With just 4 home and away matches left for season 2016 (where has it gone??) I think it timely to summarize where the Mighty Preston Bullants sit as a club across all levels, for it has been an exciting year with some great performances and the seeds planted by our wonderful coaches and their assistants is certainly bearing some fruit.
Our Colts 1 boys are sitting solid in 3rd currently and have beaten teams above them in some sterling performances throughout the season. Colts 2, while faced with many challenges, sit only 1 game out of the top 4 in a very tight grouped division. Always trying something different and always looking to improve, they are a real great unit to pop in and watch from week to week.
What about our mighty U15’s?? Sure they are top of their division and group, but it didn’t just happen. This group of young men took the bull by the horn in an earlier than expected pre-season, grabbed a few mates along the way and the star coaches in Mark and Damian have this group playing for each other, the club and their well respected coaches like no other. A fantastic story of persistence and above all the love of the game.
Our U14’s? Off the back of persistence here we have a truly resilient group who were almost short on players only 4 months ago! Bonded, supported and pushed their way through it all and now find themselves sitting 4th in a tight contest with 3 other teams knocking on the top 4 door! This is shaping up to be some season for this wonderful group of boys who give it their all week in week out.
Jumping up 2 whole divisions into Brown are our U13’s who to date have impressed all that have been involved with them. Getting the best out of this easily influenced group is Dom Vaiano who along with his assistants in George and Marc have this team believing there is nothing they can’t do and are regularly challenged which galvanizes them each and every time they are thrown a curve ball. The U13’s currently sit 2nd on the ladder with equal points to first.
Our U12’s team is another tightly galvanized group who are well coached and mentored by Matt and his assistant coaches Craig and Julian. Always trying different things, always planning meticulously and always a step ahead, this is a team that will continually see great improvement given the leaders they have as well as the strong family support behind them. Our U12’s currently sit 3rd on the ladder in what is shaping up to be a very tight and hard fought season.
The U11’s are one impressive lot! The attention the coaches receive from this young group is nothing short of remarkable for these young troopers who just want to play as much footy as they can, and don’t they do it well! Well drilled, beautifully coached and nothing is more impressive than watching them go to their “line coaches” at the QTR time huddles and not just listening but actually contributing which is simply awesome! Currently sitting 5th, 3 other teams are fighting to also get into the top 4 in their division.
Which takes me to our perennial favorites in the U10’s, Tackers Red and Tackers White teams. Who doesn’t love watching the passion of these future stars go around in the freezing cold each and every Sunday morning. There is simply nothing these children can’t do and the best part is watching the celebrations once they score or take a great mark or place a great tackle. Simply awesome to watch, support and encourage, for this group of kids, it is all about getting out on the oval and having as much fun as they can for the time they are out there with the biggest of grins from ear to ear, and for that they are all winners on top of their own ladders!
So with 5 teams currently in a top 4 position and 2 just out, I wanted to take this opportunity to say good luck for the rest of the home and away season, always play the game in the right spirit and give it your best shot no matter what mountain you are looking at in front of you, for you can do anything you apply yourself too.
Go Bullants, give them your best enjoy your footy and support our sponsors!
Preston Bullants JFC
For the juniors, it’s all about playing the game, while for parents and friends nothing is more important than watching and positively supporting the players’ efforts. As time rushes by and life can be so busy, the part of the weekend we spend at the kids’ footy should be treasured.
The family values and involvement associated with a club like Preston Bullants Juniors are absolutely in line with the ethos we try to project and preserve at Hocking Stuart Preston. Business is business, but family comes first.
Tackers White were back at home this week up against the good kids from St Marys. A week off seemed to invigorate the team who were keen for a game and led out by Captain Jerry. And straight from the first bounce the team were on and working as a unit. We opened the scoring with a terrific goal from Rocky and missed a few good scoring opportunities during the quarter. While the first quarter bode well, the second was where the increasingly desperate and hungry Bullants turned the screws. Eden – who has great range on his kicks – was put in the forward line for the first time and rewarded his team and his coach with two second quarter goals. Tucking the mouthgard in the sock to take his shots he was all business and never looked like missing. Great work Eden. We continue to work on getting hands to the ball, talking and using handball to create space and no one did it better today than Omar. Repeat efforts and handballs saw his teammates head into the forward line for another goal. Top stuff Omar.
