Another exciting round of football has come and gone and watching our teams evolve from week to week with new learning’s, new hope and forever Bullant Spirit never ceases to amaze me.
Evolve is the key word. For a club to grow, it must keep evolving and moving with the times to stay ahead and be prepared to take on new challenges as we strive to be the best we can.
Let’s take Adam Marcon for example, son of the former great “cult hero” at the Mighty Preston Bullants Adrian Marcon who won two premierships in the 1980’s, who has himself evolved from a junior Bullant, to Northern Knight, to Northern Blue followed by a Williamstown Seagull and now fulfilling his dream of playing league footy being drafted to Richmond.
Speaking of evolving and Richmond, Adam’s great mate in Kane Lambert himself has made a massive impact on the AFL and the Tiger faithful after years of hard work and solid training. The son of Russell Lambert a former club President, co-founder and current life member who has the prestigious “Russell Lambert” award named in his honor awarded to the best club person has always had a hard work ethos and never give up attitude that saw him evolve practically down the same track straight into Tigerland.
Andy Hill, PBJFC life member and premiership coach of the 2013 U15’s premiership side has seen his son and former junior Bullant in Tom Hill become the first ever junior Bullant drafted to an AFL club being the Western Bulldogs on his journey through the Northern Knights.
The word “Evolve” according to the Oxford dictionary means to “develop gradually” and develop as a club, we will. Dennis McNiece, co-founder, past President and current life member of the Mighty Preston Bullants JFC leads by example as both he and his wife and fellow life member in Christine McNiece proudly watch their son and past Bullant player in Ben McNiece take on all comers as Ben runs out with the VFL Bombers line up as their vice-captain no less, week in week out. Dennis also has the “Dennis McNiece” award named in his honor which is awarded to the player who leads by example and achieves to the best of their individual ability.
Imagine their delight then, when their daughter Karly McNiece who is also a past Bullant player of some 73 games between 2007-2011, is named in the final 2016 VIC Metro U18’s girls team that will be playing in the state carnival in Melbourne this very week, is awarded the co-best and fairest player in the U18’ Calder Cannons Girls academy after recently completing a stint there where Karly shone above those around her and with hard work, determination and the opportunity to “evolve” made her mark on her peers and opponents to be nominated in the VIC squad. Karly is the current captain of the Darebin falcons U18’s 2016 team! A team orientated individual who couldn’t fathom the idea of leaving her team mates behind in her Bullants days and so instead of leaving ran the water out to that very team for the following 3 seasons!! WOW!
So then what I seek as the current club President is an all girl’s team who will make history at our famous Preston Bullants Junior Football Club by being the first all girls team to be registered in the YJFL and go through together and build wonderful friendships, memories and any amount of success you can dream of even if that success simply means that you are helping our great club and game “evolve”.
Preston Bullants JFC
As the AFL season continues to demonstrate, un-predictability is a feature of footy that means on any given day, any team can win, home or away. It’s a facet of footy that no amount of coaching, systems or processes can eliminate.
What Hocking Stuart Preston and the Preston Bullants Juniors always aim for however is consistency of effort. If this is in place, then we’re maximizing the chance that the right results will follow.
Stay tuned for an Under 9's WHITE Match report in Round 4.
This round saw the Mighty Bullants take on the Banyule Bears at Banyules home gound. Thunderstorms overnight made for slightly damp conditions with a blustery wind but fortunately the rain held off for the match.
Banyule was not kind to us last year so pre match the Bullants were instructed to stick to their zones & structures, go for their marks & follow the game plan we practice at training.Captains for the day, Caitlin and Felix lead the team out, won the toss & elected to go with the swirling breeze to the Eastern end.
From the outset the contest was fierce with the Bears showing plenty of desire for the ball. Tackling pressure from the Bullants was just as fierce but we were 2nd to the ball on too many occasions. Despite claiming to feel unwell, Patty Bubbers continued where he left off last week, constantly chasing the ball and following up with 2nd & 3rd efforts. The drive out of the midfield eventually found targets in Sam and Cameron who kicked truly.The second quarter was a scrappy affair with neither team gaining acendancy. Our defence was kept busy with Felix taking a great defensive mark & Harry putting his body on the line with a coragious smother. Midfield continued to work hard with Tamers hit outs gaining more distance with each massive thump! Marcus was everywhere as usual but was often left without support. Our Bullants were looking a bit flat & certainly not showing their usual run & desire for the ball. A lone mark from Andre in the forward line was the highlight for that group who failed to take advantage of anything coming forward.
