What is it that makes being a part of The Mighty Preston Bullants so special and homely?
Is it the rich history that keeps getting added to each and every season that passes?
Is it the special friendships and life long memories players get a chance to create as they line up week in week out while their army of family supporters and volunteers cheer them on and fulfil their role?
Or perhaps it could be as simple as being part of a true central local Preston Club and community that we all love to congregate at and be a small part which is open and welcome to all that choose to be a part of our wonderful club.
Either way, Bullants football returns this week to add a new chapter at Zwar Park which has been resurfaced and ready for 2016 action. It has been a long time coming with past presidents and many committee members meeting, discussing working the best way forward with all interested parties including local council departments, co-tenants and just about anyone else who would hear the plight over the condition that Zwar Park once was.
That plight is now about to be put behind us once and for all. For all the emails, meetings, phone calls and the like, have come to a head and after meeting with council last week for one final inspection, before tearing down the temporary fencing at Zwar Park, I personally am very excited about what lays ahead for our wonderful club as we get the opportunity to play on 2 manicured surfaces moving forward, for Zwar Park is looking very, very schmick!
So on behalf of the club, a big thank you to all the people who had a massive hand in getting Zwar Park to where it is today, which will only give all players the opportunity to do the best they can and really enjoy those very memories they are about to create…
Go The Mighty Bullants!!
Preston Bullants JFC
When the combination of coach and players, solidly supported by all the essential people who provide the background assistance, is at its best the impact can be outstanding. In such a situation, each individual contributes to an overall effect shared by everyone.
At Preston Bullants Juniors and at Hocking Stuart Preston, this is the aim. We are constantly striving to achieve excellence in what we do, individually and as a united group.
Tackers White travelled to Heidelberg to take on the Tigers. It was a good day for footy and the team were in good spirits.
During the week we worked hard on our kicking skills and kicking out from full back and the team showed some real improvement in those areas. Heidelberg were a pretty good side though and they got on top early. The great thing about Tackers White though, and what makes me proud as a coach is that we never give up. This is going to be a real asset as we spend more time together and improving our team play.
Up to half time we had some good movement forward and were unlucky to miss a couple of opportunities. The real fight was down in our backline and the guys did a terrific job picking up their men and fighting to keep the ball away from our goals. In the midfield the boys tackled really well, took some good marks and ran for their teammates.
We've been working on leading for our players and Issiah W made the coach proud by running 30m into space to receive a kick from Captain Kes! Issiah marked and pumped it into our forward line for another scoring opportunity. It was great stuff.
We went into half time full of confidence and big smiles.
The second half showed some real improvement, and while Heidelberg were a bit strong on the day, we continued to work on manning up in the backline and transferring that ball into the midfield. Just like last week I've got an eye on the guys who are learning the trade and are new to the game. This week it was Lachie's turn to take a couple of marks and to earn himself two kicks. At training we've been working on dropping the ball straight and pointing our toes to our targets. Lachie showed us how it's done with lovely backwards spinning drop punts leaving his boot. Good work mate!
So all in all a lot of positives to take away and some things to work on at training. Tackers White is all about improving each week, digging in and supporting our teammates. Each week the guys make their coach and parents proud by running out there and giving it their all.
Well done Bullants. Can't wait for training!
Round 5 saw the Tackers Red team return to Beverly Rd Oval, the home of the Banyule Bears. As was the case 2 weeks ago, Coaches were feeling nervous as we seem to have a history of frustrating games on this ground. A friendly chat with the Fitzroy coach who was there for another game, confirmed that we were up against Banyule’s “A” team & would be in for a tough one.
After a solid warm-up, Xavier and Marcus were appointed captains. In their pre game address the coaches highlighted that all players were in different positions this week and that we had new jobs to do. The focus was on going for their marks and hanging onto them, thus leaving no room for “interpretation”. It was also vital that players stuck to their zones as we had paid dearly for “Zone infringements” however small in the past.
It was a tight first quarter with minimal scoring and both sides going hard at the ball. The Bears were very good by foot & hit targets frequently while the Bullants made a good account of themselves with their tackles & second efforts. Highlights of the quarter included a great mark by Harry.