Come half time we reminded each other the game isn’t over, to avoid a repeat of a fortnight ago when we got run over. And to be sure St Marys came out hard and had us on the backfoot, scoring two unanswered goals, but the boys dug in. Led in the centre by Thomas A who kept coming out of packs with the ball, the centre and backmen turned the tide our way. The whites were composed with the ball in hand today, lifting their eyes and finding targets. Chains of kicks – from Sonny to Dom to Kes -found targets and the guys looked like a terrific little unit. Dom’s kicking today was a real treat.
The final quarter was all Bullant’s with the highlight Kade’s mark and goal – his first for the team. Kade has worked hard on his kicking and this backward spinning drop punt sailed over the umpires hat. Great reward for effort Kade!
It was a really good game from the Whites who continue to make their parents and coaches proud with their improvement, effort and team work.
U 9’s Red V St Marys T. Round 11. Zwar Reserve.
Thanks as always to the supportive parents who filled roles to make the day happen.
Chris – The best TM in the business! Thanks mate!
Special mention to Max Viano whose umpiring sets the benchmark for fair, free flowing games!
Gee we have a great bunch of kids!
I watch other teams argue amongst themselves, with their coach & with the umpire. I see them mucking around & being disrespectful to their coach and club... Not our Bullants! I couldn't be prouder of the way they conduct themselves every week. At training they work hard to improve, they take onboard instructions and put it into practice on game day. They play with passion, with pride and with respect for each other, their opponent and the umpire. The results on our nonexistent scoreboard follow.
Today our Bullants put on a clinic, showing their supporters all of the above as well as silky skills, unselfish play, teamwork, passion & pride.
St Mary's needed players to even up and as usual, there were plenty of Bullants putting their hand up to be good sports and have a quarter for the opposition. Well done all of you!
As has occurred in the past, patches of the game looked like a training drill... Because it was! Friday night we practiced quick ball movement & playing on, the kids soaked it up, brought it to the game and executed beautifully! When we play like that, with that desire for the ball, we are unstoppable! The kids now have that belief in themselves and each other and it is a joy to watch!
Every player made significant contributions to the game today, that's what great teams do....I'm glad we don't have Individual awards in Tackers... It would be too hard to choose. St Mary's chose to award Marcus Carelli their medal for best player, well deserved as he was everywhere in the midfield as usual but it could have gone to anyone. Tom, Ned & Andre were lethal in the forward line (well supported by Archie &“Big Willo” Daniel Wilson who were unlucky not to be amongst the scorers!) kicking a bag of goals each but most impressive was the sharing of the ball to the player in the better position... True teamwork!
The backline was disciplined, manning up & following team rules out of defence. Caitlin tackled hard as usual, Harry, Tamer, Thomas G & Thomas M manned up & defended well, pumping the ball back into the middle & hitting our running targets. Jacko went hard & took his marks & Jake was his dependable self taking strong marks across half back .....well done all of you! Goals from the forwards mean nothing if we don't defend and defend ferociously you did!
Ava was tireless carrying the bulk of the ruck work while Callum, Darcy, Cameron & Zac carried on from their ripping Friday night training to carry out the game plan flawlessly. The run and delivery out of the midfield was exceptional.
We were without some good players today. Felix has gone, Pat B injured, Ziggy, Xavier and Sam away... That would hurt most teams...not great teams. Great teams step up to fill the gaps. Great teams stick to the plan no matter what. Great teams play for each other & their club. You are a great team kids. Be proud of your achievements. As I am. As we all are.
|Goal||Josh C 2, Jaxsyn and Lucas 1|
It hurts so much to once again write about a Final Qtr fade-out that saw us unable to defend a narrow 3/4 lead.
Kicking into a strong wind at Greythorn in the last term we tried our best to stay in front however a high tackle awarded to Greythorn in the immediate Goal square, put them in front and from then on we were swimming against the tide.
On a positive note, we had stand-out performances from best buddies Keelan & Perry who played their best games for the club + excellent contributions from 4 Players who stepped up to fill the void left by a host of star players who were unavailable. Huge thank you to Josh C, Marcus C, Tom M and Steven F for filling in for us.
The Under 11s played at Zwar park against the Parkside Devils. These two teams last met on a wet day in early May - with Parkside getting up by 8 points. The Bullants were out to try to even the ledger.
