Bullant Banter Round 7 2016

Presidents Message

Great results can only be achieved through great culture and with everyone believing in a vision of seeing the Mighty Preston Bullants grow and flourish on all levels whether that’s coaching on the field to all our life events off it, education in responsibility and accountability for ones actions are of the utmost importance in being able to achieve the heights of becoming a good/contributing member of society and a proud member of our club, which in my view is why local sporting clubs of all kinds play a vital role in all our children’s development on their journey through younger years.

There are multiple different pressures we all face these days more than ever and a lot of different challenges including drugs within our society, various forms of depression which has no bias to age as well as a culture of binge drinking and the worst thing we can all do as parents and representatives of our club is to turn a blind eye and pretend it doesn’t happen or fail to try and tackle it to the best of our ability.

The PBJFC committee have agreed unanimously that education and the opportunity to learn more about issues as such can clearly benefit us all in leading by example and taking our club to the next level and have secured an organisation to run sessions for us known as SALT (Sport and life training). We have engaged SALT to run sessions covering Drug & Alcohol, Positive coaching, Well Being (depression and anxiety) and Respect for Women which will be aimed at club officials, all coaches, regular volunteers, parents and players from the U14’s,15’s and Colts teams.

I can’t emphasise the importance to us as a club to move forward with a clear vision and purpose, and now with these sessions run by SALT will give us all a better understanding on how we can lead by example and aim to become better at what we all do in everyday life. Please keep an eye out for communications shortly being released through the club and your team managers for we want to fill the PCO function room with as many as we can to fill these sessions which we will all benefit from.

Go the Mighty Preston Bullants!

Whitlam Malkoun
Preston Bullants JFC

A message from hockingstuart - The steps in the process produce the result

Joe Ledda

Each element of the game, either from a skill base or from the perspective of attitude and application, contribute to achieving the desired outcome. Aiming to win might be the big picture idea but it’s the attention to detail that will make the most important difference along the way.

As a footy club this approach is a key focus for Preston Bullants Juniors, just as it is for the team at Hocking Stuart Preston in the property context. Step by step we succeed.

Joe Ledda

Under 9's WHITE Match Report

Tackers white were excited to get involved in the Yarra Junior Football League round robin on Sunday, taking on four teams over the day.

It was great to see so many parents keen to chip in and before you knew it we had a base camp up and running, BBQ's sizzling and smiles on dials. Before we knew it we were into our first match and expectations were high! And what a performance. I'm saying best game of the year so far. At training we've been working on handball and it was terrific to see the team employ those skills to great effect, with quick movement out of packs releasing players to run and pump the ball into our forward line. We were really solid across all lines and the backline stuck to their men. A great way to start the day.

The second game couldn't come fast enough and again the team were on top of their game with great effort and terrific skills on display across all lines. Lachie led the team out and there were some really good examples of running into space and passes hitting teammates. Again, all the parents and friends were impressed by how the team worked together and they came off with their heads held high.

It was time for sausages and the boys got stuck in...really stuck in! So much so that our third game wasn't quite up to the level of the first two and the legs were a little heavy. Captain Brock led the team showing great improvement over recent weeks, getting his hands to the ball and tackling hard. Well done mate. We did slip into some old habits and not picking up our men handing our opposition a couple of easy ones. Not to worry, one more game to get back on track.

And what a great final game it was. Captain Thomas A led us out and the Bullants gave it one more go. It was a good even tussle, but gee there were some great efforts from our guys. Ethan's tackle in the final game was a cracker and Omar laid two crunching tackles in a row to release the ball our way. It was also great to see Kade running hard and taking on two opponents and locking the ball up.

Although the games were great, the highlight of the day was seeing all the Bullants White players spending time together and bonding as a team.

Thanks also to all the parents who came down and got into the spirit.

What a fun day, topped off by a rousing rendition of the Bullant's song.

Under 9's RED Match Report

The Tackers Day Round Robin has proven to be a great day for all kids (and parents) & this years was no exception! A massive logistical exercise undertaken by the YJFL is a credit to the league and all those who work to make the day happen.

The Bullants Reds were rostered against teams they wouldn’t normally play during the season & the day is a great test to see where we are at against a variety of teams, skills & structures. It’s also an opportunity for the coaches to mix things up a bit and to have some fun too!

