Cracking winters day greeted our 8 teams (Girls with the Bye) today as our Core Age travelled to Healesville and we had two teams host at our ground. To some results:
- Under 9's started our day at 8.30 on the Soccer Ground at Healesville in cool conditions but on a firm surface. Our group has mostly younger age (8's) players who continue to learn the basics of football with our new coaches. Getting and retaining possession, moving the ball to a target and keeping our positions are all improving each and every week. Another step forward in junior careers today!
- Under 11's next up had one of the two Healesville teams who were around us on the ladder and were always going to provide a contest. They delivered in spades kicking 2 goals and 4 behinds in the first and leaving us wondering what had hit us! The second and third quarter efforts from our players was what was required as we pulled back the deficit to just 7 points going into the last. Spent all of our petrol tickets getting back into the contest and conceded a couple in the last to go down by 3 goals. Next week!
- Under 10's Gold were next at Healesville and we put on an entertaining contest against a team with some really big players (one of my sons think the Beechworth Bakery is responsible for some really big kids over most of their age groups!). We have learned to run and carry the ball, we have learned we have team mates and sharing the ball with them can improve our team, and we are learning to win and to lose, even without the scoreboard we know how we are going!
- Under 10's Maroon were then hosting a determined Woori Yallock on our big ground with scoring always going to be a challenge. We are also learning our structures, trying to maintain our positions, trying to win possession, trying to hit our targets...after we find them, and trying to play an enjoyable game of football! Not all of our opponents spend the same amount of time on player development..
- Under 12's were next up at Healesville vs. the ladder leaders and were well prepared for a battle. After conceding a quick early goal, our group worked hard at the contest and ground out the second to level up the game. But we had a hard slog against physically larger opposition after the first quarter to score just once more, never giving up. Rest around middle of the table at the halfway stage of our season and will need to continue to work hard at training to assure a finals berth. A reality check today.
- Under 14's Gold were next up at Healesville and after a slow start rebounded in the second quarter to trail by a couple of goals at the main break. Entertained an Umpire that wanted to be centre of attention, but fortunately our players continued to put their head over the ball and were determined to have an impact at the contest. Second half saw us again struggle with our depth and our numbers as we had players up from 12's to assist. Game finished prematurely as one of our warriors was injured and we hope he makes a swift return.
- Under 14's Maroon hosted Yarra Glen on our ground and again we were looking for a competitive effort from our combined 13's/14's team. Enjoyed the lead at the first break and carried that into the main break for the second half! But, like our Gold team we are struggling for numbers and questioning whether we have done the right things for our kids. Whilst our team failed to score in the second half, we remain convinced that they are competitive, enjoyed some great patches of football, have coaches that care about their development, and continue to believe if we had a 13's competition this year we would have more fun!
- Under 16's capped off our day with three quarters of football against a determined opponent at Healesville. A late goal (how long after the siren was that mark?) left us with a 7 point lead at our first change. Boys cracked in at the next quarter, again conceding a late goal, but we had four of our own. Last quarter saw us pile on four more, but give up a couple in junk time to run out six goal winners against one of our finals opponents. A new fixture for this group has us playing Emerald rather than the Bye, and our Bye in Round 14 (last round) rather than Wesburn. Learn a lot more from that. Good hit out today boys, did what was required and we can head to Wandin next week for another test.
We have a fixture for the balance of our year, only two more home rounds, with our last Meal Night moved to our last round of the season.
On a positive note, the Monbulk Junior Football Club requires a new President. A succession plan we had in place has derailed due to work and family commitments, that all come before the joy of being involved in junior sport. Our committee remains in place, we have some really good people in really good positions, but after four seasons it is time I move on. Personally, I remained committed to helping anyone willing to take on the role next season, I have two children who will be at the Club beyond this season. I will say this is an opportunity to positively influence parents and kids in our community, there is some time commitment, not all of our parents are perfect (including myself), we all want some one who is willing to carry on the growth in our Club in our community.
It's not really hard...you just need to find the next one 😃