After some very heavy rain earlier in the week the conditions on the ground were excellent.
With the recent departure of coach Ben, and coach Phil being on holidays, the coaching responsibilities were taken up by Fab & John, with Louie taking the role of runner.
The sight of Phoenix running through the banner to celebrate his 50th game fired up the Bullants and for the second game in a row they got off to a flying start! Joel Harding clearly picked up some fancy European moves after spending the last six months in Spain and kicked the first two goals of the game! The boys were running hard and playing well. It was great to see all the boys contributing. The Bullants went into the quarter time break leading 13 to 7. Fab & John were pleased with how the game started.
The second quarter was a little more difficult. The Devils made good use of their height around the ground - and troubled the Bullants when kicking to a contest. Seb R added a handy goal for the Bullants, however this was matched by a goal to the Devils before the main break. Fab reminded the boys to spread out to give options to the player with the ball. Thanks to Nuno for providing amble oranges to keep the players energised!
The cold wind picked up in the third quarter - and it was a bit of an arm wrestle between these two evenly matched teams. Neither team managed to get a major on the board.
Going into the fourth quarter there was only 4 points in the game. After leading all day, the pressure was on the Bullants to deliver the win. They fought hard in the final quarter. Liam sealed the win with a fine set shot for goal.
Best players on the day were Joel, Phoenix, Remy, Makaio & Jack. Lachlan, Liam, Josh, Callum, Nathan, Brody & Seb F all contributed well.
Thanks to the parents for their ongoing support!
|Goal Kickers||T. Hallebone - 1|
Congratulations to Alexander Nestorovski and Nicholas Perizzolo on celebrating their 50 game milestone.
We went into this game against Banyule, the second top team with strong emotions and confidence after a convincing win in round 6. However, as we know footy is an emotional game for both the player and supporter and that it can also control how one plays the game. This unfortunately occurred on Sunday and it is important that we go away from the game learning from it.
From the first bounce we could tell that Banyule was willing to run hard and put their body over the ball more than our boys, which ultimately proved to be a big difference between both teams. Even though Banyule dominated the first three quarters there were some positives from our boys. Our centre clearances were working really well with Steven and Nicholas feeding the ball off to Felix, Phoenix and Marcus, however we still kept losing it on the third possession. Kristian’s running and bumping was greatly improved while he spent time on the wing and we saw strong/proactive football from Marcus, Max D, Samuel, Toby, Jordan and Oliver just to name a few.
Communication is still lacking and it showed in the first half, however we did start to see that change a bit in the second half. It is pleasing to see that planned and non planned rotations on the field are starting to occur on their own so I have to give a big rap to Phoenix, Nicholas and Alex for being pro-active in this area. James was also on the front foot with his communication as well with his running, even though you could see him having to push through a lot of pain, that showed great mental and physical strength on his part. He is one tough nut.
The second half things were starting to improve, slowly but surely. We started to see our numbers getting to the ball first, applying more pressure and bringing more intensity to the game which was lead by Steven, Becks and Sparrow. It was a slow lead up, but the last quarter was ours, we owned it, the backline held their defensive line, the midfield worked as one unit and the forward line gave their team mates targets. Our only downfall was that we could not convert that dominance into goals.
It was a tough loss, however we can learn a lot from today. Football is a game where everyone needs to support one another when times get tough and communication is an integral part of a successful team. When things aren’t working, we need to regroup, park the scoreboard to one side, and get back to playing how we train to play. Everything we train for during the week needs to come to fruition on game day. Next Sunday we play against Surrey Park, the top team. This is where our boys will have to dig deep and commit to playing strong, consistent footy. Green division is tight this season - it’s anyone’s game - let’s get out there and MAKE IT OURS!
Coaches Matt, Craig and Julian
|Goals||Panta - 2, Alex - 1, Jamie - 1, Ben - 1, Ethan - 1|
|Best Players||Alex, Eamon, Patty, Ben, Billy M, Jamie, Zac V, Josh|
|Injuries||Zach D (Calf- test), Nathan D (foot- test), Ethan (foot- test)|
A BRILLIANT 3-goal final term has helped The Bullants keep its second position on the ladder, notching up a gutsy 32-point win over Ivanhoe in tricky conditions at Zwar Reserve on Sunday morning, 6.4 (40) to 1.2 (8).