Caitlin and Ava made an awesome banner for our team to run through (quickly destroyed by an exuberant Bullants after a quick team photo!) and were duly made Captains for the day! Well done girls!!!!! Great work & awesome team spirit!!!!

Game 1 saw the Bullants take on Glen Iris who were a big, slick outfit. The frenetic pace of 2, 6 minute halves caught the Bullants napping to a degree and the opposition scored on a quick goal early in the term. What could have been a devastating first half was stemmed by a brilliant defensive mark from Cameron who then pumped the ball back our way. Another push by Glen Iris was repelled by a beautiful run of play from Jack, to Sam to Felix & into attack! The 30second half time allowed coaches to call for Bullants to get in front at the contest & be first to the ball. Forwards quickly became backs & the second half started with a quick goal by Glen Iris. The Bullants rallied to drive forward but unfortunately Callum’s kick drifted wide for a minor score. Another quick push by the opposition and the siren sounded to see Glen Iris slightly ahead.

Game 2 saw us taking on close neighbours Parkside who proved to be formidable opponents! Parkside piled on 3 goals in the opening term to have our Bullants on the back foot. Again they were called on to be first to the ball & have a crack and in the second half our Bullants responded with a great passage of play from Thomas G in defence tackling to get a free & kicking to Jake who marked & passed accurately to Callum. Ned Reid then took a great defensive mark which ultimately saw Andre mark in attack however Andres kick drifted to the left for a minor score. The damage was done but lessened by a diving save from Ziggy in the last line of defence as he lunges to touch the ball over the line in the dying stages.

Games 3 & 4 were determined by a friendly challenge between coaches Rob & Scott. “Forget rotations etc. Pick your team in the positions you think they’re most suited to!....”

Game 3 (Robs choice) saw us take on the “other Bullants” Bulleen Templestowe. It was immediately apparent that our team was more balanced & in control. The tackling was ferocious & a quick break forward saw Sam mark solidly & goal. The midfield had a spark of life with Marcus teaming well with Tamer in the ruck & winning the ball out of the middle. The cheeky “6 O’clock tap” backwards was a delight to watch & we were constantly pumping the ball forward. Xavier came into defence & fought hard, his chasing & tackling was fantastic…. I am constantly learning and amazed by these kids….Xavier, I’m so proud of you!!!!

The second term saw a lovely passage of play from Tamer to Marcus to Ziggy who just missed for a behind but other opportunities were created by great tackles from Tamer & Harry who handballed to Ned….slick pass to Thomas G……GOAL!!!!! Thomas then took a great mark for another shot at goal that drifted away for a minor. The dying stages saw one of the plays of the day when Ned Reid tackled an opponent with not one, but four separate efforts….the resounding call of Ball!!!!! echoed around the ground as Ned was duly rewarded for his efforts. The result was a minor however the game was ours…... The song was sung in front of our supportive crowd, with all of the pent up frustration that the previous two games had left us with!

** Note to reader. As always, the coach reserves the right to “put a little mayo” on his match reports.....

The final game for the day saw the Bullants pitted against a professional looking Surry Park, however a ground mix-up had the Bullants scrambling for position moments before the siren sounded. The carefully constructed Bullants side was undeterred & what unfolded was described by some as poetry….others, a ballet…all agreed it was conducted beautifully! A source close to the team was quoted as saying “it was like a game of chess, in fast forward, set to a symphony…where the players were both puppets & actors & dancers in their own right…it was a game for the ages & a script only a master could write!” however described, it was pure Bullants!

A lucky break saw Surry Park draw first blood but the Bullants were spurred into action with silky passes from Callum to Sam to Tom, to Cameron who kicked truly to score the equaliser. Ned then combined with Thomas G to add another to see the Bullants 1 goal up at the break.

The second term saw the brilliance of the midfield selection come to fruition. Felix was ferocious with his tackles as usual but took it to a new level. Marcus & Tom collectively had the ball on a string & showed the opposition complete contempt & a clean pair of heels. The pair combined to deliver the ball to Callum “lace out “ who converted confidently., and again from the midfield to Callum to Andre for another major. Tom then burst from the centre (fed by beautiful Ruck-work by Ava) to kick long to the vacant square….a bouncing goal from 30 out, just reward.

