In preparation for today’s game we discussed the best tactics for wet weather footy as it rained down outside at Castlefield. Well, the rain cleared, the wind died down and our amazing footy ground played like it does the first week in spring – (we are very lucky to have such facilities!). Brighton Beach had come to play and from what we had been hearing they are the toughest, tallest team in the league and have been mopping up the teams they have played so far. Our boys aren’t intimidated by rumours, and they actually feed off these types of challenges and we went into the game with a challenge to play our best footy today.
The Captains today were Sebastian Gelso and Joshua Marshall, the boys lead out with team focus this week again to move the ball fast, play on when ever possible, keep or feet in the contest and be in front of our opponent at all times due to the wintery conditions. This week Jade and Campbell were away (as was my trusty team manager Gary) but we had great support from some younger Rovers in Edward Jennings, Finn White and Luca Devine, thanks boys!
Brighton started fast out of the blocks and our mid-field and defence were immediately under attack, Brighton Beach kicked the first two. Jake, Chris and Seb worked hard in defence, Raph and Finn both stopped or deflected a few goals and we kept our heads above water. Toby, Fletcher and Baxter had a some great passages of play in the mid field, and after keeping it up our end one of our U/8 fill ins Edward thumped a goal from the pack.
At quarter time, we again spoke about manning up, keeping our feet in the contest and moving the ball quickly. What a turn around! Into the breeze we kept the ball locked in the forward 50 and after a few touched goal attempts by Fletcher and Theeran, Ollie snapped a goal. The mids brought the ball back again through Jody and Luca. Toby fought hard in the packs copping some big knocks and getting the ball out to his team mates, Ollie booted another. It was great to see rewards from the things we discuss and the things we work on at training!
Another game super tight at half time. The third quarter we had the breeze and we used it to kick long, we had some great clean passages of play where the boys were really making space and hitting targets by foot. Magnus gave us first use of the ball in the ruck and Lincoln, Harry, Daniel and Josh gave the forwards plenty to play with. Jody and Jake peppered the goal but we couldn’t get one through the big sticks. We kept Brighton Beach scoreless in the third.
In the last quarter we were again into the wind in a tight game of footy. I asked the boys if they wanted to finish the game off strong and they roared back at me yes, really??? YES!!!!! All fired up the boys again played out the whole four quarters this week. Brighton pushed us today and were a good side, we stood strong with improved efforts from many boys today, particularly Christopher Wormington, Jake Ring and William Licheri who are all new to the team and really finding some confidence on the field and in the general play. A special mention also to Toby Clarkson who just never gives up week in week out and again was outstanding and with Jody was acknowledged by our opposition after the game.
The team is really starting to gel now, we are getting a balance in size, strength and skill in every zone and working really well as a unit. The boys are thinking on the field and sticking to game plans. It’s great to watch and great to be a part of. I’m looking forward to finding new ways to challenge this group and see them grow further as the season goes on.
Thanks again to our fill ins again this week, along with all our parent game day helpers, particularly Sarah-Jane Clarkson for filling in for Gary as Team Manager while he is away. Hardest job in the club I assure you!
Outstanding Contribution – Baxter Moss – Baxter has had a great start to the year contributing and reliable every week. We rely on his clean skills, game awareness and always doing the team things. Awesome!
Guts and Determination – Christopher Wormington – Chris in just his third game of footy, showed much improved attack on the ball and opposition this week. Getting in the packs and using his strength. Keep it up, great stuff!
Completely smashed it – Oliver Ries – Olly had a blinder today, the best game I have seen him play, read the play well, tackled hard, and bagged two goals in the second quarter! Super Effort!
Mark of the Day – Lincoln Sharpe – Linc has been competing week in, week out in the marking contest in all positions and this week took some great marks in the thick of play.