Bullant Banter Grand Final 2016

Preston Bullants Kew Comets
6.3-39 6.7-43
Goals 3 Ethan, 2 Josh, 1 Zach D
Best Players Alister, Terence, Ethan, Billy M and Eamon.
Injuries Nathan (foot – right to go by pre-season), Frank (heel – right to go by pre-season)

The Kew Comets have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to win the 2016 Under 13’s Brown Division Grand final with the final kick of the day virtually on the siren to put them in front for the first time all day.

The critics said the Bullants would never make it in Brown Division, but the Bullants famous pressure was matched by admirable poise in a wrenching final term, but that wasn’t enough as the Kew Comets took out the premiership by 4 points.

The grand final surprised no one with its intensity – it was a game of bursts and swings of momentum, with first one, then the other team looking down and out, before the Kew Comets won 6.7 (43) to 6.3 (39) with the final kick of the day.

After the game, Bullants captain Zac V was gracious in defeat.

“Congratulations to Kew Comets, you were clearly the best side all year and we respect the way you go about it, but to know that we had this in our hands and to let it slip is a tough pill to swallow”

“To my team mates throughout the year I could not have be more proud of the way you conducted yourselves throughout this finals campaign. With the group we’ve got I know we’ll be back next year.”

Bullants’ coach Dom Vaiano, who won the flag in 2015 praised Kew Comets and his counterpart.

“You’re a fantastic club are we really admire the way you go about it. We’ve had some very one sided battles this year so we had to take it up to you – I’m sure there’s more to come,” he said.

“Thank you to our family and friends for their unwavering support, we saw that much red and white in the crowd we knew we would have big support today. Lastly I’d like to thank the entire under 13’s footy team …lead by Zac, Billy, Ethan, Alex, Patrick and Terence…never say die attitude, we didn’t get the flag this year and for that I’m sorry that I didn’t do more, but you’ll be back bigger and stronger next year.”

By the usual metrics, Kew should not have won the game – The Comets were beaten at the contested possessions and forward entries.

The missing piece of this puzzle was Kew Comets run and marking, which kept the Bullants much talented group at bay – just – to get over the line.

The Bullants had appeared unstoppable, with a goal to Josh in the final term which saw the Bullants extend their three quarter time lead and threatening to break the game wide open.

Kew Comets has regrouped, however, with the last three goals of the game to regain the momentum.

The Bullants needed to stop the flow, and they looked likely to do so, delivering the ball quickly inside 50 to a contest.

Standing in their way was a determined Kew Comets back line, who turned defence into attack.

With just 30 seconds left on the clock the Comets managed to drive the ball inside their forward 50 and as the ball rolled towards the boundary line for what looked to be a certain throw in by the boundary umpire, the Shane Warne gods smiled down on Stradbroke Park as the “ball of the century” permeated itself into the match day footy with the best leg break you’d ever see. A Kew Comets player then seized on the ball with a quick kick around the body to a free man 20m out from goal who snapped truly with just 15 seconds left on the clock. The rest they say is history.

Medical Room

Nathan went off in the 2nd quarter landing on his leg. The medial team tried everything to get him back for the 2nd half but was ruled out midway through the 3rd quarter and took no further part in the game. Nathan is expected to make a full recovery by Sundays Pizza night at PCO.

Frank also went off in the 2nd with a badly bruised heel. He sat out most of the 3rd term but returned in the final quarter.

Team Preston Bullants
 15.11.101  6.8.44

Beverley Hills Preston Bullants
 8.13.61  7.6.48

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Bullant Banter Preliminary Final 2016

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Good luck to our U13’s, 15’s and Colts 1 for this weekend’s Grand Finals action. Go Bullants!

Whitlam Malkoun
Preston Bullants JFC

Whitehorse Colts Preston Bullants
3.4.22 4.5.29

Bullant Banter 2016

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Bullant Banter Semi Finals 2016

Whitlam Wag Malkoun landscapeWeek one of finals complete that sees both our Colts 1 and Under 15 teams advance straight through to a Grand Final showdown with a week off! A massive congratulations to both teams, their coaching panel and families on all fronts. Enjoy the week off!

Our U14’s showed great resistance right through all 4 quarters of their elimination final falling short by only a couple of goals. Well done to Ang, Karen and the team on a fantastic year that had challenges from all angles of which each and every one of them was overcome and faced with true Bullant spirit. A very solid result based on sheer hard work and determination.

While the U13’s team had a huge result in knocking off Heidelberg Y in their elimination final by just 2 points! A team that the Bullants had lost to in round 6 by 22 points and then again in round 13 by 20 points!. In fact in the last match against them the Bullants scored just 1.3.9 to 4.5.29. So to come out in an elimination final and win 4.6.30 to 3.10.28 is a true testament to the hard work and solid training implemented by the coaching panel in Dom and George who brought the focus back to the most important aspect of junior football all week long….simply go out there and have fun.

So with 2 teams resting, and one team playing off for a shot at the Grand Final, we would again love to see as many supporters in their “Bullant Red: gear down at Doncaster’s ground in Schramms Reserve this Sunday being August 21 for a 10.15AM start. The more the merrier! Details on the ground here: map

A short report this week with plenty happening on the field. Looking forward to another great weekend of local junior YJFL action followed by a big Sunday next week for Grand Final day of which we will advise of all match times and grounds as soon as the details come to hand.

Good luck to Dom, George and the U13’s go the Might Preston Bullants!

Whitlam Malkoun
Preston Bullants JFC

Preston Bullants Heidelberg Y
4.6.30 3.10.28
Goals 2 Ethan, 1 Panta, Jamie.
Best Players Charlie, Nick, Mr B, Frank, Ben, Patrick
Injuries Rodda Leg (test)

The Bullants have progressed to a preliminary final against the Whitehorse Colts with a narrow victory over Heidelberg in arguably their best game of the season on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning at Templestowe reserve.

The Bullants fans let out a huge roar at the final siren as their team defeated Heidelberg, 4.6 (30) to 3.10 (28).

The Bullants lead by sixteen points at the final change to hold off a fast finishing opposition.

Although Heidelberg managed 2.2 to zero in the final quarter, the Bullants held firm in defence and sealed the game with 45 seconds left on the clock after Heidelberg gave away an undisciplined 25m penalty on centre wing to all by ice the game.

Talking Points

Bullants coach Dom Vaiano was thrilled with his side's composure when it was required.

"For the players and for our fans, it's a big day. It's very exciting," he said.

"Today we did enough to hold off a fast finishing Heidelberg who we have great respect for. It was a great reward for the players. We're miles ahead of where we started from at the beginning of the season, and we’re doing enough to win games.

“In terms of my message, it has not altered since we started this campaign. What we're trying to do is communicate that message to each other. They did it with a lot of maturity throughout the game."

“I thought we worked hard all day as a team, which is what we spoke about before the game.”

Medical Room

Rodda again came off in the second quarter with a badly bruised leg and sat out remainder of the game. “The club will not be taking any chances with the key ruckman,” said Assistant Coach George. Rodda is booked to have scans on the troublesome leg on Monday to try and identify and cause of the issue.

Next Up

The Bullants meet Whitehorse in the preliminary final on Sunday with the winner booking a place in the GF again Kew Comets.

Banyule Preston Bullants
12.10.82 10.10.70

Thank you to all parents who helped out all through the year.

This is the last Match Report of the U14s 2016 season. And what a year it has been. The year started with the team struggling to make 18 players and finished with a healthy list of 23 (or 26 if you count our U12s and U13s ring-ins!). The team started its training at Hardiman Reserve somewhere in Bundoora, then made its way to Cotchin Reserve somewhere deep in Reservoir before finally settling back in at its home ground, Zwar.

The season started with our team inappropriately graded as a Brown division team, suffering some soul jarring losses before being more appropriately graded in Blue division. Our lads went from a 0-5 start to 2016 before righting the ship and finishing the second half of the footy calendar with an 8-2 win/loss scorecard (including beating ladder leaders Warrandyte by 40 points).

A huge thank you and credit goes to Ange the coach, his trusty assistant Aiden, his ever reliable runners, Rob and Matt and the always organised Karen and her able assistant, Jo. There are other parent supporters of course (our team is brimming with parents that volunteer) but this was the core team.

And the credit goes to the players that make up the wonderful U14 team. They can stand tall with their efforts this year. From the new players, Rhett, Anthony, Ben M, Suhail and James, who all brought something essential to this team, to the players who have played together for years (and in some instances, six years).

Leo wasn’t available for the Semi Final but he was certainly part of the squad. Chilli, probably shouldn’t have played but he played his guts out. I’m sure I’m not alone in admiring (and being a little bit intimidated by) his ferocious primordial scream to throw the opposition. It became an element of our playing style. Matty M had a tough year but he persevered because he aint no quitter. At his best, which we saw plenty of, he’s a core player.