Like any play, every classic….there must be a finale, a swan song…This game could not have been written better. With a nod from the coach, Tom was given leave to take the game on & play on… a deft tap from Ava and he was away, side stepping around two opponents (closely shadowed by the shepherding Marcus), he gained 20 meters before hitting Andre on the chest directly in front. Making no mistake, Andre closed the curtains on the final act to a resounding ovation. Six goals in 12 minutes of play against quality opposition!

High 5’s all round and a ripping rendition of our mighty song before adoring parents & friends saw a fitting close to a great day!

Some friendly banter between coaches & Team Manager belied the fact that both owed coach Scott a 6-pack (Rob for being beaten with his team selection & Chris for generally dropping the ball as TM! Love you guys!).

We are constantly amazed, surprised & proud of our Bullants. We learn something from them every week & they make us laugh regularly…when we least expect it!

Thanks to everyone who came & helped on the day. Ismail, you are a genius with the camera!!! Thanks to the PBJFC for the Marquee & for Karen & Ismail for getting it there!

Thanks always to Rob, Paul, Chris, Luc & all of our supportive parents.

I love our kids & our club!

Go Bullants!


Under 10's Match Report
Camberwell Preston Bullants
10.8.68 4.2.26

Coming off a last win our 10s were excited about our trip to Camberwell but we were instantly brought back to earth with a thud, conceding 7-4-46 in  the 1st Qtr while we failed to score. A lot of emotion hit the boys hard this week.

2nd Qtr With players back in familiar positions, there was renewed vigour. The team gave a stronger effort and showed real character to match a superior opposition kicking 4-4 to 4-7 over the last 3 Qtrs.

Out scoring Camberwell in the second half showed a lot of guts and brave efforts from Rylan and Jaxsyn playing with such heart in light of their mum's car accident earlier in the week.

We all would like to send our best wishes to Michelle for a full recovery!

Under 11's Match Report

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Preston Bullants Park Orchards
2.2.14 6.2.38
Goal Kickers Josh
Best Players Oscar H, Harry, Liam, Josh, Phoenix, Anthony, Ben, Julian

The Bullants were faced with an unusual situation – only 18 available players!! (this was after Nathan had agreed to play despite having a bruised foot). So the boys knew that they would be on the ground for the whole game which was both exciting and challenging for them at the same time.

We played well in this game and for long periods of the game controlled the ball. Unfortunately Park Orchards were able to convert their possession much better than we did and maintained a healthy gap throughout the game which they ended up winning by four goals.

There were some really pleasing insights that were revealed throughout the game. Ben was brilliant at talking in a constructive way to his team-mates in the backline by instructing them on where to go. In his first year of playing football, Anthony is starting to work the game out and provided us with a really energetic presence in the forward line. Julian, Adrian and Jack played the wing defensively and were very good at playing a kick behind at the stoppages. Harry was exceptional in sweeping across the half back line and took a number of important marks. Liam moved like a hovercraft as he glided gracefully through traffic with the ball. Josh and Phoenix looked dangerous every time they got the ball. Oscar H was magnificent playing the defensive mid-field role (proud dad). Nathan was his usual courageous self and only has eyes for the ball if it gets anywhere near him. Makaio competed really well in the ruck. Oscar K and Callum were strong and tough over the ball. Remy was creative either on ball or in the forward line. Brody and Tyler got better as the game went on, particularly with their strong leading at the ball. Michael looked dangerous all game and if a couple of balls had bounced his way he could have had a couple of goals as well.

Although we were disappointed to lose I was really proud of the four quarter effort that the boys provided. They never dropped their heads and always believed they were a chance.

Under 12's Match Report
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Preston Bullants Surrey Park W
7.7.49 6.3.39
Goal Kickers 1 J.Beker , 1 O.De Hond , 1 S.Mariani , 1 P.Prince , 1 H.Stratford-Browne , 1 J.Nicolo , 1 L.Hoo

Congratulations to Jordan Nicolo on celebrating his 50 game milestone.

The last time we played Surrey Park was back in the under 10 green division, so we had a fair idea of the type of game we’d be up against.

