And that was the home and away season for 2016 done and dusted! WOW! How fast did that go you ask? We all feel the same way about it and the good news coming out of season 2016 is that we have 4 of our Bullants teams making finals appearances with a shot at finals glory.
Starting with our U13’s who are up against Heidelberg Y starting at 10.15AM at Templestowe Reserve, followed by the U14’s against Banyule at Doncaster Reserve for a 2.45PM start, then the U15’s against Parkside at Stradbroke Park at 2.45PM and finally our Colts 1 boys who come up against the Whitehorse Colts also at 2.45PM over at Koonung Reserve in Bulleen. A bevy of great footy matches to which we would encourage as many of our players and their families and friends to don on the Might Bullant Red gear you have and come and cheer and support as many games as you can.
Here is a link highlighting all matches for you to follow straight off our website.
Speaking of a great finish to the season, how good was the turnout to the annual end of season Bullants Pizza night which had record numbers in attendance filling the PCO Grandstand Function Room? In fact so good, that we smashed the previous record of 90 pizzas with a new record of 101!! Delivered by 4 different pizza restaurants in the area over 30 minute gaps, we chewed and chomped our way through 31+20+20+30 to set an all time high of 101!
We also got the opportunity to hear from all our wonderful coaches and assistants about how the year went, the challenges that each and every group faced throughout and the way forward through triumph and sheer hard work which is a great reflection on all our volunteers at the club and the support from the family groups. Makes me very proud to be involved in this wonderful club and solid community.
As promised here is the shot from the stage I took as we commenced the interviews of which there would have been a similar amount of others outside the function room at the time! Huge!
Good luck to our U13’s, 14’s, 15’s and Colts 1 for this weekend’s finals action. Go Bullants!
Preston Bullants JFC
The tackers had a big day on Sunday, with their final game, a parents v kids match and a pizza night! It was great to finish our season on a sunny Sunday down at Preston City Oval. Captain Rocky led us out and the team farewelled the little guy as he and his family prepare to move to Brisbane. Good luck to the O’Dwyers! You’ll be missed. The Whites came up against Heidelberg who have been the form side of the year. Heidelberg got off to a good start to and the Tackers were on the back foot. The late withdrawal of Jerry in the ruck meant we were a little short in there and Heidelberg took full advantage. The quarter time address was to toughen up and run harder and the kids responded. The team finally started taking it wide and using their much improved footskills to hit close targets. A chain of passes from Dom to Eden and Thomas A got to Sonny who narrowly missed our best chance at goal.
Not deterred the Whites pressed on in the second half, but they had to be reminded that running hard is part of the game. Credit has to be given to Dom, Joe and Isaac who fought really hard in the backline and kept the scoring in check. Well done guys.
Despite the loss the team got together and proudly sang the song to celebrate a fantastic year. It’s been a privilege to be a part of this great team and to watch the kids grow a little more into the terrific people and footballers they promise to become.
The parents v kids game was great fun, and once the dads had exhausted themselves reliving their glory years the kids got on top and won a well deserved victory.
See you in 2017 Tackers!
Our last game for the season came with a lovely, late (10:00am) start at Preston’s Heartland PCO. The sun was shining and there was a buzz around the ground. During the warm up, I think it was Jake who said “I’ve got a good feeling about today….” I did too.
We welcomed a few eager kids from Auskick into the rooms and rather than the usual cries of “can I be captain! Can I be captain?” our wonderful kids voted to make the Auskickers honorary captains for the day!
The pre match address was simple. “Show us everything you’ve learnt over the season. Show us your best & give 100% for the whole game. Show your parents and supporters why you love playing footy for the Bullants. Show the Auskick kids how good it can be to sing the song at the end!” With a mighty cry of “Go Bullants” we took to the field….a full 15minutes early…so used to 8:45 starts…it took the coach a few minutes to work out why the umpire & opposition weren’t out on the ground!!!
Finally after an extended warm-up and another huddle, our opponents, St Mary’s W, took to the field & we were away.
