What an awesome weekend of footy it was last weekend. I didn’t think I could be any prouder of the way our coaches and players conducted themselves on Anzac Day the week before, but it was topped the following week.
It started Friday night, as all weekends do, watching TV. To my shock, not only were Charlie and Eliott on my TV screen, but Tom Antonis was the third East Sandy Rover walking onto the Mighty G. Charlie held the ball aloft (above) with senior umpires walking behind. The sirens let 70,000 people know the match ball had arrived. Our boys were introduced by name. All three Rovers warmed up with the senior umpires and returned to then umpire the Auskickers at half time. What a thrill!
As mentioned last week, if anyone is interested in umpiring, I can speak of the benefits firsthand. Two of my three sons have umpired. It is great for discipline, fitness, positioning on the field, skills and you can earn a few dollars. Contact Cam Watts at the SMJFL if you need answers to any questions.
The following day I travelled out to see Xavier College take on Haileybury College First XVIII. I was keen to see Archie ‘Tractor’ Roberts and Oli Hotton play for the Bloods (Haileybury). It was a fast game at a great standard. I then went off to see the Rovers Seniors defeat Ormond. Having coached several current Rover Seniors in the Juniors it’s always a thrill seeing home grown lads playing well and enjoying the sport.
Sunday was an early start, setting up modified grounds at the Boss. There were plenty of eager little people running around imitating Dusty and Patty Cripps. I stood back and smiled as new parents to footy glowed in the praise they had for their Rover coaches. Michael Curtis – it was about you, this made me feel great.
I watched some U12 games at Castlefield and both Under 16 D3 and D1 games at Boss James. These teams are both well coached with plenty of top-end talent on display. I loved hearing both the Rovers and East Sandy team songs sung after a big win against East Malvern in D1.
The last thing I did Sunday was watch Carlton beat the Bombers in a much-needed win. Nothing like some scoreboard nourishment. I sat there eating dinner surrounded by Carlton people (at Manor Roberts), listening to the stories from the weekend. They were quite embellished, and I did not care. I could listen to Rovers stories all week.
One story was from Paul Golding. Paul is a great coach who has done some work at the Sandy Dragons and coached our U15s in 2019. Goldy told me about a boy called Louis Delaney (left) from Under 12 Red. It was his first game of footy ever, and with his first kick he kicked a goal – not many can say that.
Louis, you get my player of the week. I hope you spend all week at school learning the words to the Rovers song Louie.
PASSION TEAMWORK FUN RESPECT… never forget it.
I’m looking forward already to another fun filled weekend.