It’s back! And doesn’t it feel good! After a much later than usual start to the season, round 1 YJFL action has been played with an interesting yet diverse set of results as the league goes about trying as best they can to even up the competition and amount of teams per grade and division, and no doubt the first 4 rounds being grading matches will certainly assist the league in ascertaining the best way forward with that.
A historic year for our beloved club with not 1, but 2 girl’s footy teams taking to the field in the famous Red and White Guernsey and we as both a committee and a club couldn’t be happier, for the time, effort and discussions well over a 2-year period has brought us to this position we see ourselves in now. PBJFC has for the first time ever, 12 different teams representing our club and our community! A massive achievement for all involved and one we are working through to grow and nurture and get as many kids out there playing a wonderful team sport irrespective of one’s ability or capability. All you need is a desire to get out on the field with an awesome group of kids and simply try your best! Who knows where such a wonderful opportunity could take you.
ANZAC Round 1 came around very quickly with a chance to honour our ANZACS, where all teams paid their respects across the league observing a minute’s silence which followed a rendition of the Last Post. We also had our now traditional season opening event being ever popular Pizza night. While we had apologies received to the club from our new Mayor Cr. Kim Le Cerf and Cazaly Ward councillors in Cr. Stef Amir and Cr. Julie Williams who had prior engagements while Julie was very much in recovery mode (wishing you a speedy recovery Julie) after a slight mishap, Cr. Lina Messina was able to attend to which we are very grateful and showed up wearing Bullant red shoes! (we claim them to be Bullant red shoes, so go with it) which was wonderful to hear from Cr. Messina as she got meet and greet a good portion of our members present.
The Mighty Preston Bullants JFC, has some wonderful support from many aspects and levels of our community. From other sporting clubs such as Northcote Park and the Preston Amateurs, to fantastic long term sponsors in Hockingstuart and Ararat Building supplies to the many members of our club who week in week out put their hand up to volunteer for a role. A role, I might add that has many levels of support and appreciation. When I was asked to take on the role of Club President, beside it being an honour to fulfil, the level of support shown to me by the then outgoing President Mr Dean Hayes at the time let alone past President’s in Mr Sam Botoulas and Mr Denis McNeice was both immense and extremely helpful and made my learning path, that much smoother. Still they were always a simple call away making my decision an easy one to step up and assist where I could.
With other roles such as that of team managers, again we have some very experienced hands and others very green to the role who I am sure after as little as 3 weeks in the role will feel like seasoned veterans! Support is always a simple phone call or an email away. The blood of this club is the work conducted by volunteers and the old saying of more hands make light work couldn’t ring truer. So when a call comes out for a small role via a volunteer’s contribution, remember it is that very role that helps us all get our own children out on the track. So please, ask your child’s coach or team manager what you can do this week or next to make sure that happens. Looking forward to a ripping 2017 season ahead, good luck and as always go the Mighty Bullants!!
Preston Bullants JFC
No report this week.
An overcast but mild morning at Preston City Oval saw the mighty Bullants taking on Ivanhoe on a wet track. It was Anzac round and our boys stood as one during the minute silence. From the first bounce it was clear that we were focused on the job at hand. We had worked on running and carrying the footy at training on Friday night and it showed in the first quarter. Alex was strong in the ruck in the first quarter and all our mids dominated their opponents. The game was played predominantly in our forward line with Alberto dominating the term with two first quarter goals.
The second quarter saw us swap the backs and forwards around. I had nominated a leader on every line to give instructions to his teammates. This seemed to work well with Eddy martialing the forwards. He took a strong mark and booted a goal himself. Other leaders on the day were Lucas in defense and Darcy in the midfield. Archie, Leon and Sean continued racking up possessions and this gave great opportunity to our forwards. Lachy was unselfish up forward and set up two goals in a row to his teammates.
Ivanhoe was short a few players and in the third quarter we asked Leon to play for Ivanhoe. He dominated the Ivanhoe forward line and booted Ivanhoe’s first goal. Our tackling was a feature of the game throughout.
