With last weekend’s round 14 AFL action, major AFL sponsor Toyota had their “Good for Grassroots” weekend, where if a player who has nominated their junior club kicked a goal, then that club would receive $500! Nice! So, we first wish to thank both Ben McNiece (Bombers) and Kane Lambert (Tigers) who are both great examples of hard work, persistence and pushing themselves to achieve a spot on a list of elite level of footy and who both started along their pathways from the Mighty Preston Bullants!
So, with Ben being unavailable for selection against the Swans, Kane certainly turned it on against the Blues at the G in front of almost 70,000 fans and managed to score a goal, for which the club has since received confirmation from Toyota that we will be receiving $500! I have never ever cheered for anyone kicking a goal against my beloved Blues so loudly, and yes, I was amongst the Tiger faithful at the G! Probably laughed at my insanity! I may need to have a word with one of Kane’s junior coaches in George Wakim for making Kane too much of a team player as I reckon he was involved in at least 3 other goal assists according to his massive Supercoach score of 117, which included 26 possessions, 6 marks, 6 tackles and a score of 1.2. Magnificent.
Having attended the YJFL mid-year review alongside our Coaching Director, Dom Vaiano, the message couldn’t be any clearer coming straight from headquarters regarding conduct, fair play, supporter behaviour and the spirit of the game. To elaborate a little, in short it comes back to the absolute responsibilities we have as club officials, coaches, team managers, volunteers, and parents/family in general. As club officials, we all need to abide by the rules of the game and to ensure those around us also follow the same set of rules. Plenty of examples were given but none resonated more with me than the gentleman who got up to share how he felt about the abusive, loud, and quite often careless acts conducted, not by the kids who are enjoying being out on the field, but rather by the parent group who have come to support them!
So much so, that he would watch his child play for the entire duration of last season tucked away in his car so as to not be subjected to it, which in itself is very sad. Everyone has the right to attend, be a part of, cheer to your hearts content and be supportive, however if there is a negative connotation to what you wish to share loudly and publicly, then it best not be said and perhaps take a deep breath and think before one speaks. This is going to be policed a lot more by league officials who won’t be in league colours. Not just through the crowd, but also inside the boundary, as the behaviour of club officials is also under scrutiny.
The other area for concern centres around the umpiring fraternity. Do umpires always get it right? Of course not. Are any of us who tell the umpires how to do their job perfect and flawless ourselves in all we do? Absolutely not. So, what we can all do is remember something which I personally found very intriguing. The fact is that just over 80% of the league-appointed umpires are teenagers. Yes, school-aged children if you like. Aged between 17 and some even as young as 12 running the boundary!
So remember, as supporters, as coaches, as parents in general, this is kids footy. Nothing more, nothing less. Kids footy. That is practically run by volunteers, helpers and families and the one single aim is to ensure a safe, happy playing environment for those children who have a love and passion for the sport that is Australian Rules Football. There will be ample time in years to come for those who wish to take it to a far more competitive playing field and we always wish them luck in doing so. If for example you saw a school girl, say aged 14 and year 9 walking at the local shopping centre, it would be safe to assume that no adult would hurl abuse at her for any reason as such, just because this young female umpire then puts on a green shirt and grey shorts does not make it any different, period.
So, remember, kids footy, safe environment, and if it were your son or daughter out on the field wearing the green shirt, how would you feel if an adult standing next to you felt it appropriate to yell abuse at them? If there are no umpires, then there is no game. If there are no children enjoying the game they love to play, there is no club and the effects are then felt right throughout the community. So, let’s remember all our roles, let’s ensure we have a ripping back end of the season, stay focused, stay positive irrespective of score lines and most of all, enjoy the atmosphere that the Mighty Preston Bullants bring week in week out…
Preston Bullants JFC
Congratulations Max Mills on achieving 100 games for the Bullants. Playing for the under 15s and leading his team as captain last weekend, Max put in an exemplary performance. Max played in full-back position - he led from the front and he gave his team plenty of opportunities by feeding the ball to midfield, contributing to the team win.