Positions were again “Coaches choice” however such is the strength of our side I don't think it makes that much difference where our kids play. None the less, the midfield was heavily stacked with runners, with Callum, Tom, Marcus and Sam all in the middle for the first time together. Ava took first quarter Ruck duties with instructions to hit out long to the runners. Without getting out of second gear the ball was constantly driven forward out of the middle with quick ball movement and accurate passing. Up forward, Ned, Darcy and Cameron all lead and marked strongly, peppering the goals. Cameron being rewarded with 1 goal, 1 behind, Darcy a goal and Ned (out of character) pushing his shot wide for a behind. Ava was winning the ball well in the ruck and giving us first use, she was also working hard off the ball & marking well. On the rare occasion that St Mary’s broke through they were met with Xavier’s big tackles and the cool under pressure, Thomas G’s strong marks & booming kick-outs.
Quarter time & we’d barely raised a sweat. The Mids were told to give each other some space & keep running. Andre and Jack could barely contain themselves when told to go forward and kick some goals, while big Mr T (Tamer) was given ruck duties with the request for some of his big punches.
St Mary’s came out hard in the second and it was an arm wrestle for much of the quarter. In the battle of the midfield, Sam stuck some great tackles, Marcus & Tom marked strongly while Callum had a lovely burst out of a pack & kicked long into the forward line. Jack H took a lovely mark and made the most of his opportunity with a great goal while at the other end, St Mary’s got a lucky break and snuck a goal past the strong marking Ziggy, Jake & Thomas.
At half time everyone was asked to go up a gear and make this a game to remember….they went up several gears! A quick burst out of the middle saw Ava mark strongly in front of goals, doubting herself re the distance she made a brave decision to play on & couldn’t quite pull it off but it was great to see her try something different! St Mary’s replied with a very quick passage of play that caught us napping, going coast to coast with clean possessions and nailing their second goal. That’s when the Bullants decided enough was enough. Tamer started hitting the ball 5 meters out in front of the running midfielders who delivered to the forward line with speed and precision. Big Willo and Jack marked everything in sight and delivered lace out to Andre. In the space of 3 minutes Andre had bagged 3 goals with strong marking & exceptional reading of the play. Once in our forward line, strong running & tackles from Jack & Daniel ensured it stayed there! Ned had another shot that again drifted wide for a behind but the mercurial Andre bobbed up again with a lovely snap over his shoulder to rack up his 4th! A rare foray forward by St Mary’s was decisively repelled by Ziggy who marked everything that came near him and another attempt was marked by Thomas G who took them on, running the length of the zone before booting it long.
The kids scoffed their snakes at ¾ time & were itching to get back on the ground to continue the rout. Mr T continued to pound the ball forward out of the ruck while Callum, Marcus, Sam continued to “have the ball on a string”, well supported by the defensive work of Zach & Caitlin. It wasn’t long before our forward pressure got the ball to Andre who snapped his 5th from the boundary. St Mary’s didn’t let up though and the ball spent plenty of time in our backline. Ziggy, Caitlin and Thomas ensured there were no easy possessions for St Mary’s as they chased, harassed and tackled desperately. Strong marking was also a feature across half back with Ziggy and Caitlin taking some rippers. Tamer had to come off with a jarred finger with Tom back on to assist in the middle. At the next ball-up….there was clearly someone missing as for the first time St Mary’s ruckman went up uncontested….all part of the plan it seemed as the ball was swooped on by the running mid’s and driven forward to the ever hungry Andre who calmly bagged his 6th goal for the game. St Mary’s tried to respond but again the defensive pressure from Xavier, Cameron, and Thomas limited them to a couple of behinds. The siren sounded to end a fantastic game & season. Every player had made significant contributions and played 4 quarters of their best footy and as we’ve said all season, when we do that we are unstoppable!
Arm in arm we walked off the field, honorary Auskick captains in hand and belted out our magnificent song for all to hear before heading into the rooms in a tight circle to sing it again.
I am so proud to have been given the honor of coaching this fantastic bunch of kids. They are a credit to their parents and to the club. They have made me laugh and cry (in a good way) over the season and taught me a lot. I’m also privileged to have the support of Chris & Cheryl O’Neill (Best Team Managers in the business), Rob Auger who’s help as Assistant Coach provided me with a calming & considered influence, Paul Wilson who was always around to ensure kids safety and help with warm-ups pre game, Simon Reid (best footy brain around) for his help at training & sage assessment of our performance’s. A very special thank you to all of our supportive parents who chip in on game day with the various duties to make sure it all happens and for your personal support and friendship over the season.
