So gradings have been finalised and it’s fair to say that our coaches appear to be happy with the final outcome handed to us by the league. We have been graded as follows:
|Colts 1||DIV 2||Colts 2||DIV 5|
|Youth Girls||DIV 2||Under 15’s||GREEN|
|Under 14’s||GOLD||Under 13’s||BROWN|
|Under 12’s||BLUE||Under 12’s GIRLS||BROWN|
|Under 11’s||BLUE||Under 10’s||BROWN|
A wonderful outcome for all our teams of different abilities to really have a go at improving their individual development, while playing in a great team environment and being challenged on a weekly basis, all the while and above all else, enjoying their footy and having fun. Again good luck to all our teams, do yourselves and the club proud in season 2017 and beyond.
I wanted to share a couple of wonderful stories with you which is a stark reminder as to why we all get out and do what we do each and every weekend for our children. A recent event during an U15’s match saw a nasty head injury occur to an opposition player in the dying minutes of the match to which our very own U15s trainer Silvia Alberti rushed out to aid as she was closest to the player who was quickly joined by the Ashburton trainer. An ambulance was called and the process from that point took place.
I received an email from the Ashburton President who summed up the local football spirit, praising the efforts of Silvia for all she had done. He also passed on a heartfelt thank-you from the player’s father who was in attendance and couldn’t be more thankful for simply being there to assist irrespective of club jumper worn. I can also confirm that the injured player made a solid recovery a few days later thankfully. Steve (Ashburton President) went on to say and I quote “It is great to know that the spirit of community football exists and that your club embodies strong values. She did your club proud today and we thank her for her assistance”
Pretty awesome I thought! Also another great story was that of 2 Banyule Bears parents who after watching their daughter’s team against our Youth Girls (U16s) wanted to share some of their experience with the playing group and came in to talk about the struggles they had in their first couple of years, getting touched up on the scoreboard weekly and it never ever phased their teams spirit. Come out and enjoy your football, and the rest will follow was the message. A very thoughtful genuine message was sent and again yet another fantastic local footy community act which in itself can go a very, very long way. I for one couldn’t be prouder of what both our girl’s footy teams have put out on the field this season so far, and a true testament to this is the fact that we now have 16 registered girls per team! What a magnificent effort, and a massive thank you to all involved.
So there you have just 2 of many I am sure without doubt occur weekly with the local football community spirit that we are all a part of and need to play an active role in.
So keeping with that theme, next time you are asked to assist with one of many roles that have to be filled by volunteers to ensure your child’s game can be played, perhaps get on the front foot and email your team manager and ask them what roles need to be filled this week and perhaps how can I help? Sometimes it brings a smile to the face of the individual who has to roster people on weekly as though it was a chore in itself. If you had the task of allocating up to 9 roles a week to volunteers where would you start?
Better still, how would you feel if someone picked up the phone or sent you an email asking what can I assist you with this week? Remember, it may only be twice for the entire season, where as your team managers, coaches etc. don’t have that luxury of a break so to speak.
Have a wonderful week, thank you to all our volunteers for your assistance throughout Round 5 action, Go the Mighty Preston Bullants!
Preston Bullants JFC
Kicking a goal brings so much joy to an individual and a team, at all ages and levels of footy. Sometimes a goal arrives just in time to lift a team's spirit, or it can validate all the hard work a team has put in on the day.
It was great to hear about Tackers Red Daniel's goal last Sunday, busting out the crowd-favourite "aeroplane move" from the goal square to the centre - it would have been a sight to behold!
Tackers Red coach, George Cotsonis, reported "The second quarter saw one of the best celebrations for goal that I have seen in many years. The ball was gathered by Ruben in the midfield, who found The Stoj in space with a clever kick. He looked up and sent a long ball into our forward line. The ball came off the pack and Daniel roved the footy front and square. He had a flying shot on the run and celebrated by doing the aeroplane from the goal square all the way to the centre of the ground. The Bullants were now in the contest."
Congratulations Daniel! And well done to Ruben and The Stoj for faciliating what sounded like a turning point in your game and a moment to be enjoyed by all!
What a great day for footy it was at our home ground Preston City Oval.