At quarter time Scott said "tough games are about hard work" and encouraged players to work on the structure of their new positions & man up.
In the second quarter Callum, Sam and Felix all took great marks and the backline did the most work they have done for the year. Caitlin executed a great tackle, Cameron, Darcy & Andre all showed that they wanted the ball just as much in the backline as they had for the last 4 weeks as forwards. Despite a great coast to coast passage of play that got us within range, we were still without a goal at half time. The players were asked to focus on not leading too early and getting to the ball first by the coaches.
The Bullants started the third quarter with renewed enthusiasm and determination. Patrick and Tamar kicked their first goals in the forward for the year. Tamer following up his goal with a run to high five his Dad behind the goals was a lovely reminder of why we all get up early Sunday mornings! Marcus was everywhere forward & marked strongly while Felix took some great marks and provided plenty of drive out of the midfield. Tom had a terrific run down the wing weaving around 2 Bears....he should have kicked it then but elected to take on the third Bear charging down on him, caught in a solid tackle he landed heavily on his knee and took no further part in the game. It was a much better quarter by the Bullants and a tougher match than the Bears might have been used to.
The final quarter was a tough slog. Midfield continued to work hard against strong opponents and provided opportunities for Patrick to kick his second goal and Ziggy a point. Despite our small backline standing tall, Banyule managed to score a couple of goals to keep the game out of our reach.
In the post match address the coaches emphasised that it will take a while to get to know their new positions and that we will focus on tightening up the defence in all areas prior to the next game. The kids were clearly disappointed but can hold their heads high in the way they fought out the game and the spirit in which they play.
Thanks to Alissa Bubbers for the match report and to everyone who helped out with the various jobs on game day. Thanks Paul Wilson for your work as Trainer & for looking after Tom. Special mention to Team Manager Chris....you know you’ve got a good team around you when you get handed a Berocca in the car park pre game!
|Park Orchards Sharks||Preston Bullants|
|Goals||Lucas -3, Jaxson -3, Thomas -1, Grady -1|
|Best Players||Team Effort|
May 14th Rd 5 - Park Orchards Sharks v Preston Bullants: No gale-force wind or pouring rain last Sunday allowed for another fast start with our quality midfield linking up well & winning deep direct clearances to set up a sizeable lead at 1/4 time 4-3-27 to 0-0-0. 2nd Qtr saw a more even contest with game predominately played in Park Orchards' Fwd line but our desperate miserly Defence stood up strongly to only allow 1 Goal whilst we managed 1 from limited entries to lead 5-3-33 to 1-2-8. 3rd Qtr it was all Park Orchards as they closed the margin to just 8 pts at 3/4 time. After a big rev-up from Ray & Craig at the final break + vocal support from enthusiastic parents our Bullants approached last Qtr with a positive mindset to firstly defend as a tight unit, then work our way forward with precise ball movement, then ultimately close out the game with dominant authority slamming home 2 late Goals from Jaxson & Grady securing a stirring away win 8-7-55 to 5-5-35.
Goal Kickers: Ayden -1, Thomas C -1
|Preston Bullants||Hawthorn Citizens|
|Goal Kickers||Noah -2, Josh -2, Michael -1, Tyler -1|
|Best Players||Liam, Noah, Declan, Dion, Tyler, Callum, Nathan|
Finally we were back home at PCO for a game of footy. The ranking period over, we were playing against an opposition who had been promoted to our division after winning all of their games. We started the game kicking into a slight breeze and fought really hard to restrict the opposition to a couple of goals as well as giving ourselves a couple of good opportunities to score. Brody was really solid at centre half back in this quarter and Dion was also really reliable in Hawthorn’s attacks.
In the second quarter we started to gain ascendancy on the scoreboard as our midfield and forward line began to get on top. There were some excellent passages of play and Noah and Oscar K were providing excellent targets up forward due to their superb long leading at the ball carrier. Goals to Noah, Josh and a ‘goal of the year’ contender from Tyler ensured that we went in ahead at the long break. Even though the skills displayed were superb, it was our willingness to do the ‘one percenters’ that made the difference. A great shepherd by Tyler and Nathan and Jesse’s usual tenacity to fight for the ball in their areas epitomised the determination of the team. A special mention for some multiple and repeated efforts by Liam in our forward line to hold the ball in and eventually give our team a goal.
