U9 Orange


Rd 8: West Footscray V Point Cook


We awoke early to the sound of heavy rain. The forecast seemed spot on unfortunately and we were going to have a cold and wet game. A huge contrast from our first game of the season at Point Cook. Some text messages were exchanged early to confirm if we still play when it is raining. To the credit of players and parents all the team arrived ready to go. The pre-game talk went on a bit until we could delay no longer. Led by Captains today in Oliver R. and Thomas we emerged from the warm building. Noticing a few big puddles on the ground I suggested we try to avoid them, but that was never going to happen.


The rain relented for the start of the game and we won the toss (possibly for the first time) which caused some excitement. Zeph started strongly with great attack at the ball. Paddy and Eamon also showed their wet weather credentials with some good in and under efforts. It was a good tussle to start but Point Cook managed a few successful attacks. Enrique rucked well and at a restart kicked nicely to Charlie, who skilfully passed to Hugo L, who handled the pressure well and finished kicking to Malik, moving dangerously around the forward line for a shot – a good passage of play for only a point.


In the second quarter the wind started blowing hard, unfortunately it was against us. Our backline included Oliver R. and Hugo W. were working overtime to hold them out as the ball spent a lot of time at one end. Jimmy and Jackson took the lead in the middle working hard across the sticky cricket wicket. Kade made some good runs on the northern wing, which was dryer except for one deep puddle which collected so many possessions it nearly won the heartland. The blanket on the bench was looking like a good position for some and the rain started falling heavily. The rooms were a welcome change for the players to shelter from the weather during the half time break. Otto competed full of energy early but the cold air got to his asthma and he had to retire.


We were looking forward to the third quarter with the wind at our backs. The players didn’t disappoint with some good forward pressure from Thomas the ball stayed locked in. Finally Hugo N. work rate was rewarded as he jagged a difficult bouncing shot through for a goal. Oliver C landed a few good kicks before the ball got its revenge with a blow to his head that needed a spell. The team huddled around during the last break more like penguins in the Antarctic, than roosters.


They must of found some strength in the huddle because they played the last quarter like no other yet this season. The Roosters flew out of the middle with the first clearance. Soon Jack M. kicked over the top to Jack G. who had run forward from the middle for a great goal into the wind. The Roosters pressure continued with Noah attacking the ball. Bodee was strong and clean in the contest across half back. Kase raced towards goal brushing aside opponents only to be called for running too far – unlucky. Eli won a hard free kick to start another attack deep in our forward line. Great pressure seemed to come from every Rooster player as we pushed forward. Jack M. at the end gathered a loose ball and booted another goal into the wind. The game finished with the Rooster’s crowing.


Charlie collected Rooster of the week for another polished and tough performance. All the team deserved congratulations for their efforts today.


We had survived, and through it we had grown stronger. I think everyone was proud of how the kids coped with the weather and managed to finish the game fantastically. They played their different positions really well and showed great courage and skills on a tough day. Little did we know the games to follow ours would have much worse weather. It is not often the early game gets the best of the weather.






Round 8 – U9 Blue – Away to St Albans.



Remember today, it may well be the day that all other bad weather days are compared to….



The conditions certainly tested us today.


Some players thrived : Arlo, Hamish, Fletcher and Nathaniel, staying on their feet and solid ball skills


Some adapted well : Jackson, Finn, Harvey and Hudson all still had plenty of effective possessions.


And some dug deep for the extra effort required : Lachie, Tom and Ryan were involved around the ball with possessions and repeat efforts.


However, all players deserve credit for their efforts under very trying conditions today.



Our volunteer Parents;


Our Parent Umpire Mulcahy slugged it out on the field in puddles of various depths.


Goal umpire Steve was stationary in the rain with minimal flag waving required up our end.


(St Albans Coach latter told me that they were unbeaten so far this season)


Our Trainer Ben was dealing with repeated requests by “injured” – read “cold” – players on our non-existent bench.


And our stoic supporters had their encouraging voices heard through the wind and rain.


Thankyou All.



Arlo won the Heartland Award in our game – and then was off for more, helping out one of the u10’s Teams. That says enough about this boy’s footballing commitment.



I was unable to take any legible notes on the ground, so thankyou Paolo for your Match Report below.



Im looking forward to another Friday Night under lights game


See you at Training,






Under 9 Roosters (Blues) versus St Albans.


Kings Park Reserve, St Albans.


8:50am Sunday June 17th 2018,


Captains: Finn & Ben


It was a day that could only be described as absolutely miserable!


Surprisingly, most of the team eventually showed for what was going to be a hard slog against St Albans.


Starting the game, up front we had Ben (13) and Eli (30), supporting Thomas (34) in full-forward.


Oscar (33), Dylan (5) and Hamish (14) were slated to start in the half forward line for us.


Archer (21) and Nathaniel (17) were initially mooted to start on the wings, but Archer (21) then moved into the centre position as Harvey (36) waited eagerly on the bench for his mouth-guard to turn up.


Lachie (12) and Arlo (3) started strong in the centre, and then Harvey (36) eventually came in to join the game on the wing.


Hudson (2), Jack (6) and Jackson (32) formed the first line of defence at the half back line.


Fletcher (9), Ryan (18) and Finn (11) were at the final line of defence, right up the back, and it was this group that got the biggest work out early on.


They had their work cut out for them as St Albans got off to a flying start with a quick early goal.