Love this club and these kids!
The kids voted last week to commence Pre-season training immediately… .Not a bad idea….
Best of luck to all those teams with a crack at the finals!
End of season Lightning Premiership @ Ford Park: Game 1 v Ivanhoe - With our 2 best players Samuel & Will both holidaying abroad, this 1st game was predictably played in Ivanhoe's Fwd line however our leading Goal-kicker this season Lucas again displayed his versatility intercepting expertly in Defence with several well judged marks limiting the opposition to just 3-2-20 to Bullants 0-0-0.
Game 2 v Park Orchards - A much more even contest in game 2 enthralled our loyal parents/fans who'd set-up camp in Fwd pocket cheering proudly. This seemed to inspire the kids as they repeatedly transitioned the ball from defence to attack with slick precise ball movement. Lucas again was in everything this time up Fwd kicking 1-1 then setting up Pat with a long bomb to Goal-square where Pat managed to clasp a brilliant pack mark which he duly converted. A classy banana goal from Thomas C in front of our cheer squad got them out of their seats but next one from Michael sent them into a frenzy! This wonderful team goal started from Anthony in Defence who kicked out wide to Ayden who passed to Pat on the wing who passed to Lucas at Half fwd who took a bounce then kicked into open Fwd line where Michael out-sprinted his opponent to kick his 1st goal for season! This put us in front 4-1 to 4-0 but 3 late behinds to Park Orchards saw us cruelly robbed again thus another tight defeat.
3rd game v Greythorn - Although we were never in this contest, special efforts by Rylan who had an awful tummy bug yet played through the pain and kicked a very classy goal + tireless Rovers Asher & Anthony who were at bottom of every pack in all 3 matches. Asher's clever pack mark & goal just seconds before final siren a fitting way to close out the season for this little future champion! Final scores: Greythorn 5-6-36 to Bullants 2-0-12
Thanks to the Parents that have help every week through out the season, Dom, Klaus, Darryl, Jodi, Kelly, Marie, Linda, Robert, Simon, Rodney, Dean, Carl. To the Coaches Ray & Craig.
|Goal Kickers||Phoenix 1 & Liam 1|
|Best Players||Adrian, Harry, Liam, Phoenix, Joel, Makaio, Nathan|
The Bullants this week where back at PCO for the last game of the season to take on Ashburton. PCO was in great condition and the boys were all fired up ready to go and especially as we had the full squad of 28 playing this game which meant 9 on the bench and plenty of rotations…
The sun was shining and it was a sensational morning to play football on PCO. Our Captains for the day were Alister & Liam and the boys were ready to play their hearts out to try for one last win for the season. Ashburton won the toss and decided to kick to the city end of the ground or the right of screen.
The opening ¼ began and it was a very even tussle with Ashburton kicking the opening goal with some very good outside attack, The Bullants responded pretty much straight away with some very long kicking from the defensive end which allowed our forwards to run onto the ball and deliver into our forward line. With this ball movement we caught Ashburton on the hop and with a very clever dodge and weave Phoenix found himself in the clear and snapped truly to bring the scores back level. From this Ashburton had the best of the ¼ with some very good play and managed to kick a further 2 goals one point for the ¼ to lead 19-6 at the break. The boys come into the huddle and Fab, John & George instructed the boys to keep running and linking up which has been a feature of our play all year, Coach Phil was very happy with this ¼ and kept encouraging the boys to talk and look for the long option up field
The 2nd ¼ began and as much as we tried to defend Ashburton’s big boys took control of the game our ruck division of Makaio, Declan & Noah where doing a mighty job trying to stop there guys which looked as though they had about 12 6 footers on their team………. But this ¼ belonged to Ashburton as they scored 3 goals and kept us scoreless to lead 31-6 at the half. Harry, Adrian & Lachie were excellent in this ¼ taking plenty of marks and repelling a lot of attacks that were coming down our end. The boys had a good rest at half time and Coach Phil kept encouraging them to use there run & carry and they would be rewarded.