Rob and I were frustrated with the aparent lack of desire shown by our normally passionate Bullants and at half time all were urged to work harder, go for their marks and be vigilent in defence by picking up their players. The forward line was singled out to work harder to get into position, lead and mark. We were doing barely enough...just.
The 3rd quarter saw a lift across the board. Marcus was everywhere in the middle, head over the ball & hard at it as always. Tom Maddison was solid in defence & provided quick drive out from the back line but there was another story unfolding in the middle of the ground that brought the crowd to its feet....It was a little man with a big heart who stood up. Thomas Moribito always tries hard & does so with a smile...but today his efforts finally found reward! His first mark (that we have been working hard on) dished out and recieved a couple of handballs & generally got himself in the mix! The improved drive out of the middle saw our forwards peresented with greater opportunities with Callum, Darcy and Cameron all converting majors. The Bullants had superior skills, we just needed to apply ourselves & work for the ball!
Difficult to write anything politically correct about the last quarter....lets say that luck and maybe the wind was against us. The Bears took advantage and slammed on a few quick goals & the Bullants could not get reward for their efforts. Everyone kept at the task at hand & although frustrated continued to work hard. Ava took a turn in the ruck & did well, while Jack H got busy in the forward line. Caitlin showed a few of the Bears who was boss with some great tackles. We got plenty of the ball forward but a couple of valuable opportunities went begging that should have put the game beyond doubt.
In the end, we did enough, just. It was not our best game, not by a long shot and that was the message before we sang the song in the rooms...all we want is for our kids to give 100% & keep trying. If we follow the plan, the structures & work hard we are a beautiful team to watch.
That said, it was all smiles as we belted out our song with a proud Thomas Moribito in the middle!Thanks to everyone who helped out on the day & to the ever reliable Rob & Chris for their support.
Bright and sunny with a strong west wind.
Welcome Nathanuel, joining the team during the week and playing his first game.
Captain Thomas Crookshanks leads the team onto the ground after Coach’s final message, Man Up & Run hard
The team is down to a one man bench this week.
Bullants won the toss, the Bullants are kicking to the southern end. The Bullants go into attack, but neither team can get a clean string of possession. Rafferty gets a touch and the ball remains in the Bullants attacking half.
Parkside move the ball forward and score a goal.
The Bullants get within striking distance and Jaxsyn kicks a point, touched on the goal line. From the kick out Jaxsyn gets possession again and goes for goal, this time just clipping the post, Point.
The orange boy forgot the oranges, so the team run out sugar free.
Parkside launch a sustained attack, scoring 3 successive points. The Bullants defence stands up to the pressure, repelling attack after attack. Marianne, Patty, Archie, Jude, tackle pressure stops Parkside from getting a clean shot for goal.
Thomas takes a defensive mark in the goal square, but the Bullants can’t seem to get possession out the back.
Ray keeps the team on the ground. Oranges for everyone. Ray makes some changes, throwing Rylan into the ruck. Grady is on the bench with a sore leg, which leaves a significant hole in the half back line. The wind is influencing the game, keeping the play on the far side of the ground.
Parkside are kicking with the wind this quarter, and they press hard. The defence has its work cut out, Rylan drops back for a saving mark in the goal square, kicks to Thomas who marks, but the next possession breaks down and Parkside kick a goal.
From the centre bounce Parkside come forward quickly, and score another goal, followed by 4 points. I saw many strong individual defensive efforts, but the Bullants can’t string together clean possessions and clear the defensive area.
