I had the privilege of attending the first Auskick event at Zwar Park for season 2016 last Saturday, and what an impressive lot of Auskickers, families, helpers and managers we are blessed with here at the Preston Bullants Auskick Centre.
Perfect sunshine greeted the 100 plus people who attended with Zwar Park looking its best it ever has been with a shiny new surface that will only get better as the grass sows and settles. What I never get bored of is seeing the enjoyment that all the kids are getting out of each and every contest they find themselves in. Whether it is a contested drill, a line skill session or the best of the day being a practice match, the sheer joy and excitement they get out of doing something no matter how big or small then seeking out their teammates for a “High 5” before finding their parent/carer for more acknowledgement is simply awesome and worth every minute of being a part of.
The team in Kate Wood, Dave De Bono, Katelyn Stanyer and David O’Brien have certainly got it all working together very nicely. Superbly organised, everyone knows their roles, volunteers are onto their jobs for the day and the coaches have got it all worked and planned out for the following 90 odd minutes of fun and activity, which is a real pleasure to watch. I even had a go at goal umpiring myself which I hadn’t done for years.
Also pleasing was the “appearance” or 3 of our Under 13’s team member in Pantelis Georgiou, Joshua Malkoun and Alistair Adlem who came down to assist the coaches with running drills and playing mentor roles to the junior Auskickers which is really please to see and would encourage as many Bullants players to come down and offer a hand for these juniors very much look up to you and we should all lead by example and help out in any small way we can, for it goes a long way to these kids and makes it “that” much more special of an event than it already is.
The very same group had turned on a match at half time for the Northern Blues game at PCO on Sunday that by all reports was a huge success across the board with great feedback from the Northern Blues themselves who are always welcoming of any of our junior participants to get involved in any of their matches which is an awesome experience for the kids in particular. A huge success Preston Bullants Auskick has been thus far with the team well on top of it all and looking to grow it even further by welcoming down new friends and family members to add to our already impressive group. Check these action shots from Sunday’s half time match and more importantly the smiles that come with them. Well done all! Keep up the great work for your efforts are clearly being relayed onto the field as you yourselves lead by example with a great team of coaches and volunteers.
Go Bullants, give them your best and enjoy your footy!
Preston Bullants JFC
Tackers white played their first game at the brand spanking new Zwar Reserve. The oval was picture perfect, it was a lovely day and it was great to have the Reds playing next door. Tackers white were up against St Marys and it was a good even contest from the outset. It was a bit of an arm wrestle over the first quarter with each team taking their turn to go forward. St Marys did well and took a couple of their chances, but the Bullants answered with a goal of their own before quarter time. The wind picked up a little in the second term and it proved challenging to get the ball out of our defensive zone, but our backline fought hard, put our training drills into practice and the damage was minimised. It wasn’t all played down back though and in one of our forays forward we worked hard in the midfield to get the ball in Dom’s hands, who licked truly. Result! It wasn’t the last time Dom had a chance either and he slotted his second soon after. Dare I say that the Whites were on a roll! It really was an even contest, but St Mary’s had their noses in front going into the second half.
Preston fought on and one of the best passages of play for the year saw Brock, Eddie, Kade and Ethan tackling hard in the forward zone to lock it in, until a cheeky handball out of the pack found Dom who kicked another. Our boys need to get a bit more desperate around the contest and this was a great example of the rewards that hard work can bring. Great work fellas! A real team goal.
The final term was played in great spirit, about three goals to our one…but who’s counting! So lots of good play and reward for our efforts. Great to see Omar kicking a backward spinning drop punt that hit Thomas V on the chest.
We’ll get down to training on Friday to work on our skills and getting our hands to the ball first!
Onward and upward Whites.
|Goals||Marcus - 4, Patrick - 2, Ziggy - 3, Tamer - 2|
The Bullants U9's had the great pleasure of taking to the newly improved Zwar oval for the first time. Pre match they were reminded that it was "Our home ground. Our ball and we needed to want it more!
Captains for the day Tom and Felix lead our players onto the field to take on St Mary’s Kookaburras.
The ‘little ants’ got off to a flyer with all the running. Tom Maddison, back to his preferred position, was dominant in the midfield and didn’t let up all match. Two early goals to Patrick (who had struggled to take the field due to illness) shook it off for his team and got the scoring started. Marcus took a strong mark in the latter stages of the term to kick our third goal. It was silky, controlled, one way traffic and the Bullants were clearly on!