So we let the boys know that they would be playing a tall side that would move the ball fairly quickly, not dissimilar to our own new style of play. We were also anticipating them to push our back line and forward lines down to the opposite ends of the ground.

The first quarter started very slowly for both sides which was reflected on the score board at the end of the quarter.

The Bullants were just a bit flat after a hard game last weekend. However with that said our backline continue to work hard, lead by Felix and James against Surrey Parks continued push into their forward line.

Stand outs for the quarter were Luca, Henry and Nick for their ball reading and constant run at the ball.

Preston Bullants Surrey Park W
0.2.2 0.2.2

At quarter time we reminded the boys to get in front and first to the ball, that way we could start to control the play of the game.

The second quarter saw the boys pushing the ball into our forward line a lot more however we just couldn’t get it through the two big sticks. Jordan did a great job this quarter by locking the ball in our forward line and kicking our first goal for the day, while Phoenix had a really strong quarter as our extra lose man. With the boys slowly improving this quarter we still left areas on the paddock too open which resulted in Surrey Park kicking 3 goals this quarter.

Preston Bullants Surrey Park W
1.4.10 3.2.20

At half time we saw the boys trailing by 10 points, not a large margin. So we reminded the boys that they needed to move the ball faster and again, push it down the grand stand side of the oval into our forward line for the third quarter. Surrey Park came out strong this quarter by kicking the first of their three goals early in the first few minute. We did however see a glimmer of the form the boys have shown us so far this year with a play that started in the centre from Jack B to Oliver to Phoenix and finally to Lachlan H who kick our only goal for the quarter.

Preston Bullants Surrey Park W
2.5.17 6.3.39

With three quarters behind us and our boys still moving quite slowly they had a big task ahead of them, to claw back the gap that had ballooned out to 22 points. To their credit, the Bullants were still very composed, so we reminded them that they needed to talk to one another and move the ball quickly, the rest will come on its own, and it did.

We saw a very different team, a side which came together as one unit. Our backline was quickly reminded to not move to far up towards the forward line which then locked Surrey Park out. Our dominance over the ball and fast movement resulted in a quarter that left Surrey Park shell shock and the biggest turning point was a huge tackle made by Ty in the centre square. With this new energy and composure our boys lead by Felix, Nick, Lachlan H, Jordan, Luca and Alex just to name a few, we were able to kick five goals this quarter and leave Surrey Park scoreless.

To see our boys struggle mentally for three quarters and then to turn it around to kick five goals is a tremendous effort. It just proves that no matter what the scoreboard says you should never give up on yourself or your team mates, well done boys. Another pleasing result was` to have seven individual goal kickers.

Preston Bullants Surrey Park W
7.7.49 6.3.39

Go Bullants

Coaches Matt, Craig and Julian

Under 13's Match Report
Preston Bullants Beverley Hills
2.3.15 1.5.11
Goals Patty -1, Rodda -1
Best Players Very even across the ground
Injuries Mr B (foot - 1 to 2 weeks)
Reports Nil

The Bullants have snatched a thrilling four-point victory from Beverley Hills at PCO on Sunday afternoon, after trailing all day. Ruckman Billy Rodda kicking the winning goal from 30m early in the last quarter to ice the win.

The Bullants had looked out on their feet at 3 quarter time, but came to life to after Rodda’s goal to notch a memorable low scoring hard fought 2.3 (15) to 1.5 (11) win.

Small forward Patty, kicking the Bullants only other goal in the first quarter whilst also racking up the majority of the hard ball get’s around the ground to play his best game in 2016. His heroic role played a huge part in the Bullants win.


"It's tough but that's the brutal nature of footy. There was only one winner on the day and I’m so pleased for the boys it was them," Vaiano said during the press conference.

"We just made the right decisions at the right times.”

"We didn’t play our best footy last week but good sides always bounce back."

The first half of Sunday’s curtain raiser to the Colts 2 clash saw both team's at their worst – butchering the ball in general play, missing opportunities in front of goal and making bizarre decisions under pressure.

Their combined disposal efficiency of 72 per cent didn't do justice to the poor skills on display, with errors at critical times preventing the contest from having any flow.

With the team's combining for just three goals across the four quarters, the bumper crowd of 100+ had to look hard for highlights.