This year saw great improvement in a range of players. Finn first caught my eye against Beverley Hills in Rd 9 with his tackling and determination. And he kept on getting better. Jakeb secured his spot as a midfielder/wing with his run and commitment to be first to the contest. James M must have eaten concrete during his mid-year break. By the Brunswick game he was a lock-in as your forward pocket goal sneak (think Hawks Puopolo).

Jackson has shown signs of his ability but playing Warrandyte he stepped up. A Wing/forward flank who could open up the forward half with his run as good as the best. Suhail was a wildcard. He had never played competition Aussie Rules before. As the year went on he was a definitive part of the Bullant bullet-proof defence.

Our man in the forward line, Charbel, found his groove and when he got the chance he took it. He kicked goals, created opportunities and was goal assist on more than one occasion. Each week you could see Perry understand the game’s rhythms a little bit better until he started to control the beat. His ball skills grew and his confidence grew and he kept on getting better. And what about Jack K. He got taller and faster and harder and he did not stop. Played his best game just last week. He’s your classic wing. Finally, Teddy! Commitment and character. Roaming deep in the forward line, ready to take the mark or assist. One of the guys.

The Bullants first twelve is an imposing group. Jesse and Anthony played as if they were ten feet tall. They would fight until the dying of the light to get the ball, to get the Bullants running forward, to get that next score on the board. Max and Maivia, solid as quartz. They don’t know how not to defend. Both slick and clean with their ball skills and strong marks. I lost count how many times they stopped opponents in their tracks.

Leo and Chilli are as chalk and cheese when it comes to front half players. But they know how to read the play and given room will do damage. In Leo’s case, the tighter the room the better, the less time the better – he will score. In Chilli’s case, let him lead and he will deliver. Two new players, Ben M and Rhett became part of our spine. They both played equally well in the front and back half. Creative and conservative in equal measure. Two of last year’s rising stars are Ben D and Daniel. This year they solidified their positions. Ben D as the CHB and Daniel with his catch me if you can daring runs through the centre. Very different styles but both essential cogs to create a team that uses teamwork and structures to win.

Finally, Alex and Darc. Leaders. By example. In the last game of the Home and Away season Alex, crook as a dog, played one of the best games of the year. The next week Darc, struggling with a most painful back muscle injury did the same. They are great players and by their actions they show others what can be done. They are great people, and by their actions they showed their team-mates what you can be.

Congratulations to the U14s Bullants. Not so much for making the finals. That’s a good achievement for sure but what you have done is about something much more. So congratulations for working as a team. For your hard work. For your discipline. For rising to the challenge. For striving. These things are important in building your character and building community. So, congratulations, you did well. See you next year, wearing the red and white with the imposing Bullant on the front, ready to take on all comers in U15s!

Preston Bullants Parkside
10.14.74 7.2.44

See you at the Grand Final

Go Bullants!

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Whitehorse Colts M Preston Bullants
7.4.46 14.11.95
Best Players  

See you at the Grand Final

Go Bullants!

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Bullant Banter Round 15 2016

Whitlam Wag Malkoun landscapeAnd that was the home and away season for 2016 done and dusted! WOW! How fast did that go you ask? We all feel the same way about it and the good news coming out of season 2016 is that we have 4 of our Bullants teams making finals appearances with a shot at finals glory.

Starting with our U13’s who are up against Heidelberg Y starting at 10.15AM at Templestowe Reserve, followed by the U14’s against Banyule at Doncaster Reserve for a 2.45PM start, then the U15’s against Parkside at Stradbroke Park at 2.45PM and finally our Colts 1 boys who come up against the Whitehorse Colts also at 2.45PM over at Koonung Reserve in Bulleen. A bevy of great footy matches to which we would encourage as many of our players and their families and friends to don on the Might Bullant Red gear you have and come and cheer and support as many games as you can.

Here is a link highlighting all matches for you to follow straight off our website.

Speaking of a great finish to the season, how good was the turnout to the annual end of season Bullants Pizza night which had record numbers in attendance filling the PCO Grandstand Function Room? In fact so good, that we smashed the previous record of 90 pizzas with a new record of 101!! Delivered by 4 different pizza restaurants in the area over 30 minute gaps, we chewed and chomped our way through 31+20+20+30 to set an all time high of 101!

Pizza night 01
Pizza night 02

We also got the opportunity to hear from all our wonderful coaches and assistants about how the year went, the challenges that each and every group faced throughout and the way forward through triumph and sheer hard work which is a great reflection on all our volunteers at the club and the support from the family groups. Makes me very proud to be involved in this wonderful club and solid community.

As promised here is the shot from the stage I took as we commenced the interviews of which there would have been a similar amount of others outside the function room at the time! Huge!

Pizza night 03

Good luck to our U13’s, 14’s, 15’s and Colts 1 for this weekend’s finals action. Go Bullants!

Whitlam Malkoun
Preston Bullants JFC

The tackers had a big day on Sunday, with their final game, a parents v kids match and a pizza night! It was great to finish our season on a sunny Sunday down at Preston City Oval. Captain Rocky led us out and the team farewelled the little guy as he and his family prepare to move to Brisbane. Good luck to the O’Dwyers! You’ll be missed. The Whites came up against Heidelberg who have been the form side of the year. Heidelberg got off to a good start to and the Tackers were on the back foot. The late withdrawal of Jerry in the ruck meant we were a little short in there and Heidelberg took full advantage. The quarter time address was to toughen up and run harder and the kids responded. The team finally started taking it wide and using their much improved footskills to hit close targets. A chain of passes from Dom to Eden and Thomas A got to Sonny who narrowly missed our best chance at goal.

Not deterred the Whites pressed on in the second half, but they had to be reminded that running hard is part of the game. Credit has to be given to Dom, Joe and Isaac who fought really hard in the backline and kept the scoring in check. Well done guys.

Despite the loss the team got together and proudly sang the song to celebrate a fantastic year. It’s been a privilege to be a part of this great team and to watch the kids grow a little more into the terrific people and footballers they promise to become.

The parents v kids game was great fun, and once the dads had exhausted themselves reliving their glory years the kids got on top and won a well deserved victory.

See you in 2017 Tackers!

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Our last game for the season came with a lovely, late (10:00am) start at Preston’s Heartland PCO. The sun was shining and there was a buzz around the ground. During the warm up, I think it was Jake who said “I’ve got a good feeling about today….” I did too.

We welcomed a few eager kids from Auskick into the rooms and rather than the usual cries of “can I be captain! Can I be captain?” our wonderful kids voted to make the Auskickers honorary captains for the day!

The pre match address was simple. “Show us everything you’ve learnt over the season. Show us your best & give 100% for the whole game. Show your parents and supporters why you love playing footy for the Bullants. Show the Auskick kids how good it can be to sing the song at the end!” With a mighty cry of “Go Bullants” we took to the field….a full 15minutes early…so used to 8:45 starts…it took the coach a few minutes to work out why the umpire & opposition weren’t out on the ground!!!

Finally after an extended warm-up and another huddle, our opponents, St Mary’s W, took to the field & we were away.

Positions were again “Coaches choice” however such is the strength of our side I don't think it makes that much difference where our kids play. None the less, the midfield was heavily stacked with runners, with Callum, Tom, Marcus and Sam all in the middle for the first time together. Ava took first quarter Ruck duties with instructions to hit out long to the runners. Without getting out of second gear the ball was constantly driven forward out of the middle with quick ball movement and accurate passing. Up forward, Ned, Darcy and Cameron all lead and marked strongly, peppering the goals. Cameron being rewarded with 1 goal, 1 behind, Darcy a goal and Ned (out of character) pushing his shot wide for a behind. Ava was winning the ball well in the ruck and giving us first use, she was also working hard off the ball & marking well. On the rare occasion that St Mary’s broke through they were met with Xavier’s big tackles and the cool under pressure, Thomas G’s strong marks & booming kick-outs.

Quarter time & we’d barely raised a sweat. The Mids were told to give each other some space & keep running. Andre and Jack could barely contain themselves when told to go forward and kick some goals, while big Mr T (Tamer) was given ruck duties with the request for some of his big punches.

St Mary’s came out hard in the second and it was an arm wrestle for much of the quarter. In the battle of the midfield, Sam stuck some great tackles, Marcus & Tom marked strongly while Callum had a lovely burst out of a pack & kicked long into the forward line. Jack H took a lovely mark and made the most of his opportunity with a great goal while at the other end, St Mary’s got a lucky break and snuck a goal past the strong marking Ziggy, Jake & Thomas.