After a week off for a bye our Tackers White team were very keen to play. Joint Captains Archie and Jack lead our team on to the park. A fairly one sided affair saw our Whites kick a bag of goals for the match. It is so good to watch the boys and see how far they have come in just a few short weeks. Everything they have learnt at training and have been working on is more than paying off. Our pressure, tackling, kicking and marking is phenomenal.
Looking forward to our round robin day this coming weekend.
Preston Bullants v St Marys at Preston City Oval.
After being jumped the week before by Banyule, our boys were out for redemption in the first quarter. It was a fairly even contest with St Marys kicking well for goal. Our midfield, led by our three angry ants in Dylan, Roman and Ruben, was tackling well and finding the footy. Sid was exceptional in running to space and created many opportunities for our forwards.
The second quarter saw one of the best celebrations for goal that I have seen in many years. The ball was gathered by Ruben in the midfield who found The Stoj in space with a clever kick. He looked up and sent a long ball into our forward line. The ball came off the pack and Daniel roved the footy front and square. He had a flying shot on the run and celebrated by doing the aeroplane from the goal square all the way to the centre of the ground. The Bullants were now in the contest.
The half-time rev up was again on but apparently some of our boys experienced a bit of sledging and off-the-ball physicality. I reminded them about the art of tackling. Wax on wax off! And the boys came out firing in the first few minutes. The highlight of the term, apart from our reinvigorated tackling, was a great goal to Darcy who was fed well all day by Sid in the midfield. Although his celebration was a little less exuberant than Daniel’s effort, his goal was a clever snap. St Marys also scored in the term, making for an intriguing last quarter.
The final term saw St Marys pull away from the Bullants but not without a fight. Sid was fantastic in the last quarter as was our backline led by Lachlan and Leon. Leon was on an opponent twice his size but managed to beat him in the air and on the ground. Sid was awarded the best opposition player by the St Marys coaches and we sang the song in the rooms because our effort was strong all day.
See you all at training on Friday.
Round 5 and our first game in Brown division saw the unbeaten U10’s head to Citizens Park to take on Richmond B. Pre-game the Richmond coach came into the away rooms and asked how my team was going…”Yeah, OK", I reply a bit sheepishly, not wanting to give too much away. His reply of “Well you must be doing better than OK. You’ve come up to Brown division haven’t you?” was met with a grin I couldn’t hold in…Damn! He’s onto us!
During the week the kids had been asked how serious they were about their footy. We weren’t going up to Brown to make up the numbers…did they want to have a real crack? With a resounding “YES!” they had hit their training with intent. Warm-up was slick and they looked up and about as I discussed their roles to each of them. Why did I choose this week to rotate positions? Most of the kids were going to be in unfamiliar territory as we exposed them to new positions to aid their development. I hoped they “got it”.
Captains for the day were Thomas Venuto and Azza who won the toss and elected to kick to the city end. The game got under way at a quick pace and despite big punches out of the Ruck by Tamer, Richmond drove forward putting our “new” backline under constant pressure. Looking a little lost, we were not tight enough on our opponents, second to the ball and looking a bit slow. Richmond looked dangerous with quick, clean possessions and strong marking….most of the quarter being played out in their attacking half. Inaccurate kicking for goal (and improving efforts from Andre, Willo and Kes on the last line as the quarter progressed) saw the Tigers waste opportunities to score. Still, I must confess to being worried. Even more so when we lost “The Dominator” from CHB to an ankle injury. Then, a glimmer of hope. A beautiful chain of possessions saw the ball transferred end to end via an accurate kick-out from Kes, to a Marcus mark and play-on who then hit Tamer with a lovely pass who in turn pumped the ball into our forward line to Tommy G who snapped for a minor score.
At the break we tried to stay up-beat. “We’ve been here before and know we can come back! Let’s man up tighter, defenders! Inside and goal side of your opponents. No easy possessions. Let’s run and carry and hit our targets".
The second quarter played out with increased ferocity at the contest. “Big Willo” inspired with hard attack on the footy and into the packs. Andre stopped a certain Richmond score with a courageous smother….and then we got busy! Hamish won us first use as usual and worked hard around the ground while Harry, Callum, Sam, Cameron and Jake turned up the heat in the midfield. With plenty of forward entries it was only a matter of time before Thomas G (Full Back of the century) got his hand on the ball in his new position of CHF. The resulting run was exciting to watch as he streaked away from the chasing Tigers and set sail for his first goal! With the Bullants around him to celebrate, spirits were high and we were on! Not only did our defence tighten things up but pushed forward to lock it in our attacking half….Tom M from his new role at CHB, far enough forward to have a sniff at a goal from a slick pass from Tommy G….controversially “touched” on the line (controversially if you're a Bullant)! All around the ground our team was lifting and regaining form from the shaky start. One point the difference, brakes had been put on the Tigers and the Bullants were gathering momentum.