The final quarter saw Leon return to his familiar red bullants guernsey and he continued his dominant performance. This earned him the best player for Preston as voted by the opposition coaches. The medal will go straight to the pool room. A great honor in his first official game. A special mention has to go to Archie for pure courage. His attack on the football got the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. It also earnt him a decent bump on his cheek.
We were far too strong for Ivanhoe on the day.
Well done boys you made me very proud.
Round 1, home game at PCO and ANZAC Day tributes. The stage was set for an exciting and emotional game for the U10’s.
Were we good enough to cut it in Green Division? Would the vast expanse of PCO work in our favour or would it be too much for little legs?
After a very slick & sharp warm-up, coaches thought the signs were positive and that the team looked up and about. We paused for the last post and minutes silence as we faced our opponents Warrandyte. It is always moving to watch the kids stand still and silent in paying their respects.
Warrandyte were two players short so in the spirit of the game, two Bullants turned their jumpers inside out each quarter to play for the opposition. Well done to Harry, Issy, Pablo, Jake, Marcus, Cameron, Daniel and Xavier for taking turns to help out Warrandyte! While they all needed the rest on the bench, each happily gave up their spell to keep playing.
The game got under way at a frantic pace and despite a massive punch forward by Tamer, the ball was soon pumped forward by a slick running Warrandyte. Joe stood tall once again across half back and showed strong marking & slick skills by foot and hand to cut off numerous attacks as did the dynamic midfield trio of Tom, Callum and Marcus who were full of run. The quick kicks practiced at training were on display as every possession the Bullants got was used to advantage to gain valuable meters. On one of our few forays deep into attack, Marcus took a quick snap for a minor score however much of the quarter was played out in our defensive 50. There was no doubting the intent of our backline who put immense pressure on the Warrandyte forwards however on several occasions we left our direct opponents to chase the ball as a pack. Warrandyte forwards were left sitting free and in front of goals. Fortunately they did not take full advantage of their opportunities. Despite a couple of great linking plays from Ned to Azza and again between Cameron and Hamish, we went into Qtr. time a goal behind.
With instructions to keep running and to work on manning up and making our opponent accountable, the Bullants took to the second term with determination. The back line was again kept busy with Dom and Joe again displaying great leadership and skills. Joe nailed some great tackles while Dom followed team rules by kicking out wide to the leading Ziggy & Tom V. Some great passages of play saw opportunities for Callum and Andre to score however great marks and hard work were not rewarded as both kicks drifted wide for behinds. Warrandyte had plenty of opportunities but again failed to take full advantage kicking 1 goal 3 behinds for the term. The 16 point deficit looked bigger at half time as a hot tired Bullants walked back to the huddle. Heads were dropped and red faces told the tale of some tough conditions on the big ground.
Drinks and oranges did little to lift spirits so the team was asked to lift their heads and think about how small the Warrandyte lead really was. “A couple of kicks and we’re back in the game! Do you want to have a win, round one, at home? Wont all this hard work be worth in if we get to sing the song?” Heads lifted and the boys began to encourage each other….”We can do this!” C’mon boys let’s keep going!” Still, some negatives remained as groans issued from the group as the benched players were listed…Marcus, Azza, Cameron, Dom, Joe and Hamish all needed their rest…”The great thing about great teams is that when a player is off or injured, others step up in their place!” Tommy G was given his old position at Full Back, Isaac Wood had his efforts rewarded with increased responsibility at centre half back, Ned was asked to go for a run in the middle and Bullants all were asked to keep fighting. To show that it was our ground, our ball and our game.
