No report this week. Wag has been celebrating the Queen's birthday!
Preston Bullants JFC
Bullants White travelled down to the misty expanses of the Yarra floodplain to take on the Banyule…somethings.
Parents were nervous that their kids might get lost in the fog, some suggesting that car might be safer. Well, sorry parents…but when the Bullants get together it is on!
So out they run after a proper rev up from the coaching staff. After 8 or so weeks, the kids are really getting the picture. The first quarter was genuinely great. All the boys were getting on their players and having a dip when it was their turn. Jett was great in his first game back, winning taps and getting his foot to the ball. Auden was having his first run in the middle and he was terrific, listening hard to the coaches and getting on his player. After the first term, it was pretty even and we were in it.
The second term we were really good and we were regularly moving the ball out of the middle with Asher and Jonah getting their hands dirty and pushing the ball forward. Remi was huge down in the forward line and tackle after tackle he laid until he earned a free kick and put it over the umpire’s hat. Top work mate, and first goal for the club. The White’s mosquito fleet of Benny P and Mitch were relentless and I love their run out of the backline.
The third term was a bit of a bust. We were on the nod and weren’t picking up out players. Russ and Dan called that out and we got to focus on the last term.
The 4th quarter we got back to our much improved best. Sam H and Andrew were solid as a rock in the last line of defence. In one instance Sammy went long into the middle, Harry – who had one of the best quarters we’ve seen this year – his run and carry was excellent, and he drove the ball into the forward line repeatedly. Caden got on the end of one and won himself a free kick, weaving it through the legs of numerous players to score our second.
All in all, I reckon it was the best game of the year and there are terrific signs for the second half of the season.
Well done boys.
After the team photo’s it was a different form of training on Friday night as we had a few running drills through the cones practicing our bouncing and marking and then the ever popular competitive numbers game out at Zwar. We again focussed on pressure footy and second efforts through a keepings off game and the team were ready to go for Sunday against Macleod at Macleod.
A cold morning out at Macleod, and the pre-game warm up was important to get a bit of warmth out there. Daniel arrived well prepared with a hot chocolate (the only thing he was missing was French cap, scarf, dressing gown, slippers and dash hound) and there was a mad dash to the coffee truck by parents when it opened for business.
Back to reality for Coach Dave after the tigers smashed the bombers the night before, so he asked the team to be inspired by the tigers and to put in a four-quarter tiger effort, where the team would work for each other. This would be important as the spies told us that Macleod had been one of the form sides of the competition this year so we would have to be right onto it from the start.
We all got behind Captain Leon as we ran out onto the ground, through a haze of coffee aroma as the parents lined the race with their coffees.
Leon won the toss and selected the Greensborough end and we all headed towards our positions.
We were ahead of our opponents from the start. We played on our players and played for each other. We used loud voices and backed each other up. We kicked to space and our tackling and pressure was phenomenal across the 4 quarters.
Other than a slight relapse in the 2nd quarter where Macleod moved the ball forward quickly for 2 quick majors, we were on our game.
A fantastic team effort. Everyone got involved.
Adam was lively this week after a knock the week before, running about Orazio Fantasia like. After a slow start in the backline where Alberto was fighting the cold weather, he shifted to the centre and was red hot for the remainder of the game. The hot chocolate kicked in for Daniel; again creating headaches for the opposition coach.
The Rolls Royce Dylan created a number of opportunities – always front and square roving off the packs. Eddy Spark again always in the thick of it – the Ed aggression is a feature of our game style, running straight and is uncompromising.
Ella, the secret weapon again tough at the footy, tagging her opponent not giving an inch. Another fine game by Ned, first to the ball, hard at the footy, at the bottom of every pack.
Bravery award for Ellery this week. Inspirational game in the middle. First to the ball, under every pack and wore a number of bruises as a result – Was applauded by the brains trust and his teammates for a courageous effort.
Jack Thomas back into it again; another solid effort for the man with hands like glue. Kirk again, putting himself in the play in front of his opponents helping to get the footy out in space.
Lachlan relishing being up forward using brute strength to smash through packs and using his vision to kick long to our forwards making space in the square. Leon, smallest in centimetres, but the tallest in stature – a super captain’s effort; Dyson Heppell would have been proud of his leadership. Another great game by Leroy. Getting better each week, calling aloud, under the packs.
Best game of the year for Liam, he really worked hard around the ground, tackled hard and used the ball well enabling a number of opportunities.
A medal winning performance from Oscar. His tackling and defensive pressure is a feature of his game. Always puts his hand up for a tagging role. Macleod players did not know what hit them. He also made space and kicked long to our forwards.
