Weather for the start of the season was wintery, wet, rain and some gusty breeze favouring the eastern end of the ground. Castlefield was in its usual great shape and only really posed us issues with windy and slippery conditions.
We welcomed two new Rovers to our team for their first games with Tristian Gastevich #11 and Jack Stefanovic #8. Both boys looked like they were right a home and settled in perfectly to our side. We also had some much welcomed help from Cruz Giovannini and Sebastian Lynch who joined our team from the Under 9’s and got to experience playing at the level above, both boys contributed well and provide us some flexibility with rotations.
Pregame we announced our Captains for the week in Theeran Goyal and Jade Doherty both boys have been stand outs at training, always listening to instructions and focusing on their drills which I have been keeping a keen eye out for and will continue to do so when electing Captains going forward. The pregame messages were simple today, WET WEATHER FOOTY, keep your feet, stay in front, keep the ball in front and keep running to the next contest. In addition to this our recent focus has been about kicking to position and centring the ball and not bombing or blazing away.
The first quarter of the season was a hot contest with St Peters kicking with the breeze. Both teams were energetic and it was hard to get clean clear play. The midfield eventually settled and found the footy with Theeran in the ruck using Jody, Toby and Dan to great effect. Even into the breeze we had our fair share in the forward line. Harry had a stand out quarter with plenty of touches including the first assist to Jake who kick a great goal on the run. Sure enough the ball came straight back to the forwards where Jake ran on immediately and kicked his second. St Peters kicked two goals in reply and the game looked tight. Right before the end of the first we managed to slot one more goal and it was Jake Ring again, three for the quarter! Our lesson for the quarter was that bouncing wasn’t working and we had forgotten about the zone boundaries! Good first quarter with a narrow margin between both teams.
The second quarter we had the breeze and big Magnus Barton assumed the starting role as ruckman, Lincoln, Jade and Fletcher were dominating the midfield winning or mopping up nearly everything that fell to the ground. Big Chris Wormington switched into the ruck and gave us some great taps and clearances. The ball hardly ventured into the back line and when it did our boys just rebounded it back. Tristian did exactly as I asked playing in front and on two occasions collected the ball cleanly and sent in back forward. We dominated play with 3 goals to none in the term. Theeran sent a bomb down forward that managed to find its way across the line and Ollie Ries had two great running goals for the quarter. Toby Clarkson had a great quarter down forward keeping the ball alive and feeding his team mates from the packs his hard work paid off with a sneaky little goal in the square. Jack Stefanovic showed us he is a great in and under player and doesn’t mind the hard stuff with great tackles and impressive work with his head over the ball in traffic. The boys worked well together and used the wind to advantage dominating the quarter.
Third quarter we knew St Peters would be strong again with the wind. The quarter was well balanced again with the ball flowing both directions. Campbell Hardie who has been working out in the off season showed us what he can do up forward. He presented beautifully at Centre Half forward giving us a great target and instrumental in much of the play. Seb Gelso was all over the back line and had one of his highest possession quarters ever. Baxter gathered plenty of the footy out on the wing. It was a tough period of play with little change to the score sheet from either team until Jade marked and went back to slot a great goal into the breeze right through the big ones. A goal from each of our Captains today was great to see!
The last quarter came around quick! We asked the boys to apply themselves for one more quarter, just twelve minutes of footy. We had the wind and good momentum, I could tell the boys were switched on and ready to go and were they what. Raphael started in the ruck and was tapping the ball down to Jody, Toby and Cruz with the laces out. Raph is about 7 foot tall with his hands up and no one can get near him. Jody Cripps dominated the midfield clearances and impressed me today with his team play. Jody is a natural ball winner but today I asked him to think about his decision making and not just big kicks down field. He did just that today and the results were often goals for his team mates. The next receiver was Jake who collected a clearance from Jody broke the lines of defence and snapped a great goal. Two minutes later Jody handballed to Jake who again broke two defenders on the run to kick his fifth goal of the day. The mids worked tirelessly Ollie and Toby had great quarters again. Seg Gelso popped up out of no where for a goal in the pocket and then again for goal number two shortly after. The boys were on fire! Another roll forward when Jake got his hands on the ball again in traffic, wound around from the left pocket and he booted the ball towards goal. Unbelievably this was his SIXTH goal for the game each one of them a cracker.
Today we played amazingly good footy, it was selfless, team orientated, disciplined and great to watch! All the little things worked today and we look to have picked right up where we left off at the end of 2017. I was very proud of the whole team, fantastic efforts by all for all four quarters. If we can improve on this we will have a great year with a few more rosy days like today!
Thanks to all our game day helpers and supporters, we couldn’t do it with out you!
WEEKLY AWARDS – Very hard to give out with so many great performances today!
Brown Cow Outstanding Contribution – Harry Ockerby had a great game today. He collected a lot of the ball but impressed me in his contested footy and his ability to centre the footy and find a team mate inside by foot. He’s usually is taking screaming marks but toned that down today in wet conditions. Very mature game from him today, I can see him thinking out there (just like Pendlbury)
HRJFC Guts and Determination – Sebastian Gelso is one of our smallest team mates but he has amazing courage and is fearless in his attack on the footy. Today was the best game I’ve seen him play, lots of hard fought possessions, marks and two well deserved goals. I loved his game Brilliant!
Cold Rock Completely Smashed It – Jake Ring this guy can play! He showed us bursts of what he could do last year but today was the full package. Was an influence at every position and in every quarter. Spent two quarters in the forward line and kicked six tough goals. Absolutely amazing performance!
See you all Friday at training!