Coaches instruction at quarter time was for the forwards to be first to the ball and to get in front of the opposition. Before that could happen our mids needed to drive the ball forward and Felix was up for the challenge with great drive. Our first goal for the term came from Marcus with great delivery from Tom. Tom then again took a strong pack mark, side stepped the man on the mark and pumped it long to Ziggy who got two hands to the ball and was payed the mark. Ziggy made no mistake with a confident set shot.
Half time was full of high 5's and praise. It was a text-book first half & the challenge to the team was to keep it up. Tom who had been dominant in the first half was told to take his turn on the bench & Scott called on Ned Reid to take up the challenge & perform the same role.
St Mary’s improved their efforts in the third term making for a tight struggle and no early scoring. Ned, Felix, Harry & Xavier soon turned up the heat in the midfield and put on a show. Felix chose to barge through the packs while Ned sidestepped around them & all hit their opponents with fierce tackles should they ever gain possession! Slick delivery from the middle saw Marcus scorer another major after a great handball from Tamer who then followed up with a mark in front to convert on the siren.
The final instruction was for our forwards to spread out, keep up the great tackling and running. Coach Scott rewarded several players including Xavier for great run, manning up and strong tackling. The Bullants wanted the ball more in the final term and applied plenty of team pressure. Ziggy snapped over his shoulder for his second goal. Tom then deployed the side step and delivered to Ziggy who kicked his 3rd. Jack Heffernan took a knock to the back of the head and showed how hard he is to shake it off and go on. Ned continued his great game, full of run and attack on the ball. Before the final siren Tamer kicked truly once again. Daniel took a great mark in the middle and aptly Marcus closed out the match with his 4th goal.
It must be said that the backline had trained passionately during the week and were all ready to try out their new plays....unfortunately for them,they saw little of the ball & were unable to try them out! Next week guys! But great work for repelling the few attacks you had to!
After the match both Red and White teams linked arms to sing the Bullants song. A really pleasing team effort for all involved. Well played Bullants!!
Thanks to everyone who helped out on the day. Special mention to Chris who is not only best Team Manager ever but a great Umpire as well! Thanks JB for the match report under trying circumstances! Thanks Rob for your constant support, ideas & insight (especially post a big Saturday night!) Extra thanks to my Little Bullants who constantly give me great pleasure with their passion, application, fun and humour!
|Goals||Samuel -1, Ayden -1|
|Best Players||Whole defensive unit + Ayden ultimately the Match winner!|
Our 1st Home game this year at ZWAR we were confronted by a howling gale that saw all the scoring & 95% of play down the pavilion end where our vocal passionate crowd cheered on every passage of play. A dour scrappy but tough game of 10s Footy ensued until the frenetic final half-minute delivered a thrilling climax so this is where we pick up the action: Bundoora work ball forward along Tafe side wing desperately defending 3-point lead. Samuel swoops onto loose ball at Half Back and kicks to Will in centre circle who is surrounded by 3 opponents yet with amazing awareness, classy footwork + fortuitous bounce he wins possession, dodges all around him and boots ball to Half Fwd where we have extra numbers, Pat taps ball into path of little but rampaging Anthony who bursts his way through an oncoming opponent, short kick forward sees Rylan pounce & his quick kick finds Ayden who manages to break free of 2 tacklers, steady himself in front of point post, then skilfully squeeze through a brilliant banana Goal seconds before the siren blissfully sounds! The euphoric jubilant scenes that followed a true reward for this tireless group who never gave up and played out that final minute with poise & maturity beyond their tender years!
|Goal Kickers||Oscar K, Josh, Liam, Callum, Declan|
|Best Players||Liam, Josh, Callum, Coen, Tyler, Oscar K, Lachie, Harry|
At a picturesque Kevin Bartlett Reserve and on a strangely warm May day, the Bullants set to play Richmond.
We began by kicking into the wind and held our own for much of the first quarter. It was an absorbing battle and we were able to contain their very good runners and taller options for long periods. Coen was impressive and got a number of really important possessions for us through the midfield and Callum was battling manfully in defence. We went into the first break a couple of goals down.
