There was light drizzle falling as the girls arrived at Boss James for the clash against the South Melbourne U10’s. Bianca and Tess were unfortunate late withdrawals from the side due to illness and we had 14 girls ready to rumble. Michaela and Hannah were selected as joint captains for the day and looked great in the blue and white socks to support the TAC Towards Zero lives lost on the roads campaign.
Leigh put the girls through their usual high level warm up and Stu, our umpire for the day, had fun with his version of “ which hand is in the whistle in “ to decide the toss since no-one had a coin. We were asked to kick to the pavilion end and everyone was happy to see that the rain had started to ease. The game plan was simple and revolved around taking the game on with leg speed and applying maximum pressure to the opposition.
It was evident right from the first bounce that the Rovers girls had brought their A game and were straight into everything. Jasmyn B was back into the side after a thumb injury and took up where she had left off previously by giving us tremendous drive out of the middle. She was well supported by Audrey H and Audrey P who assisted to get the ball forward. Jazzey C was like a hungry tiger up forward and was very well supported by Tara ( great tackles ) and Hannah who was providing great run. Our defenders were led by Lily, Sophie and Jess T who were able to repel most attacks. Audrey P capitalised on the great team play of our girls and kicked 2 big goals for the quarter after running around her opponents.
The 2nd quarter was more of the same with Jazzey C, Poppy, Michaela and Sienna right on top in the middle and the ball was sent forward on regular occasions. Jasmyn B was swooping like an eagle and kicked 3 big goals for the quarter. Hannah delighted the large crowd by running in defence and taking bounces on multiple occasions. Tara and Jess W were also doing really well in the backline. Sienna took the best mark of her career to date which put a massive smile on the face of the umpire ( her dad, Stu ). Poppy and Jazzey T were showing tremendous dash and were taking on the opposition with their determined play.
It was evident at half time that the Rovers were too strong for the SMD girls and the game plan changed to use of handball and all of the girls were encouraged to bring their teammates into the game. The dose of vitamin C went down beautifully as per usual and all of the girls were begging to be moved into the forward line. Jess T started the quarter with a Dustin Martin like centre clearance and once again our mids were on top. It was very pleasing to see that the girls were keen to focus on working as a team and Jess W, Poppy ( great work in last line ), Sienna and Jazzey T were moving the ball well in defence. Once again, the Audrey’s ( H and P ) were very lively up forward and Audrey P kicked 2 more goals to make it 4 for the day. Her infectious smile was great to see as the girls jogged into the 3 quarter time huddle.
The girls were commended for their really strong team play at the break and were asked once again to work hard to bring all of the Rovers girls into the game. Jess W and Jess T started where they had left off and each took a very strong contested mark to get our girls going once again. Sophie was working hard and putting her head over the footy on multiple occasions. Lily became the livewire up forward and after giving off a great handball to Jasmyn who goaled, she was rewarded with 2 goals herself for the quarter. Sienna and Jazzey T were holding up our defence and Hannah was lively once again. Michaela chimed in with a great goal on the run after tackling very strongly all day. Jasmyn B kicked the Rovers 12th goal for the day after dishing off a few to other girls who were in better positions.
Today’s game really showed how far the Rovers girls have come in their first season together. The pressure applied to opposition teams is outstanding and clearly the key to our game plan. All of the girls have improved so much in such a short time and it very pleasing to see how well they work as a team. The song was sung with more gusto than usual and awards for the day were given to Hannah ( great running with the ball ), Jasmyn B ( 4 big goals ), Sienna ( great marking ) and Poppy ( terrific defensive play ).
U10 Girls Coach