The mighty under 10’s hit the third quarter with passion. Crunching tackles from Ned and Callum showed Warrandyte that the going was about to get tougher. In a solid bump, Cullum’s great running game was cut short with a corked thigh bringing Hamish back onto the ground with little rest. Hamish had immediate impact delivering the ball “lace out” to Tom who drove us forward in turn hitting Andre to Harry for a goal. The tide was about to turn as the Bullants got around each other. Talk and encouragement on the ground lifted as did the intensity at the ball. All of a sudden it was the Bullants continually driving forward, kicking and marking strongly with good passages of play leading to Kes and then Tom kicking goals. At the 3qtr time break it was a tired but upbeat Bullants in front by a goal!
More water and the all-important sakes were consumed with smiles. Again, the talk amongst the kids was encouraging and great to see. They were taking ownership of the game and their team mate’s wellbeing. Our astute Trainer Paul pointed out that Warrandyte looked spent, we looked over to see them sitting, heads down. With no bench the tough game and big ground was taking its toll. Did we have the legs to finish this? Did we want it more? With a resounding “YES!” The Bullants hit the final quarter with desire.
Midfielders & wings were rotated off after a gruelling 3 quarters. Dom was asked if he had the run to finish off a great game by moving to the middle, Sam & Marcus sent to the wings for one last burst. All encouraged to keep up the fight. Tommy G started proceedings with a crunching front on tackle that again showed Warrandyte that nothing was going to be easy, while Dom and Hamish teamed up well in the middle delivering to Andre who loves (and rarely misses) a goal! 2 goals clear and it looked like Warrandyte were out of legs….was it enough? In what seemed like a very long quarter, the battle raged end to end. Pablo and Issy saw plenty of the ball forward while Isaac laid tackle after tackle in defence. Tom G marked strongly and hit Joe with a great pass to keep us out of trouble while Dom finished off his great game with some ripping bumps and tackles. To their credit, the tired and undermanned Warrandyte didn’t give up and our backline was under pressure for what seemed like an eternity as Warrandyte clawed back to get within 5 points. I can’t confess to seeing the last few minutes of the game as I was looking up at the timekeepers, willing them to sound the siren! When it did, a jubilant Under 10’s embraced each other, high 5’s all round for a hard fought win!
Prior to a rousing rendition of our great song, the team was praised for its spirit, hard work and never say die attitude. No matter what the score, the game isn’t over ‘till it’s over!
Lots of positive signs to start the season, well done everyone!
Special mention to Jerry and Steven who took their turn to miss a game this week. I’m sure they will return hungry for the ball in round 2!
Thanks to all of the parents who helped out with various roles and for their support today. We are a family club, run by families, for our kids!
Go Bullants! Scott.
The Under 11 Bullants travelled to Ashburton this week positive about the opportunity to begin the season from a solid pre-season of training and some successful practice match results.
The team contested well in the first quarter with consistent pressure across the ground and a pleasing competitive spirit. Our defence was strong being lead by TJ (Thomas C) and Paddy, the midfield worked hard to move the ball out of the centre, credit to Asher and Will, and the forward line lead well presenting options to score. An impressive first quarter goal by Will on the run.
Samuel delivered a strong performance in the second quarter with a continued high performance from Asher and Paddy. Unfortunately we were outsized and tired, allowing Ashburton to get ahead on the scoreboard. A couple of late goals from Ashburton in the second quarter took us in at half time 5 goals down.
The Bullants left the huddle at half time, determined to win the quarter. Ashburton kicked a goal in the early minutes. Our persistence in tackling resulted in us having most of the footy in the third quarter, winning the third quarter. Finishing the quarter with a goal from Lucas.
In the final quarter we continued to work hard but the margin was too great. Paddy continued to dominate, Samuel chased hard and attacked the footy, Anthony had a strong second half roving the ball well, Grady found and disposed the ball with accuracy, Keelan led strong playing in front and presenting himself and TJ and Ayden kicked well deserved team goals.
Ashburton scored on our many turnovers. Back to the training track on Wednesday night to work on learning how to win the contested ball at ground level and disposing on our non-preferred side, by hand and foot.
|Surrey Park||Preston Bullants|
|Goal Kickers||Phoenix, Joel|
The Preston Bullants under 12s kicked off their 2017 season, losing by 23 points in what was a valiant effort away against Surrey Park.