The third quarter was a bit of an arm wrestle. The back line again stood firm and Callum and Ben were fantastic on the last line of defence and they were well supported by Harry, Lachie and Makaio. Josh was able to make a couple of scything runs through the middle of the ground and drive us into attack. We went in to the last quarter with a good buffer and the confidence that if we played well we would win. Unfortunately the opposition didn’t read the same play book and at the start of the last quarter Hawthorn dominated territory and were able to hold the ball in their forward fifty for about the first ten minutes. Fantastic defensive efforts by Callum, Oscar H, Coen, Seb R and Seb F, meant that we were able to minimise the damage. Suddenly we broke out of our defensive half and got the ball down into our forward line. Some desperation from a number of players gave us possession of the ball and Michael seized the opportunity to push forward, get out the back of the opposition and calmly slot the winner. Soon after Josh confirmed the result with an excellent goal under pressure.
Everyone contributed to the win and a special mention must go to Declan who won the medal from the opposition. It is great to see all the players developing each week and Declan has certainly improved and in combination with Noah and Makaio is giving us first use of the ball around the ground.
|Preston Bullants||Ivanhoe W|
|Goal Kickers||Toby -1, Max L-T -1, Max D -1, Serge M -1, Felix M.S-B -1, Jet T -1, Shahayar N -1, Lachlan H -1 -2|
Sunday morning was another beautiful morning for playing football at PCO. We congratulate Toby Hallebone and Lachlan Hoo on celebrating 50 games of junior football. Both boys are valued members of our player group and reaching 50 games is a huge accomplishment.
The coaches’ messages to the team before the game were: 1. First to the ball. 2.Focus on the ball not the player. 3. Quick ball movement. 4. Strong tackles. 5. Back your team mates up 6. Four full quarters.
1st Quarter Pressure from the backline was fantastic from the start, forcing Ivanhoe on the back foot Jordan’s pressure and running on the ball in the backline helped set the scene for this quarter and the rest of the game. Nicholas dominated the ruck work Jack Reed showed real courage by throwing his body in to the defence. Maxim showed true grit with a couple smothers which resulted in the ball turning over quickly in our favour. Jack B kept running hard. Once we moved the ball forward our numbers around the ball were fantastic, which resulted in three goals for the quarter. As we expected, Ivanhoe tried to push our backline into our forward line and our boys responded well by holding the line and building a solid wall across the backline.
2nd Quarter Goal for goal this quarter, Ivanhoe upped the ante in their defence and our boys struggled to push the ball through the goals; however our forward line kept plugging away which finally saw a couple results. Samuel stepped up this quarter and in fact the rest of the game with strong and fast movement in the backline. His smart thinking and quick changes in direction prevented Ivanhoe from scoring more than their 2 goals. We saw strong ruck work and running on the ball from Pheonix, however unfortunately he was on the receiving end of a knock which resulted in him coming off for the rest of the quarter. Alex was constantly delivering the ball from the midfield into the forward line - in one instance Max D was on the receiving with an awesome mark low to the ground. Jet showed his versatility as a player today, working hard in the forward line.
3rd Quarter After the harder second quarter we reminded the boys to move the ball down to the forward line as soon as they take possession. Straight away the communication between our midfield was happening with boys setting up for the bounce. Ty increased his intensity on the ball with some strong tackles while sharing the ruck with Henry. Samuel continued to own the backline with Jordan, Jack M and Luca. Cracks started to appear in the Ivanhoe game with their emotions getting the better of them - it was a credit to our boys who showed great composure. Jack B did his job well by consistently outplaying one of Ivanhoe’s stronger players. Our game style changed from a running game to a more defensive game, however we still controlled most of the play and prevented Ivanhoe from scoring.
4th Quarter The Bullants entered this quarter refocussing after reiterated the game’s key messages. 1. First to the ball 2. Focus on the ball not the player. 3.Quick ball movement 4. Strong tackles 5. Back your team mates up. The boys delivered with Ivanhoe only scoring 1 point to our 2 goals 1 point. Our team showed great pressure on the ball with the constant movement all around the oval. It was a good win.