At half time everyone was asked to go up a gear and make this a game to remember….they went up several gears! A quick burst out of the middle saw Ava mark strongly in front of goals, doubting herself re the distance she made a brave decision to play on & couldn’t quite pull it off but it was great to see her try something different! St Mary’s replied with a very quick passage of play that caught us napping, going coast to coast with clean possessions and nailing their second goal. That’s when the Bullants decided enough was enough. Tamer started hitting the ball 5 meters out in front of the running midfielders who delivered to the forward line with speed and precision. Big Willo and Jack marked everything in sight and delivered lace out to Andre. In the space of 3 minutes Andre had bagged 3 goals with strong marking & exceptional reading of the play. Once in our forward line, strong running & tackles from Jack & Daniel ensured it stayed there! Ned had another shot that again drifted wide for a behind but the mercurial Andre bobbed up again with a lovely snap over his shoulder to rack up his 4th! A rare foray forward by St Mary’s was decisively repelled by Ziggy who marked everything that came near him and another attempt was marked by Thomas G who took them on, running the length of the zone before booting it long.

The kids scoffed their snakes at ¾ time & were itching to get back on the ground to continue the rout. Mr T continued to pound the ball forward out of the ruck while Callum, Marcus, Sam continued to “have the ball on a string”, well supported by the defensive work of Zach & Caitlin. It wasn’t long before our forward pressure got the ball to Andre who snapped his 5th from the boundary. St Mary’s didn’t let up though and the ball spent plenty of time in our backline. Ziggy, Caitlin and Thomas ensured there were no easy possessions for St Mary’s as they chased, harassed and tackled desperately. Strong marking was also a feature across half back with Ziggy and Caitlin taking some rippers. Tamer had to come off with a jarred finger with Tom back on to assist in the middle. At the next ball-up….there was clearly someone missing as for the first time St Mary’s ruckman went up uncontested….all part of the plan it seemed as the ball was swooped on by the running mid’s and driven forward to the ever hungry Andre who calmly bagged his 6th goal for the game. St Mary’s tried to respond but again the defensive pressure from Xavier, Cameron, and Thomas limited them to a couple of behinds. The siren sounded to end a fantastic game & season. Every player had made significant contributions and played 4 quarters of their best footy and as we’ve said all season, when we do that we are unstoppable!

Arm in arm we walked off the field, honorary Auskick captains in hand and belted out our magnificent song for all to hear before heading into the rooms in a tight circle to sing it again.

I am so proud to have been given the honor of coaching this fantastic bunch of kids. They are a credit to their parents and to the club. They have made me laugh and cry (in a good way) over the season and taught me a lot. I’m also privileged to have the support of Chris & Cheryl O’Neill (Best Team Managers in the business), Rob Auger who’s help as Assistant Coach provided me with a calming & considered influence, Paul Wilson who was always around to ensure kids safety and help with warm-ups pre game, Simon Reid (best footy brain around) for his help at training & sage assessment of our performance’s. A very special thank you to all of our supportive parents who chip in on game day with the various duties to make sure it all happens and for your personal support and friendship over the season.

Love this club and these kids!

The kids voted last week to commence Pre-season training immediately… .Not a bad idea….

Best of luck to all those teams with a crack at the finals!

Go Bullants!


End of season Lightning Premiership @ Ford Park: Game 1 v Ivanhoe - With our 2 best players Samuel & Will both holidaying abroad, this 1st game was predictably played in Ivanhoe's Fwd line however our leading Goal-kicker this season Lucas again displayed his versatility intercepting expertly in Defence with several well judged marks limiting the opposition to just 3-2-20 to Bullants 0-0-0.

Game 2 v Park Orchards - A much more even contest in game 2 enthralled our loyal parents/fans who'd set-up camp in Fwd pocket cheering proudly. This seemed to inspire the kids as they repeatedly transitioned the ball from defence to attack with slick precise ball movement. Lucas again was in everything this time up Fwd kicking 1-1 then setting up Pat with a long bomb to Goal-square where Pat managed to clasp a brilliant pack mark which he duly converted. A classy banana goal from Thomas C in front of our cheer squad got them out of their seats but next one from Michael sent them into a frenzy! This wonderful team goal started from Anthony in Defence who kicked out wide to Ayden who passed to Pat on the wing who passed to Lucas at Half fwd who took a bounce then kicked into open Fwd line where Michael out-sprinted his opponent to kick his 1st goal for season! This put us in front 4-1 to 4-0 but 3 late behinds to Park Orchards saw us cruelly robbed again thus another tight defeat.

3rd game v Greythorn - Although we were never in this contest, special efforts by Rylan who had an awful tummy bug yet played through the pain and kicked a very classy goal + tireless Rovers Asher & Anthony who were at bottom of every pack in all 3 matches. Asher's clever pack mark & goal just seconds before final siren a fitting way to close out the season for this little future champion! Final scores: Greythorn 5-6-36 to Bullants 2-0-12

Thanks to the Parents that have help every week through out the season, Dom, Klaus, Darryl, Jodi, Kelly, Marie, Linda, Robert, Simon, Rodney, Dean, Carl. To the Coaches Ray & Craig.

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Preston Bullants Ashburton
2.2.14 8.1.49
Goal Kickers Phoenix 1 & Liam 1
Best Players Adrian, Harry, Liam, Phoenix, Joel, Makaio, Nathan

The Bullants this week where back at PCO for the last game of the season to take on Ashburton. PCO was in great condition and the boys were all fired up ready to go and especially as we had the full squad of 28 playing this game which meant 9 on the bench and plenty of rotations…

The sun was shining and it was a sensational morning to play football on PCO. Our Captains for the day were Alister & Liam and the boys were ready to play their hearts out to try for one last win for the season. Ashburton won the toss and decided to kick to the city end of the ground or the right of screen.

The opening ¼ began and it was a very even tussle with Ashburton kicking the opening goal with some very good outside attack, The Bullants responded pretty much straight away with some very long kicking from the defensive end which allowed our forwards to run onto the ball and deliver into our forward line. With this ball movement we caught Ashburton on the hop and with a very clever dodge and weave Phoenix found himself in the clear and snapped truly to bring the scores back level. From this Ashburton had the best of the ¼ with some very good play and managed to kick a further 2 goals one point for the ¼ to lead 19-6 at the break. The boys come into the huddle and Fab, John & George instructed the boys to keep running and linking up which has been a feature of our play all year, Coach Phil was very happy with this ¼ and kept encouraging the boys to talk and look for the long option up field

The 2nd ¼ began and as much as we tried to defend Ashburton’s big boys took control of the game our ruck division of Makaio, Declan & Noah where doing a mighty job trying to stop there guys which looked as though they had about 12 6 footers on their team………. But this ¼ belonged to Ashburton as they scored 3 goals and kept us scoreless to lead 31-6 at the half. Harry, Adrian & Lachie were excellent in this ¼ taking plenty of marks and repelling a lot of attacks that were coming down our end. The boys had a good rest at half time and Coach Phil kept encouraging them to use there run & carry and they would be rewarded.

The 3rd ¼ began and the boys were out to win the ¼, with this the mighty Bullants played an excellent ¼ were as we held Ashburton scorless and we managed to kick 1 goal 2 points ourselves. Deon & Callum were getting plenty of the ball and through an Adrian left foot bomb he found Liam unmarked in the forward line and he kicked a great goal a great team reward for a great ¼ of footy and at ¾ time Ashburton lead 31-14. Coach Phil, Fab, John & George spoke to the boys for the last time for the season and asked the boys to enjoy the last ¼ and try their best as we were going to try and play all the boys in different positions.

The last ¼ began and for the first half of this ¼ it was a tight struggle with both teams trying to attack and both defences holding up very strong. At this point Coach Phil made about 30 moves on and off the bench and changed the team all around, This did unsettle the boys a bit but it was a great learning experience for them, Ashburton did kick 3 goals in the final 5 minutes of the game but this was secondary to the fact that the Mighty Bullant boys did not stop trying and gave there all for the entire game. It was great to see Jesse, Deon, Anthony and Tyler be our on ball brigade for this ¼ and they were amazing. The final siren sounded and Ashburton had won 49-14 but the boys can keep their heads held high as they played 15 amazing rounds of football and improved each week.

The boys shook the opposition’s hand after the game and the opposition coach praised both teams for the way that the game was played. Coach Phil was also impressed how The mighty Bullants never gave up and fought hard all day.

Again a huge thank you to all the parents for all your help with everything, we do really appreciate it and all the support and encouragement that the boys receive from you is second to none. Also a special mention to Ben Hanisch, John, Fab, Cam & George your help and guidance for this season has been amazing as coaches and I could not of done this without you. To the number 1 team manager in the YJFL David O’Brien just an amazing person and the job you have done for this team is incredible and we cannot thank you enough for all your time and effort this season.

