WEST FOOTSCRAY ROOSTERS – Under 9 Reds vs. St Bernard’s – Round Seven – 29/5/17.

“Adjacent to Complacent”

The Niner’s bus had not moved all week. It had stayed parked at Shorten Reserve for another luxurious Sunday morning 10:20 start. The deck chairs and umbrellas were being packed up as the Nines Blues took to the field and the Coop was boisterous to say the least. The impending bad weather had come through that night and although we were expecting more, the sun was shining, albeit with a strong breeze to the city end come first bounce.

It’s just a given that sides from north of the border are good units. They are usually very well drilled, competitive and skilful. St. Bernard’s would be no different. For those of you who follow the Reds, the Niner’s had been hot with four on the trot. Their confidence is growing but hopefully not to the detriment of their commitment. They had been a curious bunch at training this week. At times brilliant but for most part a bit too much talkin’ and not enough walkin’ if you know what I mean! You could sense it at warm up too; overhead handballs and general monkey shines were the order of the day. There is not a lot you can do at this point but hope for the best and let the white line fever take over.

Our Captains for the day would be Louis and Luca; we won the toss and were kicking with the breeze. Our first quarter structure is pretty solid. After a sluggish start with no side able to gain ascendancy, the reds put the foot down and clicked into top gear. Iggy, Harry and Jack G were all busy early creating good forward pressure. The drought would be broken when Harry swooped on a loose ball to kick the first goal. Max ‘more than a’ Phelan layed some great tackles and kept it in our forward fifty for most part. Aiden, who is having a great season was rock solid in defence as was Riley and Sash was providing his usual dash. Play of the day happened early for me. The ball had been kicked long into our forward line from the flank which sailed over the head of a lone St.B’s defender who turned and gave chase. To say he was not the quickest of defenders would be an understatement. In a scene reminiscent of an Attenborough doco, Jami, sensing a quick kill, ran his guts out to not only pass, but to gather, turn and snap the goal in a fantastic solo effort. The little maestro would kick two for the quarter. Raz would also snap a terrific goal to give us four for the term. St.B’s also managed one, but we had a pretty handy lead at the first break. Huh! Maybe we don’t need to train…..!

As per usual, the second quarter would bring the rotations and soon enough St.B’s were pegging us back. Riley was in the ruck and using his attack on the ball to muscle his way through. Luca was getting his hands on it and Clara, who each week does that little bit more was brilliant. She would use her pace to great advantage today to scoot away from the packs and was unlucky to be pinged for too far.  Oliver, Dylan and Oscar battled hard and Lace up Lacey lays tackles every week; I love the smirk on his dial when he lands another big fish! Louis, Diesel and Archer were also in and amongst it but St.B’s had the goods. Five of them in fact as they used great run and carry to kick five unanswered goals in a dominant display of under 9’s footy. The frustrations started to creep in and it dawned on our Roosters, that you only get back what you put in. Oh! Maybe we do need to train….!

A little refreshed, and a little more determined, the third quarter was a dour struggle. There was no easy ball to get and both sides were hard at it. Otto, Harry and Dozer all took great marks and we seemed a lot more settled. Clara and Luca were again busy as were Rylan and Archer. Jack P played his best quarter so far but we could just not convert. No side would score in a tough and tight contest.

We knew we could win this, they out played us in the second but we held them in the third and we know we can run out games. We stuck to last week’s set up and we dominated. Otto took a pack grab and Harry launched himself to rise above everyone to take a chest mark of the year if you don’t mind! Rylan was in the ruck and taking control. Archie was on the ball and did his best to keep peppering it to the goal line and took a great grab running back with the flight. Howe Diddy once again played the sweeper role to perfection and did not let it past the centre square. It was frenetic. St.B’s were under enormous pressure and were hanging tough. Abby was in it Harry was in it, Jami was in it, they were all in it. But for all the effort and hard work, we kicked six behinds and ultimately reaped what we sowed; eight points shy in another epic struggle.

The Niner’s bus rolls out of town this week, down the road to Sunshine and we know from past experience that they too are an ornery bunch. Eat well, sleep well and train well Little Red Roosters, we are going to need it!