Halftime oranges and looking around the kids were looking pretty comfortable. We asked again that they keep up the pressure and keep running. We knew we could run out and finish off games…let’s do it again. When asked what we could improve on, numerous Bullants put their hands up and talked about shepherding and tackling and all agreed that we would focus on those areas next quarter. We had won the second term. Let’s win the 3rd!
As much as the Bullants were fighting hard and improving every term, Richmond did not ease up their own pressure at all. Bodies went in hard at the contests and every possession was hard earned. Accurate passing and strong marking by the Tigers had them looking dangerous whenever they had the ball. Fierce defence from the strong marking Azza and great run out of the backline by Kes repelled numerous attacks while on the left hand side of the ground, Willo and Marcus mopped up well. Midfield of Dom, Joe and Thomas V were spoilt for choice as Hamish won tap outs at will and the combination provided the forwards plenty of opportunity. Tom put on a great shepherd for Hamish to steady and goal from long range before hitting Tamer with a pass shortly after. Unfortunately for Mr T the result was a behind but the constant attacks kept coming and before the term was done, Tom kicked truly to get another major. Mention must be made of the great pressure put on by the forwards…Steven, Xavier and Ziggy all have a reputation for their great tackles and defence. This was put to good use as they worked tirelessly to lock the ball in our forward 50! There is also a fantastic photo for the Bullants photo archives of Mr Thomas Morabito chasing his opponent…as I said there, “You don’t always have to catch them, but the effort, desire and determination displayed by Thomas is what the Bullants are all about!”
Another quarter won and although scoreless for 2 quarters, the Tigers would not lay down and always looked dangerous when they had the ball. The Bullants were asked to refocus and keep up the fantastic work rate that had got us to this point. Tigers #40 had been dangerous all game and Sam was given the job of shutting him down while all were urged to keep up the run and finish off the game.
And so the U10 juggernaut rolled into top gear….
Long hit out from Hamish hit Thomas V at 12 O’clock who “turned and burned” hitting Stevie who lost no time in snapping his first well deserved goal. Hard work always brings reward!
Sam worked on #40 causing first frustration, then domination with a lovely spoil to disrupt his marking.
Tommy G was electric across half forward and virtually untouchable once on the run, his centring kick found Ziggy towering in the square, Tigers scattered around him like rag dolls, who marked and kicked truly in true “power forward” style! Again, just reward for his hard work all game.
Somewhere in the feeding frenzy that our forward line had become, a behind was kicked…I’m unsure by who…(sorry kids, you know I get a bit excited when you're putting on a show!) the resulting kick-out was cut off with the precision of a surgeon by Marcus who made no mistake slotting the final goal.
Ziggy (AKA “The Bull”) would take another monster pack mark for the highlights reel before the final siren sounded. Bullants around the ground smiled, hugged and pumped fists, rightfully proud of their achievement.
Proud as always of this fantastic bunch of kids. Not for the 5 wins in a row but for the way they do it, by working together, the way they listen, train, work hard and help each other. There is a maturity and work ethic amongst this group that makes them a delight to coach. Keep it up team! For you, anything is possible!
|Goal Kickers||Jaxsyn 5, Ayden 2, Jonah, Will and Lucas 1|
Following a positive training session on Wednesday night and a pre-match briefing from Pat, the Under 11 Bullants were focussed and ready to take on Surrey Park in Round 5. Surrey Park were sitting at 4th on the ladder, so the team were ready for a hard battle. Jude wasn’t available due to family commitments and Asher was unwell, leaving us with 1 on the bench. A special thank you to Steven (Under 10 Bullant) for joining us in the 3rd quarter, after his game, to give us another option.