Second gamer Frank Fagan, who played hard and ran courageously all day, played in his first win for the club. Bullants Assistant Coach George Michaelides said after the game, “Frank is still learning the Bullants game plan but was really pleased how the boys have made him feel so welcome.”


Gun mid fielder Mr B was a late withdrawal with a foot injury after apparently trying to snap a goal and kicking an opponent’s boot in school footy. “You’re a midfielder, stay out of the forward 50,” Vaiano said after the game. Mr B will undergo scans on Monday morning to access the extent of the damage and is unlikely to play next week.

Billy Rodda went down early in the 1st quarter after receiving a kick to the shin. He sat out the 2nd quarter but returned in the second half to play a pivotal role.

Casey also left ground with blood pouring from his beak like a fountain in the third, but some clever work on the sidelines saw him back out on the ground.


The Bullants play Kew Comets at PCO in a top of the table clash. We can’t wait for this one. Bring it on!

Under 14's Match Report
Parkside Preston Bullants
1.4.10 5.8.38
Goal Kickers Leo -2, Jesse -1, Rhett -1, Alex -2

So this is the week where Ang the coach was unavailable and Ted’s dad, Matt stepped up and then Ang found that his commitments were finished earlier than expected so he made it to the game but Matt was already warming the team up prior to the game with drills and ball skills so Ang took a back seat and put on the assistant coach bib and Matt coached the team. Did you get that? Oh, and we won our second game for the year. Comfortably. Here’s how it went.

The team took to the field as it played last week. Matt asked the boys to play accountable football. Simple mantra: run, handball, talk and support each other. Then the game got underway. Jesse goaled pretty quickly. Charbel played an excellent first quarter. Leo had the ball kicked down his throat, couldn’t take it cleanly. Nevermind. He swirls around, steadies and slots it through. Bullants were stronger in the centre and were able to push forward with plays and the ball. But our forward entries were sloppy. Our defence, as ever, was solid. Still, enough players were getting their hands on the ball, Finn and Matty almost sealed a forward run. Charbel was everywhere and Ben D again was giving more than 100%.

The first quarter was in simple terms the story of this game. Missed opportunities. The team will get better that’s for sure but the key to success is the forward line. That is where we have to improve the most. We’re not too far away. Ben M and Rhett are really establishing their credentials in that zone. Leo too.

In the Second the big wheels started turning (to kinda quote John Fogerty). Chilli put his stamp on proceedings. The 4 or 5 tackles he laid in one piece of play was worth the price of admission. That’s strength and determination right there. Ben D took a strong mark. Darc was running rings around rings and making the opposition dizzy. The play was clean. But we didn’t see this great work translate to the scoreboard. Then, Darc placed it neatly to Rhett who kicked it to the top of the square where Alex roved the pack and snapped true.

The ever alert Max stopped a sure goal at the half back line. Parkside had two runners heading toward goal unchecked but Max wasn’t going to let the ball past his watch. Fantastic defensive work by Max and Ben D.

The Third was the hard fought quarter. Parkside had best use of the wind, Bullants the better endeavours. Anthony just won’t quit running or getting in and under the contest. Parkside were doing their best but Rhett and Ben M, playing across the backline helped our fortress. And Darc, roving the centreline held off attacks late in the quarter.

The game was a fierce contest right down to the last siren. But with players like Alex and Chilli and many others besides it was always going to be tough for Parkside. Ben M and Rhett contributed to the next Bullants goal, another to the ever reliable Leo. Rhett scored a late goal and the Bullants won by 28 points. Truth be told they probably should have won by a bit more. There were many clean carriages down the ground through the game but we lack forward strategies. This is the work that lies ahead.

Under 15's Match Report
Parkside Preston Bullants
10.4.64 5.4.34

Predictions going into the Round Seven match against our opponent Parkside, had all the hallmarks of a fierce contest against two evenly matched teams. Right from the outset, it was evident that Parkside were going to match our boys with their attack on the ball and a willingness to move the it forward with speed at any opportunity. In essence, they were playing a style that we had been bringing to our games and trying to perfect, but they were doing it a little better.

Not only were our boys up against a very good opponent, but our own hardness, confidence and skill was slightly astray compared to previous weeks. Compounding our issues, was the fact Parkside had a couple of taller boys who were able to mark relatively unopposed against our smaller team and thus bought their smaller teammates into the game.

