WEST FOOTSCRAY ROOSTERS – Under 9 Reds vs. Altona Vikings – Round Five – 12/5/17.

You gotta love a picture perfect Autumnal Mothers Day. Glorious sunshine, crisp and clean, fresh dew on the deck and Junior Footy to kick start a traditionally busy day.

The Niner’s were back in the bus and on the road, this time stopping in Altona for a date with the Vikings. Altona is another side that we had not yet encountered on our Under 9’s journey thus far, so we could not under estimate what may come. But we probably did… We didn’t expect for the ground to be as big as it was, that is for sure!

Our Captain’s for the day would be a pair of Jack’s in Diesel and Jack P; I wondered what Altona would be betting at the coin toss! As it turns out, it was one of a kind and our pair decided to kick to the car park end. I would find out after the game it was so that we could have the wind in the second quarter!  Wind?! For those of you following the Reds, you would have noticed that they have been up and about in the last two games having won both their last outings and looking for more. Our starts have been terrific with the aim of creating enough score board pressure in the first to be able to absorb the rotations in the second and third quarters.

It did look to be business as usual, however the Niner’s would come up against something that they had not faced before. Officiating Umpires. Umpires keen to ensure that the contest is played in the true spirit of under nines football. Most of you will have heard me bang on about watching your tackles and one bounce only and don’t kick off the ground. They were all enforced today and then some, for which I am grateful. We gave away free kick after free kick after free kick, which frustrated our little Roosters to the point of exasperation but by the end of the game, the free kicks were coming back our way as we were able to adapt a little better than Altona. We had all the attack in the first but we let our frustrations take hold which meant we were wasteful in front of goal. One goal four could have been five straight. We would also concede an easy goal after our backline came looking for action which left a solitary Viking in the goal square to pop one through.

Once again the rotations would see a shift in momentum and it was our turn for the backline to be busy. Harry, Riley and Sash would all take great defensive grabs to slow things down. Aiden decided to use his head and copped a falcon when he leapt for a pack grab. Clara was outstanding, laying tackles and attacking the ball and even teaming up with her bro Louis for a great passage of play through the middle of the ground. The end of the quarter would see us scoreless with the Vikings on top with two goals to none.

Time for oranges, rotations and reflections…….. Could we wrestle this one back?

The Niner’s were a little more fired up now, they could see that by listening to the umpires that they could win free kicks as well and it was Altona’s turn to get frustrated. I am not sure how many marks Harry took today, time and again popping up at the right time. He would also kick our only goal for the quarter. Jami also had a cracking quarter and was hell bent on bringing this one home. He would go on to win the Heartland for his attack on the ball. Archer found his feet today was amongst it in the middle with his hard work rewarded with a free kick in the centre when we needed it. Oliver was unlucky not to put one through after he too won a free kick in front of goals. Diesel took another great grab; Louis was in everything once again until a low blow took the wind from his considerable sails. He bravely battled on but would sit out the last quarter. Eamon is now officially Lace Up Lacey as he once again stitched up opponents twice his size. Captain Jack P, Oscar, Abby and Dylan all worked hard in the forward line creating forward pressure and we managed to keep the Vikings scoreless but we were still down by one point.

The Roosters were ready for action now, one point down, I don’t think so!

The sunshine had all but dried the dew from the grass which means traction which means action! Luca is having a great season, plenty of pace, beautiful kick, he loves the forward line! Dozer was in the middle tackling hard and winning clearances.  If the ball did venture past the defensive fifty Max ‘more than a’ Phelan would run onto it and coolly send it back into the corridor. Jackson and Archer were also hard at it in the pockets picking off everything that came their way as was Abby floating across the arcs. The quarter belonged to Archie and Xavier though. Both boys would lay great tackles which resulted in free kicks which resulted in goals, terrific quarter of footy fellas, (not that the other three weren’t!) Sasha the Dasher also had a great game; playing with his typical flair he was instrumental in so many plays today.

The siren would sound – jubilation! Another come from behind victory. (5.7.37 – 3.1.19.) It was a great game in many respects. Altona, coached by a fifteen year old, if you don’t mind, were very spirited and the umpiring taught us a thing or two about watching our tackles and listening to direction.

We turn our attentions now to next week. A sleep in Sunday with a 10.20 start against a side we have been told to watch out for in Point Cook, who appear to be on the ball.

Special thanks to Libby for tending to the wounded  and everyone who filled the volunteered roles, and to those who cheered us on away from home on a special day, we can’t do this without you, it is most appreciated.

Richie and Kane.


Round 5 – Mother’s Day – Away to Tarneit Titans.

After a strong finish to last weeks game, we were again optimistic of another good showing today.

