No report this week
Preston Bullants JFC
After weeks of preseason and a practice match, it was a very exciting to finally get the season underway. We lined up against Bundoora at home at Zwar Park. Beautiful conditions meant we had a great team focused game to which went very well.
It was great to see so many of the team happy and willing to chip in and play for the Bundoora side who had only 8 players at the start of the game.
Great team work, involving all players in the match resulted in a great game. Lots of running and team work was great to see, and a sharing of the goals kicked. The backline also did a super job, stopping many goals.
All players played their role very well, which resulted in a very happy coach!
Coaches awards for best team players went to Samuel de Munk and Zane Azzarone.
Tackers Red kicked off the year down at Zwar against the Brunswick Dragons. After spending last winter as the little kids, Reds were approaching this season a year wiser and bigger and in optimistic spirits. Brunswick won the toss and decided to kick with a stiff breeze. Good call kid! But that’s about as far as it went for our gallant opponents as Preston immediately stamped their authority on the game.
The engine room was humming early with Jett taking the early ruck taps to good effect. There’s a bit of skill in the team now and Jayden and Harry showed off their fine skills by foot clearing the ball repeatedly. Marc has been a great addition over the summer and he showed a lot of courage with eyes only for the ball, disposing with skill. Against the wind we got one or two goals, but the floodgates opened in the 2nd term.
With Asher dominating the ruck (our big man brigade is seriously impressive this year), Percy, Jonah and Taj were the willing recipients, pumping the ball into the forward line. Running in waves, we locked it in forward where Andrew and Sammy Hef did the damage. At training we have been working on getting handballs out from congestion and in the third term Tom Corovic and Benny Parente were exceptional in this area, getting ball out to running players. We’ve also been working on spreading out and taking control of the ground and there were a few excellent examples where we got the ball over the back to players in space. But by the last quarter the kids were back in big groups having a chat…so more work to do there coaching staff!
Some real highlights though... Benny P and Jamie Wilson kicking their first goals in Bullants colours. Jamie’s was perfect, splitting the middle after he’d marked a bullet pass from Louis (just like basketball lads!). It was great to see Jamie getting off the bottom of numerous packs to. Well done mate. Jonah... my my... has this kid improved?! Deep in the pocket, side step, raising his arms out of the way of the tackler and centring the ball for another goal to Preston. A real highlight. Also, it’s not often you see a young kid punch a 20m handpass, but Harry did, deep into the forward line, it was run onto for another Preston goal. Champagne stuff.
All in all, Tackers Red kicked 9 goals. More than the whole of last season while keeping the opposition goalless... but who’s scoring?
Well done guys, we’ll meet tougher opposition down the road, but this was a great way to start.
After what seemed to be a long off-season it was great to be back playing footy again.
The team make up changed a little from last year, losing some players, but gaining a few new ones. With West Preston not being able to field an U12 team it was their loss and the Bullants gain. With the pre-season done, and a couple of warm up matches under their belts, the Bullants went into Rd1 with a quiet confidence that they would be able to match it with any team this year.
Hamish and Jake were given the captains duties for the first match of the season, with both boys being rewarded for their great form in the lead up matches.
With the coach’s words still loud and clear the boys headed out for the first bounce.
The Bullants started with great intensity and it wasn’t long before the highlights started to roll in. Unfortunately for Tommy G he was involved in a collision early in the 1st Qtr. and couldn’t take part in the rest of the game. New recruit Patty was playing a great first game for the ants, with his run and kicking giving the team great opportunities going into attack. It wasn’t long before they boys were rewarded with a goal after some great work down back giving Marcus an opportunity in the middle to use his pace to stream forward, his subsequent kick gave TK an opportunity to use his forward nous to pressure his opponent into a mistake, from which he kicked truly. The rest of the quarter was an even contest with Dom playing beautifully through the middle. The ants had a few more opportunities but couldn’t add any more majors, however the lead up play for both had the coaches happy that the work over the preseason was bearing fruit. The quarter ended with Callum having a shot which hit the post.