We were confident kicking with the wind that we would be able to breach the gap. Unfortunately, thigs did not go the way we hoped and we found ourselves on the back foot for much Harry and Lachie were excellent in their defensive action in that quarter and Josh and Liam were working hard. Tyler was also providing constant leads at the ball carrier and Seb F and Michael were trying hard in defence. Unfortunately, Richmond’s height and running power proved too much and despite a first half goal to Oscar K we went into the long break a long way behind.
The third quarter was a continuation of the first half to a degree with the game played in Richmond’s half for long parts of the quarter. What did improve though was our defensive action and even though we were under pressure there were some excellent bits of play.
At three quarter time we just wanted to win the last quarter. The boys came out hard and Oscar H was really good in the middle of the ground in stopping Richmond’s run from centre bounces. Suddenly we found both structure and run and we were able to hold the ball in our forward line for most of the quarter. The midfield were disciplined in making a wall and Noah and both Oscars were excellent at driving the ball in time and time again. Goals to Liam, Josh, Declan (who had obviously watched the FA Cup Final) and Callum (who was enjoying a run up the ground) gave us some real belief that we could snatch an unlikely win. Unfortunately, we ran out of time but it was really pleasing to see the way the boys fought out the game. We went down by 8 points again, but the effort for the four quarters was fantastic and gives us good hope for next week.
|Goal Kickers||Luca - 2, Felix - 1, Serge - 1, Lachlan H - 1, Jet - 1|
Congratulations to Serge Mariani and Phoenix Prince on celebrating their 50 games milestone.
FIRST QUARTER: Jet into the ruck, he set the tone for the whole day and the rest of the boys took it on board and ran with it. We controlled the centre with strength, speed and very quick ball movement, it was great to watch. We got the ball up to the forward line and we were in front, making the most of our opportunities resulting in two goals. It was the attack of defenders that controlled the day. We did not let Banyule have the upper hand, our boys tackled, ran, set up and smothered the ball and best of all, they moved the ball around like it was a training drill. Banyule did not know where the ball was going next!
SECOND QUARTER: The defence seen a lot of the ball and we held them off well. Our midfield got on top and gave our forwards a good go at the goals, scoring another 2 goals with the wind.
THIRD QUARTER: This quarter started off the same as the first. But this time was lead by the backline attack. Banyule put up a good fight, which we held off well. That allowed us to put on our secrete weapons, two of our under 11 boy’s and they did a great job.
FOURTH QUARTER: We were strong all over the ground. For the boys that are use to playing 3 quarters, it was very good to see that they were as good at the end of the game as they were at the start of the game. This also allowed us to use two more secrete weapons from our under 11s team.
It was a great result considering that we started with the bare 18 players and that it was a horribly windy day. Great effort boys! A special thank you to the under 11 boy’s who rushed over to support us.
It was a great display of mateship and team spirit. Thanks boys, it was great to be part of it. Every player, played their role and made a huge contribution to our win. We couldn’t be prouder!
Coaches Craig, Julian and Matt
|Goals||Charles -2, Ethan -1. Patrick -1|
|Best Players||Our two ruckmen|
|Injuries||Rodda (Knee - test)|
The Bullants were not able to back up last week's breakthrough win in brown division with another victory, going down to Heidelberg by 22 points in an error-riddled clash at Warringal Park on Sunday.
Heidelberg dominated for much of the day but struggled to convert before eventually kicking 3 goals to 1 in the final term to come away with the 7.6 (48) to 4.2 (26) victory.
Billy Rodda played arguably his best game for the year, notching up plenty of disposals and hit outs in the first half before going down with what looked like a serious knee injury.The Bullants had closed the gap to 10 points at 3 quarter time after Heidelberg held a 3 goal advantage for much of the game.
3 quick goals in the final term to Heidelberg proved to be the difference, not before the Bullants mounted a mini comeback with a clever snap at goal by Patrick who read the ball from the kick out to convert.
Vaiano’s boys clearly had the better of the hit outs with the two rucks dominating around the ground but the Bullants mid’s failed to win the clearances.
Vaiano rued his side's errors, but was pleased with the effort his players showed.
“They need to hit their targets and lift their eyes. Kicking around the body plays straight into the opposition’s hands.”
