Firstly, a big shout out to Tristan Lilburn, U17 player that broke his tibia and fibular on Sunday playing U17s at Trevor Barker, get well soon Tristan.
It’s always a great feeling when you work with young people that share your sport and you see growth in large chunks of development. In the last few weeks I watched two guys that started with us in U14 pull on the jumper for the seniors. Still both 17 years old, Sam Seach and Ross Skliventis have played a handful of games in the U19s and both showed plenty of promise and earnt a call up from senior coach, Anthony Quon. I was lucky enough to present their jumpers and say a few words to both lads in front of the senior squad. These boys are everything that I love about our sport: passionate, brave, hardworking, they care for their team and always wear the colours with pride.
Ross kicked the winning goal and everyone at the senior club are rapt with the new crop of senior players coming through, Both Ross and Sam represented Oakleigh Chargers this past Sunday.
Our One Club mantra from Auskick to Seniors has been turning along nicely. The seniors are 3-3 in Premier C, our U19s are on top of the ladder and looking sharp, coached well by Sam Care and former junior premiership player in Will Walker (North Melbourne AFL list player).
Our talent in age groups U17 through to U8 is evident. We have received final grading notice in the last 30 hours and although we never fall into the trap of where age group talent sits, I can advise the placement of several age groups has astounded me. A special shout out to the U10s, 12s and 15s. We are receiving more senior support than ever, we have 5 senior players amongst our coaching ranks, the children are loving the younger faces and sound advice.
Our children are showing resilience and a sense of fair play often. I note some other clubs that cop more than their share of negative press, this is cultural, embedded in the club for years. It takes a line in the sand moment, strong leadership and understanding of change and acceptance of the rules that at times seem less popular. We need to remind ourselves as parents that it is about the children and less about the result, in fact when you work to the plan and respect the regulations the outcome often takes care of itself.
Grading is done, I believe the league has got it right and the proof will be seen and witnessed over the next few weeks. I hope everyone is respectful no matter what team of grade we find ourselves in.
The highlight for mine Sunday was watching both U12 teams. Damo’s team fell agonisingly short after leading for most of the day. The first-rate message from the coach back to his disappointed group was great to witness.
These lads love the game and they play with vigor and passion.
Wayne’s team (U12 D1) looked like a Lamborghini or maybe a Tesla, sharp lines and perfect fuel economy. The lads move the ball well and understand how to win the tight ones…the last 2 weeks by less than a goal, sitting nicely on top of the ladder in Div 1.
The U14 D5 team went down to the Beena in a tough game, low scores and some physical challenges that needed to be seen to be believed.
I popped into Boss James for the last quarter of the U13 D2 game. Chris Gleeson had another two lads join his squad last week and this is great as this age group needed an injection of numbers and some more TLC, enough direction to give a little faith and belief. Well done boys, you got what you deserved, singing the club song is always good for the soul.
Watching the U15 D2 beat CHOGS was great to see. These guys have had 4 games under their belt and looked far better in the short space since I last saw them; the link up handball and overhead marking was first rate. Congrats on going back to Div 1 lads.
My day rounded out watching the U14 Girls at Castlefield. Like the U13 boys, we could do with a few more numbers, we expect 2-3 extra today. We need 3-4 extra girls to continue with both teams – please spread the word.
Win or lose it should never define who we are; the Rovers culture of Passion Teamwork Fun and Respect should be adhered to always, never lower our colours to accommodate frustration due to other shortsightedness and poor misconduct.
Have a great week everyone, Round 5 is just around the corner.