Bullant Banter Round 8 2016

Presidents Message

As a truly central Preston sporting club, we get the opportunity to mix with some wonderful and supportive organisations, small businesses and generous volunteers each and every week.

Organisations such as The Mighty Northern Blues led by their President Steve Papal and their General Manager Mr. Garry O’Sullivan, like the Northern Knights who along with AFL Victoria and the likes of their new talent manager in Rhy Gieschen set a high professional standard that we should all follow very closely.

Businesses such as club sponsors in Nixon Finance, Ararat Building Supplies (clubs longest sponsor) and Meehan Design who see value in financially supporting the Mighty Preston Bullants as well as our platinum sponsor in the super professional team at hockingstuart led by two footy tragic’s in Mr. Joe Ledda and Mr. Andrew Montalto who have again signed on for a further 5 years as the clubs Platinum sponsor! A massive show of support for our great club!

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Hockingstuart are clearly the best in their game. With their true local Preston office in the heart of High Street Preston (555 High St Preston AND 268 Broadway Reservoir) and a truly responsive and caring team who will go beyond their professional duties to ensure you find, buy, sell or even rent the right house to best suit your budget and needs. Need I mention the special offer they have in place for the entire club? As premier sponsors of our club, they will refund a whopping 10% back to the club from any commission they receive as a result of a successful sale straight back to the club itself!

So do yourselves a favour, and have a chat to the team at hockingstuart about any of the needs I mention here above, then go and have a chat over a coffee to any of our other sponsors in Nixon, Ararat and Meehan about how they can assist you and your needs within their own businesses. For as mentioned before, we are truly privileged to be dealing with people, organisations and businesses of this ilk.

One last point. The main fund raiser is now only 10 days away (Friday June 24, 2016) being the Bullant Dinner Dance, and with a revamped line up, plenty of great food and drink for an all inclusive price, plenty of dancing to tire us all as well as some fabulous auction items up for grabs to the highest bidder, make sure you secure your seat and table and let’s make it one for the ages….

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

Whitlam Malkoun
Preston Bullants JFC

A message from hockingstuart - Performing well is habit forming - and fun!

Joe Ledda

We all have heard that footy is supposed to be fun, but everyone who has played, at whatever age group or level, knows that there’s lots of challenges involved. The fun part often comes as a result of meeting the challenge, physical or mental.

In footy, and any pursuit that can be measured in terms of performance, finding fun in facing challenges is a great habit for a club and its players to develop.

At Hocking Stuart Preston we’re playing the property game the same way.

Joe Ledda

Under 9's WHITE Match Report

Stay tuned for Tackers White Match Report in Round 9

Under 9's RED Match Report

Melbourne’s soggy weekend weather was replaced with fog for the tackers match at Pitcher Park, Alphington. Despite the recent rain the surface was in pretty good condition. Coach Scott warned the tackers that our opposition for the day, Parkside, were a tough, physical side and we needed to man up, run hard and be first to the ball. We would be sticking with our rotation strategy to continue to give everyone a chance to play in different positions.

Andre and Ziggy were assigned as Captains for the day, called the toss and got us off to a start. Thomas provided great run out of the middle early and showed endeavor with second and third efforts. It didn’t take long for Parkside to put our defense under pressure and that became the theme for the first quarter. Callum saved a certain goal with a solid last line of defense mark. Our team had several individual efforts but under pressure were not able to string together possessions in our usual fashion. Parkside were well drilled, shared the ball around, were consistently present at the fall of the ball and ended the term with 4 majors. That’s not to say that our team were not giving it their all. A crunching team tackle by Ned and Harry was a highlight of the term.

Coach Scott asked his players what we needed to do to get the upper hand? Manning up, being first to the ball and running hard were all offered up as the answers. Scott added long direct kicks and getting physical with our opposition. Under that instruction the little ants turned around their first term performance and dominated possession. Tamer was winning taps and our players bumped, shepherded and tackled hard and increased the speed of our disposals. Ziggy, Patrick and Marcus all had hurried shots on goal that resulted in behinds.