This is the Captains quarter. Thomas boots for goal but it’s touched on the line. The ball finds Thomas again, and he goes back and kicks a Goal from 30 out. The Bullants come from everywhere to congratulate him.The Bullants have finally woken up, Thomas is everywhere, Rylan dominates the ruck duel, belting the ball forward at every opportunity. Alex and Ike get involved in the centre, stopping the Parkside outside run. Samuel and Patty both make play saving tackles. Kalan, Anthony, Asher, Ayden strove all day to break out of the centre. Final siren. We lost. The Bullants finished strongly. Everyone played well, but couldn’t get their team game going.
Thanks to Ray, Craig, Dom, Amanda, Kelly, Daryl etc.
Coaches Note:Conditions were pretty hard to play in Sunday very strong breeze favouring one end, pretty hard to get a good run going in the windy conditions. To all the under 10s that played on the weekend we all tried our best and run our guts out that’s all I can ask of you.
Everyone that helped out in the rolls that needed to be filled thank you, and a big thanks to simon for doing a wonderful job with match report again.
Looking ahead this week to Doncaster away AGAIN!!! Hopefully we can come out firing and take the game up to them and notch up a confidence boosting win.
If anyone didn’t know the first 4 rounds are grading games to try and even out the competition so hopefully after this week we can 2-2. And we can keep up playing our hard pressurising football we have been playing for 3 weeks and notch up some wins under belts which will give us all a bit more confidence going forward as a group.
|Preston Bullants||Whitehorse Colts|
|Goal Kickers||Oscar K -1, Harry -1|
|Best Players||Lachie, Harry, Makaio, Declan, Alistair, Ben Nathan|
On a blustery Sunday morning, the Bullants made their way to Bulleen for a home game against Whitehorse. Expectations were high after the improvement of the week before that we could secure back to back wins.
From the opening bounce it was clear that this was going to be an extremely tough day. The opposition were not only big, but attacked both the ball and the body very hard. We were on the back foot from the start and only some superb efforts from Lachie O and Ben G stemmed the flow. The run we had seen the week before seemed to have dried up and our smaller bodied on-ballers found it difficult to compete with their bigger opponents.
The second quarter was much a repeat of the first, with Whitehorse using their size and strength to advantage. Although we tried to run the ball, we probably over handballed on occasion when a longer kick to advantage may have been the better option. There were some pleasing efforts from some players though. Nathan was proving lively on-ball and in the forward line and our ruck trio of Declan, Noah and Makaio were doing an excellent job as well. Jesse competed well a number of times on the wing and Tyler was giving us some good run in all areas of the ground.
We were dealt a hard blow at half time when Noah was ruled out with a head injury after competing really well in the ruck. Despite this set-back, we started to compete much better in the mid-field and our forward line structure held together better. Seb R started to work really hard to get to the front position and was rewarded with a great mark. Alister was also prominent in this quarter and his speed around the ball was noticeable. Harry began to have a significant influence on the game in this term and Oscar K gave us a much deserved goal after a great tackle.
Unfortunately it was one of those games where we couldn’t seem to get a break. Just when we were about to pounce the ball seemed to bounce in bizarre ways. Liam and then Tyler were about to run onto loose balls and drive us into attack when the ball either bounced miles in the air or sideways and out of our grasp. Nevertheless, I was really proud of the way the boys played the game and fought it out to the end. Another goal to Harry in the last quarter gave us some respectability on the scoreboard and the boys kept their heads up until the final siren.
Thanks to the coaching staff, the parent helpers and especially the boys for a great effort. Special congratulations to Lachie for a great game and for winning the encouragement award from the opposition.
|Preston Bullants||Fitzroy 2|
|Goal Kickers||S. Nadeem - 1, K. Critelli - 1|
The day started out cold, wet and windy. However, by the time our boys stepped on to the oval, the weather started to clear. It was the first game this year that actually reminded us that we participate in a winter sport! We welcomed back Luca Camilleri, having missed the start of the season due to injury. We eased him back into the team, playing one and a half quarters (much to his disappointment!) and he proved he’s ready to rumble and keen to contest the ball hard again for the Bullants!
Fitzroy is a club who always play a strong game against the Bullants and we never underestimate their abilities. True to form they came out displaying beautiful ball movement, good delivery of the ball to key players, and finding their targets time and time again.