Mighty Matilda, a great job in the backline. On her players, calling out and stopping a goal by putting herself in front of the pack and rewarded with a great mark! Michael, running straight at the footy, tacking hard and making the most of his opportunities.
Patrick again playing well, run-run-running all game, getting plenty of the footy and sharing it around. William this week in the middle used his height well and provided the hard stuff when the ball was in close, riding the bumps and pushed forward.
The song was sung loudly and proudly at the end of the game with the team setting up a circle and our captain Leon and medal winners Oscar and Ellery in the middle of the circle.
Thanks to everyone who assisted on the day, it’s much appreciated by all.
Round 4 saw us head into a game against Hawthorn Citizens. After a solid week at training, where we asked the boys to really commit to the training drills and how they can be applied on match day - we wanted the boys to think about and understand that working hard brings its own rewards.
Going into the game we encountered very cold weather conditions, it was an icy morning but the boys stood their ground giving the game their all. In the change rooms, Coach Ufouk asked all the boys how last week was different to this week’s game? Barnaby yelled out THE WEATHER!! Archie screamed “THE COACH”!! And after some time, little Omar put his hand up and answered “NOTHING!” That was the right answer. The coach was trying to prepare them mentally and not let them get ahead of themselves. Omar earnt himself captaincy and rightly so.
Before the game had begun, we realised we only had 16 players with Christian and Jackson absent. We very kindly asked Hawthorn for a few players to make up numbers, considering they had 22 players, but they very kindly rejected. This made the Bullants furious and now they had a purpose to go out and play hard.
The boys walked out onto the field and while they were getting into their positions the Hawthorn coach was making small talk with us and just happened to mention that they have beaten every side by over 100 points so far. Without giving too much, Ufouk said “that’s great, good luck and may the best team win.”
As the quarter started, the boys had gone out there and played with a new determination to show everyone that they are called the Bullants for a reason. Yusuf started in the ruck and as usual dominated winning the first contest against a player that was a foot taller, a foot wider and a beard longer then his dads. Instantly Darcy, Luca and Archie were on their way. controlling the midfield and applying pressure when it was needed. Sid and Luca kicked their first goals for the day and we ended the 1st quarter 3 points down to Hawthorn. This proved to us that Hawthorn were not going to be easy beats. Clearly the strongest team we have played this year.
Going into the second quarter Ufouk made a few changes. He put Adam and Boodie in the guts and put Luca and Owen in the backline. Yusuf, aka Goldstein, stood firm against his opponent that some said he looked like The Hound, from Game of Thrones. Yusufs brilliance in the ruck allowed Adam to run around and own the field. The ball was in our forward line most of the quarter, with Sid kicking his second goal we end the 2nd quarter 7 points up.
At half time coach tightened the screws in the backline and told the boys the game can easily turn and not to let it get away.
Even though Hawthorn kicked a few goals Luca, Owen and Sam had an amazing quarter applying pressure and playing one on one footy and being accountable for what was about to unfold. Then the ball was thrown in by the boundary umpire and Darcy drilled through the pack of Hawthorn players gauging the ball off the ground and kicking one of the sneakiest goals you could ever witness. The Preston crowd went wild. Adam was everywhere, clearly producing a brand of football that only leaders can do. We finished the third quarter a tie. That’s right a draw with 1 quarter to go.
The coaches 3rd quarter address to his troops was inspirational. He told them all to dig deep and everyone needed to put in 110%
The 4th quarter started as usual with Yusuf punching the ball 15 meters in front of Adam which allowed him to scoop the ball and do what he does best. Louie, Sean and Lucas played an unbelievable quarter of footy in the forward line. Leading and marking everything. But it was still a tie. Then Adam rose to the occasion. In career best form, he took the game on reminding us a bit like Sam Mitchell in the 2008 Grand Final and arguably playing the best quarter of footy we have ever seen from him, no one could catch him, and he caught every mark and tackled like his life depended on it. He assisted the forwards in kicking the next goal and 1 minute later Omar did his usual bullocking and fending off 5 players to kick another goal. We were up by a goal with 12 mins to go. With full ground pressure Archie chimed in kicking a fantastic goal which meant we were 2 goals up. Coach was screaming to apply pressure and man up on the Hawthorn players. Then suddenly Hawthorn responded with a goal. With 7 mins to go we needed something special from the boys. The Hawthorn players tried every dirty trick in the book, with one of them pushing and shirtfronting Barnaby, but Yusuf was not going to stand for that so he ran to Barnies defence and tackled the player making him taste dirt. We were 10 points up with 3 mins to go. The boys applied so much pressure we ran the clock down only to beat the unbeaten Hawthorn at their home ground. What an amazing feeling it was and the boys celebrated by singing the theme song so loud that the neighbours dogs started howling.