This season the Bullants will celebrate over 35 milestone players; it's a wonderful achievement for both the individual and the club. Whether it's 50 or 100 games, it shows that as a footy club, you are providing the skills, tactical development and mentoring required to keep a kid passionate about playing AFL and participating in a team sport. You don't retain kids at a club on the premise of winning premierships - you retain kids by building a community they feel safe in, supported in, and a club they are proud of. Building a strong football community takes the combined efforts of coaches, team managers, parent volunteers and the committee, all working together for the kids.
Once again, congratulations Max and to all the 2017 milestone players.
Another great sunday morning! We have been blessed with the weather this season.
This week we headed over to Binnak Park to play Parade St Damians. Once again the boys put on a great display! Led by Thomas and Liam as our skippers it was a great team effort all day. Some really hard faught, contested footy, the boys kept working as a team all day!There were some ripper goals, great teamwork and really well thought out plays.
Overall all of our parent's walked away proud of the effort these kids. To produce what they do week in week out, is super exciting to see.Looking forward to this weeks game and then having a short well earnt break.
Banyule Bears v Preston Bullants
I felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day as we prepared to play yet another Banyule team—three in five weeks. The last two Banyule teams we played brought a narrow loss and a thumping so I was looking to the footy gods for some assistance. The boys seemed focused in the rooms and were instructed to share the footy. Unfortunately everything we talked about at training and pre-match went out the door in the first quarter. Though Sam tried hard in the middle along with Sid and Christian, the Bears had jumped us and we now had our work cut out in the remaining three quarters. We were down three goals at the first break.
After a reminder to look out for one another we started the second quarter like a whirlwind. The backline led by Alex and Barnaby repelled every attack that Banyule mustered. Our midfield group led by Sam was terrific. Christian was in everything and is becoming a versatile player with great skill. Roman, Archie and Lucas were also showing Bullant grit. We booted two goals to none in the second via Leon and Louie and were right back in the game. Sharing the footy was one of our key highlights for the term with the boys often linking up through all three zones.
The third quarter saw Banyule flick the switch and they were relentless in getting the ball into their forward zone. Jackson, Aiden and Alberto all combined well. Daniel also found some space across the middle of the ground. Banyule managed to kick three unanswered goals but this did not mean that our boys stopped. Sam continued to go into every contest and handball out to running players like Lucas and Ruben. The way in which we were playing was encouraging to the coaching staff and exactly like we wanted for the future. At the three quarter time siren the Bears were jumping up and down like they had won a grand final. I told our boys to have a look at them behaving as if the contest was over. Believe me it was not.
We had our work cut out in the last quarter and the only way to get ourselves back into this one was through some good old fashioned grit and determination. Alex, Barnaby and Jackson were marking everything in the backline and what they weren’t marking they were punching through the goals. The midfield lifted and this saw us play the best quarter of team football for the year. Lachy and Dylan were both getting involved to find Leon who had an Alan Didak-style four minutes of footy where he booted 3 goals. Our boys had come back yet again. What a spirit! I noticed Banyule move their best player from the first three quarters back into the middle to steady the ship. As I mentioned last week, we are here to educate our boys about playing footy and we made no such changes. Our boys were eventually beaten by a couple of goals in the end but the fight and spirit they showed throughout the game made me mighty proud to say I am their coach. Special mention to Sam who was awarded with the opposition medal. He was a popular winner among his teammates and supporters.
See you all at training on Friday.
After one of the best all-round team performances last week, an eager Bullants U10’s took on Banyule at their home ground at Beverly Rd.
Cold conditions saw several Bullants struggling in the warmup & we looked a bit sleepy….Pre-game focus was to deliver another team performance and repeat our intensity at “the hard ball” get, support our team mates with shepherding and above all RUN! Run to the contest, run to position, run to space. All were urged to respect their opponent, man up and defend hard.