The first quarter started with a strong wind blowing across the oval - it was tricky to play in these conditions. We had good performances by a few key players. Jet was strong in defense - he really locked the backline down and prevented Fitzroy coming down and scoring more than they did. Jordan, Henry and Oliver also worked hard in their positions during this quarter, and throughout the whole game. Max LT and Lachlan H were assertive and helped move the ball through to our forward line, scoring 1.1.
Steven played ruck most of the game and he is proving to perform consistently well in this position. The big fella always comes off the oval red-face and covered in sweat – he really gives it his all!Second quarter saw another tough contest between both teams. Whilst the scoreboard showed Fitzroy had a better scoring quarter than us (1.4 to 1.1), our coaches felt that the Bullants performed stronger, showing some great moments of intensity and control of the game. Jack B controlled centre-half back alongside Jordan and Toby. Max LT was thrown into the Ruck position to mix his game up a bit and he responded really well. James took over ruck in the second half of the quarter and he also performed well. Felix, Marcus, Serge and Maxim also put in a good solid quarter.
After the half time break Fitzroy very quickly came out united and dictated play - this was consistent throughout the last half of the game. Our boys couldn’t really get into the match. Fitzroy kept the ball in their forward line for most of the third quarter. Jet and Xavier did a great job trying to contain Fitzroy and Toby, playing full back, tried really hard to kick the ball out of their forward line. To Fitzroy’s credit, they displayed great handball, kicking and marking skills. One of their boys had a ripper quarter taking some excellent marks. Our coaches revved up the boys going into the fourth quarter. The boys came out firing but unfortunately they struggled to keep up with Fitzroy’s passages of play. Fitzroy were strong in all areas. The Bullants did try hard to get the ball back, they gave it their all. But it was Fitzroy’s day today, adding a couple more goals and a few points to seal our fate.
Well done to all. Part of developing as an individual and as a team is learning how to bounce back after a hard game. We’ve had a great winning streak, reflecting on last season and the first few games of 2016. Stick by each other boys, learn from this game, and let’s look upward and move forward as we anticipate another strong contest against Hawthorn Citizens next week.
Thanks to our team manager and all parents for assisting with game day duties.
Round 3 v Brunswick at Gillon Oval. Gillon Oval is very similar in size to PCO and one of the better grounds YJFL. The surface was in great condition considering the amount of rain the night before but that wasn’t going to dampen our boy’s spirits as they looked to make it 3 from 3, in 2016.
Our focus like all weeks was to be first to the ball and to make the right decisions when disposing of the footy, which they did for most of the first quarter. The tackling pressure was intense and our movement around the ground clean. A nice start and a small lead at the first break. PB 13, B 7.
Man on man was the message for the second quarter and again most followed instructions, however mental lapses in concentration hurt us in the transition. Brunswick were able to move the ball out of our defensive area with ease and if not for the wind blowing into their faces at 100 miles an hour, they should have put far more score board pressure on us. Again goals late meant that we had a comfortable lead, but not convincing at half time. PB 38, B13.
We were kept scoreless in the 3rd quarter as Brunswick’s on ballers got on top and they were able to reduce the margin to just 12 point at the last change. Too many boys running forward of the ball and not being accountable. PB 38, B26.
In the final quarter it was about taking the game on and running, running and running, which is what they did. A great effort all round to finish the game off strongly but leaving it to the last quarter and kicking with a massive wind is not the way we want to play. PB 64, B 26.
Well done Terence on winning the Brunswick medal for best afield on the day.
Best team players on the day: Nick, Lucas, Ryan, Charlie, Pantelis, Josh, Noah and Zach D.
Dom Vaiano U13’s Coach
|Glen Iris||Preston Bullants|
|Goal Kickers||Jessie -2, Alex -1|
Round 3 01 May 2016 saw the Bullants U14s take on Glen Iris, another team that lost heavily in round 2. On a blustery day, after wild overnight storms, we arrived at the ground to find it pretty dry and firm with the hope of no more rain. We also found that the opposition coach was former St Kilda Best and Fairest in 2000 and Channel 7 player of the year 1999 Andrew Thompson, so we expected to come up against a well drilled team.