I hope to see you all on Presentation day on the 9th of October so we can celebrate the season that was and finally a HUGE THANK YOU to the following people as without you great bunch this would not be possible at all and I hope you are as proud of your efforts this year as I am:

This is the Mighty Bullants U’11 team for 2016:

Adrian, Allister, Anthony, Ben, Brody, Callum, Coen, Declan, Dion, Harry, Jack, Jacob, Jesse, Joel, Josh, Julian, Lachie, Liam, Makaio, Michael, Nathan, Noah, Oscar H, Oscar K, Phoenix, Remy, Seb F, Seb R & Tyler

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Preston Bullants Ivanhoe W
6.6.42 3.2.20
Goal Kickers 2 J.Zonta , 1 L.Camilleri , 1 T.Hallebone , 1 H.Stratford-Browne , 1 S.Tatsiokas

Our boys played the final game for the season at PCO against Ivanhoe. With both sides ineligible for finals, both had a goal of finishing with a win. The Bullants arrived very excited but relaxed and ready to get back to basics and have fun.

With the first quarter underway, our Bullants came out strong winning most of the ball-ups, with Steven and Nicholas sharing the role. The midfield communicated well with one another and got their set-ups right every time – there was little room for Ivanhoe to move. We saw Marcus move the ball into our forward line by hitting his target with James, who then kicked our first goal. Xavier got his body over the ball well and applied great pressure on Ivanhoe, while Serge showed fantastic improvement in his running, which was great to see after breaking down in the last quarter of round fourteen. Our second goal was achieved through great teamwork and communication – from Steven to Yianni, to Oliver, to Samuel and then to James for the goal.

The boys huddled at quarter time and straight away shared their thoughts on opposition players and what Ivanhoe was trying to do to break our control over the game - that showed fantastic leadership. Heading into the second quarter we asked the boys to maintain their level of intensity shown in the first.

Earlier in the week I’d been asked by Toby if he could have a crack at Ruck, so off he went leading the charge and he won his first ball up. Our boys got good numbers to the ball, as well as awesome running and pressure by Ty with his brilliant tackling, alongside Alex, Lachlan H and Kristian and Luca showed great courage in all aspects of his game. A real highlight was Phoenix’s run to smother the ball, he showed great composure as well as footy smarts in the decision making. Ivanhoe came out stronger this quarter however and things turned into a tug of war in both forward lines. Ivanhoe levelled the score at half time. Our biggest lesson this quarter was to take our time with the ball and look for our targets.

Entering the third quarter Lachlan H tackled strong and was all over the ball. Toby’s ability to pick up the ball on the run was tremendous, which saw him kick a well-earned goal. Our backline held up well with Jack B and Jack M running hard and Felix was the pressure machine eliminating the opposition’s passages of plays in the midfield. Lachlan M found movement in his legs after a10-week absence due to a broken knee, and with Steven’s goal in the last minute, the Bullants finished the quarter 8 points ahead and our confidence was high.

With the fourth and final quarter underway for the season the Bullants started quickly with a great clearance from Steven to Marcus, who then pushed the ball into our forward line. With the ball finding Henry’s hands he set up and kicked a goal to extend our lead to 14 points. Ivanhoe constantly tried to move the ball quickly but to our boys’ credit they held them up every time. Ivanhoe was left playing a chipping game and with an impressive smother by Luca, you could feel the game was swinging our way. All Bullants played their roll, from Nicholas in full back, to James in full forward, and with Luca kicking the final goal in the game, we finished the season with the win that had eluded us for the past five rounds.

Season Summary

This season, the coaching group set out to develop the boys strategically, to encourage them to think about the game for themselves. Going up a division to Green was a welcomed challenge and we continued position rotations so the boys could learn all aspects of the game. By sticking to rotations, there were games where it worked well and games where we could have fielded a stronger team. Long term, however, we believe that rotating kids into different positions throughout the season builds confidence in the kids and helps solidify where they may like to make their mark on the ground as their personal skills develop and mature. It also helps by creating a list of players who are competent and confident in the backline, midfield and forward line. The boys have shone and are capable of excelling in at least 2 or 3 positions each now.

The season came with some highs and lows on and off the field, but to see the group come together and put great effort into training every week demonstrates that we are blessed with an exceptional group of young men who are committed to their sport, and to their team mates. I am personally very grateful to have been given the opportunity to be part of their lives this year and watch them grow on and off the field.

I would like to thank all parents for your help this year on game day and a special mention to our Team Managers Lisa D’Ath and Meri Beker. Your contribution and assistance to the team has been greatly appreciated. A lot of work goes unseen, however it is noticed and I am grateful to you both. To Coaches Craig and Julian, thank you both for your assistance and time given to me and the boys this year. It’s been really enjoyable coaching with you both.

Boys, thank you for a great season! Keep training and see you next season!

Go the Mighty Bullants!

Coaches Matt, Craig and Julian

Kew Comets 1 Preston Bullants
11.13.79 2.2.14
Goals 1 Elie, Alex.
Best Players Alex, Eamon, Charlie, Josh, Nick

Evan (test)

Rodda (test)

Kew Comets have posted a convincing 65-point win over a hugely disappointing Bullants side and cemented itself as the team to beat in this year’s under 13s Brown division competition.

The four premiership points were in the bag at three quarter time, after the Comets booted 4 to nothing since quarter time in a dominant display.

The Comets made use of the perfect conditions and moved the footy with purpose and sure hands, the Bullants struggled to find any cohesion and were camped deep in their own defensive 50m arc for the majority of the game.

Two statistics highlighted the gulf between the two sides – The Bullants had 17 inside 50s for the game and managed to kick two first-quarter goals, the Comets managed 46 inside 50s for 11.13. The other telling stat was that the Comets had 35 bounces for the day to the Bullants 9.

Talking Points

Asked what his headline would be for the match, Bullants coach Dom Vaiano said: "Outworked, outmuscled, outplayed."

“Footy is played 90 percent above the shoulders, and we just didn’t bring our mental game to the park today.”

"We had a side that was unconditional in the way they went about it and we had another side that was not able to go anywhere near matching them in those contested situations and work rate situations," Vaiano said.

"They were powerful on their home deck. They made us panic a bit with the ball……but part two starts on Sunday. We’ll conduct a comprehensive review on Monday and prepare for Heidelberg and hopefully we can learn from our mistakes.”

Medical Room

Rodda came off in the second quarter with a badly bruised knee and sat out all of the third term but managed to play out the last quarter. He is expected to make a full recovery,” said Assistant Coach George.

Next Up

The Bullants meet Heidelberg in the Elimination final on Sunday in the game of the round.

Preston Bullants Banyule
7.12.54 6.14.50
Goal Kickers Jet (2), Finn, Jackson, Charbel, Alex, Jesse

Banyule beat us hands down last time we played and we are very conscious that Banyule is the standout side of this competition. They were beaten soundly by Warrandyte a couple of weeks ago and I reckon that gave our team some confidence that we could at least take it up to them on the return bout.

We needed a big dollop of confidence because on the day our playing list was looking short. Alex had missed last week’s game with a shocking bout of flu and was barely recovered. Rhett, Daniel, Matty and Ted were out, as was Chilli and Leo. Jackson started the game recovering from flu and with a strained thigh muscle. Thanks to Jet, Alex and Felix from our U12s side and Ethan from our U13s for not just making up the numbers but playing influential roles.

The game was played at PCO in pretty good conditions. Jakeb celebrated his 100th game (I never tire of seeing players run through the congratulatory banner). There was a good mood in the rooms. For the Bullants, with the year they have had, this was an important match. Win or lose, they needed to show themselves what they were made of.

The game was a cracker, played in good spirits and a high standard of skills was maintained from first to last siren. We were undermanned but we still played with fight and desire. At half time three points separated the teams, with the Bullants in the lead. At games end the winning margin was stretched to four points. This was a battle and the Bullants won.

The Bullants were led by Darc, in another magnificent display and were inspired by Alex, who we know was playing with at best, 70% energy but seemed to be delivering 110% and got better still as the game went on! Maivia was a standout. In the First when the game was on the line I wrote this note: Maivia saves a sure goal. Then I crossed it out and wrote two. I had to cross that out and write three. Then four. After that I just kept noting, “Maivia, again”.

Teamwork is the noticeable improvement in the Bullants game. Hasn’t it opened up the team’s capability? There are a set of players (Jakeb, Perry, Jack K, Jackson, James, Finn) that are playing noticeably better than they were through the first half of this season. Finn’s game is a case in point. When Darc split the pack and kicked low and direct to Finn he chose the right option. Finn presented, Finn took charge and Finn scored true. That play and confidence was indicative of his game.

The forward line has been the big improvement (and it was needed – and improvement must continue). Our goal scorers have really opened up in the last 5 weeks, which takes pressure off our midfielders. Giving them more run and options.