After a few late arrivals, we had a full list of 24 players on hand, plenty of Mums in our crowd, and nice footy weather.

Our Captains from last week nominated Artisan Sairat as one captain, Alex Scanlon was chosen as our other captain – a fair reward to these players for consistent efforts and doing the right things over the last few weeks.

1st Quarter.

The game started with our Roosters dominating play and field position.  We were able to keep it in our forward half and forward 50 for a lot of the quarter.  We didn’t get full reward until Griffin got our first goal.

Bastien had his best game today, starting with some important touches – including knocking the ball forward out of packs.

Max and Noah ran hard all day and were in amongst the packs.

Malik, Kai and Maya played well all game by providing leads and option to their team-mates

We got hurt late in the quarter by a goal the other way.


2nd Quarter.

We game was a bit more even, but we got a lot better reward up forward.

Griff laid a great smother in our forward line to help lock the ball in.

Jake kicked a goal after a good mark.

From our Centre kick-off (no Centre bounces after a goal today) we had one of my favourite link up plays; Jake kicked off to Griff – Kicked forward to Nathaniel – Griff got the run past handball back from Nathaniel and then our kick into the forward line. There was other great link up plays in this game – which rewards our hard runners and the players that make good positions.

In attack, this teamwork allowed 2 more goals – both bounce through snaps by Arti (C) – in this quarter.

In defence our pressure efforts were also impressive – Jacob made a great chase and tackle which saved a goal.

Sophia and Miles both seem are enjoying the contest which they showed with repeated efforts at the ball.

Arlo M was laying tackles and getting good touches in attack and defence.

Eli again saved a goal with his positioning on the last line of defence.

Felix always used his pace to get to the ball and help it our way.

We were taking the game on and working very hard.


3rd Quarter.

Tarneit came out better in the 3rd quarter – we were chasing after players and the ball most of the time.

Our around-the-ball players were our best performers, but our outside players and marking targets were getting sucked into the packs also – we had no-one to kick to forward and loose opposition players behind us.

Alex (C) remained strong in his marking attempts and around the packs.

Jacob as chasing back hard to their loose opposition players – he ran hard both ways all day.

Oscar, Hugo kept in good position and got marks and important touches.

Arlo S-T ran into space often and should have been passed to more often.

Hadi would refuse to go to ground with multiple players trying to tackle him.

Efe roved the ball off our attempted mark in our forward 50 and was unlucky to miss a goal.


4th Quarter.

Would we lift in this quarter to secure the game?

Efe started well with a defensive mark and a clearing kick.

Griff had a great half volley pick up on our back flank

Mitchell made good position, took a mark in the goal square a settled with a well-deserved goal (would have been close for the Heartland Award)

Jacob fired out a handball to Jake and helped him get clear with a sheppard.

Mrinal was getting his touches by staying out of the packs and linking well withy team-mates.



Special Mentions;

Hearland Award – Nathaniel Cowie

–              For his field positioning when we had the ball and finding his player when defending.  Was part of some excellent link-up plays with his team-mates.

Played their best games so far this year – Bastien Meyer, Efe Anli and Arlo Milsom.

Co-Captains Artisan Sairat and Alex Scanlon – for continuing on from their solid games in previous weeks.

Birthdays this week;

Maya Jess, Alex Scanlon and Jacob Fitzgerald.


Things I loved today;

–              Tapping the ball forward of, or out of packs.

–              Link up plays

–              Everyone’s effort.


To work on next week;

–              Remembering our mouthguards.

–              Centring the ball to better scoring options.

–              Resist bunching around the ball – keep a good shape.

–              Moving target options – lead for marks, run past handballs.


Thankyou Monique, Ash and all our Game Day Helpers.


Call out for Training Day Helpers

We really could do with more helper participation at training.

All it needs to be is returning the ball to the kids, as they run through some drills.

I would like to be able to pull kids aside 1-on-1 and help them, with their individual skills, but I simply cannot do this when 16 – 20 kids can only be broken into 2 groups.

Smaller groups would mean more time with the ball and more variation to the drills – which can only benefit the individuals and the Team.

There really is great satisfaction in helping the kids and it will also help maintain their enthusiasm for sport.


Please bring along any completed Chocolates Fundraising to training this Friday, when it will be collected.

See you at Training.





Under 10’s: Round 5: vs Williamstown: Away: Mother’s Day: For me, Sunday’s game, was all about getting to know ourselves – as a team. This can be easily glossed over when the sun is shining on our fortunes but as my mother always used to tell me, “Rooster one day, feather duster the next”. (God bless Mum and her one liners. Years later, i didn’t think i could find new meanings to her distant words, but there you go. Thanks Mum) 🙂

Our young Roosters though were far from feather dusters and after a slow start proved their mettle, which I know they posses. I am proud of these young men’s efforts and their never say never attitude against Williamstown. The score, (WFC 1.5 to Will’n 7.2) didn’t reflect our true endeavours and masks numerous missed opportunities and a few bad bounces that robbed us at critical times. However, this committed Under 10 team, really found a bond during this game and I look forward to them developing this in the remaining 9 games.