Special Thanks to Libby and 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.


Round 7 – Home to Williamstown Juniors


This week we had the early start at our Home Ground – being at Home always raises the excitement levels.

We were keen to improve on last week, where we were shown up a bit by a second year team that was able to pass the ball through and around us.

Our captains today; Arlo M and Maya.


1st Quarter

Miles was in the Ruck, he and Alan set the early standards for effort at the ball.

The ball quickly made bits way to the Williamstown end.

Jacob ripped the ball out of his opponents arms, Mrinal made an excellent smother and clearance.

When we won the ball, we were unable to find Team-mates in the open to clear the Williamstown scoring 50.

Alan again was inspirational with a 3-repeated-effort to tackle and stop their ball movement.

Jake took a good mark in defence.  His kick out came to Hadi – who took an excellent mark under pressure.

Jacob and Jake took more good marks, but still we struggled to get the ball our side of centre.

Hadi again was brave under a high ball, Malik smothered a much bigger players kick.

All in all – a good defensive effort by our Roosters – just missing some options to pass to on the way forward.

If we were scoring; it would have been a handful of points to Willy, donuts to the Roosters.


2nd Quarter

From the first bounce, Williamstown had several clean possessions.  The ball got into their goal-square.  After a bit of a scramble, a soccer-off-the-ground goal to Willy.

Quick fire passing to open players gave Willy another 2 goals before we knew what had happened.  Williamstown had a big lad (who barely left their goal-square) was just untangle-able by our galant defence.

Bastien was having maybe his best game – diving on the ball, making great tackles.

Maya (C) was trying hard again – setting good teamwork standards.

After improving his re-start kick-offs, Kai became our first wounded soldier as the speed and intensity of the game went up a notch.

It was an even contest around the ball, but when Willy won it out – they had players a kick away in the clear.  When we won the ball – often there was no one forward to kick to (doh!)

Miles, Arlo S-T were around the ball, Arlo M (C) was trying hard – as everyone was.

Bastien again did well holding the ball up against 2 opponents, till his Team-mates arrived.

We didn’t deserve to have a fourth goal – via a lucky bounce, scored against us.


3rd Quarter

We had a half-time talk about getting reward for our efforts by providing options a kick distance forward of the ball, spreading out, helping each other and linking up.  Look for our marking options and get  our numbers around them.

I was impressed with the steely resolve to play better, no-one had dropped their head after the last quarter, though there was some more wounded soldiers.

Some Vitamin C later, we were out with our socks pulled up.


There was again our strong efforts, but now we were moving the ball.  In fact I cannot remember a game that covered as much of the oval as this one.

Jake-Griffin-Efe-Nathaniel made a great play through the middle of the ground.

Oscar was starting to get into the game by staying wide of the ball a short distance.

Malik, Eli, Felix and Arlo M (C) were getting touches.

Malik on the ball this quarter was good, Maya’s (C) efforts continued.

Mitchell was now getting possessions in better parts of the ground.

Nathaniel and Griffin played a great 1-2 and Griffin launched another attack.

Arlo S-T stretched himself to reach and touch the ball defending the Williamstown goal-line.


The scoring had dried right up now.  It was end-to-end footy.


4th Quarter

This quarter continued in the vein of the 3rd – it was very even, the ball covered a lot of ground and their wasn’t much scoring.  Considering how the game had started – we could consider this a small win to the Roosters.

We finished the game with many sore bodies, not much of a score, but some great pride in fighting against the tide and evening up the game.


This was the second week that we came up against a team that had played the year before.

Their positioning and then ability to pass the ball around is something we can learn from, to improve our own game.

Our efforts increased in each quarter, which evened up the game – and considering these efforts weren’t being rewarded on the scoreboard – this makes me extra proud of the whole Team.


Special Mentions;

Bastien – played his most competitive game.

Jake and Griffin – were winning a lot of ball.  Griffin got a shout-out from the Williamstown Coach at the end of the game.

Hadi – 2 very brave efforts under high balls with players bearing down, one of which he pulled in for a mark.