The team took the field led by the Captains for the day in Jaxsyn and Perry. We won the toss and the Under 11 Bullants showed the crowd that they were here to play as a team, they looked terrific! Our defence held strong all day, keeping Surrey Park to 6-2. Well done to Patrick in the backline, he led by example, following the structures and team rules. Patrick’s skill development trajectory has been outstanding. Our mid-field was disciplined to not get sucked into the play and keep structure. They worked perfectly as a unit and ran hard all game – fantastic effort Samuel, Will and Anthony! Our forward line were self-less, sharing the ball to score. The work we have been doing at training on perfecting our kicking showed with a score of 10.2; accuracy hard to achieve at this level and with the wind at play. Congratulations to Jaxsyn on kicking 5 goals for the game and to Jonah for kicking his first goal for the Bullants.
Our success on Sunday was due to a fantastic team effort, every player played their role as instructed and followed the team rules. The Under 11 Bullants made the coaching team very proud on Sunday and we thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the excitement when singing the team song. Well done Bullants!
|Goal Kickers||Mahmoud 3, Nicholas 2, Joel, Remy, Ben, Coen, Jacob, Liam|
The Preston Bullants winning streak continues with a third consecutive win and a 76-point victory away against Hawthorn Citizens 3 at Victoria Road Reserve.
In a game that was played out largely in the Bullants’ attacking half, the pressure and attack the team applied to every contest produced repeated opportunities to propel the ball forward. Whether it was Ben, imposing in his attack on the ball in defence, and pinpointing a long kick to a teammate on the wing, or Seb R’s crunching shepherd to give Josh space and time to keep possession and momentum, the Bullants didn’t let up in the opening term. Nicholas opened the scoring having responded well when Coen’s forward pressure kept the ball on the deck, and Mahmoud kicked another one of his exciting, overhead goals.
The ruck duo of Declan and Lucas combined to claim almost every hitout of the game, a clear advantage that gave the midfielders first use of the ball. The urgency the boys played with made it hard for the opposition to react, and whenever Hawthorn Citizens 3 were able to get a clearance out of defence, it seemed either Lachie or Harry were there to contend with. When Hawthorn Citizens 3 were able to get through to their own forward half, Rufus was there to intercept.
At the half-time break, Coach Phil lauded the boys’ efforts, and in particular, the multiple smothers the team had applied in the first half, which showed desperation for the ball, and a team prepared to help each other out. Until now, smothering hadn’t much of a feature of the U12s game, but it seems the team has added another string to what is becoming an impressive bow.
In the third, the Preston Bullants continued to defend well and maintain the pressure on the ball. Ben was given a rare opportunity up forward and, along with Coen and Jack, continually led hard to create options. Likewise, after Joel’s great attack on the ball in the first half, the coaches gave him an opportunity in the middle and he didn’t disappoint. Mahmoud kicked yet another overhead, behind-the-back goal, and just to prove he wasn’t predictable, kicked booming goal from beyond the 50-metre arc.
Even though the Bullants were 50 points in front heading into the fourth, the Bullants didn’t let up, Harry directing teammates when opposition players were free, and Oscar and Callum gutsy in the backline, refusing to give an inch. When Coen kicked the first goal of the final quarter, the Bullants had again scored the opening goal of each quarter. And just as he’d opened the scoring with the first goal of the match, and after his previous shot at goal was judged to have been touched, Nicholas converted his second which would become the final goal of the match.
|Goal Kickers||Max Doupé and Jack Beker|
Round five saw our boys play their first game in Brown division (Division 2), where the skill level of football dramatically increases and most importantly where we believe our Under 13's belong. The boys have been working very hard this year at both training and their games, and today we were up against a seasoned Gold division side who had dropped down a level. Having said that though, Parkside is a strong side that moved the ball with great speed and skill and they demonstrated that from the very beginning. To our boys' credit they stood up to the constant pressure, particluarly in our backline where the ball spent a lot of time.
This was a high scoring game for Parkside, however the Bullants proved to be very strong in applying pressure on the ball when they were able to slow the opposition down, as illustrated with their large number of behinds. Our constant hard work by our backmen and midfield helped prevent at least 12 behinds from becoming goals. Our midfield worked solidly throughout each quarter and delivered the ball into our forward line on multiple occassions, however we were unable to find the goals due to Parkside's defence.
I can not say that we were unhappy with our boys, because their work ethic was tremendous. Last year there were times when the boys would drop their heads and let the quarter or game run away from them, but today we saw something new. Today we saw them continue to fight regardless of the score, not once did they give up and for me that's a win. It's a win because we know the boys are willing to and want to play four full quarters, not two or three, but four and this is something the Coaching Staff and Under 13 boys can build on.