Last week’s match report described the theatre and poetry of the games. Today it was dance or perhaps ballet? Jake lit up the second term and the midfield with a mark, playing on with a couple of steps, a graceful pirouette avoiding the opposition and then a hand pass disposal to move the ball on. Parkside didn’t know how to combat Jake’s entertaining brand of play.

At half time our tackers were praised for turning around their performance. They were reminded that footy is hard, to run hard and keep up their efforts.

Parkside came out with renewed vigor in the third and asserted their dominance with another 3 goals. Despite the one way scoring the Bullants crafted plenty of highlights. Andre with last line of defense marks and clearances, strong tacking from Zach, Jack’s brave run out to repel the ball on a much larger player who got pinged for a high tackle. Thomas pumped the ball long to Tom who used his blistering pace to run and bounce the entire length of the midfield, delivering “lace out” to Marcus up forward and leaving the opposition gasping for air. Sam saved a certain goal by paddling the ball across the goal, then around the pocket clearing defense and followed up with aggressive tackles to keep the defensive pressure on. Felix was fast and determined in the midfield driving into attack and delivering to our forwards. Special mention to Zach who showed great sportsmanship and compassion helping an opposition player after a heavy clash and making sure he was OK.

The rain had held off until the last quarter but our tackers didn’t seem to mind with a dominant final term. Ava tapped to Tom who bounced and delivered to Marcus who made no mistake kicking our first major. It wasn’t long before we went coast to coast in a couple of passages of play for our second major. Callum marked in defense, pumped it long to Tom who moved on to Ned and then into our forward line. A roving Patrick snapped a high ball to Marcus who made no mistake with his second goal. Whenever the ball headed Parkside’s way there were Bullants, like Harry, putting their body on the line and tackling hard to repel and deliver the ball forward. Another highlight was a slick run by Ned around the boundary line, a Parkside player in hot pursuit and gaining fast, Ned looked over his shoulder to see Felix bearing down on his opponent in support…… with the sweetest shepherding bump you’re likely to see, Felix gave Ned the time he needed to have a bounce & drive forward. (With bumping Illegal in U9’s) Felix paid for his efforts with a free kick going against him however the effort & desire to support his team mate has to be commended! In the finale, with the clock ticking down, Patrick collected a loose bouncing ball and snapped the last goal for the game.

It seems that some teams have a home ground advantage that goes beyond the psychological aspect & that can make the going tough for our kids. I’m proud to say that our team just buckle down and get on with the job. If decisions go against them, not a word is spoken but you can bet that they’ll attack the next ball even harder. If there is some rough play off the ball, our kids will stand up and defend their team mates. If the opposition is better and a win out of reach, they’ll keep fighting till the final siren. Every challenge is faced head on, in good spirit and with pride in their club and team mates.

While there was no singing of our song as the players toweled off and got warm, coaches and parents were proud of our players efforts against a slick opposition. Well done little ants!

Goals: Marcus (2), Patrick

As always, many thanks to all the parents and helpers who make the day happen, (Jodi for last minute oranges, Cheryl & Karen for stepping up in Chris’s absence as Team Managers, Luc for waving the flags as usual, Jim for the match report, Paul for not only standing by with the first aid kit but for assisting with warm-ups & helping out when my rotations go pear shaped! Best Assistant coach ever – Rob, always a calming, sensible influence and Simon Reid, astute judge of this fine game, who’s sage advice and analysis of our team is always welcome!

Go Bullants!


Under 10's Match Report
Ivanhoe B Preston Bullants
Goal Jaxson
Best Players Lucas, Patty, Will, Samuel, Asher, Rylan, Anthony

An early start time of 8.30am combined with a soaked waterlogged oval it was no surprise to have a few late scratchings but to the 19 eager dedicated kids who fronted up to battle Ivanhoe, you all displayed a sensational attitude throughout this spirited dour contest!

