Bullant Banter Round 10 2016

Presidents Message

They say that a week in footy is a long time. Well none bigger than the past week we have had at the club! Where do I start?

Thomas HalleboneOur very own Thomas “Tomahawk” Hallebone who is a current member of our 2016 PBJFC Colts 1 team has been selected in the 2016 Under 16 Vic Metro Squad for games to be played against other states in the coming weeks, which commenced last week at Geelong’s Simmonds Stadium. Thomas is also currently in the TAC Cup Under 16 Northern Knights squad and he has been with the PBJFC for a number of years where he also has a younger brother Toby, who is a member of the U12’s squad.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Thomas and his proud parents in Rohan and Maree on this truly awesome achievement and wish him every success in the years coming, for the hard work put in to this point, is heading in the right direction. Well done and good luck Thomas!

U11 coach Ben Hanisch 02This week our current U11’s coach in Ben Hanisch together with his lovely wife Jodi and 2 boys in Oscar and Felix will be relocating to South Australia where Ben has been hand-picked for a major promotion in his chosen profession and Sunday that just passed the team of Phil Smith, John Pappas, David O’Brien and the awesome families of the entire U11’s playing group arranged for a farewell luncheon/function held at Zwar Park that I had the absolute privilege of attending which was a very real and stark reminder of just what our wonderful football club and community can do for one another. A very touching group of speeches that helped shed a tear or two, a wonderful meal that was catered for just magnificently and of course what sort of day would it be if not for the ever popular Parents VS Kids match where even though the parents won the match (with some handy umpiring from Phil Smith) the kids still went on and sang the club song! No losers here, simply all pure winners AND what a fitting finish with Ben himself kicking the winning goal in a buzzer beater style finish that James Le Bron himself would be mighty proud of! On behalf of the club, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Ben, Jodi and the boys a very safe journey and here’s to future success in all chosen paths moving forward. Would love to see you all back at the Bullants for a visit when the opportunity presents itself where you are always most welcome.

colts 01

Our Colts 1 team last Sunday played a blinder against ladder leaders Macleod and with no less than 3 key players down, got the job done in an enthralling battle that saw the PCO lights come on in the last QTR. What was “extra” special however was that this was to be the last game ever played for the Mighty Preston Bullants JFC for many of our Colts 1 boys being their last official home match rostered on at the ever famous ground which is in the heart of so many famous victories and life long memories that these boys have created over their journey at the PBJFC. Wonderful stuff!

salt logoThe first of 3 planned SALT (Sport and life training) sessions was run earlier this week and what a huge impact one session had on all participants who attended including yours truly who were simply flabbergasted as to what the presentation contained and facts and figures stated.

This is a very important part of the club directive and strategic plan moving forward with sessions run already centred around Drug and Alcohol and Positive Coaching, while the Respect for women and Well Being (depression and anxiety) is to follow shortly. I cannot encourage you enough to attend the upcoming sessions (which at this stage are age group related being the U14’s and up) for you will learn a lot about yourself and a hell of a lot about the different challenges our adolescent children face on a day to day basis.


Support the club that want’s to and will absolutely support you and your family via solid connections and a great community all-inclusive and family friendly club that we are the Preston Bullants JFC and will continue to strive to be and accept and tackle different social issues we all face together.

Preston Bullants Dinner Dance

Dinner Dance

And finally the famous Bullants Dinner Dance! In one word, WOW! Let me start with our sponsors in the team at Hockingstuart Preston/Reservoir, Ararat Building and garden supplies, Nixon Finance and of course Meehan Design group. Your support of the club is both tremendous and greatly appreciated.

Others who kindly donated items such as bottles of wine by the dozen, beauty hampers, hand knitted quilts, signed footy jumpers, accommodation at Bell City, Comics Lounge passes and many, many others, a massive thank you all round!! For people and businesses such as yourselves are very much the life line of all local sporting clubs and your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you also to the Mighty Northern Blues for their wonderful contribution of items for auction and raffle prizes.

