LEST WE FORGET
ANZAC DAY, A TIME TO REFLECT WHAT BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN DID TO ALLOW US TO LIVE IN THE BEST SUBURB IN THE BEST CITY IN THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, PLAYING THE GREATEST GAME EVER.
Round 1, 22 teams, 405 members, months of work, planning, training, a lot said and now it’s over, time for the emails to stop and children’s footy to do the talking. What a wonderful weekend we had with plenty of highlights.
My weekend started by jumping off a plane on Thursday night and going straight to the Under 8 Jumper presentation, 70+ children presented with their first official ROVERS jumper, the smiles will stay with me for a while. Mazda Brighton was everywhere, thanks Troy & Mazda Brighton.
Friday night was HUGE, the Under 12 Girls were wonderful, some real skill and passion was on display, (I tried to bribe the umpire to allow us to score but he told me to go away, I then told him he wasn’t welcome home if we didn’t score.) The unfurling of the Under 12 D2 flag from 2016 was great and playing under lights was a wonderful experience to be had, well done to the Under 13 squad & congrats to Deb and Tan on the SMJFL season launch.
A highlight and one that went unnoticed by most at the club was the forming of the Under 17 team. Five weeks ago we had 7 players and not looking good, we appointed a young guy, Nick Soldatos, as coach he is real keen with the help of Alastair Morris they were able to build numbers and beat Ajax at Boss James, just watching these guys play and singing the song was a buzz, onwards and upwards for these guys.
The 3 under 8 teams are thriving, 2 wins and a close loss were great, development is alive and well in this age group, we have never had 3 under 8 teams and the energy in this squad is wonderful.
Under 9 saw a win and a draw, great footy and great coaching, we still need a few more volunteers to spread the love, a huge thanks to Gary Hardie for his management, thanks to Paige for jumping on board as a TM. A HUGE year ahead for Orange and Blue teams /squad, it’s always difficult forming a second team when numbers are light, ROVERS are building and we never knock back people that want to come and enjoy our great club, I appreciate the understanding of all members and their voice needs to be heard, I look forward to this Thursday night’s training session.
The Under 10 squad saw a large win in Silver. This is not by accident, this age group train and prepares like not many junior teams I have witnessed, the skill and training methods are first class, it was easy to see why they tear up Castlefield on a Sunday. I encourage anyone that wants to see a great little team to go watch these guys play. Under 10 White under Daryl went down by a kick or two, they have an abundance of skilled players also, this age group is super talented, big things expected in years to come.
Tim and Dave have D2 and D4 under 11 squad ROCKING, a good win in D2 and narrow loss in D4 against the Sharks was experienced. I loved receiving the strong message from Dave in his coaches report, the Mantra of PASSION, TEAMWORK, FUN AND RESPECT is alive and well in these boys, I bumped into Tim at Queen Margarita Sunday night and his report was glowing that the D2 lads are developing nicely. “Great stuff guys”
The Under 12 squad had more new faces than any age group apart from the 2 girls teams and the Under 8s, so the next highlight was watching Mike Cahill’s team roll Vampires at Widdop Cresent. 8 lads from Brighton Beach JFC joined and the new and old boys rallied and got the job done, a massive result given the struggle of this team last season. Jack Giblin’s running goal reminded me of Phil Manassa in the 1977 Grand Final. Ash’s team went down in a tough encounter to last year’s premiers in D1 the Vampires, plenty to like about this age group.
In the Under 13s, Marty’s D4 team beat South Melbourne by a point, this is just what the doctor ordered for this wonderful group of boys, congrats lads, you deserve it. Trent’s lads played D1 for the first time ever and found the pace was on the rise against Ajax the runner up from 2016, a narrow loss will give great heart, several of these lads do the Monday night aths sessions and they are great kids and eager to learn.
The mighty Under 14 crew received one of life’s lessons the hard way on Sunday but in true style and never say die attitude Angus’s lads are always up for a scrap, as mentioned before, the courage and great nature of these lads shines always.
The East Sandringham JFC and Hampton Rovers have formed 3 teams, called East Sandringham Rovers. From Under 15, 70+ lads see us with 2 D1 teams and a D4 team. The Under 15 Gold team under Mark Riley had a great day at THE BOSS beating the SHARKS. The Blue team lost to the last years premiers after a first half that saw them really competitive. David Grant will no doubt have the lads firing next week. Daniel Easson is a great young guy who is new to the clubs and he is doing a fantastic job coaching a real spirited group of lads in D4, they went down in a good fast paced game. The new merge jumpers will be available in 2 weeks.
The Under 16 Girls played their season opener at Columbia Reserve on a Sunny Sunday, these girls have trained hard and the skill is building, a real highlight to our season is having more and more women involved, more members are coming on board via East Sandringham JFC, Gareth reported that the energy was great and the pressure & effort was off the charts.
Ralph, Paul & Stu, three cagey old stagers, have the Under 16 squad flying, the wealth of experience in the coaching staff see 225 years combined of service to the sport. The D1 and D3 teams both saluted the judge on Sunday and these guys sang both club songs with serious gusto, you guys ROCK.
Monday night had great numbers on the track at Sandy athletics track. St Kilda assistant Coach Simon McPhee took the charges through some static ball handling and had the Under 13-14 lads chaining out and working below the knees, Macca is brilliant with the kids and we are lucky to have him in the neighbourhood.
So there you have it week 1 in the top draw, I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner next weekend.
Lest we forget !!!
GO ROVERS & GOD BLESS THE ANZACS