Bullants 1.2.8 Whitehorse 2.0.12
The Bullants came out for the 2nd Qtr. with renewed vigour, with Patty continuing to play a great game the ants were getting some good opportunities going forward but couldn’t take advantage of the dominance they had. With Watto in the ruck providing great service to the likes of Joe, Sage and Sam the chances came thick and fast. With Ziggy and Willow providing good targets and pressure up forward the boys kept the pressure up, but to Whitehorse’s credit they turned it around and started to win the contest in the middle which in turn meant they got a few goals against the run of play. The backline with captains Hamish and Jake leading the way prevented more goals going through as the quarter went on. With Browny and Harry providing great drive off the half back flanks it looked as though we would turn the momentum around, but unfortunately for the ants the ½ time siren sounded.
At half time it was a close contest with Whitehorse in front by 3 goals.
With a rest and bellies full of oranges the Bullants came out and started the quarter well again, however, Whitehorse were also up to the task and started to get on top again in the middle. This meant the back line for the ants had to stand up. Venuto playing off a ½ back flank took a nice mark and transferred play into the middle where Marcus once again got the ball into the forward line. Andre was playing the lead up role giving the midfield something to kick to as the ball was transitioning from the back line. With Dash taking his turn in the Ruck and using his leap to win the taps the ants started to win more of the ball.
Bullants 1.3.9 Whitehorse 5.3.33
With the coaches giving the team final instructions, the Bullants came out firing in the last quester. Sam was playing a great game, recovering from an earlier knock to his knee to lay some fantastic tackles which had the call of ‘ball’ ringing from over the side of the fence. Kes started to use his pace to break some lines and it looked as though the boys would be able to turn the score around. With Clem and Jackson (part of the aggressive recruiting over the summer break) also making their mark on the game the ants looked to take advantage of some possession that they had. Once again however, Whitehorse took more advantage of their home ground knowledge and use the swirly breeze to grab a couple of goals (once again against the play). Some highlights for the last quarter were Callum taking a huge mark, and followed up with a great shepherd, to allow Sage time and space (where he broke some tackles and took a couple of bounces) to set Tom M up going through the forward 50, but unfortunately his shot was just wide of the mark.
When the siren sounded the score read 11 to 47 in Whitehorse’s favour. With the game finished the boys lined up to shake the hands of their opponents and to hear what the coaches had to say. The Whitehorse coach was full of praise for the Bullants attack on the footy during the game and the run and carry that had them worried at times.
After the game the boys were tired and a little disappointed, but at the same time happy to have had a run and be back playing footy. With that it is onwards and upwards with the boys looking forward to round 2.
Bullants 1.5.11 Whitehorse 7.5.47
The scoreboard didn’t do the game justice with an undermanned Bullants side working hard in difficult conditions. Coaches are still working on rotations and structures and will take some learnings away from the game. Overall, lots of positive signs for the season ahead.
Our thoughts are with Tommy G who had his tooth wired back in and will miss the next few games to ensure it heals properly.
On Sunday, the Preston Bullants under 13's welcomed Balwyn to Zwar reserve for the start of our 2019 season.
Big congratulations to Thomas Hefferman on his 50th game - well done!
The Bullants boys have been joined by three new players Sonny O'Mahony, Ben Collier and Josh Hassle - welcome to the Bullants team.
It was a very tight first quarter kicking into the wind resulting in the boys being behind 1 goal at quarter time. This trend continued into the second quarter with both teams being evenly matched which resulted in still being 1 goal behind at half time.
After the break the Balwyn boys started to wear the Bullant boys down, with hard contested running football. This resulted in Balwyn kicking a further five goals to our one in this quarter.
Leading by 30 points at three quarter time.
After re-grouping for the last quarter - the Bullants put up a much better effort and held the Balwyn boys only allowing Balwyn to kick one more goal for this quarter.
Unfortunately, the damage was done with Balwyn getting ahead of us earlier in the day and beating us by 37 points and proving to be the better side on the day.
Best players on the day Asher on the wing, Rylan in the Ruck, Will in the centre and Josh in the back line and Harrison in the back pocket.
This game has shown us a few areas where we need to improve and work on, concentration for the full four quarters and to be accountable when the opposition has the football.
Yours in footy
|Preston Bullants||St. Mary's|
The Preston Bullants opened their 2019 ledger with a convincing win as they hosted St Mary's PC at Zwar Reserve, on a lovely autumn day that presented a strong wind that looked likely to be a factor during the match.
St Mary's had first use of the wind advantage, and in one of their first attacking plays, Lachie was there in his distinctive white headband, rebounding out of defence. The Bullants shared the ball around well, good early signs with clean ball movement. Makaio and Joel were lively up forward, and when Josh honoured a great lead from one of his teammates, there was some initial confusion among the PBJFC faithful in the crowd. There was a new headband in town, Cooper making his presence known at his new club.