To our wonderful committee who are very active in all that they do, thank you again for all the running around, arranging, organising and the like for your support is truly amazing.

Congratulations to both Milva Epifano and Paul O’Connell who are the 2 latest PBJFC members and supporters to be inducted into the Life Members realm and a huge well done to Suki who was awarded the Russell Lambert Award for best club person of 2016.

As for the shenanigans that carried on after the midnight official close, well, I once heard Ross Stevenson on 3AW once say that “nothing good ever happens after 2AM”, and that is where I will leave it…… thank you all again good luck for the round ahead, go the Mighty Preston Bullants!

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

Whitlam Malkoun
Preston Bullants JFC

Under 9's WHITE Match Report

No match report supplied.

Under 9's RED Match Report

On the coldest football morning of the year Tackers Red took on Heidelberg at Warringal Park.

With an inch of frost on the ground, the ball was like a frozen rock, toes were numb & fingers cold & stiff.

It was Felix's last game before moving to Adelaide and he was captain along with Marcus, The coaches pre-game message was its slippery on the icy grass so kick it long and let's give Felix a win to remember.

The Bullants warmed up as best they could & took to the frosty ground against a small, undermanned Heidelberg side.

The first bounce saw a deft tap from Ava & quick kick forward Tom marking directly in front for our first goal in 15seconds of play....the one sided affair had begun.

For the entire first quarter Preston's forwards Tom, Jake, Felix, Harry Ned & Xavier dominated. Jake and Tom kicked a goal each and Harry two as the midfield dominated possession and executed outstanding delivery.

At quarter time the message was to use this game as a learning exercise. Our Bullants were getting sucked in to playing an “Auskick” style of play, everyone chasing the same ball & congesting the play in packs. The team was instructed spread out, go for their marks and play our game.

In the second quarter our mid field of Ava & Tamar (in the ruck and Caitlin, Marcus,& Callum) were effective in again getting the ball to our forwards. Tom, Ned & Jake each kicking goals.

In the third quarter Jake was inspired by his Dad's offer of $5 per goal to take his third and Tom kicked another two while for Heidelberg, Marcus Carelli took it to his Bullant team mates and lit up the midfield in his usual style!

At 3/4 time the team were encouraged to again spread out and experiment by increasing the use of handball & running in the slippery conditions.

In the final quarter, the backline of Thomas G , Thomas M, Ziggy, Daniel and Patrick saw the most action for the game and Jake kicked his fourth to equal Tom for the game. Jakes goal celebrations provided endless entertainment, culminating in a magnificent “Double Cobra” after his last!

In spite of the one sided nature of the game, some beautiful “coast to coast” passages of play showed how our skills have improved over the year. Clean possessions “kick, mark, kick, mark, goal” showed silky execution in difficult conditions. It is also important that our Tackers learnt that both teams on the ground need to have some fun and enjoy the game. We could have totally dominated and delivered a crushing defeat to the young Heidelberg side (not their first for the season) but there would be no joy in that.....throughout the course of the game, our players were taken off the ground to provide Heidelberg greater numbers for periods and those who donned the Heidelberg jumper instructed to play hard & challenge their Bullant team mates.

A big thank you to Darcy, Caitlin, Zac, Andre, Marcus, Daniel, Ned & Tom who each played a quarter for Heidelberg as they were short of players. A great display of football spirit.

Unfortunately we couldn’t get Felix a goal for his last game in spite of his team mates best efforts in sharing the ball around but it was a great farewell as his teammates sang the song around him back in the rooms.

We will miss you Felix. Your ready smile, your courageous smashing of the packs, your passion for the footy and your team mates. It has been a pleasure coaching you and an honour knowing you and your family. Wishing you all the best for your move to Adelaide but remember...you are always a Bullant and you always have friends here waiting for your next visit!

Thanks to everyone who helped on the cold morning to get the kids on the park & make the game happen!

Go Bullants!