Game mainly played in Ivanhoe's Forward line our Defence battled manfully against the tide but constant help from team-orientated Midfield dropping back.

Full forward player Lucas who played behind the ball after 1/4 time intercepting strongly, we managed to restrict Ivanhoe to just 2 Goals. Final scores 2-21-33 to 1-0-6 illustrates just how miserly our Defensive pressure has been most of the season forcing lots of rushed shots at goal & inaccuracy!

Well done to Lucas for receiving the best player on field medal.

Under 11's Match Report

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Preston Bullants Ashburton
3.11.29 2.3.15
Goal Kickers Josh -1, Phoenix -1, Jacob -1
Best Players Lachie, Oscar H, Liam, Josh, Phoenix, Harry, Ben, Julian

The Bullants were back at PCO for the second week in a row and the boys where pumped as Jacob was back in the team after a lengthy break due to injury. The boys were very keen to make amends for their loss the week before and could not wait for the game to start, it was also back to normal numbers after having no one on the bench the week before we had 5 on the bench for this game

The rain gods had held off for the start of the game but the game started in very overcast and very wet conditions after the rain of the previous 2 days but the boys seemed to revel in the wet (and especially in the mud in the centre) and played some very attacking football from the start. Harry was made Captain for the day and won the toss and kicked to Right of screen so to speak at PCO

The opening ¼ was mainly played down our end of the ground and we kicked a goal at the 5 min mark of the quarter from our little goal kicking machine Josh who roved the pack sensationally and snapped truly to bring up a 6 pointer…. We peppered the goals for a lot of the ¼ but we managed only to kick 2 more points for the quarter, Ashburton started to get their running game going and snuck through our defence to kick a goal as the siren sounded for ¼ time

The second 1/4 was a very tight contest Ben, Harry & Lachie where mustering the troops in the backline to build there wall and Anthony & Callum never stopped running and picking there loose players up in defence. Ashburton picked up there game in this ¼ and went into the main break 5 points ahead of us after they kicked 1.3 to our 2 points

The boys had a good rest at half Time and after the coaches had a word to them and reminded them to be in front and attack from the defensive side of the ground the boys come out in the 3rd ¼ and really played some good footy. Declan, Noah & The Kurt Tippett of the U’11’s Brody started to dominate the ruck duels with Liam mopping up everything and Phoenix giving us Great drive into the forward line, Michael as always was very lively in the forward pocket and was very dangerous and was unlucky not to score a goal himself, Oscar K was a full forward leading machine and was causing Ashburton major headaches with his attack on the ball. The highlight of the ¼ was when Coen ran from half back flank to deliver a pass to Oscar H who turned onto that trusty left foot delivered the ball to Adrian who kicked it skilfully to the forward line where Jacob (ala Jesse Hogan) took a strong mark 15 meters out and duly kicked the goal to bring the house down, all the boys ran to JJ and jumped all over him as a welcome back….. The boys Held Ashburton scoreless in this ¼ and went into ¾ time leading by 4 points

The last ¼ again proved that the boys can really put it together when they put their minds to it and from the opening bounce they weren’t going to let this game slip Phoenix ran onto a loose ball in the forward pocket and kicked a great goal to set the ¼ alight and with the backline standing firm especially with Jesse attacking the ball and running hard from defence and Julian running up and down the ground like Nick Reiwoldt the boys again kept Ashburton scoreless while adding a further 4 points and 2 those points being touched on the goal line……. And at the final siren we had won the game by 14 points a great result and a well deserved result for the boys and all the hard work that they put in.

The boys shook the opposition’s hands after the game and congratulated them on a great game and they all hurried back into the rooms and sang the song very, very loud and very,very proud….. Thank you to all the parents for their help on match day it is appreciated and Well played boys you deserved that win especially keeping Ashburton scoreless in the 2nd half as they kept peppering there forward line………….

Under 12's Match Report

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Canterbury B Preston Bullants
7.9.51 5.5.35
Goal Kickers 2 J.Martorana , 1 J.Beker , 1 T.D'Ath , 1 Y.Papaioannou

Congratulations to Jack Martorana and Henry Stratford-Browne on celebrating their 50 game milestone.