The first quarter saw the Bullants under siege as Surrey ran out early leaders with multiple entries inside 50, which was a result of finding loose players and great ball movement. The Bullants withstood the pressure and were able to get one back with a smart goal from Phoenix late in the quarter.
Surrey Park continued their forays forward in the second quarter, however the Preston Bullants had increased our defensive pressure on the ball and made scoring opportunities difficult, with Surrey adding just 1.3 to their score before halftime.
The increased pressure the Bullants displayed in the second quarter improved again in the second half, our defence rock-solid with Brody intent on intercepting as many opposition kicks as possible. In fact, the whole team lifted its intensity, notably with Oscar taking a fantastic contested mark, outnumbered against three Surrey Park players, and Nathan putting his body on the line to lock the ball up and prevent Surrey Park from finding an avenue out. Declan in ruck, gave his teammates first use of the ball as often as he could. Josh and Liam worked relentlessly to keep possession of the footy, and Jack ran hard to provide repeated options forward.
New Bullants players Lucas, Rufus, and Mahmoud showed great effort in their first game for the club, especially Mahmoud who didn’t want to take a backward step, forcing the ball forward on many occasions in spite of the pressure surrounding him.
The constant attack on and around the ball eventually saw the Bullants gain a bit of ascendancy with our inside 50s in the last quarter, with final reward for effort with a great goal from Joel. This meant that despite giving up a sizeable early lead, the Bullants were able to keep Surrey Park to only five behinds in the second half, displaying resilience that will be prove to be invaluable as the season progresses.
|Preston Bullants||Glen Iris A|
Sunday was a great day! The sun was shining and all the girls were excited for their first game of the year! We had 13 girls for our first game, all beaming and ready to hit the field! Glen Iris hosted us and led the 1minute silence before the game; in honour of our fallen ANZAC troops and current serving troops.
Erin started us off in the middle, rucking against a much taller opponent. The first quarter was mainly in the back half but the girls showed no signs of an easy breakaway for Glen Iris! They went in hard, played for one another and were just hungry for the ball! Sian was great down at Full back, intercepting the ball, and not letting her opponent score. Little Sienna, who is so shy and quiet off the field, was also a stand out in the back; tackling hard and getting the ball free. I think she's found her calling!
The second quarter was much the same, all the girls having ago in different positions! Zara took the ruck and held her own against the tall opponent she was on! (Which George and I later found out is Matt Preston from MKRs daughter)!
The girls kept the pressure on and kept fighting!
Third quarter we changed it up a bit, having Erin and young Caitlin floating as extras in the back. This was very good and we managed to get our first score on the board!! Victoria was very good defensive also!
Fourth quarter we had much the same as the third, and again we got scores on the board! Erin was a standout, getting the ball off the back half and running up the wing on multiple occasions!
Although the scoreboard shows a huge margin, it doesn't show the amount of effort the girls put in! Awesome pressure from all 13 of our girls, for the whole game! Very proud of the girls in their first game, and I know we can only get better from here!
|Goal Kickers||Max Lawson Tavan, Samuel McShane, Serge Mariani, Steven Tatsiokas, Jordan Nicolo, Samuel Azzopardi, Toby Hallebone, Nicholas Perizzolo, Jack Martorana and Henry Stratford-Browne|
The season was now upon us and the under 13’s arrived at PCO well composed and eager to start the season, on what was a beautiful day. We paid our respects to the ANZACS alongside Heidelberg before the game got underway.
Sadly three boys from last year’s team did not return this season. Taj Griffith, Samuel McShane and Thomas Staios have filled these positions and are fantastic additions to the side. Welcome Taj, Samuel and Thomas – we couldn’t have recruited better players to slot into the team.