Under 10's Match Report
Preston Bullants Doncaster
3.3.21 5.3.33
Goal Ayden, Dean and Samuel
Best Players Samuel, Will, Asher, Rylan and Thomas C

Our 1st game at PCO since Rd 1 we could sense the excitement in the group pre-game and the looks of adrenaline as they ran out to warm applause from their beautiful parents had us prepared for a fast start. Kicking with a stiff breeze blowing towards Bruce St end, the first 10 mins saw the ball permanently camped inside our Fwd 50 where Keelan playing as a dynamic agile Half Fwd taking marks & sharking hit-outs but just missing 2 attempts at goal before Ayden pounces on a loose ball to kick our 1st Goal! 1/4 time we lead 1-2-8 to 0-0-0. 2nd Qtr starts positively into the breeze with our Half Back line holding up strongly and our Mids winning decisive clearances but from their 1st deep entry Doncaster manage to scramble a goal and suddenly it's game on. Then 2 clanger kicks on last line of defence gifted Doncaster 2 crucial goals just before half time siren saw us fall behind 1-3-9 to 3-1-19 at half time. 3rd Qtr we manage to regain ascendancy but can't hit the scoreboard until late in the term when Dean Fifis takes a great contested chest mark & converts his set shot. Then Samuel takes the play-on advantage from a Lucas free-kick to slam through another team lifter just on 3/4 time siren to put us in front 3-3-21 to 3-1-19. Final Qtr with breeze seemingly getting stronger, our group dug deep and defended with their lives to hold Doncaster at bay for 10 mins but 2 late goals from their big key Fwds eventually wore us down and consign us to another honourable narrow loss.

Under 11's Match Report
Preston Bullants Whitehorse Colts
3.2.20 3.6.24
Goal Kickers Josh 1, Brody 1 and Jacob 1
Best Players Oscar H, Lachie, Coen, Callum, Josh, Brody, Remy

The Bullants were off Box Hill this week to take on the top of the table Whitehorse Colts and the boys were fired up for a big game as it was Oscar H and his Dad and our coach Ben’s last game for the club before there move to Adelaide.

The sun was shining and the ground was in good nick except for the centre square which was a mud heap…. Oscar H for his last game was made Captain for the day and won the toss and kicked to the Left of screen

The opening ¼ was played in a very fast and smooth ball flow by both teams The colts opened up with a goal in the first couple minutes of the game before the Bullants running machine started to take control, Led by Oscar H, Liam & Phoenix the ball for the rest of the ¼ stayed in our forward line and after kicking 2 pts, we finally kicked a major with the Eddie Betts of the comp Josh kicking a great goal on the run to have us 2 pts up at half time. Coach Ben was full of praise for the boys and asked them to keep the tempo up as our running game was on today.

The second 1/4 was a very tight contest Coen & Lachie where mustering the troops in the backline with Coen diving on all the loose balls and not letting anything through, Callum never stopped running and picking there loose players up in defence. Our forward Line was determined to keep the ball in when it was down there with Seb R & Oscar K being a real target in our forward line with some great leading and fighting for the ball. The colts kicked a goal in this ¼ to lead by 9 pts at the half 1.2.8 to 2.5.17 with there goal coming from freak kick in the pocket that bounced 24 different ways to go in for a goal….

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 Nick Natinui of the U’11’s Makaio started to dominate the ruck duels with Josh mopping up everything and Harry giving us Great drive into the forward line from Centre Half Back. The highlight of the ¼ was when our Kirk Tippett Brody crashed the pack in the forward line and took a mark ala Wayne Carey backing into a pack and kicked truly to bring the bullants back into the game, from the centre bounce the ever creative and skilful Remy took the ball from the wing and delivered the ball into the forward line were again Brody just crashed the pack putting his body on the line bringing the ball to the ground where Seb R picked up the loose ball to kick it to the square were Jacob took a strong mark at the top of the square and kicked truly to put the Bullants in front. The siren sounded for 3 ¼ time and the Bullants were up by 2 pts after kicking 2 goals for the ¼ and the colts limited to 1 point