It was also a privilege to witness these young men honour their teammate, Moses, who played his final game for the Rooster’s. This spirit actually started in training, extended right through the game, and until young Moses was chaired off the ground and into the change rooms. Brings a tear to this old Roosters eye to see this generous team spirit & celebration after a hard fought battle. And as for Moses himself, our captain for the day; – Moses led from the front, never taking a backwards step against many larger Williamstown opponents – as he has persistently done throughout his Roosters career. A tenacity that I know will serve you well Moses, as you take on your next adventure in life. Thanks for taking to AFL like a duck to water, my New Zealand brother. We will miss you – keep building on your courage, good humour, and kind heart and all the best in the ‘States’.

You can usually tell how a team will perform in the training leading up to a game and especially in the pre-game warm up. Last week against PEGS, the switch was off but there was enough light to get away with it. On Sunday, again the switch was off and wee-Willy made us play in the dark, especially early.

While we weren’t ‘on’ as a team during the 1st quarter there were a several who quickly took up the challenge. Hamish, fresh from his Heartland Award last week, played an even better game this week. Constantly, taking the bit between his teeth, breaking lines and carrying the ball forward, Hamish gave a full four quarter effort and brought his teammates into the game. Benny starting on the ball this week, was everywhere early on; skilfully cutting off the opponent’s forward entries and backing it up with 3rd, 4th & 5th efforts. Only an injury brought him to the bench halfway through the 1st, and I feared we had lost him for the day; thankfully he returned later to play an outstanding game, but he was sorely missed for most of the 1st half.

Rory, took up CHB and had his hands full early on with Willys most dominate player. Rory, likes a challenge though and it was great to see him dish out his intensity. Willy like to get the ball out of the packs quickly to their runners and Rory was one who helped stop the early avalanche. Ezekiel was in and under all game, laying some big tackles and pushing himself onto the next contest. Ezekiel showed a fierce will and played his best game of the year. Ash, our Heartland winner for the day, started in the ruck and dominated the hitouts and the ground ball. He went onto to play a vital role in defence and attack and was another who played his best game this year. Kiir always sets a high standard and this match was no different – rarely beaten, Kiir has a huge will and the longer the game went, the less willing Williamstown were in taking him on. The ever reliable Reuben put on his best game of the year, covering a lot of distance with gut running, constantly putting himself in the right positions over the four quarters. His disposals were clean and his marking around the ground a feature.

The quarter break was a time to catch up and recompose after Willy’s onslaught. Looking into the team’s eyes it was great to see their steely resolve across all. The challenge had been laid down and it was now up to the group to answer. You’re never exactly sure how a team will respond but it didn’t take long to see their combativeness shine. Noah now shifted to FB and played an outstanding remainder of the game. His ability to break tackles, kick long and accurately, a real feature; he was another who played his best game so far. I sense we are about to see the best of Noah. Patrick laid some big tackles in the 1st half and was unlucky not to win a few free kicks in my book, but to his credit he kept backing himself in. A couple of wrong positionings by the coach didn’t help Patrick but he showed grit, shutting down numerous Williamstown advances. Nicholas moved into the middle and quickly made his presence felt with some excellent pressure and repeat efforts. After a few missed goal opportunities went begging, ones we would normally have taken, Williamstown countered attack with some late goals – putting the acid firmly back on the Roosters at the halftime break.

Any doubts that the Roosters would fall away were quickly dispelled when they entered the huddle. The blue steel gaze was in. A good example, was Ezekiel making a beeline to me and demanding to be in the coal face, ‘I want to attack the enemy’s strategy, I want to take them down’. (Sun Tzu would have been proud.) I knew then, these young Roosters were revelling in the challenge.

With oranges consumed and the 2nd half under way it was a pleasure to watch these Roosters go to work and attack the enemy’s strategy. No more fast Willy balls out of congestion, no more easy possessions, less time for their precision kicking and no more loose Rooster checking. These Roosters were bonded, ‘on’ and finding their groove. Joharo moved into the ruck and started to apply that repeat pressure in close and followed it up with slick handballs to our runners: Thomas combined his clean inside work with some big running on the outside, gaining us a valuable metres; Ziggy made his presence felt in the packs, flying for some big marks and bringing the ball to ground: Tem showed his tenacious will at the contest building further upon his PEG’s game (and is close to a breakout game); Flynn’s backed his game reading skills, making several courageous decisions to leave his opponents at crucial times and cutting off their advances whilst laying some big run down tackles: Zaw Zaw upped his work rate and came close to kicking two goals, only to be thwarted by the bounce of the ball: Will willed himself into the game and took it right up to the bigger Williamstown players, displaying his sublime skill of evasion through traffic; Leo in between keeping the backline organised, provided the pressure and run we needed from the back half; Alex asserted his strength into the contest and backed this up with some gut running, giving us that important link up we needed; Eli locked onto to his opponent and beat them handsomely, while at the same time giving us more run and link up; and Manny threw himself into the contests with abandon and followed that it up with numerous repeat efforts.