The 3rd ¼ began and the boys were out to win the ¼, with this the mighty Bullants played an excellent ¼ were as we held Ashburton scorless and we managed to kick 1 goal 2 points ourselves. Deon & Callum were getting plenty of the ball and through an Adrian left foot bomb he found Liam unmarked in the forward line and he kicked a great goal a great team reward for a great ¼ of footy and at ¾ time Ashburton lead 31-14. Coach Phil, Fab, John & George spoke to the boys for the last time for the season and asked the boys to enjoy the last ¼ and try their best as we were going to try and play all the boys in different positions.
The last ¼ began and for the first half of this ¼ it was a tight struggle with both teams trying to attack and both defences holding up very strong. At this point Coach Phil made about 30 moves on and off the bench and changed the team all around, This did unsettle the boys a bit but it was a great learning experience for them, Ashburton did kick 3 goals in the final 5 minutes of the game but this was secondary to the fact that the Mighty Bullant boys did not stop trying and gave there all for the entire game. It was great to see Jesse, Deon, Anthony and Tyler be our on ball brigade for this ¼ and they were amazing. The final siren sounded and Ashburton had won 49-14 but the boys can keep their heads held high as they played 15 amazing rounds of football and improved each week.
The boys shook the opposition’s hand after the game and the opposition coach praised both teams for the way that the game was played. Coach Phil was also impressed how The mighty Bullants never gave up and fought hard all day.
Again a huge thank you to all the parents for all your help with everything, we do really appreciate it and all the support and encouragement that the boys receive from you is second to none. Also a special mention to Ben Hanisch, John, Fab, Cam & George your help and guidance for this season has been amazing as coaches and I could not of done this without you. To the number 1 team manager in the YJFL David O’Brien just an amazing person and the job you have done for this team is incredible and we cannot thank you enough for all your time and effort this season.
I hope to see you all on Presentation day on the 9th of October so we can celebrate the season that was and finally a HUGE THANK YOU to the following people as without you great bunch this would not be possible at all and I hope you are as proud of your efforts this year as I am:
Adrian, Allister, Anthony, Ben, Brody, Callum, Coen, Declan, Dion, Harry, Jack, Jacob, Jesse, Joel, Josh, Julian, Lachie, Liam, Makaio, Michael, Nathan, Noah, Oscar H, Oscar K, Phoenix, Remy, Seb F, Seb R & Tyler
|Preston Bullants||Ivanhoe W|
|Goal Kickers||2 J.Zonta , 1 L.Camilleri , 1 T.Hallebone , 1 H.Stratford-Browne , 1 S.Tatsiokas|
Our boys played the final game for the season at PCO against Ivanhoe. With both sides ineligible for finals, both had a goal of finishing with a win. The Bullants arrived very excited but relaxed and ready to get back to basics and have fun.
With the first quarter underway, our Bullants came out strong winning most of the ball-ups, with Steven and Nicholas sharing the role. The midfield communicated well with one another and got their set-ups right every time – there was little room for Ivanhoe to move. We saw Marcus move the ball into our forward line by hitting his target with James, who then kicked our first goal. Xavier got his body over the ball well and applied great pressure on Ivanhoe, while Serge showed fantastic improvement in his running, which was great to see after breaking down in the last quarter of round fourteen. Our second goal was achieved through great teamwork and communication – from Steven to Yianni, to Oliver, to Samuel and then to James for the goal.
The boys huddled at quarter time and straight away shared their thoughts on opposition players and what Ivanhoe was trying to do to break our control over the game - that showed fantastic leadership. Heading into the second quarter we asked the boys to maintain their level of intensity shown in the first.
Earlier in the week I’d been asked by Toby if he could have a crack at Ruck, so off he went leading the charge and he won his first ball up. Our boys got good numbers to the ball, as well as awesome running and pressure by Ty with his brilliant tackling, alongside Alex, Lachlan H and Kristian and Luca showed great courage in all aspects of his game. A real highlight was Phoenix’s run to smother the ball, he showed great composure as well as footy smarts in the decision making. Ivanhoe came out stronger this quarter however and things turned into a tug of war in both forward lines. Ivanhoe levelled the score at half time. Our biggest lesson this quarter was to take our time with the ball and look for our targets.