This was the first time the Bullants have ever come across Canterbury in their 3.5 years together and what we were presented with was a tall side.

The 1st quarter started off well with Nick winning the first ruck contest, which Alex received to then deliver the ball through to Xavier and onto Jack M who kicked our first goal within a minute of the game. All things were looking good, however our boys began to hesitate in attacking the ball while Canterbury started to find their feet started to control and move the ball quickly down into their forward line. We saw the ball head into the our forward line a number of times, however their talls just kept blocking us.

We saw some strong defensive work from Toby throughout the quarter while Samuel and Phoenix raked up the procession. Particular mention of Henry once again showing great composure in the Full back position.

The 2nd quarter saw us start off slow and it continued for the rest of the quarter. We just wouldn’t get our bodies over the ball and our boys were unable to man up due to the speed of Canterbury. I think our boys seemed to be a little spooked by Canterbury as they were going in harder at the ball. Our Bullants received quite a few unfortunate knocks from Canterbury which threw the boys, however we saw some glimmers of hope through the strong work ethic of Henry, James, Phoenix and in particular Luca. Alex was constantly seen chasing the ball down, however he seemed to be hampered by the condition of the centre square which resulted in him losing his footing many times.

After the half time break and a bit of a reset we asked the boys to improve their communication with one another and have confidence in their decisions. With all that said and much more the 3rd quarter saw the Bullants come out with an improved mindset. Samuel lead the charge by constantly getting in and running the ball. Nick was once again strong in the ruck while Jet was starting to get in amongst it and finally finding the ball. Yianni started seeing more of the ball as well while we then created a lose man with Jordan to help create some extra options for us which ultimately resulted in us out scoring Canterbury this quarter.

With our intensity dramatically improving we entered the final quarter once again trailing but not giving up. It’s was great to see the boys still had the “fire in the belly” as they entered the final quarter. It turned into a tug or war this quarter with the ball moving up and down both ends of the ground. We had great intensity and a desperation for the ball which was no clearer than when the “Mac Truck” Kristian made a huge tackle on one of there talls in the our goal square. Max D was once again working hard in the last quarter alongside James, Toby and Marcus in the backline. This was our best quarter for the day as the Bullants started working together and the ball was moving into the forward line more often.

Even though our boys found their legs in the second half and out scored Canterbury in the 3rd and 4th quarters the damage had been done in the first half. We were unable to chase down the score Canterbury had set for us, but to the credit of our boys they dug deep and never gave up which we will build on for the remainder of the season.

Keep holding your heads up high boys.

Go Bullants
Coaches Matt, Craig and Julian

Under 13's Match Report
Preston Bullants Kew Comets
2.1.13 6.5.41
Goals Ethan -1, Mr B -1
Best Players T & BT
Injuries Nil

The Bullants have gone down to a better prepared and more disciplined Kew Comets side who at times made the Bullants look small and tired.

Although all of the scoring was at one end of the ground, the Bullants were able to hold the opposition scoreless for two quarters, but that certainly wasn’t enough to hold off a very clean Comets side who leaped into top spot on the ladder with a very convincing 2.1 (13) to 6.5 (41) win.

The Bullants chased hard all day with the Comets carrying the ball by foot and using their handball game to open up the Bullants.

With very few Bullants highlights for the day it was very pleasing to see Ben continue to put his head over the ball all day and apply pressure at ground level.


Bullants coach Dom Vaiano has flagged more discipline for his team's next game against Bulleen Temp after having "too many passengers" in Sunday's deflating loss to Kew Comets.

The Bullants were swept aside by the Comets at the PCO, losing by 28 points and having their backline exposed by a fleet of forwards who repeatedly found space and kicked easy goals.

Vaiano said, “It’s not fair that I single out the back 6. Our mid’s transition play was non-existent today. If they aren’t prepared to run both ways the back 6 are going to be under a huge amount of pressure to hold off not only their man but a running goal kicking midfield.”