While both sides were wayward in front of goals, the Bullants Third quarter was the difference. Banyule score 2.5 to the Bullants 4 goals straight. Our backline pressure (and skill) meant Banyule hardly had it easy in their forward 50. They squandered 5 shots before the Bullants had their first shot. That was when Alex centred the ball to the top of the square and Charbel marked and goaled.

In the Last Banyule pushed hard to break the game open but the Bullant backline was too strong. Max and Maivia and Suhail and Jesse with Big Ben D in control. He took a ripper in the back half. Then Alex complimented it with a ripper mark in attack. Both teams, tired as, kept throwing their bodies into every contest. In the end the Bullants earned the win. They head into the First Semi knowing they have what it takes.

Thank you to all parents who helped out.

Kew Comets 2 Preston Bullants
6.3.39 8.9.57

A long but rewarding season ended on Sunday with the U 15 team achieving their thirteenth win and earning the cherished top position on the ladder. Sunday’s opponent the Kew Comets were playing their own grand final as they had no chance of finishing in the top four.

The game was hard, physical and fair and was a great hit out for our boys. There was never more than two or three goals in the game and just before half time the Comets made a real charge at the boys to reduce the lead to less than two goals. All of a sudden the boy’s confidence in themselves seemed to dissipate. Fortunately, the leaders and four or five boys with cool heads were able to take charge of the team and show their great leadership skills.

Only on three occasions during the season have our boys been challenged by opponents and each time they have showed a fragility for a period of time. This will be something they will need to work on going into the pressurized environment of the finals.

Congratulations to the boys on a very successful home and away season which is great achievement considering four weeks before the season started we only had 16 boys registered. Damian and I would like to thank our brilliant team manager Meghan who allows us to take the field each week because of all her hard work behind the scenes.

Being a volunteer is a thankless task but Meghan always does her role with a smile on her face.

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Macleod Preston Bullants
6.8.44 7.9.51
Best Players Mcerlain, De Sando, Sutton, Vaiano, Baynes, Renna, Hallebone, Hachem

The final round of the home and away season was a final with huge repercussions in terms of the overall ladder position. Quite simply a win would give us the double chance and a loss would mean an elimination final against Beverley Hills.

The game early was very tight, both teams not giving an inch.

Both sides kicked only 1 goal apiece in the opening stanza with Hachem putting through a major from the goal line. For all our early dominance with clearances and inside 50’s it was a real shame as we failed to capitalize.

The second quarter we were made to pay by a quality outfit and lost the quarter by 7 points.

Our 3rd quarter was fantastic with the boys booting 4 goals to 1 through Renna & Hachem.

Renna was playing a very important role across half forward with his work rate enormous whilst De Sando was relishing a change of scenery up forward.

We held a 13 point lead going in to the last quarter. We had our chances to put the game away but kicked only 4 points.

To the credit of our back 6 we only allowed 1 goal and applied fantastic pressure to restrict Macleod.

In the end we held on for a 7 point win and a Qualifying Final showdown with Whitehorse this Sunday.

Liam Mcerlain was best on ground for the second week in a row and was ably supported by Sutton, Vaiano and Tom Hallebone who played a first class game in the Ruck.

Daniel Hachem was the pick of the forwards with 3 goals.

Thanks for the fantastic support on the day and we are excited by the opportunity to play finals football.

Go Bullants!

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Banyule 2 Preston Bullants
14.11.95 5.6.36
Best Players Jack Sammartino, Rob Catalano, Dan Beck, Jack Perin, Oscar Bennett, Lucas Fragale

Coming into the game it was hard to believe that our season was only four quarters away from over. It was a weird feeling for our group but it gave us the opportunity to play with freedom and take the game on. We had nothing to lose.

Conditions at Banyule were perfect and sunny. Unfortunately, we were once again short on players due to injuries and other commitments. To the boy’s credit, this did not affect the way we played or the passion that we played with. Credit to Anthony Mancuso for suiting up and playing with a broken finger, tremendous effort! Also, congratulations to Jack Perin who was rewarded with captaincy for his efforts all season.

My message to the boys before the game was simple, have fun! I wanted us to play our natural game and take risks. In what would be our last game together as a group, we needed to enjoy the little things.

Our first quarter effort was good but we couldn’t get the reward on the scoreboard. We outplayed Banyule for majority of the quarter, however with three players less we were getting hurt in transition. In saying that, our pressure on the ball carrier was outstanding. This is something that I have asked of the group all season and it has improved out of sight since round one.

Our second quarter was equally as positive. Tall forwards Jack Perin and Lucas Fragale were presenting well and getting their hands to the ball. Ruckman Rob Catalano was dominating the tap count and our midfielders were converting this into clearances. We came into the main break trailing however I was proud of the boy’s efforts.

In the third term Banyule started to kick away and opened up a handy lead. However, our boys didn’t give up. Jack Sammartino had one of the great individual performances kicking three goals from the midfield and adding a massive 15 tackles. Dan Beck had another great game for us as did many others. It was unfortunate to be short on players because we were on top in most areas throughout the game.

At three quarter time I spoke to the boys about giving me one more effort for the season. I had one last big expectation and that was to try and win the last quarter. In all honesty, I thought I was dreaming when I asked the boys to win a quarter of footy with three less players against a good opposition. Well, they did just that and proved me wrong in what was one of the most impressive quarters of footy we had played all year. It was great to have most of the Colts 1 boys in attendance for the game which made our last quarter that extra bit special.

Even though we lost on the day we came into the rooms feeling like winners. The lads worked hard all day and made me super proud as a coach. It was a fantastic way to finish off our season. Congratulations to all the boys who were part of it.

I’d like to thank all the parents who have volunteered for various roles throughout the season. Without your help the boys wouldn’t get a chance to play. Special thanks to the team managers Steph and Maree who have made my job much easier! Also thanks to Dan Vella who has been my runner, assistant coach and right hand man for the year. Legend!

Finally, I’d like to thank all the boys that pulled on the Bullants jumper in 2016. You’ve been a great group to coach and I think we’ve come a long way together in the last 8-9 months. Let’s make sure we get behind the rest of the club who are representing us in finals matches.

Go Bullants!

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Bullant Banter Round 14 2016

Whitlam Wag Malkoun landscapeWhat a big week it has been for the Mighty Preston Bullants!

Starting with a presentation to our club by our local Labor Federal Minister for Batman in Mr. David Feeney MP who presented the club with a "Stronger Communities Grant" of $8,877 which will be utilised by the club, in conjunction with the council, to provide permanent coaches shelters at Zwar Park. A wonderful endorsement from David himself who was won over immediately by the “Labor Red” Bullant Guernsey along with my name and namesake! On behalf of the Preston Bullants, families and children a big thank you to you, David and for your time to come down and present it personally.  It is truly appreciated. Below is a link to David’s website which shows a couple of pictures of the event itself and I urge you to leave a thank you message or a 'Like' for David as well.

David Feeney 01
David Feeney 02

This is one of many projects we as a committee intend on delivering with the help of our members, broader community and most certainly council to upgrade facilities at Zwar Park to make it a more attractive and inviting venue for all community members to enjoy and be active.

Adam MarconIt gives me great pleasure to take you back to my Round 3 President’s report and confirm, as widely reported last weekend, that the Bullants very own Adam Marcon joined his best mate Kane Lambert, in being elevated off the rookie list to debut for the Tigers last week against GWS at Manuka Oval In Canberra! And what a debut it was!! 9 kicks, 7 handballs, 4 marks and a massive 5 tackles!! Better yet 71 Dreamteam points and 54 Supercoach points for those of us who have him in our teams! 5 tackles shows the grit, determination and sheer hard work for an individual who works as hard as any in front of him and when opportunity came knocking he clearly grabbed it with both hands. Congratulations Adam, here’s to a long and successful career at the top level. Here is a link to Adam’s announcement.

BEN-McNieceSpeaking of hard work and determination, another Bullant is also on the cusp of a senior call-up in Ben McNiece, who is the current Bombers VFL Vice-Captain and member of the leadership group who’s great mate in fellow bomber Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti has made a serious impact at AFL level and has a cult following to boot! Going along nicely with a great story on where Ben is at posted in the local leader. Follow this link and enjoy the read about one of our clubs founding fathers son and passion to hit the big time. Very inspiring.

So on the cusp of our last home and away match this coming Sunday, it is of course our annual end of season pizza night function at PCO to which we would love to see as many families and players from all teams there to celebrate the year that was. You will hear first hand from all coaches about the season and the fun that was had throughout the year!

Congratulations to all teams who have qualified for the finals - do your club and yourselves proud and give it your all and most importantly enjoy the experience and have as much fun doing it as you can. A small reminder regarding our club policy on player allocated time during finals, which is the club guarantee’s a minimum of 1 full quarter at the coaches discretion.

