Week 1 in the Top Draw
Passion, Teamwork, Fun, Respect
I’ll take you back to Friday around lunch time, I needed to drop into Boss James to drop off a few things, little did I know I would bump into Tania Marshall, the ever reliable one. Tan was busy with all kinds of stuff for the season launch, Gav Sharp (club secretary) popped in and then everything just got crazy. 500+ patrons, merchandise flying out the door, U8-10 jumper presentation, Auskickers everywhere, senior coach and players, jumping castles x 4, the bar line I have never experienced in 12 years at Rovers… Take a bow Tania, your first gig of the year was a doozy.
This is Caitrin Moore, U8, first jumper Friday night and got to sing the club song after her first game. She also got to keep the jar of jelly beans for guessing the amount inside. “Happy little Rover”
Another young lady playing her first U8 game yesterday was Hannah Bouge seen here with dad, Adam. Hannah has older brothers Josh (U13) and Max (U11). I watched Hannah in the midfield in the first quarter and she certainly does not take a backward step.
I woke Sunday feeling a little flat as my boys all had byes in the U16 & 13 D1 teams, so no game time for them alas. So it was down to the fortress (Castlefield) to help set up and get the Under 8 teams out and about. Let’s not focus on the weather I told myself, these children need their first experience to be one to remember. Rohan was a proud coach and a little nervous, I could tell, however his pre-game was calm, wise and comforting. None of the children were too hyped up or confused. The game against Bentleigh was great: mums, dads and grandparents all there to share their first taste of community football, just the way it should be. The Rovers sung the song in the coaches’ box and every boy and 1 girl (Caitrin) had a blast.
WET, COLD, WINNERS
Kabel Davis, the new hoodies and training tops are a hit, here’s the new breed of Rover men/boys.
Below is Casper from Rovers and Gus from Zebs before one of the big Under 8 matches. Great to see Gus play his first game of footy, I saw his older brother Will Murray tear it up many times.
As you can see in the background the goal posts never stood a chance in the wind so we played full ground from quarter time of the second game and the kids got to run without a care in the world.
Off to Boss James to see the Under 14 D1 team. They had some players playing up and against a highly rated opposition in Ajax. They played hard but were out sized for plenty of the contest. Back to Castlefield for a little U9 action, plenty to like there with teams singing the song.
I want all children to play football, but every now and then I see one in the park kicking a ball around with her brothers and say to myself, this one MUST play football. Enter: Matilda Clarkson. This one is top shelf, voted BOG by the opposition coach yesterday. Plenty of pedigree (her old man, Justin, played for Carlton and Swans) and a never die wondering approach all rolled into one. AFLW 2028 (no pressure, of course).
The Under 12 girls had a win and a loss but all fell in love with the game all over again.
Back to the Boss to help coach the U16 D2 lads against Ajax. We never got going until the third quarter; we have plenty of work to do with these guys.
The U18 girls had a ball at Boss James at 3pm, they had plenty on the bench and Richard was throwing the changes thick and fast.
The Under 10 teams played some great footy. Both played well and sang the song against South Melbourne and St Peters – great team spirit shown and plenty of U9 lads filling in and showing great form with 2 lads playing for South Melbourne. That’s what development and community spirit is about.
Both Under 11 teams had good patches with both teams finding their feet under new coaches. Wayne’s team was placed in D1 and will look to have a regrade in the next few weeks.
The Under 12 crew had a mixed bag. Dave reported a strong win with plenty shown by the new boys, whilst Tim’s team in D1 had an arm wrestle with the Vamps and went down by a few points.
The Under 15 lads played at Boss James and had a win. Angus Perkins was a standout, it looked like he was playing with a dry ball.
The Girls in the Under 14 and 16 teams had fun at Peterson.
The Under 17 team under Jesse and Tom were competitive but went down.
The U16 D1 team had a training run at Boss James last night from 5-6.20pm as they had a bye. That made for a very long day. Although wet and a little cold, footy and community were the winners.
A huge thanks to all volunteers yesterday. Amy Stokes was everywhere, Jase, Emma, Tan, Gav, Kabel, Rich, it was all hands-on deck. First time TMs will be much wiser for the experience as will all coaches.
The real stars would have slept well last night, dreaming of pulling on the Green and Gold again, in six days from now we get to do it all again.