First, congratulations to all members of the Under 14 squad: players, TM’s, coaches, parents, supporters. As always, our initial phase in any season is to have fun in a safe, harmonious, respectful and educational environment. Our aim with the D2 team was to gain promotion back to D1. Mission accomplished.
Our aim with the D4 team is to be as competitive as possible and for all boys to receive great coaching and a strong environment to develop. I feel watching both games Sunday the squad has come a long way since our mid-February training runs.
The boys looked and acted a little restless on Sunday for our early start away. Even the coach was unprepared. I always go check out the oppo ground during the week – have for 20+ years. Last week I didn’t, and not only that, but turned up at the wrong ground. Good thing it was only up the road from Wellington Reserve and I was on time after a short 5 minutes behind the wheel.
The boys rolled in one at a time and with 20 minutes before game time it was a poor showing. I commented, “we will not be able to do this if we go back to D1”.
Big O, or as he is now known, Pigeon or THE BLACK BOARD (after Mr Squiggle, the grumpy blackboard) arrived at the 10 minute mark of the first quarter and it was obvious he was flustered… grumpy almost, sleep deprived, emotional.
Big O & Mr Squiggle
Anyway, a game of football broke out and from start to finish our lads played a responsive brand to instruction. Well done boys – your work rate was up for the full four quarters on a deck that suited our run and carry.
I was very mindful the boys made chase kicks and enter deep into the offence looking to hit the board. Josh Docking showed early that he listens to instructions with many offensive bold moves. Josh and Jackie G were the two-looking dangerous. Ted McK clunked two rippers and the scoreboard started to tick. Pepsi, Mason P were dominating in the ruck. Elliott, Jules, Tractor and Ben looked right at home against the Waverley Hawks mids. Kai was sweeping nicely. Mateo, Ted Mc all up and about.
At half-time the coach got off track and blamed the BLACK BOARD. The parents found it amusing and I needed to question Joey G if his nick name back in Philly was Mr 10% as his son had four on the board at the turn (six all up for the game).
Cecil, Kyle and Jensen got really busy after the main break. Brodie played back and mid to great effect. Lachlan Teal ran solid for four quarters as he has done in all games thus far, likewise with Kento who ran harder the longer the contest ran.
Big Mason took a nice contested mark, payed on and kick his first goal and the players ran from everywhere. Oli, showed some class and deft touch with his skills. Maxy was solid for 2.5 quarters as we wanted to manage his wrist for the weeks ahead. Kaleb and Lucas bobbed up and got involved in all quarters. Mason C had 5 minutes in the ruck and showed he still got it.
What we did well
– Ran harder in transition that when we had it.
– Overlap handball
– Stuck tackles
– Didn’t overuse footy
– Changed angles
What we need to do better
– Arrive on time
– Be more respectful of opposition, before and after game
– Less jibba in the rooms pre-game
– Focus on warm up drills
Going into Div 1 now, these items above need to become our strengths. We will be found wanting if we turn up 20 minutes prior to the start.
For early games, pack your bag the night before. Make sure that you have your jumper, shorts, socks, boots, mouthguard all packed in the bag. Show your parents you are focused. Get to bed before 10.30pm. Remind your parents what time you need to be there.
If you do these easy things, you will reap the rewards.