Go Bullants, give them your best, enjoy your footy and support our sponsors!

Whitlam Malkoun
Preston Bullants JFC

Well, after a couple of cold and rainy mornings the Bullants Tackers were greeted with splendid sunshine out at MacLeod. With only a couple of games to go we reminded each other why we’re there, and that’s to have fun. It was Pablo’s turn to captain the side and he led us out proudly. The team have been really coming together in recent weeks and the absence of a number of players meant that others had to stand up in their place. And they did. We started well with Dom kicking the opening goal of the game. Stephen Fifis was thrown into the middle today and his lethal left foot was on display, in Stephen’s best game for the club. Jerry was working hard in his new role in the ruck, and Sonny got busy around the contest.

Perhaps the happiest surprise of the day though was the form of Captain Pablo who played his best game for the club by a mile. He must have had 5 possessions in the forward line, attacking the ball and making it his own. It was a treat to watch. Well done mate!

The game was pretty even up to half time, but the third saw our concentration lapse and open the door to MacLeod. It was simple stuff really, not sticking to our players in the backline and letting them walk it out of the middle (as coaching mentor Ross Lyon would say). It was a bit easy for the opposition.

At ¾ time the guys came in a little flat. Eddie and Omar had been on the end of some less than sporting work behind the play which took the shine off an otherwise good game.  I’m proud to say that our boys kept their eyes on the ball for the whole game.

In the 3/4 time address was all about reminding each other why we play for the Bullants: fun and friendship. Practicing our smiles we ran out for the last term. We were full of fight and we scored a couple of goals, the best being one started by a tough contested mark by Thomas V, who quickly went to the fat side that led to a chain of passes and a goal. It was champagne football and the smiles were back. A special mention to Eddie who ran out the last quarter on one leg. It was a performance full of character.

So strap in for one more game tackers…and then Coach Dan and the other parents will see you at the parents v kids game! Bring it on Bullants!!

Round 14 Bullants v Bundoora

Round 14 saw Tackers Red venture to Telfer Reserve to take on Bundoora. An unseasonably bright and warm day greeted us, as did a Bundoora team who seemed to have grown considerably since our last outing!

Ava was selected as Captain for the day to help celebrate her Birthday and she quickly called on her “Tackling machine” buddy Caitlin to be her Co-Captain. Team positions were again “Coaches Choice” with minimal changes other than Sam coming into the Midfield and Tom going forward. The group came in tight, grabbed jumpers & asked to give 100% in their second last game. There would be no new instructions, “You know what to do…you know the game plan…let’s get out & do it!” The rousing “Go Bullants” combined with the wild stares that some of them get told me we‘d be ok today.

The first minute or so had me worried as Bundoora appeared to have caught our midfield napping, driving forward with the centre clearance & some quick possessions only to hit the virtual “Brick Wall” that is a Bullant Backline. The brief foray was quickly turned around and within minutes Tom marked truly to get us on the board. Now awake, the “Dream Team” started to get going with clean possessions & midfield run that has become a hallmark of our game. Once in our forward zone there was little Bundoora could do to get it out. “Big” Willo was everywhere, taking on bigger opponents and ensuring the ball stayed in Bullant hands. Across the board, the pressure from the forward line was immense and again Tom marked strongly, within range, on 45 degree angle. What transpired next was both pleasing & frustrating as Tom and Ned proceeded to make a mockery of the Bundoora backline passing backwards & forwards to each other, marginally improving their angles and distance to goals with each pass. Ned finally decided to slot the goal seconds before his father and coaches would have run onto the field screaming for someone to “just kick the goal!” The term finished with lovely ball delivery from Willo to Tom who slotted his second. The Bullants were on!

Bundoora came out hard in the second managing to scramble a behind early on and then a goal shortly after. Again the Bullants responded, you could see the midfield go up another gear as Callum took strong marks and delivered “lace out” to the running Marcus who drove forward. Once the ball was in our forward zone it was defended ferociously, Darcy marking strongly, Willo manning up & giving Bundoora nothing to go to. A Bundoora free kick was cut off by Tom with another great mark, the resulting shot off line for a minor. Still the Bullants gave them nothing & the resulting kick out was again cut off by Tom who made no mistake in slotting his third. The Bullants were hungry & working well as a team. Every Bundoora player was made to earn every touch…..some didn’t like it.

Again Bundoora were out hard after the break putting our backline under immense pressure with several quick plays forward but our defense stood stall. Hard running and tacking pushed Bundoora out wide with every attack. Jake, Ziggy and Tamer all marked well while Xavier was his usual tackling machine. For all their efforts, Bundoora were restricted to 2 behinds and Tamers booming kick outs resulted in a couple of “coast to coast” plays linking up Cameron passing to Callum to again hit up Tom and another that saw Caitlin take a ripping mark who then found Darcy to Tom for another minor.

Snakes done & some minor position changes saw Ava return to Ruck duties and Tamer go forward to clunk some marks. The final quarter started with the Bullants proving they still had the desire for the footy and could put together 4 beautiful quarters. Sam, Callum, Caitlin & Marcus kept possessions going our way with hard attack on the footy & fierce tackles. Ava battled strongly in the ruck while receiving some unwanted close attention from her opponent…. In true Bullant style, her focus remained firmly on the ball and the task at hand. Bundoora came out hard again & the backline saw more action than they had all game. With Thomas G and Jake just warming up, their 2nd & 3rd efforts ensured there were no easy possessions for Bundoora who were lucky to score a goal with a snap under immense pressure. Tom and Darcy continued to light up the forward line, marking and passing accurately at will while big T (Tamer) stood firm and marked amongst the packs earning himself a well deserved goal.

At the final siren the nonexistent scoreboard showed the Bullants well in front. More importantly they had showed yet again that they could play as a team, everyone playing their role, in good spirit and with 100% focus on the ball. Had their opponents done the same the contest would have been much closer. In a tight huddle we stayed on the ground & spoke about how proud we are for the way the kids conduct themselves each week, often in the face of unnecessary aggression both physical and verbal. That’s not how we play the game and the kids respond perfectly. We play hard at the footy, look after each other and play with respect for all.

Our final word on the matter was to sing the song so loud and proud that it shook the Bundoora rooms & lifted the roof!

We are the Mighty Preston Bullants!


Camberwell Preston Bullants
7.12.54 7.5.47
Goal Kickers 2- Will, 1- Ayden, Anthony, Thomas C, Keelan, Lucas

In our final proper game for 2016 we saw a more focused & energetic team run on to Zwar Park determined to write the wrongs from the week prior!

With Rylan dominating the Ruck against a bigger opponent, our talented midfield of Ash Will Anthony Thomas + Jaxsyn relished 1st use and repeatedly sent the footy deep to our lively Fwds Pat Keelan Perry + Ayden. By 1/4 time we'd opened up a handy lead 4-3-27 to 0-5-5 a great start to the match!

2nd Qtr saw the inevitable comeback from Camberwell kicking 3 majors for the term including one right on the siren in the dreaded red time. 3rd Qtr we lost the lead but a classy snap by Lucas on his left foot kept us within reach just a 6 point deficit at 3/4 time 5-5-35 to 5-11-41.

Final term began with 2 quick goals to Camberwell but rather than throw in the towel our group remained positive increasing their work-rate with several inspiring chase-down tackles by Patty in Defence, Grady on one leg battling on + Thomas Heffernan's new found aggression saw us lift and make a late charge. 2 quick goals by Thomas C & Keelan reduced the margin to 7 pts with 2 mins left. Marianne intercepts again at Half Back she dodges 2 opponents kicks to the Wing position where Archie takes an impressive one grab mark in front of the roaring Coaching Box. As Archie attempts quick kick forward it is smothered, the ump waives play-on then beneath the vocal sounds of a boisterous crowd is the cruel sound of the siren to signal the end of a classic game of Junior footy played in excellent spirit. The praise that followed from Camberwell's Coach was genuinely warm & heartfelt so our team should be immensely proud!

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Park Orchards Preston Bullants
5.9.39 2.2.14
Goal Kickers 1- Phoenix, Joel
Best Players Alister, Anthony, Joel, Harry, Liam, Deon, Phoenix

The Bullants this week where off to Park Orchards to take on the top of the table Sharks and the boys were all raring to go after coming off their big 1 point win the week before.

The sun was shining and it was a sensational morning to play football on a very picturesque Park Orchards oval that was in outstanding condition. Our Captain for the day was Adrian and the boys were fired up to try and make it 4 wins in a row, Park Orchards won the toss and kicked to the right of screen which had a bit of a downhill advantage.