We thank every player for their efforts. The Bullants played with determination, focus, confidence and composure. In addition, they displayed great maturity – it was pleasing to see that when they came across individual challenges on the day, they put their heads down and helped each other out to play good, solid football.
Coaches Matt, Julian and Craig
|Preston Bullants||Surrey Park|
|Goals||2 to 1 person, 1 to 3 individuals|
|Best Players||Bullants back 6. In particular the Full Back|
The Bullants have withstood a poor 1st half to snatch a last-gasp three-point victory over Surrey Park at PCO for their first win in brown division.
Zach D was the hero in the 4.6 (30) to 4.3 (27) victory, achieved despite being down for most of the afternoon.
The Bullants hit the front late in the final term on Sunday before Surrey again took back the lead before a few cool heads prevailed to seal the game.
The final quarter produced some of the most thrilling football of the season as the Bullants threw out the conservative style they'd played for three quarters and put their foot to the floor.
They emerged from three-quarter time to kick 2 goals to 1 goal in the final term and to hold the momentum.
Surrey had appeared destined for their first win of the year as they trapped the ball deep in their forward line with less than a 2 half minutes to play, but the Bullants launched one final challenge and were rewarded.
FIVE TALKING POINTS One of the club's toughest wins. It was a coming-of-age match for a few big men, who through their bodies in all day, and an important calming goal in the dying minutes to seal the game to make it five from five in 2016.First-year Bullant, Jamie also stamped himself on the contest in the 2nd half, including a brilliant 4 tackle effort in the 3rd quarter that set the tone for the final term.
It was a win that will release the mental pressure on this playing group, with players rewarding their coach's unwavering faith in their ability to mix it with the best teams in the competition.
The Bullants pressure in the second half was nothing short of intense, with Surrey staying in front, if not in control for most of the game. Each time the Bullants challenged for the lead, Surrey found a response.
When Surrey kicked a goal with just 6 minutes left, it looked a challenge too far for the besieged battling Bullants.
Bullants Assistant Coach George Michaelides heaped praise on the big men, and said that with no rotations from the bench at many stages, the coaching panel had to be creative."That's why we're so proud our guys endured – they found a way," he said.
"Particularly late, they had cool heads under pressure."We're making some huge steps forward."
MEDICAL ROOM Zac V hobbled off in the 2nd with a bad case of heel pain but after some close attention from the medical staff at half time he managed to re-appear in the second half. “Zac will be managed throughout the week and will under-go a fitness test later to determine if he is available for selection” said Bullants trainer Vince Spataro.
NEXT UP The Bullants play Heidelberg Y at 1pm next Sunday at Warringal Park which is again another huge challenge for this young tough side.
Preston Bullants: Zac V (foot - test)
Surrey Park: NA
Now, that’s a game of footy! Sure, we didn’t win it but we gave it our best shot.
First, quick recap. Grading period has been completed and the Bullants were granted our request to play in Blue division. This division, following Grading comprises of 4 Blue, 2 Green, 1 Black and 1 Brown grading division teams. So, it is a healthy mix across a range of divisions. Our first game in Blue was against Warrandyte, who dropped from Green to Blue.
Now some handy stats. This was a very competitive game and the stats back that up. We had 14 scoring shots to Warrandyte’s 17. (I have argued that to even contemplate a winning score you must take at least 15 shots at goal.) At half time we had 7 shots (4.3) to Warrandyte’s 6 (2.4). At half time the stats were gold for the Bullants. It was the first time this year we lead at half time; the most scoring shots we had achieved (in a game!) and had more scoring shots than the opposition. At half time. In the second half (actually, in the last quarter) they pulled away with 11 scoring shots to 7.
Now the game: The team ran onto PCO in overcast conditions and a slight wind favouring the Bell St end. Because Warrandyte forgot to bring their ‘clash’ jumper the Bullants agreed to wear our white jumper with the red Myrmecia glaring at its opposition. Along with the generous act of wearing our away jumper, we also gave Warrandyte the wind in the First.
