sounds made up quite frankly. I hope it’s real. I can’t wait to see another weeks’ worth of improvement. Well done.

 

Damian

West Footscray Roosters under 13’s v St Albans, 7 May, 2017

 

Writing match reports can be tough. You need a bit of colour, a bit of spice from the crowd to add a little mayonnaise to the glorious on-field efforts. The Daily Show’s John Stewart once did a segment: “Being a comedian is a lonesome business… sometimes you can lose hope… and then a Presidential candidate comes along and utters that glorious four letter word… ‘oops’.”

 

Surely the crowd would deliver some colour for me today. It was second-top v bottom. The pre-match hype wasn’t quite up there with a Collingwood-Carlton blockbuster. The St Albans warm up didn’t bode well… contrasting with the mighty Roosters who looked sharp and ready to run and rumble.

 

Kings Park St Albans was the sight of the very first win for a lot of these Roosters players four (?) years ago. The memorable mud pit (aka cricket pitch area) from last year was gone, covered by grass, delightful grass.

 

Underway in sunny conditions, the Roosters immediately drove the Sherrin forward thanks to the super-boot of Zidane, who is part Labrador puppy, part Yogi bear (no help from the crowd for that one, but their help will come, surely…) Diesel got on the end of it for a great goal. He’s the favourite of my two Aboriginal aunties who were visiting all the way from Utopia in the Northern Territory. “We like that one, number 11…, and number 3 of course”.

 

Alex took a great defensive mark in front of his player. Samuel tried to kick one from 40 metres with the breeze, but it almost ended up in Cairnlea. Henry kicked a great goal with his raking left foot, and then won a three-on-one contest on the outer wing. Ben was getting his running game going, and getting used to his longer legs, which appear to have grown three cm’s since last game. Luis got some nice early touches, helping Socrates to kick a very classy goal. Soc is having quite a season, backing it up with enormous pressure which enabled Navindu to swoop and kick long to Isaac C for a mark and goal.

 

#9 for St Albans is tall, athletic and competitive – he managed to run down Zidane. #4 and #1 for St Albans were probably under 11’s but they both played terrific games for the home side. Very neat skills and quick running.

 

The second quarter saw St Albans lift their intensity after what our water-woman, Liza described as… well, no she refused to actually mention what their coach said… we move on, back to the action. Isaac T kicked well in to the forward 50 for Henry, then on to Daniel who kicked a long, long poster. Almost a great goal. We kept the ball in there and Alex Q managed to mop up to get himself on the board with a goal. It was set up nicely thanks to Lachlan D’s mark and hard running. Zidane was prominent, and the half backs of Samuel, Leo, Lenny, Jonathan and Ben were ensuring the ball was being played in our half.

 

Soc was the next to get on the end of one, a long kick in from Liam. Daniel also kicked a great goal after a delightful Diesel dish-off. Shortly after, Diesel almost knocked himself out when going for a chest mark that hit him in the scone. My aunties looked on anxiously. Then I heard: “#11 ok, he’s back up.” I think Diesel reminds them of their nephew Junior J Bird who plays for the Territory Thunder.

Abdullah kicked well in to the forward line, again finding Soc (or does Soc find the ball?), for another goal. Liam played on quickly desperate for a goal himself, but to no avail this time. The backline were shivering.

 

The 3rd quarter saw us master the art of kicking points. Henry had a great contest at one stage against their best player, #9. Isaac T did a 450 degree turn, perhaps even a pirouette, to swing on to his right foot setting up a goal to Navindu.

No great heights were reached in the 3rd quarter. The opposition kicked a point, which was a blessing really, because it allowed a very good, clean passage of play down the Pokies Room Wing: Liam on to Zidane, Diesel, Samuel, Luis and then out on the full. Nice build up…

 

#9 thought he’d do his own run down the non-Pokies wing, and what a run it was, right in front of his coach. Six or seven bounces, and the Roosters were struggling to catch him. He was eventually brought down, a bit like Ned Kelly at Glenrowan (minus the suit of armor, bank robberies and botched train derailment) by a combination of Liam, Jonathan and Zidane. He, too, really wanted a goal, but in the end got dragged by his coach for trying to do it all himself. The ball quickly returned to our forward 50 thanks to Alex Q who enabled Samuel to mark and goal. Isaac T followed this up with an excellent point.

 

At 3 quarter time I implored the crowd to lift. Please, give me something. Liza, secure in her Water Woman’s designated zone (we weren’t allowed in there) mentioned that Diesel had brought extra fridge magnets for the coach, as promised. What a thoughtful and yet slightly cheeky child is #11, a fan favourite. There were other vague murmurings about how Daniel has a lot of strength in his calves, but not so much in his core. Kailey’s dad, Simon, gave me nothing, despite being singled out at 3 qtr time to lift. Daniel and Kailey were both having good games by the way.

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In the real 3 qtr time huddle, coach Tim Grant was imploring his young chargers not to clog up the forward line. We’d kicked 10 goals and 19 behinds. A goal to St Albans at the start of the last quarter generated a big cheer. Juma then got in front of his opponent and took a good mark in the goal square after a slick handpass from Soc set up a long Samuel kick. Lachlan, Navindu, Liam, Jonathan and Henry were all prominent in the final stanza, with Navindu and Henry adding to their goal tally.

 

The crowd banter had lifted a bit in the last quarter, coming off a low base, let’s be frank. Liza suggested we get “3, 4, 5” t’shirts for the players, celebrating their new zone defence mantra. Michael suggested Daniel could chase the chicken, ala Rocky Balboa, in order to improve his core strength. Sue and Shaun were non-committal.

 

Finally, just as the blessed relief of the final siren was about to blow, some bloke in the crowd gave me a bit of gold: “Geez, look at the mullet on that St Alban’s kid. That’s one to aspire to.” Luis had the final play of the day, a great run down the Pokies Wing, only for his kick to be intercepted by mullet-kid.

 

The Heartland Award went to Jonathan Stelluto who has strung together a few great games for the Roosters this season. Tougher opposition next week, lads.

 

 

Final scores: 13.22.100 def St. Albans 1.3.9

 

Goal kickers:  ​Socrates 3, Navindu 2, Henry 2, Samuel 1, Diesel 1, Isaac C 1, Alex Q 1, Juma 1, Daniel 1