“Hello Brain! It’s me! Dimma! How’s things?”
“Brain? Hello? I want to talk to you about wristbands! You there?”
“Hmmmm… I think I have a problem. I can’t tell Sheeds – the neurological parts of my brain don’t seem to be putting wristbands and actions together. He’ll be so cross with me… I mean he needs this to sort through the three minutes he has with the super footy team, aka Rovers U9 Blue…they are so great. That 3m x 2m photo print of the team from last year looks so great on my bedroom roof – I can even see myself, just tucked over there behind Sheeds’ right shoulder…
“Now. Focus Dimma. Buckets. Three colours. Wristbands – six per colour. Away game. Forwards Blue. Backs Yellow. Mids are always Red. Home games. Forwards Yellow. Backs Red. Mids Beige… aaargghhhhhh… start again…”
“DIMMA!!! COME ON!!! IT’S THREE QUARTER TIME!! READY? I have my super speech all prepared, key messages, structures, positive encouragement, self-hugs and the kids are coming in with their eyes shining, big smiles, muscles pumped, and ready to learn, learn, learn! SNAP OUT OF IT!!,” Sheeds yelled.
“Sorry, Sheeds – it’s just that….”
“NOT ANOTHER WORD. I. AM. THE. SUPERCOACH! YOU NEED TO GET WITH THE PROGRAM. I HAVE SPOKEN. YOU HAVE ALREADY HAD A SEASON OF THIS TO GET YOUR BRAIN AROUND THE COMPLEXITIES OF WRISTBANDS AND COLOURS!!! LET’S GO DIMMA!! BUCKETS. WRISTBANDS…”
Gulp…“Ok Master Coach. I’ll do my best.”
The next three minutes were probably the worst three minutes of Dimma’s life. Wristbands were given out, handed back, given out, missing a couple, kids asking for colours, rotations not working… Oh dear… BUT!!! The game must go on… and so it did… after Sheeds delivered his amazing coaching masterclass to the kids. And Dimma trudged back to the boundary for the final quarter, head bowed, and still trying to engage his brain… with kids running off to different zones, across all parts of the ground and Carolyne as the runner trying to sort it all out… but first – let’s revisit those first three quarters, shall we?
It was like a balmy summer morning, despite it being close to the end of May. 24 degrees. The kids arrived – up and about, many of them still surprised that the polls got it so wrong with the previous night’s election results. Sheeds and Dimma had to stop many of them from discussing who now had power in the Senate, and what this could mean in terms of economic strategies and any future impact on GDP and current housing prices, so they could start the pre-game drills and focus on the game at hand.
Captains for the day were Sebastian and Tim. Niko was sunning himself on holiday and Angus was out catching swordfish and whales, so they were apologies for the game, but we had a full side!
Seb and Tim won the toss, led the team out and we kicked with the wind. And boy oh boy, the team played well!!! Great stuff kids! In the centre, Alex, Ben and Aiden came out of the blocks firing, in and under and getting the ball out. Sebastian was providing great drive and Cate and Harry’s pressure through tackling and disposals to teammates was first class. The forwards had plenty of opportunities in that first quarter, and Jacob, Sam, Teddy, Arlo were terrific in making leads and keeping the ball in the forward line. Diesel with a great goal and Jack were livewires and won plenty of the ball. The backs probably got a bit cold with the ball in the forward line but when it did go down, Xavier, Tim, Jason, Charlie, Tom and Dan were doing a great job on sticking on their opposition players – something that they had trained for during the past few weeks.
The second quarter was more of the same, with Jason providing great drive out of the middle, ably supported by Tim, Dan, Charlie (doing his usual wrecking ball acts), Xavier being courageous and Tom tackling hard. But Mordy Brae were also up and about and were really putting pressure on the defence – Harry, Seb, Cate were doing a magnificent job trying to stem the tide and Alex, Aiden and Ben were all doing their best too…great stuff Rovers Blue!
The third quarter we were back kicking with the wind. Dan had taken a couple of marking pills at half time and was one-grabbing everything that came his way. Jack was running amok, as was Sebastian and Harry was being a real tackling machine. Diesel (who wasn’t quite 100%) was loving his permanent ‘hotspot’ position, kicking another goal, quickly followed by Tim. Well done! Jason was doing the team thing and playing again down back (great stuff Jase!!), repelling attacks by Mordy Brae. Arlo and Sam were magnificent, chasing and tackling hard, as was Cate – whose pressure game was fantastic. Tom and Teddy continued to ensure their opponent didn’t get a kick, whilst Jacob was also taking great marks and proving a real presence. Aiden did a fantastic chase down of their quickest player, and Ben and Alex were being great options whenever they got clear. Xavier was his usual fearless self, and Charlie was excelling in his ability to get to the contest and trying to get the ball to a teammate.
The final quarter was more of the same, and Sheeds and Dimma (after the third quarter time wristband debacle referred to earlier) were spotted smiling and hugging each other – comrades in arms once more! The team is really coming along, and the structures and basics of manning the mark, kicks out of defence and working together as a team are really starting to come to fruition. Well done kids!
Thank you to all parents who volunteered on the day to do the jobs critical to the success of holding a game of football. Also, special thanks as usual to Fi for her amazing organisation and efficiency as Team Manager and to Paul again for umpiring. Without you all, it just wouldn’t happen.
#goBlue #goRovers #goWristbands