The opening ¼ began and both teams where very hard at the ball and attacking the ball to try and get an advantage to their end. The Mighty Bullants were the first to attack with our “Mark Murphy” Alister from the wing swooping on the ball and kicking to “Eddie Betts” Josh who delivered into our forward line but a great defensive mark by The Sharks stopped this play. With that The Sharks attacked and where kicking long into their own forward line, Our Backline where holding firm but the Sharks kicked a very good goal from about 30mtrs out to open the scoring. “Nic Natanui” Makaio & our own “Big Boy McEvoy” Noah were doing a great job in the ruck against a very large Sharks outfit but by the end of the ¼ the Sharks had a very good ¼ kicking 2 goals 2 points without the mighty Bullants scoring.

The come in at ¼ time, Phil, John, Fab & George encouraged the boys to keep attacking the ball and use our running game on the big ground and kick long. This ¼ was a very tight contest Phoenix, Remy & Liam where trying very hard in the middle trying to contain The Sharks midfield, Our backline of “Daniel Merrett” Anthony, “Kirk Tippet” Brody & our “Joel Selwood” Coen very impressive holding the backline together and making sure that The Sharks players were not loose in there forward line and resisting these attacks. “Mark Murphy” Alister & “Trent Cotchin” Julian were causing havoc on the wings and picking up plenty of possession. “The Package” Ben who started this ¼ on the bench was placed on to the ground and put in at full forward and was again being a big presence, Our own version of “Jarryd Blair” Michael was also in the forward pocket and was creating plenty of chances for us. As much as we tried we just couldn’t get through The Sharks defence and managed to kick 1 point for the ¼ and the Sharks managed to Kick 1 goal 1 for the qtr and The Sharks at half time had a lead of 21-1 at the half.

The boys had a good rest at half Time and Coach Phil was very encouraging to the boys at the half as again they were giving there all but at this stage had not been rewarded for all there great work, John, Fab & George also encouraged the boys to keep running and keep talking as this is a great part of the U’11s team and after the boys broke from there groups they went out for the start of the 3rd 1/4. The Sharks were again on the attack and kicked a goal within the first couple of minutes in this ¼ but the boys never dropped their heads one bit Fab who was our runner was excellent in encouraging the boys while on the field and this was also shown in the fact that our “Daniel Merrett” Anthony playing in the backline had a 2 on 1 contest and he worked his body to a sensational position to take a strong mark and thwart a Sharks attack and cleared the ball, Anthony again come to the fore when this time he had a 3 on 1 contest and was great in spoiling the ball to the ground and diving on the ball to cause a ball up. Our own “Pendles” Harry was also playing a very good game across the backline and was taking some telling marks and defensive spoils to keep the Sharks at bay. Our effort was duly rewarded in this ¼ when after a great clearance from the backline our “Matt Priddis” Deon found Alister on the wing who swooped and drove the ball long into the forward line where “Tom Rockliffe” Phoenix pounced on the ball and after weaving his way around 2 players snapped truly to register a great goal for the mighty Bullants. The siren sounded for the 3rd ¼ and even though The Sharks played some good football and kicked 2 goals of their own The Bullants certainly had the better of the ¼ and at this break The Sharks led 39-8.

Phil, John, Fab & George encouraged the boys on for one more last effort in the last ¼ as they had played a very good ¼ and we were looking to finish the game off on a good note. The boys responded and played a great ¼ we had the ball in our forward line for most of this ¼ Alister, Nathan & Julien were dominant across the wings and our “Patrick Cripps” Liam did a great job on their best player keeping him very quiet. We were rewarded again when we drove long into our forward line were our “Jack Riewoldt” Joel swooped on the ball and kicked a great goal from 25mtrs out to have the boys high fiving each other. We toughed the game out and actually held The Sharks scoreless in this ¼ and won the ¼ and played the better football in the 2nd half. The boys again can be very proud of their efforts and even though we lost to a better team today we again showed how far we have come with our skills and our team work and how we are prepared to help each other out.

The boys shook the opposition’s hand after the game and the opposition coach praised both teams for the way that the game was played. Coach Phil was also impressed how The mighty Bullants never gave up and fought hard all day.

Again a huge thank you to all the parents for all your help with everything, we do really appreciate it and all the support and encouragement that the boys receive from you is second to none.

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Doncaster Preston Bullants
5.5.55 2.2.14
Goal Kickers 1 T.Hallebone , 1 M.Chan

Congratulations to Yianni Papaioannou on celebrating his 50 game milestone.

Round fourteen saw our third encounter this season against a much improved Doncaster. There was a lot at stake, with both sides contending for a possible finals birth. With both sides fired up and ready to bring their A-game, the first quarter started.

Both sides came out hard. Our boys applied strong pressure and intensity on the ball and they clearly wanted to show Doncaster that this was a game they would have to fight hard for to win. Both ruckmen were a great match for one another; however Steven proved once again that he was more committed to the ball and dominated. Shaharyar, along with Serge, moved the ball well with great composure into the forward line, while Jordan played like a mad man with his usual prowess and on-ball skill. Yianni and Toby’s running was exceptional chasing the ball and opposition, and Toby was rewarded with the first goal of the match. All in all this was a tough quarter that saw some fantastic passages of play from both sides and the Bullants came out on top as we headed into the second quarter.

We entered the second quarter in good spirits and ready to extend our lead. However, Doncaster came out with a stronger hunger and intensity for the ball which was absent in their first quarter and this saw them kick an early goal. The back line worked extra hard this quarter and did a great job of pushing the ball back into the mid field, thanks to Phoenix in the half back line. We saw some fantastic defensive work with Jet stopping a goal using some soccer skills and both James and Lachlan M added constant pressure to the opposition. Jack B crumbed the ball well and tackled strong in the centre and pushed it down to our forward line, while Marcus positioned himself perfectly to receive the ball and eventually kicked our only goal late in the quarter. One of the highlights of the quarter was actually seeing Sammy work hard and spoiling an opposition player who was literally twice the size of Sammy - size means nothing to that boy. The quarter was an exceptional effort from all the kids.

At half time, it was pleasing to see and hear our boys taking the lead in discussing what Doncaster was doing and also what they could do to counter Doncaster’s approach to the game. This showed the coaches that the boys are developing well as footballers and individuals trying to problem solve.

The third quarter saw Doncaster set up quite defensively at the centre bounce as both Steven and Nicholas were proving too strong for the opposition. Straight away Marcus and Jordan worked together with clean ball movement, while Sharharyar applied great pressure on the opposition. Ty started to get his hands on the ball in the forward line while our back line was worked overtime trying to prevent Doncaster from scoring. All our boys worked extremely hard this quarter, particularly Felix, Lachlan M, Henry, Max D, James and Jet. However as hard as we tried, Doncaster’s pressure on the ball proved too great.

Heading into the last quarter, Doncaster was only one goal up. This was still anyone’s game and our boys were up for the fight. We reminded our boys it was ‘do or die’ - we needed to win this quarter and the game in order to make finals and they headed out ready to go and all fired up. Unfortunately for Nicholas he came off with a corkie in the third quarter and you could see he wasn’t happy by the amount of pacing he was doing up and down the boundary line (love his passion). This was a hard quarter for our Bullants as their legs were giving up on them as we began to chase both Doncaster and the ball. Eventually Doncaster took the quarter and the game, but it wasn’t from a lack of effort from our boys, in particular, Jordan, Felix and Steven who ran the whole game.

With a finals birth up for grabs we saw a great game of footy from both sides. To their credit, Doncaster were just too good – they were able to hit their targets a lot better than us and ran with the ball really well.

Even though we left without the win it was nice to hear the Doncaster coach make mention of how they used our playing style to benchmark how they wanted and needed their boys to play in order to be a competitive side.

We now move into the last round of the season against Ivanhoe. Let’s go out this Sunday playing a great game of football – to show everyone that even though we may not be in the finals, we have had a great season playing in Green Division. It’s been a very competitive season for all the teams who played in Green - they will all come away better players.

Go the Mighty Bullants!

Go Bullants
Coaches Matt, Craig and Julian

Beverley Hills
Preston Bullants
5.6.36 6.4.40
Goals 2- Panta, 1- Elie, Rodda, Noah & Alex
Best Players Alex, Panta, Terence, Paddy, Billy M, Josh, Charlie & Jamie
Injuries Evan (1 to 2 weeks)

The Bullants have climbed back into second spot after a gutsy win over 5th place Beverley Hills, to all but seal its finals spot with a 4-point win at Zerbes Reserve on Sunday morning.

In a free flowing contest that brought out the best skills from both teams, the Bullants found their groove from the first bounce to notch a must needed win for the first time in three weeks.

The Bullants held a two goal edge over Beverley Hills for much of the first three quarters, but great defending by Terence, who took 7 contested marks in the final quarter, held off a fast finishing opposition to win by 4 points at the final siren, 6.4 (40) to 5.6 (36).