Captains for the day, Tamer and Pablo won the toss and elected to kick into a variable breeze to the northern end.From the opening bounce it was apparent that Banyule were a highly skilled, fast running side. Quick ball movement and effective use of handball to running players saw them pile on successive goals…..for the first half of the quarter our normally slick and hard running Bullants looked asleep. With the vast majority of play in our defensive 50, the Bullant defence was worked hard. Thomas G stood tall at the last line and saved more than a few goals with relentless chasing and 2nd and 3rd efforts. Around him, Xavier, Jake, Jerry, Ziggy and Dom got warmed up and fought hard. After 4 quick goals to Banyule, the Bullant midfield finally got a break through hard work, accurate passing and 2nd efforts from Ned, Harry, Joe and Marcus. A lovely kick deep into attack from Harry and tireless chasing by Azza, Steve, Issy & Andre eventually got us within range….a quick snap from the ever dangerous Issy unfortunately posting a minor score.
Another quick break saw Banyule score another major before the siren sounded….Banyule 5:0:30 Bullants 0:1:1At the break the Bullants were urged to stay calm and focused. Reset. We had been here before so many times and come back through hard work. We could do it again. We had what appeared to be the scoring end, variable wind and slightly downhill but we could not let them score again!The second term saw a more determined Bullant side hit the field and their opponents with the intensity required. Ned and Harry continued to work the wings well while Hamish, Tom and Callum worked the ball forward from the centre bounces. Around the ground, Bullants were playing their positions better and working harder. As a result, most of the play was in our attacking half. Cameron and Kes marked solidly in the opening passages, then Ned kicked a lovely long range goal to open the account for the quarter and from there the Bullants gained momentum! Driving forward, Callum, Kes and Hamish all had opportunities but the blustery, variable wind and Banyule’s defensive pressure made scoring difficult…minor scores being the outcome. When Callum drove forward again, it was Tamer who stood tall in the square and with 2nd efforts, then in the middle of a tackle, gave us a repeat of last week’s highlight with a left foot snap for goal!
We had most of the play and looked the better side going into half time. Banyule held scoreless for the quarter, 5:0:30 to Bullants 2:7:19.
As the Banyule side retired to the rooms it was great to see the Bullants pumped up and running off the ground! Full of excitement, confidence and belief this great team was ready for more!As the scoring end seemed heavily in Banyule’s favour in the third term, we elected to reshuffle the team and try to bolster our defences. Ziggy, Callum and Tom were given the half back line and instructions to keep Banyule out while Pablo, Woody and Jake covered the last line. Mids & forwards instructed to work hard, lead up and ensure they were moving to be the next kick forward. As the 3rd term got underway, the wind picked up even more…as did the hard hitting Banyule. Great defensive efforts from Isaac “Woody” held them out until a very unlucky free kick and 15m penalty was awarded…..the resulting goal to Banyule could have seen heads drop…not Woody and not the Bullants who got up and got on with the job at hand. The Bullant defence fought hard all quarter, forcing Banyule out wide and restricting them to 3:3 for the term. Great marks and running from Joe and Hamish got us forward and gave Xavier an opportunity….great crumbing and repeated efforts saw Xavier have a snap under pressure, unlucky to get a behind.
3QTR time Banyule 8:3:51 Bullants 2:8:20. The scoreboard a poor indication of the evenness of the two sides. Could we take advantage of the scoring end in the last?
With instructions to take the game on, run and leave nothing in the tank. Our boys hit the 4th qtr. with their usual “Never say die” attitude.Hamish, Dom and Tom worked well to get first use and drove us forward. Following up down the ground we locked it in our right pocket and forced a ball-up. Hamish roved his own tap and snapped….the wind taking his kick to the right for yet another minor. Wind was also a factor for the Banyule full back who in trying to kick out short and wide, saw his kick swept backwards for another behind to us!
Time and again we battled through the tough Banyule defence fighting for every possession. A great intercept mark from Tom was followed up with a pinpoint pass to Tamer in the square who made no mistake in bagging his second goal! Great defensive pressure, none better than Willo taking on his bigger opponents with 3rd and 4th tackles, kept the ball in our forward 50…to no avail. Despite holding Banyule scoreless again and having more scoring opportunities we would not sing the song today.