No report this week
On a wonderful day for football with a little bit of sun, we were all was set for our first game in our new division.
Schramms Reserve in Doncaster is a fantastic venue for football and our boys took advantage of the ideal conditions. We had the knowledge that Doncaster and Camberwell played out a close match two weeks earlier, a team we tussled with last week, so we came ready to play and expected a quality opponent.
Kicking against the wind in the first stanza our back line started well thwarting a few forward 50 entries from Doncaster. Chilly set the tone early with his commanding presence. Newcomer Anton Arvantis number 24 took a spectacular mark from his very first possession for his new club. Very encouraging signs early from Anton, welcome aboard mate. The first quarter featured the solid presence of Finn at Centre Half Forward who combined well with Leo for a top goal. Rhett was marking everything that came his way in a text book lesson of how to attack the ball. Max was very reliable, in the words of Ange, as the backline really stood up in the first. Jack Baddock, Damiel Quattrone and Anthony used their pace well in the first. Antho had a great snap goal from the pocket and we were well away! Four first term majors, keeping Doncaster goalless against the wind. What a start!
The second term started well and we got our running game going. Starting with Jai in the ruck dominating. We were really starting to get on top. Brodie Lacey put his body in at the contests and was rewarded with a number of possessions. The forward line really looked dangerous with Sam Oberin flying high and marking nearly everything that came his way. The quarter though belonged to James Mantis as he booted two goals. Antho snapped the other goal and we went into the long break with seven majors on the board to hold a commanding half time lead. What an effort against a good opposition. Doncaster were solid across the ground, it just looked like our boys really wanted it more.
After half time the game was a lot more even with Doncaster starting to hit the scoreboard with their first major of the day. Sam Oberin continued marking everything, with Max and Chilly rebounding regularly to keep denying a gallant Doncaster who were trying to lift. Jack King ran the length of the ground a number of times through the quarter to get to the defensive goal square to provide extra support for the backline as the Doncaster forwards pushed up the ground. Rhett kicked a lovely goal into the wind showing his ability to steady well and kick true.
The final term and the stand outs were Rhett again, doing as he pleased, Sam’s aerial display really making a strong contest over and over. Chilly put on a tackling clinic again today. He was also in his usual loud voice worrying the opposition out of it. All of our boys should look up to how Chilly goes about it. His presence definitely wore off on our boys as our overall tackling effort assisted us with countless turnovers to our advantage. Our boys should be proud of the way we went in hard at the ball today. Broadie continued on his running and tough ways all day to be one of our most effective. Jordan Whykes was all class out there and came back strongly after a huge foot blister and our wonderful medical team Jo and Sylvia worked hard to make sure he was raring to go again.
In the end we had a last second goal allowed however the game was already well within our keeping as we ran out very convincing 59 point victors. The game looked a lot more even than the scoreboard showed. It seems our ability to truly work as a team was the difference. Like a strong chain we simply had no weak links out there today and got the result we wanted.
The week ahead sees Ange away with Rob taking on major duties as coach. Looking forward to seeing our teamwork and support for each other continue on for the season.
Like our previous game, the girls saved their best football for the last quarter. A combination of confidence and determination saw the ball locked in the forward line for the majority of the quarter. Amelia was proving a dangerous forward and along with Mia Haas had shots at goal which were nearly rewarded with six points.
A part of the girls game that saw significant improvement this week was their offensive play. For the first time, the girls were displaying an ability to maintain team possession through an awareness of teammates in their vicinity, and a willingness to bring these fellow players into the game with creative handball and more accurate passing. On numerous occasions, the girls were able to take territory off the opposition with some attacking football.
In the end the girls succumbed to a more experienced and knowledgeable team in Surrey Park. Each game however builds the team’s football IQ and if the girls can continue to maintain their enthusiasm and keep improving their skills, they will become a very competitive side and will give their opposition a real fight for the four points.
Once again congratulations to all our girls for representing the Bullants' jumper in a magnificent light. Your parents and I continue to be very proud of your attitude towards the game and support of each other. You are certainly bonding with your fellow teammates and forming all the right attitudes a successful team needs.
Stay tuned for a Match Report next round.
Stay tuned for a Match Report next round.