"I thought statistically we were pretty good in this game. We had our fair share of the ball around the ground, we won plenty of 50-50 contested ball, and we got a lot of forward half turnovers," Vaiano said after the game.
"Defensively we're holding up. But if our mid’s aren’t able to shut down the opposition and win their line share of the stoppages we are going to put out back 6 under massive pressure. We've still got a heap of improvement but by and large, we're giving a good account of ourselves.
"We're good at making what is incredibly easy, incredibly hard."
Billy Rodda went down early in the 3 quarter with what looked to be a serious knee injury and played no further part in the game. Mum said “he got a stinger, that’s it and bit winded as the player crunched him when he was down.” Rodda is expected to make a full recovery and is likely to play next week, which is great news for the Bullants big man.
The Bullants play Beverley Hills next Sunday at PCO which is again another huge challenge for this young tough side.
|Goal Kickers||Leo -5, Charbel -3, Jesse -3, Ben M -3, Rhett -2, Alex -2, Ted -1|
The Bullants welcomed their return to Zwar Park with the first win for the season. And what a win it was. The Bullants completely outplayed the Dragon, from the first bounce to the final siren. Across the field, and because they played as a team. They shrugged off a tough Grading period and last week’s loss in the first game in Blue division to simply outclass the smaller, less organised Dragons.
Captain Courageous, Darc, led brilliantly from the front but it was many others that made this the win the team needed. His lieutenants are multiplying. Four weeks ago we might have counted Alex and Jesse and they have kept up their work rate. But they would be as pleased as anyone, especially our coach Ang that they can now count on Ben M, Chilli, Ben D, Rhett, Leo, Max and the always impressive Anthony to take more of the load.
In this wind there was even more carrying the load. Key defender, James T in the backline, River on the wing and Charbel in the forward zone (more of his game later) all stood up. But the fire in the engine was Daniel Q. Running off the half back flank, he gave the Bullants the third runner (after Jesse and Anthony) this team needs.
The significant move that has almost awakened the mechanics and mobility of the Bullants was moving Chilli to the back flank, as a runner (and mover and shaker) and moving Darc to the centre line. The backline with its defensive role, and its springboard strategy has been bolstered by this move, freeing up Darc to move up and down the ground as required.
The Bullants started the game kicking against the wind. On a big paddock like Zwar that wind can swirl around, and pick up speed without warning. With drainage completed, the ground is solid and springy and a good team will use that traction to offset the nuisance wind factor, and trust their skills and fitness. This is how the Bullants played.
Two standout things from the First quarter. The tackling (especially Ben D and Daniel) and centring the ball in forward zone attacks. The team used the flanks and pockets as you should but were then able to find space with a better angle on goal. By half-time the Bullants had the momentum. With the wind they moved the ball forward quickly. Alex, particularly used his strength and the wind to send the ball 40m at a time. One time his kick outside 50 beat all for a goal.
In defence Suhail was terrific. He has come leaps and bounds in just six games but this was the game he showed the team just how good he will be. Ben D continues to improve and impress. Finn was throwing himself into the play and made a mark. And then there was Charbel. In five minutes he locked in the Bullants win with three goals, against the wind! All snaps. In fact his first was from a set shot that fell short of the 10m square. Never-mind, he roved his own ball and snapped a goal!
The Bullants kicked 7 in the Last, including the goal of the year. That wasn’t Leo’s airborne soccer goal to take his game tally to 5! Even though that was pretty cool. No the big goal was Ted’s. The ball was scrambled in the square when Leo shot a handpass to Ted. He put his boot to ball and sent it through the big sticks. The team jumped for joy. Ted was beaming. The spectators cheered wildly as team-mates ran from all over the ground to congratulate Ted. This was Ted’s moment. This was a team win.
This is true Bullant spirit!
Parent helpers: Assistant Coach: Aidan, Runner: Rob, Trainer: Sylvia, Boundary Umpire: Matt, Goal Umpire: Luc, Water carriers: Damien Gray and Richard Mills, Umpire Escort/Interchange steward: Freddie Rahme, Timekeeper: Charlie, Oranges: Rashid, Canteen: Odette, Barbeque: Jo Knight, Scoreboard: John Morgan
The Under 15s had a BYE this week
|Preston Bullants||G D U Demons|
|Goal Kickers||Moleta -4, Chilcott -3, Howard -2, Curic -2, Rentos -1, Hachem -1, Baynes -1, De Sando -1, McErlain -1|
|Best Players||De Sando, Moleta, Sutton, Vaiano, McErlain, De Napoli, Curic|
We traveled out to Balwyn to take on GDU in windy conditions. GDU had proved a bit of a bogey side for us and we were very keen to get one back!