Ben & Phil urged the boys for one more last effort in the last ¼ as they had played sensational all game, Oscar H pulled all the boys in gave a little Ron Barassi motivational speech and we were ready for the last ¼. Again the boys were magnificent in their effort and attack on the ball, Whitehorse Colts were also very good in attacking but our boys were standing firm……. With 30 seconds left in the game Whitehorse Colts attacked for 1 last time one of their players swooped on a loose ball at the top of square Harry laid one of the tackles of the year that stopped a kick being had but with this the ball came loose and a Colts player snapped the ball that just sailed through for a goal. The siren sounded just after the bounce of the ball and the top of the table Colts won by 4 points

An absolutely outstanding effort by the boys and they can be very proud of their efforts and the way they played the game in great spirit. The boys shook the opposition’s hand after the game and The opposition coach awarded Oscar H with the medal for best player for the opposition and it was very well deserved. In a great moment the boys got together and put Oscar H on their shoulders and carried him off the ground for his last game and you can very proud of yourselves boys for this and a great game.

Finally thank you to everyone that attended Zwar park Sunday afternoon for the farewell to Ben, Jodie, Oscar & Felix it was a very fun afternoon and a perfect way to send this great family off. The Hanisch family certainly had a good day especially in the sons/daughters vs parents game which was a lot of fun and plenty of laughs…

Under 12's Match Report

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Preston Bullants Ivanhoe
8.5.53 4.2.26
Goal Kickers 2 F.Morgan Styant-Browne , 1 S.Azzopardi , 1 N.Perizzolo , 1 H.Stratford-Browne , 1 J.Talarico , 1 J.Zonta , 1 K.Critelli

Congratulations to Max Doupe and Samuel Azzopardi on celebrating their 50 game milestone.

Round 10 saw us head into a game against Ivanhoe after a solid week at training where we asked the boys to really commit to the training drills and how they can be applied on match day - we wanted the boys to think about and understand that working hard brings it own rewards.

Going into the game we ‘dangled the carrot’ and told the group that if they played hard and unified as a team, we would take them to a special Boxing class with Paul Wilson, Personal Trainer, 1Body 1Life on Monday night.

As the quarter started and we reinforced our messages of body over the ball, first to the ball and quick ball movement, the Bullants came out strong. We saw an early goal from Felix in the first couple of minutes due to quick ball movement from a ball up in front of the goal square by our forward line. To Ivanhoe’s, they answered quickly themselves with a goal. This was shaping up to be a tough game for the boys. Steven was once again starting to dominate the ruck work and the centre set-up was working well with Jordan, Felix and Jack B. We saw Henry play in the forward line rather than the back and we saw early results from him when he scored our second goal at the seven minute mark. It’s great to see a player take on different position challenges and respond positively. This was a great quarter where we also saw our backline lead by Alex, Phoenix and Lachlan H block Ivanhoe’s midfield advancements. In the final minutes we saw one last goal from Felix, which was fed beautifully by Nick P and his extra long run up. This was a great first quarter and exactly what we’ve been asking from the Bullants.

3.2.20 to 1.0.6

In the second quarter we asked the boys for the same competitive spirit and to get their body over the ball. Straight away we saw quick running and ball movement from both Yianni and Serge, however Ivanhoe brought a greater intensity to their game this quarter. With Jordan struggling with a back injury we swapped Phoenix over with him so we would have greater running speed. To Jordans credit, his game intensity continued in the back pocket. This was a hard slog for the boys but to their credit they kept fighting and we soon had a goal thanks to some hard work by Samuel.