Final scores. Banyule 8:3:51 to Bullants 3:10:28
Both teams were praised by the coaches for a hard fought skilful game, the two sides very evenly matched but for Banyule reading the wind and the ground better. On any other day we would see a much closer contest reflected on the scoreboard.Our Bullants left their all on the ground. Another great team performance, everyone playing their role and giving 100%.As proud of their efforts and fighting spirit as any other game this year!Heads up Bullants. Be proud of yourselves and the team you’ve become!
Special thanks to Carlo Venuto for donning the Assistant coach bib this week and for all of our supportive parents who braved the cold and helped out as always.
|Preston Bullants||Park Orchards|
It was a crisp but clear winter's morning as we took on 5th placed Park Orchards at PCO. The boys were optimistic about the match ahead, eager to get back on the winners list after last week's draw. It was a milestone game, with Ayden playing his 50th game for the club. Congratulations Ayden on this wonderful achievement at such a young age!
As Pat was busy basking in premiership glory from yesteryear, Jodi took over the reigns as coach, with Ray stepping up as assistant coach. Thanks Ray! Despite the change in coaching staff, the main message to the boys was the same - harder, stronger, for longer. As co-captains for the day, Ayden and Keelan led the boys onto the ground in blustery conditions and, unfortunately, lost the toss. After hoping to kick with the wind in the first quarter, the boys were a bit deflated in having to kick against it. As expected, the ball spent a majority of time in our backline. In general, the boys defended well given the amount of play in our backline, and were ably assisted by the midfield who worked hard to get back and defend. However, a couple of times the boys did leave their opponents to chase the ball, which left their opponents open and a couple of goals occurred as a result. At quarter time the score was 0-0-00 to 3-0-18.
In the second quarter, the boys managed to halve the margin thanks to a consistent team effort. Thomas C was running hard both ways on the wing, with the midfield performing well in setting up multiple entries into the forward line. It was also great to see our new recruit Max B come on the field and providing another option in the forward line. Well done Max! At half time the message was to keep persevering and ensure we play tight and man up. Once again, our backline withstood a lot of pressure from the opposition with the ball spending most of the time in their forward line due to the wind. Lucas was excellent as an extra man in defence, repelling a number of forward entries, while Michael B followed instructions to wear his opponent "like a glove". At 3/4 time the score was 1-3-18 to 5-0-30.
After a stirring speech by "The Reverend" Jodi about self belief, the boys were primed and ready. A couple of positional changes were also made, where Jaxsyn was brought onto the wing, Sammy to centre half forward to give us run, and Lucas to half forward flank for his goal sense. Despite having all of the play, the score remained unchanged after 7 or so minutes. To the boys' credit, however, they lived up to the team motto: harder, stronger, for longer. In the space of 5 or so minutes the boys scored six times, kicking 3-3 to 0-0. This was due to great pressure from everyone to keep the ball in the forward line - Jaxsyn found space to repeatedly kick the ball into our forward line, while Perry and Rylan (amongst others) tackled hard to ensure it didn't leave. With our last goal with 30 seconds remaining, the scores were level! And that's how it remained, with the boys recording their second draw in consecutive weeks. While some boys were disappointed, the boys left the ground to great applause from proud family members as their effort was exceptional.
Well done boys on a wonderful team effort and maintaining that self belief!
Preston Bullants responded well after the disappointing loss to Ivanhoe in the previous round, with a thrilling one-point win over Richmond at Kevin Bartlett Complex, in what was a thoroughly entertaining game between two very evenly-matched sides. Getting first crack at kicking with the wind in the first quarter, the match was predominantly played out in the Bullants’ forward half. The team pressure was high, with both Liam and Josh persistent with their attack on the ball. Rufus and Coen showed desire for the ball, effecting a few smothers to restrict Richmond’s movement, and whilst the Bullants had created a few opportunities at goal, we were unable to convert, scoring three behinds for the term. The team seemed to rush through the chances that they had created, something Coach Phil addressed at the quarter-time huddle.