We started the match good ball movement, coming out of defence with Daniel up the wing with a chain of kicks, marks and hand balls.
There was strong tackling by Alex and great attack on the footy by Ben Morgan and quick play by Charbel getting the ball going forward. Perry was hard at the footy. Maivia kicked out well to Darcy who was demanding the footy. There was also a great lead, mark and kick on by Jackson to give our forwards a chance up the ground. As the wind picked up favouring the Glen Iris end, the rest of the quarter saw good defensive work by Suhail, Perry and James. Leo and Alex were marking the ball well and Jack King and James continued to push the ball away from half back.
The second quarter started with great pressure on the ball from Charbel, then on to Jessie then to Alex for a mark and Goal! Jessie was working hard as a forward option but hurt his leg trying to get a quick snap at goal when tackled hard. Maivia was strong in defense, with Darcy and Anthony winning the ball at lots of contests. The defense held up well for most of the quarter but another good goal by Glen Iris late in the quarter had them comfortably ahead at the half.
Half Time Score Bullants 2.0.12 v Glen Iris 4.9.33
In the 3rd quarter the wind picked up again to the Glen Iris scoring end. We won the first clearance through Anthony, but the ball quickly went back the other way for an easy goal to Glen Iris as we failed to man up after a turn over. Finn was working hard on the forward line and Perry and Darcy tackling ferociously in defense. Maivia protected the goal square as always. River made a dashing run and bounce up the wing. A great forward thrust saw Jackson Kane drive the ball forward to Jessie resting injured near full forward, but only resulted in a point. Leo had a strong quarter in the back half taking mark after mark as a spare defender (good coaching).
Our first thrust forward in the last quarter saw Ted and Jackson involved in getting the ball to the top of the square where the still hobbling Jessie picked up cleanly and snapped truly for a major. A great tackle by River held up the next passage of promising Glen Iris link up play, but eventually they got a player out back behind our defenders for a goal to them. James Taylor continued to push the ball out of defense along the boundary line, repelling many of Glen Iris forward thrusts. The Bullant boys were all tired but were still throwing their bodies in when they could get to the contest. Alex marked well on the wing and drove the ball to centre half forward where Finn, caught behind, got to the contest and bumped his player off the ball in what was our last push forward for the Game
Full Time Score Bullants 3.2.20 v Glen Iris 9.16.70
Overall it was a competitive, team effort by the boys. There was something for the team to build on going forward.
There was plenty to be impressed about with the likes of Jack running hard all day to deny his opponent. Ben Morgan presented well as a forward, consistently playing in front and he also spent some time in the ruck to give Alex a rest. Suhail showed glimpses of his potential reading the play well to position himself in the right spot and Jacob battled on despite getting a rough knock in a tackle and having to spend time on the bench.
When you consider we only had eighteen players (no bench to give anyone a rest) against a team that had a full bench, it was a commendable effort and represents a great opportunity to improve again next week when we hope to have most of the playing list available.
|Boroondara Hawks||Preston Bullants|
The old football clichés, “A week is a long time in football” and “It was the loss we had to have” applied to the Under 15s in round three. After two impressive wins to commence the season and facing a Boroondara team that was holding up the ladder, the boys went into the game was a palpable sense of compliancy. A lack of focus before the game was a concern for the coaches and proved to be an indicator of the team’s performance once the game started.
Poor kicking by the opposition gave our boys a false sense of security in the first half, as they went into the break with what appeared to them to be a comfortable lead. Boroondara had had more scoring shots, but they had only resulted in a score of ten straight points. However, once the opposition kicked their first goal at the beginning of the third quarter they seemed to find their accuracy. Our boys were outscored for the first time in the game and as the quarter progressed our lack of run started to become more noticeable.
Our boys went into the last quarter with only a ten point lead. Right from the start of the quarter, Boroondara’s attack on the ball was more fierce and our teams skills dropped away as many of the boys found their fitness levels waning. The ball rebounded out of our forward line with regularity and the defence who had battled manfully all day cracked under the pressure. In the end Boroondara proved they were the better team on the day and had a well deserved win.