4.2.26 to 1.1.7

We entered the second half of the game quite comfortable as to where we were placed on the scoreboard but knowing full well Ivanhoe was on the improve. The third quarter saw Marcus having a crack at Ruck and he didn’t let us down, winning the first tap out which was fed out to Jordan who was now playing Centre Half forward. We saw some great solid work from Nick and kicking on his opposite food which is great to see. Felix was still working hard on the wing alongside Lachlan H, Jack B, Steven and Marcus, however as a team the boys lost a bit of that hunger this quarter which let Ivanhoe come in and control the ball more and move it quickly into their forward line. This lull in the boys intensity enabled Ivanhoe to come back and close the quarter out to level the score.

4.2.26 to 4.2.26.

Going into the last quarter with the scores level, we continued with the same message, get your body over the ball, first to the ball, back your team mates up and RUN. We could hear Ivanhoe all pumped up at the break and excited to keep their momentum going in their favour, so we revved our boys up too. You could see all of a sudden as they ran out that there was already a different mindset, the fire was lit and it was burning strong. Straight away we could see the Bullants starting to work as a unified team, perfect. We had exactly what we wanted, strong pressure on the ball, and the opposition which was great to see from all the boys including Kristian, Phoenix, James and Lachlan H just to name a few.

There was so much to like about this quarter from the boys as they played exactly how we know they can. When they do this we see a great cross section of goal kickers. So well done to Kristian, James, Jet and Nick for getting themselves into the right position to kick their goals but also to the rest of the team for helping deliver the ball down to the forward line. It is important to remember that even though goals are kicked by individuals, it takes a team effort for that goal to happen.

Well done Bullants - you worked hard and you worked together, which was a great achievement.

Go Bullants
Coaches Matt, Craig and Julian

Under 13's Match Report
Preston Bullants Whitehorse Colts
3,9.27 3.0.18
Goals Kickers 1 Cheesy, Terence and Ryan
Best Players Zac V, Nick, Allister, Paddy, Rodda, Ethan, Josh
Injuries D (foot- 1 to 2 weeks), Frank F (foot- 1 to 2 weeks), Nathan D (foot- 1 to 2 weeks), Josh M (2 weeks off school)

The Bullants have smashed out a famous nine-point victory and claimed a prized scalp by downing third placed Whitehorse Colts to open up a handy one and half game gap on third spot in a thrilling clash at Springfield Park West on Sunday morning.

In a nail-biting final term, the Bullants came back from 6 points down at three quarter time thanks to a miraculous soccer by Terence, which seemed to just sail over the pack and roll and roll and roll into the goals to level the score early in the last quarter.

From there it was all the Bullants, with 8 inside 50’s to 1 for the quarter but more importantly they were able to lock the ball in their forward 50 for 90% of the quarter.

Whitehorse had numerous chances in the dying stages, repeatedly pounding the ball forward, but the Bullants defence stood firm, forcing a stoppage after stoppage in the frantic last few minutes and the Bullants celebrated wildly as the final siren sounded.

With the week’s rest, the win has cemented the Bullants in the top 4.

Talking Points

"The way we started, the team showed that it turned up to win, which had been a bit of an issue for us against good teams in the last five weeks," Vaiano said post-match.

"To be smashed in the third quarter, they kicked 2 in a row and they had the momentum going into the last quarter, to respond a couple of times was really pleasing."

Coach Dom Vaiano was pleased with the gutsy performance from his side.

"Losing two players before the bounce always makes it a bit tougher," he said.

"It is what it is, that's what happens, everyone puts up with injuries. But for those guys to step up with limited rotations was a truly gutsy win."

Medical Room

Zach D was a late withdrawal before the game with swelling to the foot. With the week off next week the medical staff will most likely monitor him closely.

Frank F also was also a late withdrawal before the game with a seriously foot injury. The club is awaiting further scans and would not comment on the seriousness of the injury.

Nathan D rolled an ankle at school a few weeks and was very close to playing but the coaches took the advice of the medical staff and decided to also give him another couple of weeks’ rest.

Josh M had a stomach bug during the week and missed three days of school. Assistant Coach George said, “It never ceases to amaze me that a kid can miss three days of school but play on Sunday.”

