How fantastic that footy is back! Six months sitting around waiting for round one 1 to arrive…while the surf, sun, basketball and BBQ’s are all good, footy is the one sport that pulls the community together like no other.
Our lads had a great preseason, with several lads seen out doing extras; Lucas R, Kento, Lachlan and Ted Mac have been noticeable with running and general skill sessions. This pleased me with the hope it might rub off on the majority.
Prior to the game we talked about the WE NOT ME mentality. We noted the clear size advantage to Ajax in warm up. We would hopefully share the load and rely on our training, ball movement and speed on the outside.
The ball was bounced and in the first eight seconds we are one soldier down. Kai copped a hand injury and his day is done. Although he protested on the pine, it is a long season and we decided to shelve him. As the day progressed, I caught myself thinking that we needed his extra run.
Ajax brought the heat and it was obvious that we were in a game. Someone had forgotten to tell Ajax that our crew just thought it was ok to turn up and we would all sing a song.
By quarter time we were a few points down, but it could have been more. Alexander was doing well in the ruck but was the only clear winner in the first stanza.
In the second quarter, Ajax owned the footy. We blazed away with no real care and were flustered and needed to get back to basics. Archie was trying to break free and was caught. I was yet to see this in six previous years of watching him go about his game. The bigger bodies from the Jaccas were on top. Cecil was in the contest and showed us his skill, taking a riper grab before the half. Ben S also had a highlight in the second quarter with a great run out of defence. His concentration and courage was welcome to see – his footy is about to explode this year.
We found ourselves three goals down at the main break, with only a handful of winners on the park.
At half time we moved the magnets and needed to get more inside run and spread. Enter Lachy T. His extra size, wing span and work with Kento to control the centre was great. The endeavour and WE NOT ME attitude had changed significantly from the first half. Elliott was in every fight within the fight. His slick handballs go unnoticed by most, but not me!!
Josh D started to get his hands on it. Maso was doing a good job in multi roles and Teddy Mac’s fitness shone. He was covering ground and able to attack the ball and gain significant meter’s both outside and inside.
We went into the huddle two points in front. Our team defence had improved as Jules had gone back. He ran the D and got some hard nut footy himself.
Alexander had worked tirelessly and needed a chop out. Cecil started in the ruck in the last quarter and was outstanding. His three centre clearances and two telling cut off marks helped us get the positive result.
Mateo in a one-on-one with Mia (Ajax player) on the wing was inspiring. Mateo spoiled the ball, ran after it and propelled us forward. Jensen was great in the second half and foiled the opposition a few times.
Well done lads – a really strong win against a team from our past.
What we did well:
• Most things after the first half
• Care and share
• Identify space
• Except the pressure and give it back
What we can improve on:
• No slow starts/switch on
• Spread out of contests
• Tackle better
• Run harder in transition to defend.
Looking forward to playing Brighton Beach.
Cheers Caggs – Coach