The boys were noticeably gutted by the loss but have the chance to bounce back this week if they want to put into place, the things that made them a successful team in the first two weeks. Every boy needs to contribute they are not a team that relies on a few stars but rather a team that relies on all eighteen players on the field at any one team contributing to their best abilities.
Again I would like to mention Jack N whose efforts were of a Herculean manner, Jackson T, Joshua D, William G, Rory H and Matty M who never gave up trying all day and Daniel Habchi who was a revelation at fullback and stopped the opposition scoring even more goals.
|Best Players||Liam Sutton, Max Vaino, Tom Hallebone, Adrian De Sando, Liam McErlain, Julian De Napoli|
Round 3 saw us face a Banyule outfit that had won it’s opening 2 encounters with ease. We hosted Banyule at Bulleen Park in Windy Conditions. Jackson Curic captained the team in game number 100.
We welcomed back Aidan Baynes from injury to take a key defensive post.
We began strongly with the boys winning clearances thanks to the dominant ruck work of Tom Hallebone and Jack Hayes – Liam Sutton, Max Vaino and Adrian De Sando were influential.
We were able to kick 3 first quarter goals to the scoring end and restrict the opposition.
The second quarter was an arm wrestle with it difficult to score in to the breeze. Callum Chilcott snapped truly to ensure we still held a slender margin at half time.
The third quarter saw us play really well, move the ball well. De Sando kicked a brilliant running goal.
We led by 17 points at ¾ time.
Banyule were going to the scoring end, however, given the low scoring affair we really backed ourselves to get the job done.
Unfortunately Banyule kicked the first major after a lapse in defensive concentration. This was followed by a lack of discipline resulting in another goal awarded at the top of the goal square. Our lead had been cut down to 5 points within the first 2 minutes.
We had our chances to kill the game but our skill execution just wasn’t quite there and Banyule kicked another 2 goals.
We finished the game strongly but in the frantic final minutes we just weren’t able to convert and Banyule held on to win by 7 points.
Obviously a very disappointing loss, from a coaching perspective I’m pleased that we have been in all 3 games, however, we have lost 2 games that I felt we were the better side in.
We will look to improve throughout the week and hopefully make it 2 wins from 4 starts this weekend against Parade St.Damians.
|Parade St Damians||Preston Bullants|
|Best Players||Christian Renna, Josh Torcasio, Christian Fakhri, Karl Rentos, Liam Webster-McAllister, Johnston Mai|
We were optimistic coming into round 3 at 1-1 after the first two games. The boys were still disappointed with last week’s loss and were ready to bounce back onto the winners list. Before the game we spoke about today being a great opportunity for both individuals and the team. We only had 19 players available so it would again be a challenge to run out four quarters of quality football.
Josh Torcasio would captain the side for the first time this season after leading the boys extremely well through the first two games.
The first quarter saw us take a commanding lead with a strong breeze. Christian Renna had a great start to the day, kicking four majors in the opening term. We were able to assert our dominance early with our on ball pressure causing Parade St Damians to turn the ball over. Louis Paolacci was great in his first game of the year. Jack Perin provided a great target up forward and continued his hard work delivering forward pressure when the ball hit the ground.
The second term was a much closer contest with us playing against the wind. We learnt that we could no longer kick and hope into our forward line. We needed to lower the eyes and play with more tempo to minimise our turnovers. Our backline was once again sensational under pressure lead by Oscar Chaplin, Sean O’Connell, Paul Palazzolo and Christian Fakhri.
At half time we discussed utilising the third quarter with the wind to put the game to bed. To our boy’s credit, they did just that and had opened up a ten goal lead by the final break. Our ball movement was fantastic, giving our forwards great delivery. Moe Merhi provided one of the highlights of the day with an incredible checkside banana from deep in the forward pocket.
Our final quarter effort was just as impressive. We were kicking against the breeze but our boys didn’t stop playing until the final siren. John Karahountris was at his best in the last term kicking two goals. The lead ballooned out to a final margin of 111 points. As a coach I was super proud of the way we were able to string together four solid quarters of competitive football. We are starting to gel together as a team and are excited for what is to come in 2016.
As always, thank-you to all the parents and volunteers who help out during the week and on game day.