There was a definite change in the boys’ demeanour at the pre-game warm-up compared to previous years. The boys were excited to be back playing footy, however they displayed a higher level of maturity and commitment to come together as a team and focus on the job at hand.
We started the season off with Lachlan Meehan celebrating his 50th game, which was long overdue after he broke his knee last season. On a personal note, this was a proud moment for me, to have the privilege of being involved in my son’s football career with both high and low moments is something I will cherish.
We gave the team some key messages and clear instructions as to how to play the game, including the need to back up their team-mates and HAVE FUN!
The boys were quick to take control of the game with the midfield continually controlling the centre bounce and both the forward and back lines keeping a strong spread. This in particular gave us multiple options to deliver the ball down to the forward line, which resulted in nine goals in the first half.
The back line unfortunately did not get a great deal of the ball during this game. However, when Heidelberg did push the ball down, the back line were a strong unit and were able to quickly turn the ball over with some strong tackling and quick movement of the ball which resulted in them delivering it back into our forward line.
With the second half under way the boys discipline dropped off a little which was evident by our number of scoring shots. Our communication on field fell away a bit and the spread we had in the first half began to shrink. Having said that though, the boys continued to push the ball into our forward line resulting in four additional goals.
Even though the scoreboard showed a one sided game, Heidelberg definitely pressured our boys each quarter and lessons can be learnt from it.
Next week we take on Ashburton who are always a strong club. It should be a cracker of a game.
|Goal Kickers||Ethan L Pantelis|
|Best Players||Billy R, Alexander, Zach D, Terrance, Ethan, Lucas|
The current group of under 14s were runners-up 2016 in under 13s - this meant a Jump to Gold division for season 2017 - Congratulations must be given to this group to Jump 3 division over 2 season is an unbelievable effort.
We Welcomed 6 new players for the 2017 season – Jack, Rory, Eric, Josh, Ethan and Angus it is a credit to this group for making the new players feel so welcome and enable them to fit into the team with minimum fuss.
For Round 1 we were set the task to take on Glen Iris – who in 2016 went the season undefeated - so for our first game in gold division the challenge was before us.
The end result of a 150 point loss didn’t do justice to the performance of the team - the fact we had 23 entries into our forward line for a return of 2.1 – tells us that we didn’t take full opportunity of the chances we had and decision making in some instances was left wanting.
The pleasing aspect was that after the game we sat with the team and asked for the positives and negatives of the game - the players were honest with themselves – and as coaches our assessment of the game was similar to the players self-appraisal – this is a great sign of maturity for this group. We will work on the negatives at training and hopefully turn them into positives in the weeks to come.
The challenges ahead of us for season 2017 will be great - but with continued hard work, commitment to one another, I can assure you all success is not far away.
Remember no such thing as a bad loss as long as we learn from it and continue to grow and develop.
On a sad note I would like to pass our condolences from the whole under 14 group to the Spataro family on the passing away Vince’s father - May he rest in peace.
|Preston Bullants||Surrey Park W|
Goal scorers: Leo (7), Jackson (4), Jesse (2), James M, Rhett, Patrick, Daniel, Luka, Max (sorry, I missed one goal) Thank you to parents who fulfilled volunteer duties. A special thanks to Matt Baynes who assisted in the canteen, then BBQ then ran the boundary!
Could you ask for more? Playing the first game of the season at PCO with the weather holding, the sun in your eye and the BBQ firing. Our team has faced trials and tribulations but we kick off 2017 with 25 players, including eight or nine running out in the red and white for the first time. Ange and Rob have put the squad through their paces leading up to the season proper and the boys look fit and strong and ready. Before the game Ange gathered the team together to remind them of key structures, game plans and specific roles for particular players. This is exciting.
The first quarter set the scene. From the first bounce our ruckman, Patrick took control. Clearances, often our Achilles heel, were won, running players had something to run into and structures solidified. Chilli used his body strength and footy smarts, Leo made the full forward his domain and new player, Jordan was getting his hands on the ball. Rhett was the backline General, Jesse and Daniel his lieutenants. The game was well and truly over by half time with the Bullants leading by sixty six points.