From early on you could sense the desire from both teams in this contest. Bullants were getting the ball into its forward area but without reward. Then Darc, breaking several lines, cut through to set up a forward entry attack. Ben M took a strong mark and goaled truly.
Into the second and the team started to string structured runs, out of defence and into attack. One run, with great control down the wing by Charbel led to Rhett snapping our second. The game had picked up the pace. The Bloods (Warrandyte) were pushing hard into their forward line. Jakeb was getting a few touches, Alex was everywhere, Finn forced the ball into enough space and Rhett was starting to make the goal area his. I wrote, “this game is tight and will go down to the wire”. Then Jakeb earned a free and due to a Bloods indiscretion, earned a 25m extra free. He lined up and put us in the lead. Ben M, playing a terrific game kicked a beautiful curved punt to extend the lead going into the half time break.
That was the quarter that showed how good the Bullants are and can be. It also showed what the Bullants must strive for. Team work, team structure, team effort. Starting with centre clearances … actually all clearances. Alex is terrific reader of the play and our set structures have to get more benefit from this. I can imagine he and Darc would be great assistance to the coaches. Zippy little Johnson can get the ball. More importantly, if we can get the ball out to him, he can take off.
We had a bunch of contributors, like Leo setting up Rhett for a goal, Ben D, stopping several likely goals by breaking the Bloods’ lines, and our usual committed and highly competitive backline. Unfortunately, we ran out of run. The Bloods fitness and running game (using the handpass for advantage) won them the game. They certainly weren’t the more skilled team on the paddock. But they did have a more joined up game going on.
We will get there, you can already see that the team is more formed than it was 5 weeks ago. We have a strong set of excellent players led by Darc, Alex and Jesse. We have a good group of developing players, with Ben D, Jack and Jakeb showing strong signs of exponential improvement. Our newer players such as River, James and Suhail are slotting in nicely. As individuals and as the team, if we can continue to build our fitness and our running game we will just keep getting better. Go Bullants!
Parent helpers: Coach: Ang; Assistant Coach: Aidan; Runner: Rob; Trainer: Jodie/Sylvia; Boundary Umpire: Matt; Water carriers: Damien Gray and Richard Mills; Umpire Escort/Interchange steward: Nadim; Timekeeper: Steve Johnson; Oranges: Odette; Canteen: Cathy; Barbeque: John Morgan; Scoreboard: John Mantis
|Boroondara Hawks 3||Preston Bullants|
After the previous week’s return to form, round five saw us up against our round three nemesis, Boroondara. Playing them only two weeks after our first encounter, gave the boys the opportunity to rectify their previous inconsistent implementation of our game plan and a chance to show our opponent that we were indeed a physically strong, committed team.
Right from the word go, Damian and I could see that the boys were “on” in their preparation and warm up and this became evident within the first couple of minutes of the first term.
The boys were able to run forward of the ball giving their teammates attacking options and when Boroondara gained possession the boys were able to immediately transition into a defensive mindset. On another well grassed and rather small ground, the boys were able to move the ball with speed, accuracy and confidence. The forward line was working as a team and sharing the goal scoring opportunities around, always looking for a teammate in a better position. After a dominant first term but more even second term, the boys went into half time with a rather comfortable but very gettable lead.
The third term was to be the premiership quarter, and unlike our previous encounter with our opponent, the boys were able to hunt the football in groups, consistently outnumbering their opponents and continue to move the ball forward with appropriate attacking handball and well weighted kicks. As the final quarter began, Boroondara had had three quarters of play, in which they had been consistently reminded that they were facing a different opponent to the one they had faced previously. Whilst they continued to battle with spirit, they began to run out of legs and our boys marched onto probably their best win of the season so far.