Things I loved;

The attitude and dedication to the cause of All of our Roosters today.

Different players each week are having their best game of the season.


Things to work on;

2 players only in at the ball

Staying a kick distance away to provide a pass option.


Thankyou again to Monique, Ash, Paul and all our Water-carriers, First-Anders, Umpire Escorts, Goal Umpires, Vitamin C suppliers, Cheer-squad, Paparazzi

  • Everyones efforts help our players actually get to play.


See you at Training,

Mighty Under 10’s vs Flemington: Away: (3 times in a row….mmmmm) So we reached the halfway point on our 2017 season and fittingly these young lads played their best team game so far. After some recent near misses It was inspiring to witness their collective belief and willingness to help each other, blossom the longer the game went on. The voice and encouragement was the loudest I have heard from these Rooster 10’s and a good indicator of what we can expect in the remaining 7 games. A number of the lads also played their best game this year but more pleasing was that when it was their turn to ‘go’, every single player went without hesitation. You cannot ask for more than that.

Captains for the day were Kiir & Joharo. Kiir started in the ruck and dominated around the ground with his pressure and clearance work. Nothing stands in his way and his repeat efforts were outstanding. Kiir played his best game this year. Joharo too was in & amongst it, making some big tackles and winning the ball in close and handballing it out to his runners. With his repeat efforts it was also Joharo’s best pressure game over four quarters. Well done Captains.

The 1st quarter started evenly for both sides with the ball pinging up and back without a lot of scoring. Flemington threatened to break away towards the end of the quarter but some oustanding pressure from across the team halted them at critical times. Ezekiel who is building his game nicely, took his pressure to another level. Ezekiel gave his all and played with passion; I look forward to him extending this further. Nicholas also fits these words and played his best pressure game so far. I still remember his repeat efforts on the wing in the 3rd quarter where he put in 5 repeat efforts in short succession and was rewarded for his persistence. Once Nicholas locks on, your gone! Noah starting at CHF made his presence felt and his kicking throughout the game was outstanding. Noah became a focal point up forward and it was also pleasing to see him hunting the opposition down with crucial tackles to lock the ball into our forward half. Manny started in the back line and was resolute in his attack on the ball all day. Manny unfortunately spent some unplanned time on the bench with mouth guard issues but returned to kick a vital goal in the last and was another who played his best game for the 10’s.

Hamish moved into the ruck in the ruck in the 2nd Q and followed up his good season with another strong game, dominating on the inside and providing the run and link up. Marlon moved to the centre and was outstanding in finding the right position at the right time. Marlon took his game to another level and it was great to see him rewarded for his hard work at training and on game days. Rory came off the bench and immediately made his impact. Rory reads the play well and made a number of critical clearances when Flemington threatened and he is always cool under pressure. Patrick followed up his run from the backline in the 1st quarter with more run and movement in the forward line. Patrick is constantly putting himself into the right positions and is close to that break out game. Thomas was another who played his best game this year. Providing his usual run and link up, Thomas really threw himself into the contests laying some big tackles and stripping the ball off his opponent which proved critical in the end. Ziggy after a strong 1st quarter in the forward line, shifted to Fullback and dominated his opponent who had looked dangerous prior to this. Ziggy knows when to back himself and leave his opponent. At halftime it was 1 goal vs 2, in Flemington’s favour.

By the 3rd quarter these young Roosters had withstood all Flemington had to throw at them and they were ready to strike back. Leo shifted to CHF and was instrumental in locking the ball into our forward half with his run and inside work. It was great to hear Leo provide leadership and encouragement, driving his teammates on. Tem moved into the forward and played his best pressure game so far. Tem’s 3rd, 4th & 5th repeat efforts were outstanding and it was great to see him take his game to another level. Flynn always his gives his all and Sunday was no exception. Flynn combines his strong will with the ability to put himself in the right positions at crucial times and knows how to land the big tackle that saps the opposition. Ash now moved into the ruck and provided the drive we needed around the ground. Combining his long kicking and marking, Ash played a vital role in our domination of the 2nd half, and he was unlucky not to be rewarded with multiple goals. Zaw Zaw has some fantastic allround skills and vision. This week it was great to see him use these skills to bring his teammates into the game with some clever tap ons and kicks that favored the Roosters. He followed this up with strong last quarter in defence. After dominating the quarter we were unlucky not to have more goals on the board with 3 gettable set shots off target, but to the team’s credit, they didn’t drop their heads, but willed themselves onto the next contest.