Good communication from the boys around the ball ensured skipper Phoenix would kick the first goal of the match from a pinpoint extraction, before adding another after some great passages of play around the ground. Despite kicking with the wind, St Mary’s players had Bullants boys at their heels at every contest, with Oscar in defence, and Josh further up the ground, chasing down opposition players with intent. The pressure applied by the Bullants was accompanied by beautiful passages of ball movement, in particular, a chain of handballs between Cooper and Liam, the latter running through for a shot at goal.
The Bullants continued to work hard in the second quarter, creating plenty of opportunities to add to their score. Cooper was classy when helping Declan out with ruck duties, with a deft tap to Coen from a boundary throw-in allowing for an unimpeded kick at goal. Mahmoud was tireless leading from the front and if he wasn’t taking a strong contested mark, he was forcing a loose ball and creating chances for his teammates, with Josh waiting to pounce for another Bullants goal. Lucas was influential around the oval, cutting off many of St Mary’s kicks out of defence. The boys would go on to kick another three goals for the quarter, with Coen getting his second, and both Lucas and Mahmoud, getting just rewards for their work effort. The Bullants were unlucky not to kick a sixth goal, as Joel chased down a ball bouncing towards the goal square, only to be thwarted by the half-time siren, ending a dominant first half where the Bullants lead by 38 points.
The second half was a much closer affair, St Mary’s intent on making the most of their opportunities this time around generating repeat entries forward. Sensing this, the Bullants applied a pressure on the ball that was almost suffocating, protecting their lead through strong defensive efforts from Harry, and Jacob who read the play so well he was just about impassable. However, despite being able to finally lock the ball in their forward half in the late stages of the third quarter, the Bullants would remain scoreless.
Having seen their lead reduced slightly in the third, the Bullants needed to finish strongly. At the final huddle, Coaches John and Elijah commended the backline for weathering the storm. Much like the previous quarter, the fourth was a bruising, competitive contest. Jordan seemed to have found another gear, chasing down the opposition ball carrier multiple times and kicking to Mahmoud who would end up adding to his tally with another two goals in the last quarter, making the final 46-point margin an impressive first-round win.
Welcome back everyone, and with round 1 underway two groups of anxious boys hit Rathmines Rd Oval with a moderate and slightly rusty but tight first quarter. The Bullants were down on numbers fielding a total of 17 player which meant a tough matchup was on the cards.
The second quarter loomed to excite as the usual hard working midfield started to dominate and slowly started to build a commanding on ball attack. Individual brilliance along with a spirited team bond led to a return form using a practised team structure showing glimpses of our standout 2018 season.
The third quarter was an overheard marking procession with delivery from a hard working centre midfield, proving easy pickings for an exceptionally talented forward line.
By the fourth quarter we had a well-deserved commanding lead and showed complete dominance across the board, scoring at will with manufactured goals based on an emphasis of full ground use and team cohesion.
Not to forget the ever important sometime forgotten backline where our general at Full Back shined as always leading his willing defenders which ensured an overall dominance, and our roving crew with their first at the ball hunger giving a clear passage to deliver multiple entries into the forward line.
Heads up to all the under 15 boys, proud to be on this journey with you boys, be proud of your colours, respect your teammates and the code, and remember hard
work in training always prevails.
Enjoy the Easter break.
Josh and Mick
In our first match we were up against Doncaster. The game was played at the Cats home ground, Schramms Reserve, a ground we have mixed memories and feelings about. It is an interesting paddock to play footy on. The wind swirls across the ground to the scoreboard side and if you can exploit the wind you will make good purchase when kicking to the grandstand end. However, the goal scoring end is counter-intuitively, the other end. To add a further complication the grandstand end goal has a pocket (scoreboard side of the ground) that is as dead as the parrot in that Monty Python sketch.
The 2019 version of the Bullants Colts is a mixture of Colts second year players and last year’s U15s. We have lost a few of the older Colts from last year so this team is almost a brand new version of the Bullants Colts. Heading into Round 1 we had two surprises, one good, one not so much. Sadly, Leo our gun forward injured himself in last week’s scratch match and looks like he’ll be out for a fair chunk of the year. That’s a big blow and we wish Leo a speedy recovery and look forward to him running out with the Bullants as soon as he can. On the other hand, Ben Dursun, who was a stalwart of the Bullants until last year, when he took time out of the game, turned up during the week ready to play. Ben is a welcome addition and we look forward to him “owning” the back half.
