A beautiful day to start our new season saw our NINE teams do battle at three venues against multiple opponents.
Under 9s started our day at Olinda vs an Upwey-Tecoma team that had clearly played footy before! Most of our new team had not, had no coach and team manager and were starting from a long way back. Fortunately Peter Green stepped up to Coach, and Sandy Koelewyn organised all of our day with her cool efficiency! After our first quarter our team settled into some structure and moved the ball with some purpose. Pretty sure we have a new team manager in place, with a new coach to follow to continue to help in their development!
Under 12 Girls were at Belgrave up next against a host who had punished Healesville in round one - we knew we were in for a challenge. And so it proved to be with our hosts scampering out to a 13 point lead at the first break, and we were yet to score! Got our mojo back in the 2nd qtr and held on in the third to go into the last down four points with our work cut out. And outstanding last quarter of footy saw the lead change multiple times as both teams scored three goals - but in the end the slow start and that elusive four points proved to be the final margin.
Under 11s were at Emerald against a determined host and for the first half our teams looked evenly matched as we went into the main break with the slightest of leads. Half time oranges worked a treat, coaches might claim some credit for some inspiration, but we came out in the second half with a dominant six goals three behinds and conceding just three behinds to our host! Dominant 37 point winners and well on their way in the new season playing competitive footy! First time looking at a ladder, and no one scored as heavily as us!
Under 10s Maroon followed the girls at Belgrave against an Upwey-Tecoma team that had clearly played together before. This was a newly formed team for us, only coming into existence over the last two weeks. Whilst no scores are kept for this age group, the first quarter proved a big hurdle for our new team. The balance of the match was well contested proving that this will be a very competitive team over this year, and with more kids getting more game time, our players continue to love playing footy!
Under 10s Gold followed our Under 9s at Olinda and also struggled with their start against our hosts. Perhaps our coaches need to concentrate on some sprint work so we are faster out of the blocks! But our first competitive game, again no scores are kept, but we persisted all game, worked our way back into the match and am reliably informed (by all the kids who keep score in their heads) that there match was a draw after the final siren sounded, as we added the last few goals!
Under 14s Maroon were at Emerald against a host we were reliably informed was going to split there 14s teams as we have ours, to try and make both our sides as competitive as possible! Not sure that has been achieved for them, but for us we started well, remained competitive for three quarters and only in the last did we let our hosts kick away. Still we had four scoring shots to six in the last and went down by just twenty points. First time playing together as a team, and we see plenty of upside for both of our U14s teams this year.
Under 12 Boys were at Olinda next versus our hosts and another side for us with a slow start. Our team is the reigning premier in this age group, but Olinda out played us at most contests and a new girl in our team showed most of our boys the way we like to play. In the second half we put our heads over the ball, stuck a few bone-jarring tackles, and finally in the last we started to get some reward on the scorebaord, but the damage had been done early, and we need to learn our lessons from that.
Under 14 Gold followed at Olinda with a good blend of 13s and 14s players, but big differences in our physical stature. We seem to have some very small 13s and some very big 14s players! Our small players played with big hearts, our big players dug deep and we battled out a hard fought four quarters of contested footy. For our new Under 13s parents, am sure some of this was pretty scary, in the end we went down by thirty-three points, but kept our heads up and contested to the very end!
Good feeling of big brother, little brother with ourselves and our hosts, and no doubt little brother was feeling pretty upbeat about some of the earlier results on the day. Our Under 16s set out to do combat on the final fixture of the day and after some wayward kicking managed to get to the first break up just four points. By the main break we were in front by twenty-three, but had had eighteen scoring shots to just five, our dominance not quite reflected on the scoreboard. The second half we got full value for that work rate, giving them just two behinds for the second half, and piling on another eight goals and change to run out seventy-seven point winners. Very dominant performance with some great talent for the future of not just the Junior Footy Club! Big test next week.
So to next week and the majority of our teams are at home. Make sure you're on Facebook (I'm not, I do email instead..) or the Yarra Ranges web page for fixture updates. We mostly face Woori Yallock at home from 9.30 for Under 9s (don't get used to that time!), we have our 12 Girls team, and 14 Maroons Boys team at Silvan. We do not have the canteen there, make sure you take food - or buy some at the Canteen at Monbulk from Cindy to take And if you need apparel Sandy (above - 0448 552 900) is available to help you needs with socks and shorts.
Finally we have a Meal night next Sunday night at the Log Cabin from 6pm, we will hold back our Match day awards and enjoy a drink and a Meal and listen to our Coaches talk about their teams!
Look forward to seeing you there.