By the 4th quarter these young Roosters were now in overdrive and ready to inspire. They again dominated the quarter and were again unlucky not to score more. Something we need to work on. Will moved into the midfield and played an outstanding last quarter. His run went up a few gears and he just knows how to cut through traffic with some slick evasion and is close to a breakout game. Reuben had dominated all game, copping a few unmissed high ones along the way. But Reuben always finds a way to lift himself into the next contest and he simply out run all his opponents. Elijah was absolutely on fire, particularly in the 2nd half. Elijah had been training well and I knew he was close to a breakout game, so it was great to see him rewarded for all his hard work and will. Bottle that feeling Elijah. Benny has played many a good game for the Roosters but this was the best I have seen. His run, positioning and timing were outstanding and he constantly put his body on the line and was our deserved Heartland winner.

After a couple of narrow misses these young Roosters really showed their collective mettle against Flemington. Now on the homeward stretch we look forward to taking this further on our return bouts. Well done Roosters.

Thanks to all those who volunteered for the day – Zoran, Craig,Tania, Anton, Carol, & Tania. And of course Andrea. Without you all it simply isn’t possible, so a big thank you. See at the next one. P.S. Bye round after our next game. (June 11th) Yeaaaa!

Next Game: Rd 8: vs Spotswood: AWAY: 8:50 AM / Sun 4 Jun McLean Reserve (Ovals 1) The Avenue SPOTSWOOD 3015


Roosters under 13s match report v Caroline Springs, 28 May 2017

There was plenty to look forward to with this top-four contest, with Caroline Springs having only dropped a couple of games so far. The coaches were nervous mid-week with news that a couple of our key players were unavailable: Navindu and Alex Q. But the fixturing gods were smiling on us, as the under 11s had a bye. Damian reckons it took about 5 seconds for three parents to say yes when approached about their under 11 stripling having a crack in the older grade. So we welcomed Murphy Lockwood, Jack Gerardi and Weston Barker in to the 13s fold.

True football weather had returned, with an Antarctic blast hitting in the final term – more on that later. The game started ahead of time, prompted in part by the weather radar. It meant your dutiful correspondent almost missed the first goal – an excellent snap by the leading goal-kicker in the under 13C’s, Socrates. I’ve got no idea who won it out of the middle but it looked like Lachlan helped to bring about this 6-0 start. The red Roosters had the benefit of a strengthening wind.

A scrappy affair ensued before Zidane provided the highlight of the term, an astonishing run down the grandstand wing, with a couple of bounces and a Jonah-Lomu inspired run-through of a decent-sized C Springer. While it didn’t result in a goal, the scramble kick out of defence was intercepted by Liam who found debutant Jack Gerardi for a very nice goal. If you keep reading this report you’ll appreciate that Jack certainly knows where the goals are.

West started the game on the bench, but was injected in to the game half way through the first quarter. He immediately got a touch, then another, and another, covering the ground really well. Lenny got it on to Soc who tried to give off a goal, but a point resulted. He then tried the dish-off again, this time to Jonathan who snuck one home through the big sticks. Kailey was prominent in the ruck, and Samuel let fly with three bullet passes from his strong right foot which literally nearly knocked his teammates over. He was kicking with a hefty wind, too. Leo, Juma and Isaac T applied some crucial pressure and tackles in defence, and by quarter time we were three goals up, but with a big task to defend against the wind.