The Bullants returned from the bye following back-to-back wins but, after a slow start, hunted Ivanhoe ruthlessly all-day, winning inside 50s 16-7.
The victory puts The Bullants one and half game clear in second stop and equal first to all but secure a finals-birth with a victory next week against Surrey Park.
Goals to Ben, Ethan and Panta in the final term sealed the victory after a very close and mostly even 3 quarters.
Bullants leader Alexander (26 disposals, 4 tackles, 5 marks, one goal) was best afield, while Eamon (16 hit-outs), Patty (7 hard ball gets) and Ben (9 tackles) were forces on the inside.
Bullants coach Dom Vaiano highlighted the club’s tackling pressure (23 tackles to 10) and specifically one laid by Ben, which he said started the final-quarter, three-goal run.
“It’s probably as good a quarter as we’ve played, considering the conditions,” Vaiano said.
“It started in the middle I reckon. There was the pressure in the middle of the ground which was significant. Alexander gets a lot of credit for his outside stuff but it was the tackling on the inside that got us going.
“Our tackling shows our intent and when our intent is high we usually play pretty well.”
Zach D came off in the second quarter with a calf strain and played no further part in the game. The medical team said that they won’t be taking any chances with Zach after a horror few weeks sidelined with a foot injury and now a calf issue.
Frank F overcame his foot injury to also be a late withdrawal from the game after extending his skying holiday for a few more days.
Nathan D was very close to playing but the coaches decided to give him another week’s rest.
Ethan was stood on at basketball and could barely move but managed to play two quarters under some pain. Assistant Coach George said, “it’s footy season so why kids play basketball is beyond me. Play basketball in the off season.”
The Bullants meet Surrey Park B at Surrey Park.
|Goal Kickers||Charbel, Alex|
This is a hard game to explain. It had many things that identify where the Bullants are at and what they need to do to improve. That improvement is a heart-beat away.
Here are some quick stats/observations before we get into the Report proper. The Bullants did not score after half-time. Even though their Third quarter was one of the best quarters they have played this year. A team will likely win at this age level if they have 15 or more shots at goal. Doncaster had 16 shots at goal. Confidence is an elusive thing.
Ang’s pre-game speech was a ripper. Filled with clear instructions (I want running, handpassing, in twos and threes) and battle logic (you should have only one thing in your mind – that ball is mine!). As the team filed out of the rooms they were focussed. You could feel it.
They got off to a good start. Against the wind the Bullants kicked two goals and took a 4 point lead into Quarter time. Charbel scored early taking advantage of a forward press. Then Doncaster scored. Then the game got tight as both teams tried to find their rhythm. Mavia and Ben D held the backline tight. Alex took a strong mark in defence. Rhett was doing his bit. Against the flow, the Bullants took possession and with good teamwork (Matty M, and Jesse) the ball was delivered into the goal square. Alex made no mistake.
In the Second, things could have gone better. WE had the run and control of the ball. The game was played mostly in our forward line. Anthony was running hard, creating play. But goals were elusive. Doncaster scored against the run of play and the game turned into a scum and scrabble. I was left wondering, where did our game plan go?
In the Third the Bullants backline demonstrated its excellence. It held Doncaster scoreless. But it was a battle. The game was played mostly in Doncaster’s forward line. But plenty of Bullants stood their ground. Alex took the mark of the day. Daniel delivered the tackle/s of the day. Anthony was terrific as was Jesse. As was Max and Suhail. The lot of them.
But the hard work of the Third took the stuffing out of the team. They were spent. The team played without a bench and the wind had been like two extra players. Doncaster kicked two goals and won the day. I was left to wonder, what if a couple of the forward thrusts in the Second had been goals. I have no doubt the team’s confidence would not have sagged. It also highlighted where the team needs to improve – build and reinforce the forward line structure.
|Preston Bullants||Park Orchards B|
Last Sunday saw our Under 15s achieve their largest win of the season, when they played Park Orchards. Any concerns about possible issues of complacency playing the bottom side, where quickly dismissed by the boy’s fast start to the game. Again, endeavour and a willingness to share the ball with a teammate in a better position where features of the first quarter. In the second quarter the boy’s confidence levels started to rise and they tried to implement plays that had been practiced and spoken about in training. Some instances of switching play, and running from behind a teammate with the ball, into a space to create an option, showed that the team are really starting to play some mature football.