Entering the third quarter Lachlan H tackled strong and was all over the ball. Toby’s ability to pick up the ball on the run was tremendous, which saw him kick a well-earned goal. Our backline held up well with Jack B and Jack M running hard and Felix was the pressure machine eliminating the opposition’s passages of plays in the midfield. Lachlan M found movement in his legs after a10-week absence due to a broken knee, and with Steven’s goal in the last minute, the Bullants finished the quarter 8 points ahead and our confidence was high.
With the fourth and final quarter underway for the season the Bullants started quickly with a great clearance from Steven to Marcus, who then pushed the ball into our forward line. With the ball finding Henry’s hands he set up and kicked a goal to extend our lead to 14 points. Ivanhoe constantly tried to move the ball quickly but to our boys’ credit they held them up every time. Ivanhoe was left playing a chipping game and with an impressive smother by Luca, you could feel the game was swinging our way. All Bullants played their roll, from Nicholas in full back, to James in full forward, and with Luca kicking the final goal in the game, we finished the season with the win that had eluded us for the past five rounds.
This season, the coaching group set out to develop the boys strategically, to encourage them to think about the game for themselves. Going up a division to Green was a welcomed challenge and we continued position rotations so the boys could learn all aspects of the game. By sticking to rotations, there were games where it worked well and games where we could have fielded a stronger team. Long term, however, we believe that rotating kids into different positions throughout the season builds confidence in the kids and helps solidify where they may like to make their mark on the ground as their personal skills develop and mature. It also helps by creating a list of players who are competent and confident in the backline, midfield and forward line. The boys have shone and are capable of excelling in at least 2 or 3 positions each now.
The season came with some highs and lows on and off the field, but to see the group come together and put great effort into training every week demonstrates that we are blessed with an exceptional group of young men who are committed to their sport, and to their team mates. I am personally very grateful to have been given the opportunity to be part of their lives this year and watch them grow on and off the field.
I would like to thank all parents for your help this year on game day and a special mention to our Team Managers Lisa D’Ath and Meri Beker. Your contribution and assistance to the team has been greatly appreciated. A lot of work goes unseen, however it is noticed and I am grateful to you both. To Coaches Craig and Julian, thank you both for your assistance and time given to me and the boys this year. It’s been really enjoyable coaching with you both.
Boys, thank you for a great season! Keep training and see you next season!
Go the Mighty Bullants!
Coaches Matt, Craig and Julian
|Kew Comets 1||Preston Bullants|
|Goals||1 Elie, Alex.|
|Best Players||Alex, Eamon, Charlie, Josh, Nick|
Kew Comets have posted a convincing 65-point win over a hugely disappointing Bullants side and cemented itself as the team to beat in this year’s under 13s Brown division competition.
The four premiership points were in the bag at three quarter time, after the Comets booted 4 to nothing since quarter time in a dominant display.
The Comets made use of the perfect conditions and moved the footy with purpose and sure hands, the Bullants struggled to find any cohesion and were camped deep in their own defensive 50m arc for the majority of the game.
Two statistics highlighted the gulf between the two sides – The Bullants had 17 inside 50s for the game and managed to kick two first-quarter goals, the Comets managed 46 inside 50s for 11.13. The other telling stat was that the Comets had 35 bounces for the day to the Bullants 9.
Asked what his headline would be for the match, Bullants coach Dom Vaiano said: "Outworked, outmuscled, outplayed."
“Footy is played 90 percent above the shoulders, and we just didn’t bring our mental game to the park today.”
"We had a side that was unconditional in the way they went about it and we had another side that was not able to go anywhere near matching them in those contested situations and work rate situations," Vaiano said.
"They were powerful on their home deck. They made us panic a bit with the ball……but part two starts on Sunday. We’ll conduct a comprehensive review on Monday and prepare for Heidelberg and hopefully we can learn from our mistakes.”
Rodda came off in the second quarter with a badly bruised knee and sat out all of the third term but managed to play out the last quarter. He is expected to make a full recovery,” said Assistant Coach George.