Caroline Springs have some fine players. #10 is small and very skillful, #5 is very strong and quick, but fortunately for us wasn’t the best kick of the Sherrin, #18 was terrific in defence all day, and #30 and 40 ran hard in to space for much of the game. Diesel loved the challenge of playing in to the wind, taking it upon himself to grab the pill and take off on electrifying runs right in front of the coaches. He then lined up the big sticks and proceeded to kick them straight to #18 from C spring. Undeterred, Diesel followed up, got it on to Soc who centred beautifully to Luis who went back and kicked truly (with a perfect ball-drop, I might add…) The C Springers quickly ran the ball up the other end for a good goal, and the contest was red hot. Ben Murphy got his running game going from the wing, which would prove vital as the match wore on. He got the ball down to Jack Gerardi, who earned a free kick and slotted home the goal – a huge one in the context of the game. Liam won a crucial next centre bounce, spotting up Socrates on the lead, who then happily received a 20m penalty and kicked truly on his glorious Greek left foot – no sign of an Achilles heel there, Soc. #29 from the C Springers responded with a fine running goal, and the contest was still up for grabs. Our defence were holding up pretty well, with Samuel and Henry playing loose across half-back – a dangerous combination to leave unattended. Liam again spotted up Luis who marked well inside 30 metres. Gerald, our Team Manager, wasn’t sure he could make the distance in to the wind, but Luis struck the ball beautifully, thanks to another perfect ball drop, and the Roosters had kicked 4 goals in to the wind.

Going in to the long break, the radar looked ominous and the dark clouds were building. Marking was a feature of our game today, in tricky conditions. Leo took a big hit while trying to pick up a low ball, and was in a great deal of pain. The game was stopped and the stretcher brought out as our trainer Yeni and others looked after him. He felt some tingling around the shoulders and spine, went off for scans, but we are pleased to report he has no structural damage and will be ok. A big thank you to Yeni and those who cared for him. The opposition player was given a yellow card for the high contact, and after a long break the game got back underway. The Roosters got rolling again with the wind, Socrates slotting another goal thanks to a fine set up by Zidane, Isaac C and Samuel. Lenny picked the ball up cleanly at pace to then enable Soc and Jack G to again combine for a goal. Kailey’s ruck work was starting to have a big influence on the game, enabling West to run on to it, kick to Zidane, on to Soc for another great goal. Liam took a huge mark in defence, Lachlan was getting involved and the Roosters were right on top.

The final stanza saw the rain belting down. The temperature dropped about 6 degrees and the spectators were shivering. Kicking in to the wind we quietly thought: just ground out a nil-all quarter boys. But our young Roosters had other ideas. Henry kicked one of the best team goals of the year after a huge and skillful effort further down the field, with Diesel, Liam, Soc, Lachlan, Samuel, Isaac C and West all involved. Daniel kicked nicely in to Diesel for a behind, and Henry had a huge final quarter in the wet. Ben also seemed to get better the wetter it became. He ran in to dangerous spots, marked well and quickly dished off to teammates. Some of the marking and precise kicking in the final quarter in appalling conditions was impressive, to say the least. Diesel kicked a great crumbing goal before Jack G put the icing on a handy four-goal game with a sensational boo-nah-nah kick through the big sticks from the velodrome pocket.

Our backline were miserly today, conceding just two goals. Juma played well, not letting his opponent get an easy possession. Bailey and Isaac T stuck to their task well – refusing to yield in the face of much bigger opponents.  Murphy and Isaac C got involved around the ground, both using their pace and skill to influence contests.

A pretty complete performance from the group.  The preparedness to adapt to the conditions, alter the game plan when required and willingness to bring others into the play bodes well for later in the season.  The challenges will keep on coming – whether it be the 18 we take on at Hoppers Crossing this week, the weather, injury, illness or unavailabilities – they all give us the opportunity to take on different roles, step up when it is your turn to go or just get in and do some heavy lifting.  These will all help develop our players and make them better in all manner of ways.  Early nights boys and plenty of vegetables – we need you all healthy and ready to go.

Big shout out to Leo – gusty effort putting his head over it and set a great example of what tough footy is all about.  Get well soon.

Final scores: West Footscray 13.5 – 83 def Caroline Springs 2.5 – 17

Goal kickers: Jack Gerardi 4, Socrates 4, Luis Lakusa 2, Diesel Lim 1, Henry Lovell 1, Jonathan Stelluto 1.