Vaiano could swing the axe after the positives of the past 4 weeks were undone against an opposition that was "prepared to work harder" and "structurally held up".

"We had some strong performances by too few and clearly there were too many fellas who lowered their colours today," the coach said.


Apart from a lot bit of pride, there were no injuries on the day.

The medical staff did a great job during the week to get a few sore boys up to play after last week, said Bullants Assistant Coach George Michaelides said after the game.


The Bullants will be looking to bounce back to the winner list when they return to their grand final venue in two weeks-time to take on Bulleen Temp.

Under 14's Match Report
Preston Bullants Banyule
3.6.24 9.10.64
Goal Kickers Ben M -1, Leo -1, Rhett -1

The Bullants fell to Banyule on a wind and rain swept mudpie of an Oval nestled in the wetlands between where Salt Creek and Banyule Creek flow into the Yarra as it meanders its way through the Warringal Parklands of Rosanna. This is picture postcard scenery on a good day. As families and supporters huddled over hot pies and coffees and the drizzle drizzled on it was agreed that this was not a good day. For the Bullants, who in recent weeks had started to get its mojo working, this was a bad day at the office.

The game was not without some stats that are worth bearing in mind. They tell a slightly different story of the competitive nature of the game than what players and family might have told themselves on that dreary drive home through the uncertain rain.

First, this is the lowest score Banyule has kicked since joining Blue division from Green four games ago. Their key goal scorer, the towering number 56 had his least day out in Blue division. He has averaged 4 goals a game in his last three outings. Against the Bullants he managed only 2. Finally, in scoring shots, while we were soundly beaten, in two quarters it was a real battle, including the Second quarter, where we had more scoring shots.

Confidence is a powerful thing. So are structures. On the day one team demonstrated them more than the other and that’s what set the teams apart. The skill level was comparable. In fact I would say we probably pipped them. But you need structures, running, handballing that sets up plays down field and the hunger. Banyule had it. Good luck to them.

In the First the Bullants found their way into the game and slowed Banyule’s run and belief. Both teams took good strong chest marks. But the team that managed the ball through chest marks had the advantage. That was Banyule across the ground and the Bullants in defence.

We bolted out of the blocks in the Second, with three forays into the forward zone before Banyule could blink. When Ben D and Suhail turned the game to soccer we found the needed entry and Ben M snapped our first. At times our structures showed and worked (Rhett, Anthony, Daniel and Ben M were involved in a terrific play, with quick movement of the ball through a series of handpasses). Maivia was working overtime across the half back line.

As the team trudged across the waterlogged ground for their half-time break you could feel for them. They had put the work in but weren’t rewarded on the scoreboard. The Third was all Banyule even though Bullants continued to work hard. Rhett’s snap over his shoulder for our second was a highlight.

Anthony, James, Chilli, Jesse, Perry, Jacob, Alex and others were tireless in their efforts. One thing about the Bullants, we don’t quit. But today things just didn’t click. When they did, we looked as good as Banyule. Like late in the game when Jackson (an outside runner for sure) found space and let his boot do the talking. He found Jesse who moved it quickly on to Leo and Leo didn’t miss. The Bullants lost this one but I trust they know that they are Banyule’s equal next time ‘round.

Under 15's Match Report
Preston Bullants Ivanhoe B
3.8.26 2.6.18

The Under 15s welcomed their return to PCO for only the second game of the season, in a game against an opponent who had moved down from a higher division.

In a rather strange game of two distinct halves, the boys had nearly all the play in the first half and went into the break with a good lead. The first two quarters had seen the team comfortably on top with the backline repelling most of Ivanhoe’s attacks, the centreline using clean foot skills and handball to send the ball into attack, giving the forwards many opportunities to score.

The third quarter saw a committed Ivanhoe gain more disposals and match our team with their passion for the contest. Once again our backline stood tall and was able to reduce Ivanhoe’s score to an amount that was not indicative of the evenness of the game.