Kicking into the wind when play resumed in the second, the Bullants were able to kick the first goal of the quarter, with Jack taking a great mark up forward and kicking truly. Richmond responded quickly, kicking two in succession which put them in the lead. Unlike the first quarter, Richmond were getting the ball forward with greater regularity, and Oscar was up to the task in defence, allowing the Bullants to transition the ball across the ground, sharing the ball and hitting up targets in their forward line which ultimately resulted in a smart boundary-line goal from Liam. Equally impressive was Jesse, with his continued attack at incoming kicks, despite being outnumbered by the opposition on a few occasions. As the half-time siren loomed, Richmond were awarded a 25-metre penalty after the Bullants had overstepped the mark, which all but guaranteed their third goal for the quarter, and a three-point lead heading into the main break.
At the resumption of play, the Bullants continued to attack, Seb F leading the way with his desperation and run, but were unable to add any goals in the third. In a manic bit of play, the football had flirted dangerously close with the boundary, and whilst players from both teams had stalled thinking the ball was out-of-bounds, Mahmoud reacted well to the ball still being in play and snapped opportunistically at the goal posts. Celebrations were halted, however, after a lengthy score review overturned the goal, meaning the sides were neck-and-neck before the final quarter.
With the game in the balance, the boys needed to lift in the fourth, and when Josh’s goal put the Bullants seven points in front, it inspired the team to do exactly that. The added pressure from both teams was immense, and when Richmond kicked their fourth goal of the match, reducing the margin to just one point, the result was teetering on an edge. The Bullants were trying desperately to maintain the lead, and as the seconds dwindled, Richmond attempted one last roll of the dice with a clearance kick out of defence, one that found a loose player who marked and ran towards goal, almost certain to have a shot that would at least earn them a draw, if not outright win them the game. Except that no shot on goal was taken, as Oscar laid a match-saving tackle that drew rapturous cheers from the Bullants crowd, and ensured the Bullants would come away with the win.
This was surely one of the most entertaining matches in recent memory, and a final-quarter effort that Coach Phil labelled ‘outstanding’. Makaio, who had toiled in the ruck, and not only won the majority of his hit-outs, but also provided follow-up efforts and had a huge impact on the contest, was deservedly awarded with a medal from Richmond, recognising his efforts.
|Preston Bullants||Fitzroy 1|
This match-up is fast becoming the biggest rivalry on the Under 12 Brown Girls calendar. With Victoria and Olivia knowing most of the Fitzroy girls through school this was always going to be personal. Fitzroy are on top of the ladder and had scored over 100 the previous week. Jules jumped into the coaches’ box with me to replace Emma who was playing in Cranbourne and unavailable. The wind at PCO was blowing hard and Fitzroy kicked with it in the first quarter. Our tackling pressure and ferocity at the contest was flawless and we held Fitzroy to 3 goals in the opening term. With Victoria playing the quarterback across the backline and Charlotte giving us energy in the centre bounces, we were happy with the start.
In the second quarter it was our turn with the mighty wind. Jules estimated it to be worth 4 or 5 goals. Our girls again tried hard but found it difficult to move the ball into our forward zone. Fitzroy on the other hand moved the ball cleverly into the wind and scored 2 majors. Zoe had been shifted up the ground as she continued to show promise in just her third official game. Erin, Ella, Ayva and Lilly all showed great determination at the contest. Caitlin again showed why she is one of the toughest players in the side with several tackles and hard ball gets. Even with the wind we found it difficult to score. By half time Fitzroy had 5 goals on the board to our none.
We decided to share the ruck duty between Erin and Olivia in the third quarter to give Charlotte a rest. Erin gave us some well needed run in the centre clearances. Marianne was down on her usual output but lifted in the third, bringing Sienna and Ayva into the game. The tackling and pressure in the third quarter was the best I had seen by any team I have ever coached. It was relentless and stopped Fitzroy in their tracks. Olivia was responsible for three tackles all resulting in free kicks to the Bullants. We managed to hold Fitzroy goalless in the third quarter. This was a monumental effort seeing as they had kicked a massive score the week before. Unfortunately we could not score ourselves. As crazy as it sounded we were still in the game at the final change. We just needed to hit the scoreboard.