A win of this calibre only comes from every boy contributing throughout the day, and this was certainly the story of our side last weekend. However Damian and I would like to mention the great games played by Nicholas Fraser and Noah Myers, who continued all day to put their bodies on the line, and were able to show great confidence in their skills to take the game on with contested marking and run. Congratulations to Peter Edge who played his first game of football on the weekend, and who with Louis Foster gave the team some further attacking options. Both boys were rewarded with goals that were celebrated by teammates and parents with gusto. Lastly both Damian and I are very excited by the progress of our “new” recruit Xavier Chamoun. As Xavier’s fitness levels improve on a weekly basis, we recognise his strong overhead marking and creative thoughtful play as being a very important part of any success we hope to have going forward.
|Goal Kickers||C. Chilcott -4, C. Howard -2, A. De Sando -1, L. Black -1, D. Hachem -1, K. Rentos -1, L. Sutton -1|
|Best Players||A De Sando, M Vaiano, T Hallebone, N Zonta, L Sutton, L McErlain, D. Hachem|
The grading games had been completed, we were to remain in Division 2 after 1 goal losses to Banyule and Surrey Park. We were excited to be back on PCO to take on a Macleod outfit that had easily won it’s opening 4 games in Colts 3 before earning promotion.
Mai, Rentos and Renna made their debut in Colts 1 and all would go on to play important roles through the wings and forward line.
We started brilliantly, the guys understood the roles expected of them and committed to our focus points. We went inside 50, 15 times to 4 in the opening quarter thanks to the midfield who have been ultra impressive in season 2016. Chilcott who was under an injury cloud managed to shrug it off and slot 2 opening quarter goals whilst Karl Rentos was looking busy up forward and was rewarded with a goal of his own.
Liam Sutton led the charge in the second quarter with Vaiano, De Sando and Moleta having important touches. Our back 6 led by key backs Hachem and Zonta were rock solid and Julian De Napoli simply hasn’t been beaten all year as our small defender. Bonadio provided great rebound resulting in Chilcott slotting his 3rd and Conor Howard showed fantastic aerial power again to pluck a couple of telling marks.
We had a 5 goal lead at half time, the boys were very determined to play out the minutes and execute our plans.
From a coaching perspective I couldn’t be more pleased with how the boys went in the 2nd half, we moved the ball brilliantly (a couple of times we overdid the handball), listened to instructions, hunted the opposition and played team first selfless football.
To run away 7 goal winners was massive for our group, we had 20 more inside 50’s so I felt like we were definitely giving our forwards opportunities. I think we will continue to get better each week and the attitude towards training / playing has been excellent – a real determination to make this year a successful one.
Congrats to Tom Hallebone who is in the u/16 Vic Metro squad. Great reward for effort.
I would also like the thank the parents for coming down Sunday – we had a great crowd in attendance.
We hope to continue on our winning ways this weekend against GDU away.
Tackles: 35 / 36
Clearances: 16 / 14
Inside 50’s: 46 / 26
F50 Tackles: 10
|Inside 50 tackles||10|
|Best Players||Liam Webster-McAllister, Josh Torcasio, Jack Sammartino, Christian Fakhri, Paul Palazzolo, Ryan Bonett|
After a great start to the season we headed out to Parkside to play against a side who had moved up from Colts 5. They were undefeated and had shown that they deserve to move up to our division. As we consider ourselves a side that can contend in colts 4, we spoke about sending a message to the rest of the competition by having another good win.
Dan Zou would captain the side in his 50th game for the club. Dan has been a great servant to the Bullants and has had a good start to the season. We needed Dan and others in the midfield to lead from the front today.
The first quarter began fairly evenly with both sides kicking an early goal. It looked as though we would have a good contest on our hands in the perfect conditions. Parkside then kicked four unanswered to end the quarter in a clinical display of ball movement.
At quarter time we spoke about trying to stop Parkside’s run as they were getting out loose and linking up far too easily. The boys worked hard in the second term and managed to slow down Parkside’s scoring. Unfortunately, we were unable to hit the scoreboard ourselves and fell behind by seven goals at half time.
The third quarter proved too much for our boys as we were comfortably outplayed. Our desire to fight back had disappeared and Parkside were able to kick away. By the end of the game Parkside had kicked 21 unanswered goals. Today showed that we need to work on slowing down the oppositions momentum when we fall behind. This will be the focus throughout the week at training.
Today was a big wakeup call for our boys and we will learn a lot from this loss. Sometimes teams need a game like this to identify problems to improve. We will continue to work at it and put forward a better performance next weekend.
Thanks to all the parents who continue to provide their time and support to the boys.