The second half followed the patterns set in the first half, with all boys contributing to a very good win over an opponent, despite their position on the ladder, played some good competitive football. A pleasing feature this week was the more accurate kicking for goal. The last couple of weeks have seen the team wasting opportunities with inaccurate kicking which was a concern as we prepare for a finals campaign. Hopefully the work we have been doing in training is starting to reap some rewards.
Lastly, the team would like to send their condolences to Nicholas Fraser and his mum Meghan, our magnificent team manager, on the passing of Nick’s grandmother and Meghan’s mum. Our thoughts are with the Frasers.
|Preston Bullants||Beverley Hills|
|Best Players||Anthony Moleta, Liam Sutton, Lachlan Black, Tom Hallebone, Nick Zonta, C.Howard|
Best Players: Anthony Moleta, Liam Sutton, Lachlan Black, Tom Hallebone, Nick Zonta, C.Howard
This was a massive game for us in terms of shaping our season, Beverley Hills had come down from Division 1 and been in blistering form.
We welcomed back Tom Hallebone from Vic Metro commitments. The game was played in extremely windy conditions & early on with the breeze we failed to take full advantage until the final 30 seconds when Moleta goaled. Lachy Black, Curic and Howard started very well down back.
Our 2nd quarter was extremely disappointing, the worst we had played all year, not playing the correct side of the ground, failing to get an opponent in transition and costly errors which saw the visiting side kick 3 goals in 5 minutes.
We were 2 ½ goals down at half time and I knew within the group that we could respond. We kicked 4 goals to 1 in the 3rd quarter, Moleta was brilliant in this quarter and Sutton showed his class whilst Hallebone was dominating the ruck.
Our last quarter was full of promise, our midfield of Vaiano, De Napoli and Sutton were on top with Hallebone and Hayes giving first use but we quite simply convert. The absence of proven goal kicker Callum Chilcott was felt within our forward mix. Beverley Hills kicked 2 late goals to not only hit the lead but run away 11 point winners.
A bit of a wakeup call for our group who were out hunted and lacked the intensity required in difficult conditions.
We will look to regroup and put up a much more consistent performance this weekend v Whitehorse this weekend.
|Best Players||Jack Sammartino, Anthony Mancuso, Josh Torcasio, Daniel Beck, Karl Rentos, Lucas Fragale|
Coming into round 11 we knew that it was time to make a statement to the rest of the competition. We had lost some winnable games and had fallen outside the top four. Today we faced Whitehorse, who were in fourth spot and playing good footy. We knew that if we were going to play finals football, these were games we needed to win.
The positive pre-game tone was set early by Josh Bruzzese, who has become a tremendous leader for our side as the year has progressed. In my coaches address I spoke about the strength we had in all three lines. If we stuck to our structures, played our roles and trusted each other, the result would look after itself.
The start of the game was well contested. Neither side was able to hit the scoreboard in the first ten minutes. This was a major positive for us as Whitehorse had the breeze in the first term, which we were predicting to be worth 4 goals. Our pressure around the ball was fantastic which made it hard for the opposition to link up. Unfortunately, we gave away some silly free-kicks and 25m penalties which resulted in easy goals. We came into quarter time down by three goals.
Our pressure continued to be frantic in the second term, which resulted in turnovers for Whitehorse and attacking plays for us. We were playing a great brand of footy and the scoreboard reflected that. We kicked the next five goals unanswered. Our backline once again held up brilliantly all day, led by Jack Perin, Oscar Chaplin and Anthony Ciavarella. Whitehorse were unable to find a target inside fifty for most of the day thanks to our pressure around the ball and tight man on man defending.
We knew that the third quarter would be our biggest challenge. We held a slender lead at half time but Whitehorse would have the breeze in the third. Our boys were amazing and stood up to the challenge. We were able to intimidate and outscore Whitehorse in the third term which set the tone for the remainder of the day. We always looked the hungrier of the two sides.
We had some nervous moments in the final quarter and were lucky that our opposition kicked inaccurately at times. With that being said, our passion and effort for four quarters was the best I’ve seen all season. If we can produce this standard of football consistently there is no reason why we can’t go deep into the finals. We are now only one game out of the top four with a month of footy remaining. Let’s continue to work hard both on and off the field to get the most out of 2016.
Congratulations to all involved in the win today. What a fantastic effort by the boys to stand up when it mattered most!