The final quarter saw Fitzroy put on a couple of goals early in the term to break any chance we had of a huge upset. To our girls credit they did not stop attacking the footy and continued their tackling and pressure. Fitzroy ended up kicking 3 goals into the wind to run out comprehensive winners in the end. The positives were that we held the top team to 8 goals and when our kicking improves as a group we will be able to mix it with the best sides in the competition. Special mentions go out to Libby and Freya who hit the contest like Glen Archer and Gavin Brown all day. I was proud of the girls and their efforts. We will continue to work on our disposal, especially our kicking, throughout the rest of the year. Thanks to Jules, Leanne and Bec for their support in the box.
See you all at training.
|Preston Bullants||Whitehorse Colts|
|Goal Kickers||Henry 3, Jack B, Jordan, Alex and James 1|
Round 9 saw two sides of equal skill level come up against each other for the second time this year. Both sides was both keen to post their first win in Brown division, as we had both come up from Green division.
It was pleasing to see our Bullants come out composed and ready for the task at hand. Whitehorse definitely came out with great intent for the ball and did not drop their pressure once, which saw a low scoring first quarter.
With both sides having depleted benches the game was to be decided by who could out run who. Fortunately our boys came out on top with a steady stream of goals from the second and fourth quarters. While Whitehorse gave it a good go in the third, our boys stood tall with particular mentions to Taj, Jordan, Jet and Felix whose running and intensity was tremendous.
Even though I’ve made particular mention of individuals in this game it is important to know that our whole list played a fantastic game and most importantly this game was a great preparation for our Round 10 match against Banyule.
I am looking forward to seeing how our boys come out next Sunday and hopefully build on our win against Whitehorse for the remainder of the season.
|Best players||Ross, Billy M, Patrick, Eamon, Rory, Nick, Allister|
Week after week we have been drilling into these boys - about using their voices and spreading and switching the ball. This week they did it magnificently – they carried out the game plan to perfection - apart from a little slip up in the second quarter – but they more than redeemed themselves with what I would classify was one of the best second halfs of football I have had the privileged to be involved in.
The way we moved the ball from one side of the ground to the open space of the other side and then squared the ball to the top of the goal square was brilliant - it totally reinforced that our decision to stay in Gold Division was justified (though this decision mystified a few when we were 1 win for 3 loses after 4 rounds) – and that this group of young men deserve to be in gold division.The continued development and execution of the game plan seems to be heading in the right direction.
We asked the players at training what did they learn from the game and they came back with 2 defining responses –Belief is a great thing in football – I have seen and been a part of many teams that have undeniable belief and when games get tough that belief gets you over the line - I truly believe that this team has finally found the belief not only in themselves, their teammates but also the game plan that we have been trying to instil since round one.
Well done boys on a great victory - you deserved it.
|Fitzroy 2||Preston Bullants|
|Goal Kickers||Jackson-3, Sam, Finn, Leo|
Thank you to parents who fulfilled volunteer duties.
This was our captain, Max Mills’ game. It was his 100th for the club and as captain he played a captain’s game. Playing in his customary full-back position, he led from the front, giving the team plenty of opportunities as he brushed tackles aside to clear the ball out of the backline and set up the midfield to do their thing. More on him in a minute.
The game was played at the famed Brunswick St Oval, home of VFA/VFL/AFL team, the Fitzroy Lions. The grandstand is heritage listed and I swear you can hear the legends call on the wind blowing with a two goal breeze to the Eastern end. Fitzroy’s legends include Hayden Bunton Snr, Kevin Murray, Bernie Quinlan and yes Paul Roos. One of Fitzroy’s legends, John Murphy, an AFL Hall of Famer and named Centre in the Fitzroy Team of the Century, is the father of Carlton captain, Marc Murphy. I’m not sure that the boys fighting it out for the four points quite understood the prestige of this place but their footy loving parents did.
The first quarter was an arm wrestle. Both teams tried to play to higher skills, it was very much a handpassing game as links were attempted to open up the game but things kept breaking down in the midfield. Brodie was playing his usual hard at the ball game, Ben D did a ripper Gibbo-like punch to send the contested ball out of bounds and Antho was getting to the ball first but our game didn’t materialise. Fitzroy scored the first goal from a tight angle and that lifted their spirits. They seemed to have loose men ready to strike.