The Bullants meet Heidelberg in the Elimination final on Sunday in the game of the round.
|Goal Kickers||Jet (2), Finn, Jackson, Charbel, Alex, Jesse|
Banyule beat us hands down last time we played and we are very conscious that Banyule is the standout side of this competition. They were beaten soundly by Warrandyte a couple of weeks ago and I reckon that gave our team some confidence that we could at least take it up to them on the return bout.
We needed a big dollop of confidence because on the day our playing list was looking short. Alex had missed last week’s game with a shocking bout of flu and was barely recovered. Rhett, Daniel, Matty and Ted were out, as was Chilli and Leo. Jackson started the game recovering from flu and with a strained thigh muscle. Thanks to Jet, Alex and Felix from our U12s side and Ethan from our U13s for not just making up the numbers but playing influential roles.
The game was played at PCO in pretty good conditions. Jakeb celebrated his 100th game (I never tire of seeing players run through the congratulatory banner). There was a good mood in the rooms. For the Bullants, with the year they have had, this was an important match. Win or lose, they needed to show themselves what they were made of.
The game was a cracker, played in good spirits and a high standard of skills was maintained from first to last siren. We were undermanned but we still played with fight and desire. At half time three points separated the teams, with the Bullants in the lead. At games end the winning margin was stretched to four points. This was a battle and the Bullants won.
The Bullants were led by Darc, in another magnificent display and were inspired by Alex, who we know was playing with at best, 70% energy but seemed to be delivering 110% and got better still as the game went on! Maivia was a standout. In the First when the game was on the line I wrote this note: Maivia saves a sure goal. Then I crossed it out and wrote two. I had to cross that out and write three. Then four. After that I just kept noting, “Maivia, again”.
Teamwork is the noticeable improvement in the Bullants game. Hasn’t it opened up the team’s capability? There are a set of players (Jakeb, Perry, Jack K, Jackson, James, Finn) that are playing noticeably better than they were through the first half of this season. Finn’s game is a case in point. When Darc split the pack and kicked low and direct to Finn he chose the right option. Finn presented, Finn took charge and Finn scored true. That play and confidence was indicative of his game.
The forward line has been the big improvement (and it was needed – and improvement must continue). Our goal scorers have really opened up in the last 5 weeks, which takes pressure off our midfielders. Giving them more run and options.
While both sides were wayward in front of goals, the Bullants Third quarter was the difference. Banyule score 2.5 to the Bullants 4 goals straight. Our backline pressure (and skill) meant Banyule hardly had it easy in their forward 50. They squandered 5 shots before the Bullants had their first shot. That was when Alex centred the ball to the top of the square and Charbel marked and goaled.
In the Last Banyule pushed hard to break the game open but the Bullant backline was too strong. Max and Maivia and Suhail and Jesse with Big Ben D in control. He took a ripper in the back half. Then Alex complimented it with a ripper mark in attack. Both teams, tired as, kept throwing their bodies into every contest. In the end the Bullants earned the win. They head into the First Semi knowing they have what it takes.
Thank you to all parents who helped out.
|Kew Comets 2||Preston Bullants|
A long but rewarding season ended on Sunday with the U 15 team achieving their thirteenth win and earning the cherished top position on the ladder. Sunday’s opponent the Kew Comets were playing their own grand final as they had no chance of finishing in the top four.
The game was hard, physical and fair and was a great hit out for our boys. There was never more than two or three goals in the game and just before half time the Comets made a real charge at the boys to reduce the lead to less than two goals. All of a sudden the boy’s confidence in themselves seemed to dissipate. Fortunately, the leaders and four or five boys with cool heads were able to take charge of the team and show their great leadership skills.
Only on three occasions during the season have our boys been challenged by opponents and each time they have showed a fragility for a period of time. This will be something they will need to work on going into the pressurized environment of the finals.
Congratulations to the boys on a very successful home and away season which is great achievement considering four weeks before the season started we only had 16 boys registered. Damian and I would like to thank our brilliant team manager Meghan who allows us to take the field each week because of all her hard work behind the scenes.