This time last year, the Bullants were thrashed in their first game. And while I don’t wish that on any other side, it was good for the Bullants to start this season in this way. What really impressed was the teamwork. And Leo’s seven goals. In the Third he kicked three in a row, finding space right in front of goals, from terrific passes. Late in the quarter Anthony kicked to Jackson who quickly handpassed to Jesse running past and he kicked true. Two new players were making their mark. Luka scored his first goal for the Bullants crumbing the pack and dribbled it through. Jack B was looking good; he refused to quit!
Jackson took over from Leo in the last kicking two of the three goals for the quarter. His last goal, with a one handed mark then snap across the body off his left foot, suggested that the Bullants might have another go to player in the forward line.
Before the game Ange told his charges that goals will come from a strong backline that can generate runs down field. We have a great backline, with Max (Team captain) and his crew. Our win against Surrey Park was because we have a good ruck and strong midfield and runners. In previous years we have been let down by a forward line that lacked structure. If this win is a guide, our forward line may well reward the big efforts of our backline. And as Ange told the team, our goals will come from teamwork that links a strong defensive line with a structured disciplined forward line.
|Preston Bullants||Park Orchards|
3.00pm Sunday was the culmination of a preseason that was full of expectation and excitement as the first Bullants’ girls team took formation. At all times a core of about eight girls fronted up to training, with a resiliency that belied the tenuous existence of the team. By Sunday we had ten girls registered and with the help of Ayva and Georgia from the under 12s, the girls were able to take the field proudly wearing the red of the bullant.
When the whistle blew on Sunday, the ball was bounced and Georgia P went up for the first ruck contest against her Park Orchards opponent, and achieved the first possession for a Bullants player, the girls became winners, even without the result on the scoreboard being declared. Georgia P was the first of twelve Bullants' players to get her hands on the ball during the day. Like every one of her teammates, she played an important role in the teams’ endeavours to be competitive and give a good account of itself.
Whilst the Bullants were overpowered by a team who comprised girls who had played before, each girl continued to play with vigour, heart and as the game progressed, increasing understanding of the nuances of football.
Every girl can take great heart from their courageous performance. Georgia P and Georgia B battled really hard in the ruck and showed great natural skill around the ground; Mia Beki and Mia Haas displayed athleticism involving themselves in numerous contests and running the ball with their natural speed; Isabella, Angelique, Hayley and Ocean never shirked a contest, were fierce competitors and continued to battle until the end and Amelia and Subrije increased in confidence as the game commenced and showed they will be excellent competitors for the team. Again I would like to thank Ayva and Olivia for playing such an important part in our first game.
(I must mention Georgia P’s great effort in kicking our three goals for the game. Whilst she could not have done it without the efforts of her team, this was certainly an eye catching effort).
Thank you to the parents who helped out on Sunday (just a reminder we are looking for a parent to help Sofie with the team managers role)
|Park Orchards R||Preston Bullants 1|
No report this week
The anticipation in the rooms was spine tingling, lead by James Scattolin. Our brief meeting in the players room was held in silence with the boys eyes focused solely on me, which was great to see. Unfortunately Miles Rankin registration didn’t come through in time for the game but every one of the 19 boys got around him in great support. When we lined up for the last post I looked at the opposition and noticed they were quite a big side, which meant we needed to run the ball. I cannot question the boys tenacity, endeavour and determination all day. To have laid 30 tackles in the last quarter proves to me that these boys never ever give up. The last quarter was played in our 50 metre arc with great pressure from our forwards. The highlight of the day was Stevie Hadj taking a mark 15 metres out from goal directly in front, handballing the ball to our back pocket (Louis Forster) and kicking a goal. I have no idea how he snuck down there it was all worth it. After all, That’s what football is all about - MATESHIP.
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