The great (and scary) thing about a Round 1 match is that you really don’t know how competitive the team is or can be until the first siren sounds. Thoughts swirl through your head, are we in the right division, have we got the right mix of bodies and skills, are we going to get thrashed and so on. Our two scratch matches were hardly a guide to where we were at. In the first the team played really well. In the second they were flat. But here we are. Season 2019 about to begin and don’t you just love the feel of footy in the afternoon!
The first few minutes suggested a struggle was going to play out as both sides worked their way into the competitive essence that is this great sport. Anton took a good solid mark in defence. Punter, showing signs of what we will see as the season unfolds, was staking his ground up forward. The first goal of 2019 was as unlikely as it was good. Jackson took the ball just inside the 50, from an out on the full free. He used the wind to set the ball up at the top of the square. The ball had grander ideas and bounced past the huddle and through the big sticks. And we were away.
The Bullants were starting to get on top, they controlled the ball. But we weren’t converting. Even more, we weren’t using our ascendency to put pressure on the opposition. We had to go harder. Still there were signs of what might be. Josh and Punter were playing smart up forward. Terry was guarding the backline with a good eye, strong hands and a decent sprint. Ben D laid a good tackle. The Cats goaled. Luka took it straight out of the centre bounce and Jakeb sent it to the top of the square. Rory was coming into the game. Ted, our Round 1 captain laid a captain’s tackle. Josh, committing to the ball earned the free. Billy with the pressure, Terry with the run, and pass to Jackson who, again, sends the ball into the goal square where Punter made no mistake. Our tackling was a highlight of the quarter.
At the quarter break it was a one point game but you had the feeling that the Bullants were about to explode.
The second quarter was pure football. This team set its own bar for the season in this quarter. Three runs in a row resulted in 2 goals and one point. The teamwork, skills, footy smarts and dynamism were exciting to watch. Especially this early in the season. The first run and goal involved Billy to Johnny to Jackson to Punter and goal. Josh, Ben T, Rory to his twin, Jack followed soon after the first run. Then Josh, who was on fire sent it to Johnny and another goal. Rory took a great mark. There was great running moving the ball forward. Josh and Jackson combined to find Rory up forward and he goaled. Another great run produced another goal. This time it was Sam to Punter to Billy and our fifth for the quarter. Sam was playing a beauty. Billy was running rings around whoever was trying to contain him. However the player who should be most noted in this outstanding quarter is Jack King who rucked the Cats out of the game. At centre bounce and around the ground his fingerprints were all over every run and goal.
Bullants started the third with the same drive and skill that they finished the second. Jackson, who was playing a blinder handpassed to Punter and another goal. Anton took a great mark under pressure. If tackling wasn’t best on ground surely our runs were. Johnny, Jackson and Jack King took the ball with three smart kicks from deep in the backline to up forward. Jakeb’s great goal was a result of spirited, pressured, committed teamwork (and I wish I could state each player involved but the ball was moved so quickly and among so many they outran my note taking!)
Zac (who I’m sure was one of the players I didn’t note) took the ball out of defence and got it out into the open. Johnny switched on his afterburners and sprinted into space and another goal. Teddy took a great mark (it was a mark, whatever the umpy called) and Billy took a ripper. Jack King continued his dominance in the ruck.
The Bullants were 43 points to the good with one quarter to play and you might expect that they would take the foot off the pedal. Nuh. They were on song and this game was their measure. The Bullants grit was on show. Jackson, Josh and Teddy combined in a good run forward. Terry was superb. Johnny took a spekkie. Then Zac stepped up. In a game that had seen many a great tackle our Bullants Zac’s run down tackle was BOG. He ran down a sure goal. Billy took a great mark from a kick out and centred to Johnny who kicked it straight through the middle. Then Johnny who made the last quarter his own kicked it to Punter who got it back to Johnny and he brought up his fourth. Terry, the very definition of a back-man marked on the goal line on the siren.
This was a great win. Even more than that it was the sign we all needed of this team’s potential. There was not one passenger but there was plenty of teamwork. Their running game, skill level, tackling, pressure and grit were all there to see. Well done Nick and Max for some mighty fine
coaching and Marty as architect.