Being a volunteer is a thankless task but Meghan always does her role with a smile on her face.
|Best Players||Mcerlain, De Sando, Sutton, Vaiano, Baynes, Renna, Hallebone, Hachem|
The final round of the home and away season was a final with huge repercussions in terms of the overall ladder position. Quite simply a win would give us the double chance and a loss would mean an elimination final against Beverley Hills.
The game early was very tight, both teams not giving an inch.
Both sides kicked only 1 goal apiece in the opening stanza with Hachem putting through a major from the goal line. For all our early dominance with clearances and inside 50’s it was a real shame as we failed to capitalize.
The second quarter we were made to pay by a quality outfit and lost the quarter by 7 points.
Our 3rd quarter was fantastic with the boys booting 4 goals to 1 through Renna & Hachem.
Renna was playing a very important role across half forward with his work rate enormous whilst De Sando was relishing a change of scenery up forward.
We held a 13 point lead going in to the last quarter. We had our chances to put the game away but kicked only 4 points.
To the credit of our back 6 we only allowed 1 goal and applied fantastic pressure to restrict Macleod.
In the end we held on for a 7 point win and a Qualifying Final showdown with Whitehorse this Sunday.
Liam Mcerlain was best on ground for the second week in a row and was ably supported by Sutton, Vaiano and Tom Hallebone who played a first class game in the Ruck.
Daniel Hachem was the pick of the forwards with 3 goals.
Thanks for the fantastic support on the day and we are excited by the opportunity to play finals football.
|Banyule 2||Preston Bullants|
|Best Players||Jack Sammartino, Rob Catalano, Dan Beck, Jack Perin, Oscar Bennett, Lucas Fragale|
Coming into the game it was hard to believe that our season was only four quarters away from over. It was a weird feeling for our group but it gave us the opportunity to play with freedom and take the game on. We had nothing to lose.
Conditions at Banyule were perfect and sunny. Unfortunately, we were once again short on players due to injuries and other commitments. To the boy’s credit, this did not affect the way we played or the passion that we played with. Credit to Anthony Mancuso for suiting up and playing with a broken finger, tremendous effort! Also, congratulations to Jack Perin who was rewarded with captaincy for his efforts all season.
My message to the boys before the game was simple, have fun! I wanted us to play our natural game and take risks. In what would be our last game together as a group, we needed to enjoy the little things.
Our first quarter effort was good but we couldn’t get the reward on the scoreboard. We outplayed Banyule for majority of the quarter, however with three players less we were getting hurt in transition. In saying that, our pressure on the ball carrier was outstanding. This is something that I have asked of the group all season and it has improved out of sight since round one.
Our second quarter was equally as positive. Tall forwards Jack Perin and Lucas Fragale were presenting well and getting their hands to the ball. Ruckman Rob Catalano was dominating the tap count and our midfielders were converting this into clearances. We came into the main break trailing however I was proud of the boy’s efforts.
In the third term Banyule started to kick away and opened up a handy lead. However, our boys didn’t give up. Jack Sammartino had one of the great individual performances kicking three goals from the midfield and adding a massive 15 tackles. Dan Beck had another great game for us as did many others. It was unfortunate to be short on players because we were on top in most areas throughout the game.
At three quarter time I spoke to the boys about giving me one more effort for the season. I had one last big expectation and that was to try and win the last quarter. In all honesty, I thought I was dreaming when I asked the boys to win a quarter of footy with three less players against a good opposition. Well, they did just that and proved me wrong in what was one of the most impressive quarters of footy we had played all year. It was great to have most of the Colts 1 boys in attendance for the game which made our last quarter that extra bit special.
Even though we lost on the day we came into the rooms feeling like winners. The lads worked hard all day and made me super proud as a coach. It was a fantastic way to finish off our season. Congratulations to all the boys who were part of it.
I’d like to thank all the parents who have volunteered for various roles throughout the season. Without your help the boys wouldn’t get a chance to play. Special thanks to the team managers Steph and Maree who have made my job much easier! Also thanks to Dan Vella who has been my runner, assistant coach and right hand man for the year. Legend!
Finally, I’d like to thank all the boys that pulled on the Bullants jumper in 2016. You’ve been a great group to coach and I think we’ve come a long way together in the last 8-9 months. Let’s make sure we get behind the rest of the club who are representing us in finals matches.
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