Next Up

The Bullants meet Ivanhoe at Zwar in 2 weeks in another tough game.

Under 14's Match Report
Preston Bullants Whitehorse Colts M
7.13.55 2.4.16
Goals Kickers Leo -2, Ethan -2, Ben M -1, Jess -1, Rhett -1

Thank you to all the parent helpers.

Less than a year ago the Bullants played in and lost the Preliminary Final in Green division. The team that beat the Bullants went on to lose to Whitehorse Colts in the Grand Final the following week. A year later both Bullants and Colts have dropped down one division to Blue. The significant difference is that the Colts are struggling in Blue division while the Bullants are proving their mettle.

On the last Sunday of the first month of Winter at the best ground in the Yarra Junior Football League and home to the mighty Bullants with both teams player stocks down due to school holidays we got to see how the Colts and Bullants compare. The Bullants took the cake. With straighter kicking that cake could have been a lot richer!

Players who didn’t know the Colts vs Bullants back-story led the way. Ben M took some strong marks early, Felix (filling in from U12s) was fearless and Rhett played some of his best footy since joining the club. While the first quarter was played with a tentative tone the tackling was intense.

Bullants had use of a small breeze in the second, kicking to the Bell St end but scores were hard to come by. Make that goals. Six points were registered. It wasn’t like the contest was too tough. Bullants had gained the ascendency but the forward line was clogged.

Jakeb, celebrating his 100th game of Australian Football took a strong mark and put the ball to the top of the square. The Colts got the ball out to the far-side flank before the ball came back in. Jackson squirrelling in and under got a clean handpass out to Jesse and he kicked true. Leo got a goal in red time and the half time break was set.

The Colts won a wrestle of a Third even though Bullants had more shots at goal and started the second half with the better run. Chilli was dominant, Suhail was good in defence, the game was played at a fast pace. Rhett, carrying on his excellent effort, made best use of Daniel’s great work through the centre and down the outer flank to goal. By the siren the Colts had mounted their best attack and the lead was brought under 20 points.

The last quarter was all Bullants. Playing crisp, clean footy they left the Colts behind. Alex is the true north of this side. He is inspiring to watch. If he isn’t directly assisting a goal he is only a couple of plays from the Bullants scoring. A small delight was the multiple goals from U12s player, Ethan Lowe. Daniel continued his great efforts. The game was won easily and the Bullants are steadily staking a claim to stay in the Top 4.

Under 15's Match Report
St Marys 2 Preston Bullants
2.7.19 4.15.39

Last Sunday saw our Under 15 boys earn their best win for the season. The game would see the victor assume top position on the ladder going into the second half of the season. Both St Mary’s and our Under 15s knew that it was going to be a very important win to have over an opponent each would likely face in the finals (yes I know, can we mention the “f”word?).

The game was fittingly a strong, fierce contest and despite some strong gusts of wind during the game, passages of play were well constructed and creative. Our boys were constantly putting their defenders under pressure, with sustained periods of the ball being in our forward line, but we were having trouble scoring goals. The fear was that wasted opportunities could come back to haunt us. And so it was in the third quarter, that St Mary’s got a real sniff, and appeared to have a level of confidence that they hadn’t shown earlier in the game. In the later stages of the third quarter, St Mary’s narrowed the margin to just over two goals and the stage was set for a fierce last quarter.

Both Damian and I could see in the boy’s eyes that they were up for the contest. In the last quarter to a man, they battled a very good opponent, with each contest being fought out using their spent levels of energy. In the end, the boys were able to enjoy a quite comfortable 20 point win and see the rewards of their efforts displayed in their position atop the ladder.

As always, and a hallmark of the Under 15 team, endeavour and attitude were never in question and a willingness to share the ball with teammates was prevalent throughout the game.

Well done to all the boys on a very even team effort.

