The Under 10 Orange season has started well, and during the first four grading games we put up solid performances with some great footy and a few games where we really finished strong and showed our authority in the game. The league recognised this and we were advised this week that our team was now heading to another division. I must admit, I was quite pleased about this as my preference is always to challenge young players rather than let them dominate any competition. I also think people genuinely perform at their best when they have to push themselves.
Today was our first game in “Bronze Division” and we headed to Kings Park Bentleigh for a new challenge. I didn’t advise the boys that anything was any different until the final address in the huddle minutes before the game. “Boys, this is a new league for us, we’re now playing the best of best in this region and it’s going to be slightly faster, slightly harder and we’re going to need to bring our best footy” I saw a few eye opened faces and some others I could tell relished the opportunity. The challenge was set.
Our Captains today Daniel Story and Chris Wormington won the toss and smartly chose the end into the breeze first up, we tend to start slow and coming home with the breeze was a good plan for us. At the first bounce we saw a new intensity around the footy, the opposition were a great side showing a strength, speed and skill we hadn’t seen before. These boys were big too! The tackles were tough today and when one demon got hold of you another two or three came with them. Both teams played great footy and our boys really rose to the occasion showing great contest across the ground, tackling equally as hard and never taking a backwards step. The efforts and passages of play under pressure today were as good as I have seen from the boys this season.
After a really close and tough game today we held a slender lead at the half time break only to leak a few goals in the third term to our one. We hit back hard in the last quarter with another great effort from our brave rovers. Officially we ended up down by less than a couple of kicks. As I said at the start of the season the score means nothing for us it’s an indicator of how we are going and nothing more. Today we showed that we belong in the Bronze Division and we now have some new challenges for the season. Today our boys all lifted and I was very proud of the performances of our entire team, I am sure the bruises and bumps are a little worse than usual but we’ll hit the track this Friday with some new things to works on. FULL Team Effort today and worth mentioning everyone for that very reason:
- Captain Chris Wormington – A great physical game today and we needed it. Ran hard on the ball and stood strong on each line throughout the game. Instrumental part of our team is Chris.
- Captain Daniel Story – Hard in and under game today, plenty of handy touches and lead by example in the packs. Took some heavy hits today but just kept going. Really loved his efforts today.
- Magnus Barton – Gaining momentum every week as his confidence grows. Magnus got the ball on the wing this week and ran with purpose. Took some great marks and kicked a ripper down to Theeran from the back line late in the game.
- Oliver Ries – Back from his holiday and slightly jet lagged. Ollie made some great tackles today and got his legs used to pumping again, kept the pressure on all game and will be good for the run going into next week.
- Lincoln Sharpe – His fluoro helmet and super fly weight body took a beating today, lots of possessions and interception around the ground. Came off late with a head injury after another courageous play.
- Jack Stefanovic – Hunted the ball all day and never stopped running, made some great contests in the mid field and almost got onto a goal down forward. With his work rate, good things will be coming for Jack.
- Jake Ring – Another great line breaking game, he has speed to burn and a positive mind set. Broke the demons lines all day today and created a lot of Rovers opportunities along with hard strong tackles.
- Toby Clarkson – Possibly the smallest player with he biggest heart on our team. Absolutely cracking game today and one point took on 4 demons and won out by keeping his feet and never giving up, it took three efforts but he defeated them all in the end and came away with the clearance.
- Campbell Hardie – Another one of our mates who is developing new skills and confidence. Took some big marks down back, used the ball well and got loose for a run down the wing late in the game with trail of demons behind him.
- Raph Leman-Phip – People think Raph is quite and unassuming, but this guy gets better the harder the footy gets. Today he won every tap out in the ruck, got low and over the ball and just gets better every week. Raph is learning how damaging he can be!
- Harry Ockerby – Fantastic game for Harry today, collected a lot of contested possession with amazing clean hands at full speed. Worked really hard for a great gaol in the first quarter and busted his chops all day.
- Sebastian Gelso – Another solid game from a smaller team mate who is just fearless and reliable. Again put himself in great positions around the ground and always committed to the contest.
- Tom Hollingworth – Tom’s second game of footy this week and straight to the big league. Tom has grasped the game quickly and knows exactly where to run, straight at the ball and into the packs. Very valuable contribution today.
- Tristan Gastevich – Watches the ball like a radar and continues to track his way into the play. Some massive tackles today, some great hard ball gets and more of those little touches that just create for others. Great game today.
- Fletcher Ockerby – Manned up on some of the biggest demons today and he rose to the occasion in every contest. Worked hard all day, maintaining pressure and looking dangerous every time he got near the ball.
Such a good team effort today I wanted to mention you all. Without doubt the hardest, fastest and toughest footy these boys have been exposed to and they all stood up tall! Very proud again of the team today.
Match Day Awards
Outstanding Contribution – Jody Cripps worked as hard as I have seen. I’ve come to expect him to just win the contest and collect lots of footy, but today Jody was shovelling demons off his arms and back at every play. The effort and intensity was amazing and impressed me greatly, he was battered and bruised at the end. Kicked one of the goals of the season in the first quarter. Collects contested footy, dusts off two defenders and runs under pressure to his favourite left pocket, kicking one Chad Wingard would’ve been crazy about!
Guts and Determination – Baxter Moss is a clean skilled player who uses the ball well. I liken him to a Luke Bruest at Hawthorn. Today Bax found space and used the footy well but also showed some amazing tackling skills and determination in the last quarter when the game was on the line. Most courageous footy from Baxter this season. Great stuff.
Absolutely Smashed It – Theeran Goyal showed his strength and skill today right when we needed it. He dominated the ruck contest, took big marks, broke the lines and just out muscled the demons today. We are going to need the muscle and grunt from Theeran as we go forward this season. I love this guy when he plays tough, he relished the harder footy today.
Play of the Day – Jade Doherty very memorable mark today going backwards into to play at half back, he also just competed so well today and managed to slot a goal from set shot. Always in the play, keeps his body inline with the ball with clean hands and never looses his feet. Great skills and a great game today.
U10 Bronze Coach