Nathaniel (17) played hard in the back line early, with some great kicking out of defence to keep the opposition at bay.


They were supported by strong work in defence by Fletcher (9) who marked and kicked out of the back line.


Jack (6) and Hamish (14) combined well along the half back line to move the ball out of defence, but St Albans were just too strong when we came to trying to push the ball further forward.


They kept repelling out attacks and sending the ball straight back.


Jackson wasn’t having a bar of it, though, and with determination marked in the back line, getting it out to Harvey (36) who by then was having a tough time on the wing, but managed to see the ball to Hamish (14) to move the ball forward.


Again, St Albans repelled and attacked, only to be thwarted by the sturdiness of an out-of-position Eli (30) who had run back to defence, running the ball out and around near the boundary.


Finn (11) and Hamish (14) then combined out of centre-half-back to run the ball forward but were again met by an impenetrable wall of St Albans defenders, at our centre-half-forward line.


Nathaniel (17) came out of the bench to immediately assist in moving the ball forward for us.


Arlo (3) showed grit with strong tackling throughout the 1st.


Eli (30) produced our final push forward for the term but was unfortunately beaten to the finish line by the siren which sounded the end of the first quarter.


By the end of the first break St Albans were at least a couple of goals up, to our solitary point, but who’s counting!




In the second term conditions worsened and our warriors started to fall! Near freezing conditions combined with driving rain to put bodies to the test, and tears were shed as our boys struggled to get a grip on the ball with numbed fingers, not helped by the bone-chilling wind.


Thomas (34) kept putting in through it all and would easily have been a contender for best-on-ground as he passed the ball on to Hudson (2), who then somehow got it to Thomas (34), who pushed on in the cold.


Again, it was Jackson (32) kicking the ball out from the wing.


Hamish (14) was still going strong, this time in defence, with Thomas (34) (AGAIN!) this time on the last line of defence in the square.


And Archer (21) felt the brute strength of the opposition after being all but squashed by an opposition player and earning a free kick to move us forward.


Same too, Fletcher (9) who earned a free with some determination.


Again Hamish (14) strong out of defence against the constant barrage from St Albans.


By half time it was clear that St Albans just seemed to be less affected by the cold – Obviously they make them a little tougher the further out west you go!


Numbers started to dwindle for us with at least 5 players down, and we scraped the bottom of the barrel with barely 13 souls remaining for the rest of the fight.


A shout out at this point to Katrina and Charlie, Ed’s parents, who went out of their way to buy hot chocolates for all the kids in the team as we all huddled for warmth in the club rooms at half time, to try and lift spirits and warm those cold fingers.


However, St Albans showed that they were not only a terrific footy team, but great sports as well by remarkably contributing four of their own players to assist our team in the second half, and to ensure that the match would not be called off.


Unfortunately for our boys, the second half was more a training run for St Albans than what we would ideally like to have seen.


And, with some of their players swapping jumpers to play for us in the second half, it was also somewhat difficult to tell who was who by the end of it!


Arlo (3) was still putting in, nonetheless, with a fine effort in the 3rd quarter, this time on the wing.


Jack (6) also was giving it a strong go, and Harvey (36) was really warming up to it in this second half.


Fetcher (9) was laying on some fine tackles for us at centre-half-back, and Harvey (36) was again figuring strongly.


However, unfortunately the floodgates had by this time opened on the goals by St Albans, and our boys were struggling to plug the holes.


By the time the fourth quarter came, everyone was well and truly over it, and it was a hard slog from then onto the finish line.


The final term saw some very-altered team positions figure, and some improvisation by Coach Paul, who was trying to cover the holes in the team line-up, with Ben (13), Leo (16), Ed (15) and Ryan (18) making up a depleted forward half of the field. Harvey (36), Arlo (3) and Nathaniel (17) were thrown into the centre and supported by Fletcher (9) on one wing.


Meanwhile, the back-half was kept strong with Hudson (2), Dylan (5) and Jack (6) on the first line of defence, and Eli (30), Thomas (34) and Ed (15) right up the back.


Nathaniel (17) started with some strong tackling up in our forward line to give us some hope.


Harvey (36) and Lachie (12) were also combining well at the last, in the forward line.


Ben (13) was having a hard time of it, trying to stay focused.


Thomas (34) couldn’t be held back and just kept going.


Fletcher (9) was still putting in, as was Ed (15).


Dylan (5) was still remaining resilient in the face of the storm, and Ryan (18) also hadn’t yet thrown in the towel and was doing some solid running.


Arlo (3) was playing strong out of the back pocket as he covered lots of the ground to try and sure up the defence, as did Nathaniel (17), putting in a determined effort.


Lachie (12) and Arlo (3) again, combined well out of the wing.


However, by the end of it, some of the credits might also have gone out to the opposition players who had joined in to assist our team (well done especially to their numbers 20 and 12 – I think?)


Big credits also to all of our players, and particularly to those that remained standing by the end of what could only be called a very hard-slog and a mud-bath!!!


By the time the final siren sounded, for the Roosters (U9 Blues) it had been a game more of lessons than point-scoring.


Captains Ben (13) and Finn (11) there to thank the opposition for their efforts and for being the best of sports.


Everyone was glad to see the back of that game, that’s for sure – On to the next one! Bring on the Sunshine, for the upcoming game next Friday night under lights!


Contributor: Paolo Pennacchia