Talking Points

"I thought it was a pretty even game all day," Bullants coach Dom Vaiano said.

“If you look at the overall game it was an even contest and we happened to be in front at the end, so it was very pleasing."

"It was positive – four quarters of really solid footy."

"We worked through the obvious frustration of not being able to finish off chances that we'd created coming through the midfield, but when you stick 32 tackles in a game and you're committed to play a really solid brand of footy, you're going to perform well."

"It was fantastic really. It was as good as we've done it all year. And I'm happy some of our smaller players who got involved."

Medical Room

Evan took a heavy knock to the head late in the last quarter. As a precaution the medical team decided to take him to hospital to run further tests. “We just want to make sure that he didn’t get a few marbles knocked out of place,” said Assistant Coach George.

Next Up

The Bullants meet Kew Comets at Victoria Park Lower in a battle of one v two and only a win will secure a top two finish and the second chance.

Preston Bullants Parkside
7.7.49 5.9.39
Goal Kickers Darc, James, Ben M, Anthony, Jackson, Felix, Jesse

Thank you to all parents who helped out.

With two Rounds left before Finals this game was a must win for the Bullants. The win would secure our spot in the Final Four. For Parkside this was its shot to stay in touch with fourth position, a place tenuously held and coveted by the Bullants. So, with the first sunny day we’ve had this season and Zwar in good nick we were optimistic.

Parkside were, likewise, optimistic. They started better than the Bullants, aided by their ruckman who may have been ten foot tall. He could well have been the difference. In the centre and at stoppages he dominated. This caught the Bullants off guard and early in the game we were chasing the Sherrin. The Red Devils used this advantage and pushed hard into their front half. Our backline held tough making it difficult for Parkside to convert. When they did it was minor scores. Ben D, celebrating his 50th game (big congrats Ben), was dominant down back. Maivia, Max, Suhail and Darc likewise held the line. (Can you award Fairest & Best to the Backline because to a man it is our tower of strength?).

Against the play the Bullants took the ball forward. With poise and control. Darc got us on the board and the team appeared to settle. Noticeable also was that the team really is working well together. This was highlighted when Finn took control of a contested ball, got around his player and passed to Perry who quickly moved it on to James who ran in and goaled. The Bullants were in the game.

With a wider array of players getting their hands on the ball our game opened up. Jakeb was playing well, Daniel found room every time he got the ball, Jack K kept options open on the far side, Matty in the mix, Rhett was everywhere and Anthony was killing it. The Bullants finished the First with four goals on the board after Ben M slotting one through and then Anthony sealed another. The Bullants (4.0 to the Devils 0.5) had literally made something from nothing. The game became more congested in the Second and the play went back and forth between half back and half forward. Then a little bit of special raised the stakes. Daniel in his umpteenth run took the ball through the centre corridor looking to kick forward. Jackson created space and called. Daniel placed the ball in Jackson’s path. He gathered it, chased by a devil and 30 metres out, with his left foot across the body controlled a bounce and dribble through the big sticks. Rhett maintained his work rate, Max and Maivia protected our last line of defence and Darc didn’t stop running. We went to the big break 28 points to the good.

One of our U12 recruits, Felix took a well-timed mark, reading the ball’s flight beautifully. He finished it off with a 6 pointer. Then the Devils took the game by the scruff. The pressure lifted as the Devils kicked 4.2 for the quarter. Without a Maivia save on the line and our backline standing firm it might have been worse.

We were up against it going into the Last. But we did not back down. We got some breathing room when Jesse bolted through CHF and kicked the Wheaties out of the footy. An astute shepherd from Jackson saw the ball go through the big sticks. Rhett continued to control the backline with Max and Maivia and Ben D. Late in the game Ted earned a free and sent the ball deep into attack. The Bullants held on to win.

The Bullants are playing well and the load is being shared across the team. The team still needs to run harder, especially on turn-overs. We also need more shots on goal. We are protecting very well and our midfield are doing the job but we have to lift our shots on goal above 15 per game. That is the next big improvement.

Boroondara Preston Bullants
0.0.9 0.0.148

Last Sunday, our U15 boys played against Boroondara for the third time this year. The Boroondara team has been one of only two teams to defeat the boys during the season. Even though the second encounter turned out to be a relatively easy win, the boys were aware of their opponent’s potential to cause another upset.

Right from the outset, the Bullant’s boys showed they were going to make their opponents pay for their earlier defeat, and began running and tackling in numbers and delivering the ball with a level of skill that has been an ever improving part of their game. Whilst their opponents were gallant and never gave up, they were simply outclassed by a team who are starting to reach the peak of their form. The Bullants earnt their first twenty goal plus win of the season, with Jack kicking a career best six goals and Josh a very impressive five.

Whilst the boys are starting to come into some good form, their goal kicking is an area that needs to be developed further, and could be an area that comes back to haunt them in the finals, when matched against the better credentialed teams.

As can be imagined in a twenty goal win, it was a real team effort with every boy making a significant contribution, however mention must be made of Jackson Sbrissa who is rapidly turning into a real focal point in our forward line, and Julian whose precise kicking skills set up so many passages of play, again in the forward line.

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Preston Bullants Templestowe
12.7.79 7.5.47
Best Players Mcerlain, Moleta, Sutton, Hachem, Vaiano, Zonta

The day marked Sean O'Connell's 100th game for the Preston Bullants.

We began the game to the club rooms end at Zwar and with the aid of a handy breeze kicked 4 opening quarter majors.

Gerard Sutton & Anthony Moleta kicking 2 a piece and working brilliantly together.

Templestowe had only the 15 players, which given we had 24 made things extremely challenging from a coaching perspective.

Templestowe dominated the second quarter going in to half time with a 2 goal lead.

A few home truths were told at the main break between the boys and if we wanted to finish top 2 we simply couldn't afford to lose.

Daniel Hachem came on after half time and kicked 4 majors from full forward whilst Moleta, Sutton, Mcerlain & Vaiano staring.

We head in to the final term with a 3 goal lead.

Going against the breeze Vaiano went lose in the backline in the last and strongly influenced the contest - 10+ possessions in the last.

Curic kicked a ripper out of the ruck and Sean O'Connell sealed the game with a great mark and goal.

Liam Mcerlain was clearly BOG for a great 4 quarter performance.

Our last home & away game is this weekend v Macleod with the winners taking second place on the ladder and securing the double chance.

Thanks to all the parents for all there help & support.

Go Bullants!

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Ashburton B Preston Bullants
11.21.87 8.8.56
Best Players Anthony Mancuso, Josh Torcasio, John Karahountris, Dan Beck, Jack Perin, Josh Bruzzese

We travelled out to Ashburton for our only 1pm game of the year in perfect, sunny conditions. Our season was on the line today, as only a win could keep us in the hunt for finals football. Unfortunately, we would only have 17 players to take the field but we weren’t going to let this stop us.

Today’s game marked 50 games for both James Scattolin and Dan Beck. Both of these boys have been fantastic contributors to the team this season. Congratulations to you both.

Ashburton’s ground was small and quick, so we adjusting accordingly to allow our forwards space to present. Our game plan would be to move the ball forward as quickly as possible to give the forwards best opportunity.

Our first term was slow, allowing Ashburton to open up a five goal lead before we adjusted. Our intensity simply wasn’t there early and we got hurt on the scoreboard. As always, our back six stood tall and in the end we were lucky to still be within reaching distance at quarter time. Our mids and forwards needed to lift.

In the second term they did just that. We got on top in the middle of the ground and our forwards were making the most of their chances. In one of his few games as a forward this season, John Karahountris was fantastic, kicking three goals. Midfielders Anthony Mancuso and Josh Torcasio were at their best. Rob Catalano was also impressive in the ruck with his ability to cover the entire ground. We came into the main break level after a brilliant quarter. We were back to playing our best football.

Ashburton came out with more intensity in the third and we withstood their pressure well. They had opened up a three goal lead, however we believed that we would run out the game stronger. Dan Beck had a great game in his 50th providing run and forward fifty entries from the wing. Our season was now on the line with one quarter remaining.

We started the quarter well, kicking the first and giving ourselves a real chance. Unfortunately, we turned the ball over on back to back occasions to give away two easy goals. We were behind the eight ball but to our boys credit they kept fighting until the final siren. Unfortunately, we ended up going down by five goals. In the end our lack of consistency across four quarters cost us.

The group showed tremendous character in what was a tough day. Obviously, it was disappointing to lose and have our season ended but we showed that as a group we are resilient and determined. These qualities will hold us in good stead for the last round of the season next week and for all the football we play in the future.

Go Bullants.

Bullant Banters 2017

Read more: Round 14 Banter

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