Full credit to all our young Roosters, we ran this game out to the end with full attack, despite the early setbacks. By all accounts from Williamstown, it was their hardest game this year and our pressure kept them in check in the 2nd half (1 goal each). But there was no disputing we have some homework to do – improve our field kicking; hone our team strategies and decision making; and hold our structures. I look forward getting to work with these young tenacious mighty Roosters.

A special thank you to Andrea for all her hard work during the week and on game day. Thanks to Dave Hall for umpiring: Zoran, Craig & Mark for all their help at training and on game day. See you all on the next cold Sunday morning.

Next Game: vs St Bernards: ​Sun 21st May / 8:50 AM / Shorten Reserve


Under 11s

Coming Soon  (Sorry)!


Round 5 – Sunshine Heights


Mother’s Day saw our undefeated Rooster’s take on the undefeated Sunshine Heights in an eagerly anticipated top of the table clash.  The late withdrawals of Abdullah and Bailey left the side down on rotations, although none of the thirst for the contest diminished.


Some work at training on clearing space in the forward line and avoiding shooting from the pockets allowed a ‘straightening up’ of sorts to be the focus.  Captain for the day Sam, was faced with not one, not two, but three co-captains from the opposition – this combined with 2 coaches suggested that the home side were up for a good old fashioned stare off.


The early clearances went the way of Sunshine Heights and as if to hammer the point home to the visiting Roosters they quickly scored their first goal.  It was certainly game on.


The midfield brigade of Lenny, Jonathan, Liam and Zidane, combined with our wingers, Henry, Diesel and Isaac C – got enough supply into the forward line to see the Roosters hit the scoreboard, courtesy of an excellent centring kick from Diesel to Nav, and this enabled some ‘not seen before’ pressure applied to the Heights.  I daresay, this was something that they did not appreciate one iota. Kailey battled manfully in the ruck and was rewarded with a free kick that he coolly slotted from the pocket thus putting the Roosters in front!


The quarter time breather came at just the right moment.  The chance to refocus and get some water was gratefully appreciated as the pace and tempo of the game was akin to something expected in the post-season, a point not lost on some of the seasoned spectators.  It was felt our back six of Luis, Daniel, Isaac T, Ben, Samuel and Leo, whilst all sticking to their task admirably could have done with some more support.  The mids were told prior to the game that defensive running was the order of the day and whilst it happened at times, this is a lesson we need to heed for the next time these two quality outfits face off. The boys all responded, with great tackles by Diesel, shepherds by Isaac C, and a big smother from Henry in the back half starting a great passage of play all the way to our goal square for a …point. Later, at the other end the goal umpire had his eyes shut and didn’t see the Roosters many hands touch the ball, he unbelievably signalled a goal to Sunshine Heights.


The scoreboard continued to eke away from the visiting Roosters, however that didn’t dull the determination and effort.  The next couple of quarters saw goals registered, yet some bad turnovers and continued missed tackles allowed the home side to keep us at bay.  The continued efforts of Navindu, Socrates, Juma and Lachie, mixed in with fine contests by Alex who had a great game at both ends of the ground and kicked his second goal. Socrates finished off some desperate play with a goal right in the square only to be mugged by their fullback who lost it when Juma and Liam came to Soc’s aid. Liam kicked the resulting free out of the ground for a another goal and the Roosters had closed the gap. It remained a hot contest, despite the scores on the board stretching out again.


Whilst fatigue was kicking in, the West Footscray boys willed their way to winning several one on ones, and certainly held their own in the face of some slick opposition.  A few moves allowed some well-earned breathers and the opportunity for others to take up the battle – again, the red and whites refused to yield.  As the pace of the game slowed in the last, we kept up a level of intensity that produced scoring chances, however we didn’t capitalise, resulting in a 42 point win to Sunshine Heights.


Huge credit needs to go to all the boys who donned the jumper today.  Not only did we get the contest we craved, but we also left with the knowledge that tightening up a few things could see a very different result next time.  Rest up boys, the bruises were well earned and the challenges don’t get any smaller next week.