At three quarter time, Damian stressed to the boys the clear reality of the situation which was evident to most spectators. Ivanhoe now had the advantage of the scoring end and were seemingly full of running. It was up to the team to work together as they had done in the first half and commit themselves to the all important one per centers and the second and third efforts which had diminished in the previous quarter.

In a dour struggle, Ivanhoe gradually got closer on the scoreboard but a real commitment from the team to defend with vigour, denied the opponent enough of the ball to reduce their scoring opportunities.

In the end the boys were able to celebrate a close but well-earned victory of nine points that sees them inside the top four approaching the half way mark of the season.

Colts 1 Match Report

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Preston Bullants GDU
8.10.58 1.4.10
Goal Kickers Jack Hayes -2, Jackson Curic -2, Adrian De Sando -1, Liam McErlain -1, Christian Fakhry -1, Thomas Hallebone -1
Best Players Adrian De Sando, Julian De Napoli, Nicholas Zonta, Christian Fakhry, Alex Bonadio, Christen Stella, Jack Hayes, Christian Renna, Callum Chilcott

Wet, miserable winter’s day. Perfect for the Bullants! The focus today was 1 v 1 across the ground whenever the opposition had the footy. We got better at it as the game went on and to keep GDU to one goal was a good defensive effort.

The game highlight was Jack Hayes playing well and kicking two last quarter goals in his 100th game for the Bullants. To see every Bullant player run to Jack after he kicked a goal on his left foot was special.

Other highlights were Adrian and Julian’s clean handling of the footy in the wet, Nicholas Z playing well with a run on the ball, Christian Renna and Christen Stella got plenty of it on the wing and Alex Bonadio won the golden fist award by a mile down back. Another focus was forwards leading up at the footy rather than backing off towards goal and it was pleasing to seer Christian Fakhry, Jackson and Connor all presenting very well.

Go Bullants!

Colts 2 Match Report

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St Mary's Preston Bullants
15.13.103 1.3.9
Best Players Jonathan Azzopardi, Jack Torcasio, Jack Perin, Paul Palazzolo, Sean O'Connell, Ryan Bonett

We made the trip out to Bulleen on a cold and rainy June afternoon. These conditions would suit us as we are a good contested ball winning side. Our biggest challenge would be to stop St. Mary’s scoring when they have possession. We knew that we needed to slow down the play by forcing stoppages wherever possible.

Unfortunately, we were let down before the game had even began by five players pulling out on game day. This left us with only 18 to play. Having no rotations in the heavy conditions was going to take a massive effort.

We started the game extremely well, kicking the first goal and applying tremendous pressure around the ground. St. Mary’s looked shaky with the ball as a result of our continued pressure. This is something we had worked on at training and it showed. We controlled majority of the first quarter and only trailed due to a red-time goal by St. Mary’s.

I was extremely pleased with our passion and desire in the first quarter. This is the one area that has needed improvement all year and to see it coming through was promising. We continued to play well in the second, however some undisciplined acts cost us easy goals and St. Mary’s clinical finishing gave them a handy three goal lead by half time.

Our second half was disappointing. We allowed the opposition to run all over us and kick 11 goals to nothing in wet conditions. The good start we made to the game now meant very little as as we couldn’t do it for more than a quarter and a half. Unfortunately, we continue to leave the hard work up to five or six players every week. The boys need to learn that football is played over four quarters and requires every individual to play their role.

Today’s result is disappointing but I am confident we can turn things around. We all need to stay positive and stick together! We have a great group of players and our excellent start to the season is proof that we are more than capable. Let’s ensure that we learn our lessons from these losses and do our very best not to make the same mistakes. If we can all get better each week then the results will turn themselves around.

Boys, keep getting to training and we will work on our areas that need improvement. We now have two weeks off so we will use this time to prepare for the second half of the season in which we have high expectations.

Thank you to the parents who help out on game day week in, week out.

Go Bullants.

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