Colts 1 Match Report

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Preston Bullants Macleod
7.7.49 3.2.20
Goal Kickers Baynes 2, De Sando 2, Chilcott, Stella 1, Moleta 1
Best Players De Sando, Sutton, Vaiano, Bonadio, Zonta, Howard

After a dominant display against Templestowe Colts 1 returned to PCO for the final time in season 2017. The boys have so many fond memories from there time at PCO in the Bullants jumper & we're looking forward to the challenge of playing ladder leaders Macleod.

We had previously defeated Macleod, however this time we faced them without gun trio Tom Hallebone (Vic Metro u/16's), Liam McErlain (Bali) & Daniel Hachem (Injured). Nathan Smarrelli made he's debut in Colts 1 and would go on to play a telling role in the ruck.

Our boys began brightly, a really strong resolve amongst them to take it to Macleod. Aidan Baynes moved forward and this paid dividends with a big mark in the goal square which he duly converted.

Our back 6 of Mai, De Napoli, Zonta, Bonadio, Vaiano & Howard were rock solid under some immense pressure whilst Sutton led wonderfully again. De Sando pushed forward & drilled a great goal to give us a 1 goal lead at 1/4 time.

We completely dominated the second quarter, unfortunately we didn't get reward for effort, kicking a poultry 1 behind to no score.

I really put it on the group at half time, the 3rd quarter was an arm wrestle, Stella kicked an absolute beauty to give us some breathing space.

Macleod kicked the opening major of the last to bring the margin back to 1 goal. This seemed to kick us in to gear, Chilcott got out the back to snap a major before the midfield took full control to pump the ball inside F50. Baynes, De Sando, Moleta kicked majors to see us run home 5 goal winners.

From a coaching perspective I was super proud of the group, we had 22 contributors who listened to instructions very well for the majority. The only sour note was an injury to Lucas Epifano.

We now have the week off to recovery before facing Beverley Hills.

Thanks to all that came to the game & provided great support.

Go Bullants!

Colts 2 Match Report

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Ivanhoe Preston Bullants
9.14.68 6.5.41
Best Players Anthony Mancuso, Jack Sammartino, Karl Rentos, Josh Bruzzese, Anthony Ciavarella, Adrian Vella

After two consecutive weeks off with byes it was clear our troops were fired up and ready to go from when we first arrived at Ford Park in Ivanhoe. This was extremely encouraging to see as this area was a weakness of ours in past weeks.

Our captain Josh Bruzzese was the main catalyst for the early energy and excitement amongst the group. We needed to ensure that we continued these encouraging signs out on the ground. With only six games remaining, this game would prove to be important for our finals aspirations.

The early going was tight, with both teams kicking goals in the opening stages. The game was played at a fast pace which was great to watch. Jack Sammartino was fantastic for us all day in his return game from injury, as were Anthony Mancuso and Karl Rentos who had returned from Colts 1. Adrian Vella was at his electric best, kicking two majors for us from the forward pocket. At quarter time we trailed by three goals due to conceding two majors in red-time.

At the break we spoke about continuing to trust our game plan and back ourselves. To our boy’s credit, they lifted tremendously and got us back to within three points at half time. Anthony Ciavarella was exceptional down back in his first game for over 12 months following a knee reconstruction. Our back six were solid as always lead by Oscar Chaplin, Sean O’Connell, Ryan Bonett and Jack Perin.

The game became more contested in the second half and proved to be more of a struggle. Both teams had recognised that defensive schemes needed to be tightened which allowed less free flowing play. The game was still in the balance at three quarter time.

We put up a serious fight in the last quarter, however we fell away and Ivanhoe were able to take advantage. We were unfortunate to only have 19 players on the day and limited rotations may have cost us. We ended up falling by 27 points however we didn’t stop playing until the final siren.

Although the end score was disappointing, I couldn’t be prouder of the group and their efforts today. We showed real grit and determination to stay with a quality opposition for three quarters.

Let’s continue to work hard and get the most out of our remaining five games together. We are only four points out of the finals boys so anything is possible for this season! It’s all up to you where we take it!

Go Bullants.

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