At half time our coach Ange was not happy with the team effort, or lack thereof. The Bullants had won the second but we hadn’t done enough. Too few were carrying the team. Rhett was dynamic in the midfield. His height and poise giving him advantage that he used effectively. Sam gave us our first goal after we moved the ball cleanly deep into the forward half. Arturo was doing some good work, as was Jordan and Leo in defense. But Fitzroy made better use of its outside runners, which gave them space and chances to control the game. If but for Max’s game (what a run out of the backline!) and a run-down tackle by Chilli, we could have been staring down the barrel at a bigger margin than 5 points when the half time siren sounded.
Ange was frustrated with his team’s performance, clearly. He demanded improvement in second and third efforts at and around the ball. He said defend and run like you can’t be stopped. He wanted to see what he knew the team had – smart, running footy.
The team did lift, not in the first minute and not without the efforts of one player that raised the stakes for his team-mates. Jackson stepped up and took the game by the scruff of its neck in the third. He was everywhere. Marking cleanly, running, providing a goal assist. We kicked three goals to Fitzroy’s one point. Against the wind. Two goals came from Jackson’s boot. Both just inside 50m from strong marks, from great passes, first from Antho, then Chilli. The third from a ripper, straight as a dye kick by Finn marking 30 out on a 45 degree angle.
With straighter kicking in the last we would have made Fitzroy suffer. We kicked 2.7. Leo kicked one early and then Fitzroy tried to take on the Bullants. Their intensity lifted but we controlled the game. The ball stayed in our forward half. We just couldn’t split the middle. We were suffering the “kick points not goals” disease. Then Jackson came back on, made his way into a forward pocket congestion, grabbed the ball, snapped across his body and gave us our sixth goal.
It was a good win. It reinforced our standing in this division and it reminded us that to win we can’t rely on our six or eight best players. We all have to lift, to take the game on. We have 24 players and each one of them has skills that will, combined with his team-mates, win us games. Again, congratulations Max on 100 games wearing the Red and White.
Last Sunday saw the girls win their second match in a row, and considering the position of their opponent Fitzroy on the ladder, their best result for the year. Whilst the supporters were quietly confident that if the girls brought the same determination, courage and skill to this week’s game as they did their last, that they would be very competitive, never did we think they would win by nearly ten goals. But that is exactly what the girls did.
Again this week they all showed that they are quick learners of what can be a challenging game for beginners. Their ability to team together and look for a fellow Bullant when they had the ball, support a teammate in a contested situation and take the game on with increasing confidence, surprised their opponent who were expecting a far less committed and talented team.
One highlight this week which was a real feature of their play was the girls' improved marking. This is a natural result of improved kicking between teammates, but we also saw girls taking contested pack marks against their Fitzroy opponents. The other highlight was the girls' smothering of opposition kicks, which was an indication of their tenacity at the contest.
The girls' fitness is improving each week (thanks Sofie for the fitness component you have introduced at training) and it is noticeable these past two weeks in particular, that the girls are running out games better than their opponents.
Finally, a big thank you again to our two team managers Danette and Sofie (of who I have heard whispers that an AFL position could be looming) and all the parents who offered their services on Sunday and completed roles that allowed the girls to play.
Round 9 saw the Colts 1 at headquarters in a return clash with Warrandyte. Tom Hallebone finally got a call up to play his first game with the Knights so the ruck duties were left to Sammy Piacente, who rucked all day and acquitted himself brilliantly. After us leading for most of the day, Warrandyte hit the front with minutes to play. As in keeping with last week's AFL games, the result occurred in the dying minutes of the game, with our brave and valiant captain crumbing a forward ball off the pack and slotting through the winner. Patrick Taylor was instrumental with four goals and Matt Maiolo played his best game for the year. Liam WM and EJ Gonis were rock solid all day and Tyson Lowe, Thomas Boddy and Jimmy Manias continued their excellent season with great games. Well done boys, eyes set firmly on Macleod this week at Zwar. Go Ants!
|Parkside W||Preston Bullants|
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