As the final siren rang across the ground on Sunday, there were cheers and excitement as there normally is but this time it wasn’t coming from our boys… It was an empty feeling not felt by this group for the last 21 games.
I was curious to see these how these extremely competitive kids would react to their first loss – some fought back tears, others were very quiet, some looked angry and a small handful took it as just another game on a Sunday morning – happy to be out there.
Sebastian and Josh led the team out as our captains and from the first bounce the pressure was on and it took great efforts to get the ball out of defence into our forward line resulting in goals – Campbell, William and Lachlan stood strong in defence. Ethan, Finn and Josh linked up in the centre with long kicks to the forwards where Jack and Sunny managed to kicked great goals.
The rest of the match was a real arm wrestle – a great game to watch and experienced by our boys. The tackling was superb especially in the last two quarters when we saw Hugo, Sebastian, Harvey, Joseph, Daniel and Sonny made some crunching goal stopping tackles.
Sunny and Finn displayed great skills in the ruck and around the marking contest against some very talented opposition. They weaved, jumped and spoiled at every chance given. It was great seeing their skills and bring other teammates into the contest such as Luca and Bradley who made the most of their opportunities.
The game was an extremely close one until mid-way through the last quarter when their forwards finally broke our defence and add an injury in to the mix resulting in one player short in the last quarter. I told the boys on a number of occasions of just how impressed and proud I was to see each player improve and increase their intensity as the game went on.
This was also the first time we experienced a team with players assigned to the same positions all throughout the match. It was very interesting seeing how it would unfold especially because before the match I mentioned to the boys that from now on I will be coaching each individual player on their strengths and show why these strengths and abilities are important in a team environment and use them to our advantage. So, if you are a short player I won’t be expecting you to go on the ruck, but expect the ball to be tapped your way as a rover or if you’re not a strong kick, kick outs after a point will not be your duty, but to call for it 20 to 30 metres out to clear the ball from defence.
I look forward to this Thursday’s training to go through the game, tweak some skills and ask the boys how they think we may beat this team.
To be continued…