Webster-Mcallister & Torcasio made there debut in Colts 1 after some good form under Josh Whelan in Colts 2.
We began brightly - Tom Hallebone completely dominating centre bounces seeing us kick 3 goals within 5 minutes. Rentos looked busy across half forward whilst Baynes, Chilcott, Curic & Howard were causing all sorts of headaches.
As has been the case all season De Sando, Captain - Liam Sutton, Vaiano & Mcerlain dominated through the midfield whilst Anthony Moleta has been dynamic through the wings.
We kicked 6 goals to 1 in the opening term with the aid of a handy breeze.
We were challenged in the second with us only kicking 1 goal in the opening 10 minutes to GDU's 3. Fortunately we kicked a few late to ensure that we won the quarter by a couple of points. Hachem was rock solid alongside De Napoli in our back 6.
In the 3rd we began sluggishly - 1 goal in the opening 9 minutes and although we were dominating in terms of field position we couldn't put it on the board. The lads kicked in to gear with Moleta slotting a cracking goal on the back of a Bonadio chase down tackle whilst De Sando who brought his own footy to the game kicked a classic goal from a stoppage.
Mcerlain who had been industrious as always took a terrific mark as the siren sounded deep in the pocket..Liam calmly slotted a left foot banana much to the delighted of Chilcott who let everyone know what he thought of it!!
We kicked 4 majors in the last quarter to 1 which was really pleasing. To run out 78 point winners is a credit to the boys, who although not at our absolute best, cracked in all day and got the job done.
We are now 4 wins 2 losses & have a real opportunity to make something of this season. From a coaching perspective I'm enjoying seeing the determination amongst the group as well as the resolve to play for the mighty Bullants jumper!
We hope to make it 3 in a row next weekend v Doncaster at PCO.
|Best Players||Christian Fakhri, Christen Stella, Matt Webb, Jack Sammartino, Ryan Bonett, Paul Palazzolo|
After a disappointing loss in round 5 we were determined to bounce back this week against a strong Fitzroy outfit. We knew that we would have to play at our best and apply intense pressure on our opposition for four quarters.
This week marked a great achievement for Oscar Chaplin, who would captain us in his 100th game. Oscar has been a terrific leader for us all season in the backline.
Round 6 was also the return of Zwar Park, which had been out of action since before Christmas. It was great to be back at Zwar and playing in front of our home supporters.
The game began in perfect conditions. Both sides started strongly and I was extremely impressed with our aggression at the contest. We made Fitzroy work hard for their scores in the early stages, however they kicked very accurately which put us on the back foot. By quarter time we trailed by three goals.
Still very much in the contest, we spoke about capitalising more on our forward entries and trying to limit Fitzroy’s efficiency going forward. Unfortunately, our opposition found an extra gear and we were unable to go with them in the second quarter. We fall behind by nine goals at the main break. Christian Fakhri was excellent all day, providing leadership, run and carry from our back half. Our backline were impressive given Fitzroy’s repeat entries. If not for Oscar Chaplin, Christian Guidice and others we would have trailed by more.
At half time we discussed trying to stop Fitzroy’s momentum. This is an area we needed to improve on from last week’s big loss. To our boy’s credit, we did a great job in slowing down Fitzroy’s scoring. We showed a lot more character this week in comparison to last which was promising. Josh Bruzzese, Sean O’Connell and Jonathan Azzopardi stood out in this area.
It wasn’t until the late stages of the game and the result was already well determined that Fitzroy were able to get loose and kick six or seven late goals. This made the loss look a lot worse on the scoreboard than what it showed for three quarters.
As with last week, we will learn from today. We were good in patches and we will look to improve our consistency going forward. As we know, football is a four quarter game and it takes a four quarter effort to beat good sides.
With hard work and determination, we will turn the last two weeks around. Keep your heads up boys and we will continue to get better as a group. Go Bullants!