It must be said however, that for the majority of the game Parkside never had more than a two goal lead and that our boys continued to battle out the game with courage and resolve. The game was always in the balance and on occasions our boys threatened to draw even or take the lead except for the final part of the last quarter, when our opponent skipped away to a five goal win.

Whilst not making excuses, it was evident that we missed the strength and hardness of Stevie who was unable to take his place in our team and when Xavier came off injured early in the second quarter and missed a proportion of the remaining game we were down to one tall Jack, to battle their four or so tall boys (and what another sensational game Jack played).

It is inevitable that we will play Parkside again this season, and what is apparent from last Sundays result, is that our boys can certainly beat them if they play at their best.

Damian and I would like to acknowledge the great games played by Julian who is rapidly developing into one of our most important players, Daniel whose game goes from strength to strength, Rory who battled manfully all day against the flu and his opponents and Matty, Jackson S, Ethan, Brodie and Harry who played in unfamiliar positions but showed great skill and composure.

Colts 1 Match Report
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Preston Bullants Whitehorse Colts
5.5.35 8.6.54
Best Players J. De Napoli, L. McErlain, L. Epifano, N. Zonta, J. Curic

Our biggest test since the regrading saw us host Whitehorse Colts at PCO.

Dan Zou and Christian Fakhri made their first appearance in the Colts 1 team for 2016 and would go on to be solid contributors.

From the outset we won the battle in a number of KPI's but fell down across our forward half with some poor entries, but also some outstanding defending by the opposition.

We got jumped early and trailed by a couple of goals before steadying. We won the inside 50 battle in the first half by more than 10 but couldn't put it on the scoreboard and with some lapses in concentration trailed by 3 goals.

The second half was a mirror or the first half, we clawed our way back to be down by a kick before Whitehorse steadied and kicked a couple to close out the match & run home 3 goal winners.

Lucas Epifano stuck to his task all day. Julian De Napoli simply doesn't get beaten and must be the inform small defender in the competition whilst Liam Mcerlain was as determined as ever off half back.

We left too much to too few today and paid the ultimate price. It was a very good lesson for us & a reality check that we won't always have the game on our terms.

We will be better prepared next week and hopefully get back on the winners list against GDU.

Go Bullants!

Colts 2 Match Report
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Richmond Preston Bullants
14.21.105 0.3.3
Best Players Matt Webb, Jack Perin, Paul Palazzolo, Sean O'Connell, Nano Henry, Jonathan Azzopardi

Coming off back-to-back losses we came into round 7 looking to bounce back and get ourselves onto the winners list. We had worked hard throughout the week at training and fixed some things that stood out in previous weeks. We were all looking forward to the challenge.

Matt Webb was named captain for the day after showing tremendous leadership both during games and at training. Today would be a big challenge for Matt and our mids as we faced a fast and skilful Richmond midfield group.

The first quarter was not the one we had hoped for. Once again, our boys left all our energy in the changerooms and were too reactive in the first quarter. We quickly fell behind by six goals by the first break. Jack Perin and Nano Henry were both good rotating through the ruck and the backline all day.

At quarter time we discussed lifting our intensity at the ball and slowing down Richmond’s run. This definitely lifted in the second term, however Richmond’s confidence was sky high and they continued to kick away. Our attack at the contest was much better, however our ball use let us down and we failed to hit the scoreboard. Our defensive group were once again impressive led by Ryan Bonnet and co.

The second half was about restoring some pride and confidence amongst the group. We started the third term well, controlling the ball and continuing to slow Richmond’s good transition play. As a coach I was impressed by our intensity and continued dedication even when the game looked gone. We were outscored in the second half, however it was a much tighter contest and we made it hard for our opposition to play the way they wanted.

If we were able to start with the intensity we brought in the second half, today may have been a very different story. However, football is a four quarter game and once again our consistency cost us.

Boys, make sure we keep our heads up and stick together. With hard work and dedication things will turn around for us. Let’s continue to learn and develop as a team and turn things around next weekend.

Thanks to all the parents who helped out on gameday. Sundays wouldn’t be possible without your assistance.

Go Bullants.

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