The whole team put in a great effort showing a tremendous amount of hard work in the field, and this way clearly shown in their skills that they had displayed. After a very long and hard match against the Hawthorn Citizens we had pulled out a win proving to be the stronger opponents. Hawthorn played extremely well and it all came down to the very last quarter, but at the end of the day, our boys worked just a little bit harder to get the win. All in all, it was a great week for the Bullants and we look forward to the next game with the boys hopefully pulling in another win for the club.
Well Done Bullants keep up the hard work and keep having fun. You are all INSTRUMENTAL to our success 😊
Wayne Carey BOG - Adam
Ben Brown Goal - Darcy
Lindsay Thomas Mercadante - Luca and Sam
Hard Nut - Lucas
We arrived at PCO with sleep still in our eyes – an unfamiliar early start at PCO against Camberwell 1. The morning got off to a great start with a fabulous toastie provided by a kind parent for the team manager – I love this team!! The news wasn’t so great that we had lost Leon with a fracture to his arm; Alex with a concussion and Jakob was unavailable for family reasons. Arch had a bruised and swollen thumb from a physical birthday party the day before. Mist hung across the damp grass as the boys ran onto the pitch. The message was familiar – switch on and play out the four quarters.
Shep started the morning with a magnificent tap and run and kick to Sonny. Kade was showing good hands and kicked beautifully to Jack. We were first on the scoreboard with a point to Sonny. It was clear the boys were enjoying the early start and Sonny was giving his Nan from Yarrawonga something to talk about on the trip home. Jack, Stoj and Tom were amongst the action before Shep passed beautifully to Sonny who kicked a most ELEGANT goal. Our defensive juggernaut Jack ably assisted by Tom, Roman and Kade with impressive handballs made it hard for Camberwell to get the ball anywhere close to the goals. We finished the quarter with 8 points and Camberwell were 0. The tackling pressure was awesome and the boys were working hard and well winning the contested ball.
Quarter 2 was a quarter of some of the best football we have played. Noah R was fabulous in defence and Camberwell succumbed to the prowess of Shep and capitulated after a sequence of fabulous ball movement that yielded a fabulous goal. The passages of play were mercurial – Arch and Sonny caressed the ball with precision. Jack, Kade, Josh Sergi and Brock all showed amazing attack on the ball. In defence Noah “Rance” Robotis did not let us down – Camberwell were only able to manage 3 points for the half. And Roman down in the forward line worked hard at locking the ball in. The half time address asked the boys to continue to man up; RUN!; back each other up and kick LONG!!! We had clearly won the first half, but with no -one on the bench and the scale of PCO stretched out before us we definitely had the drive and will but would there be enough left in their tanks?
Third quarter was a much more tightly contested affair and Camberwell must have had the good snakes this week. We managed to win the quarter and our defensive pressure led Noah and supported by Tom, Shep, Edwin and Zac. All the boys were making great contributions but the area to cover and the sting of the ball on cold fingers was having an impact.
The boys played a lovely final quarter. Kade continuing his hard work at the ball and Jack showing some desperation in defence. Archie was close to taking one of the best marks of the year but it just popped through his hands. The final quarter was very low scoring with only one point scored by Camberwell – testament to our defenders and their capacity to stay strong.
Final scores were Bullants 22 to Camberwell 11. Kade was the very deserving recipient of the medal this week and the coaches were pleased with the continued pressure; execution of some lovely skills and determination to keep running. Well done Bullants you were in a class of your own and left us slack jawed and misty eyed with your decision making and skills. (editing thanks to Wil Shep’s Dad for providing some commentary for my use!!)
Another clear, crisp morning at PCO greeted Tom and Marcus for their 50th games. A great milestone for 2 players who help form the backbone of this team (and have done so for a few years now) and a proud moment for Dad/Coach. Great mates on and off the field, it was fitting that they celebrate together.
With such an occasion and another home game, hopes were high amongst the coaching & support team that we might turn our form around. Positons & players were mixed up a little this week in the hope of a more even representation around the ground and to expose some players to positions they had not previously had an opportunity to fill.
With a good pre-game chat about rising for the occasion & helping their team mates celebrate 50 games we ran through the banner & looked up and about!
Kicking to the Cramer St end it was all Bullants in the first. Tom and Marcus, full of adrenaline after their run through the banner, had the ball on a string and racked up possessions at will. Within minutes, Tommy G got a quick handball to Tom who streaked out of the middle and found Ziggy (AKA The Bull) out in front. Never in doubt, Bull converted from 15 out on the slightest of angles bringing the bench to their feet. “Bull! Bull! Bull!” The entire quarter, the Bullants played some of their best. Positions were held, attack on the footy and opponent ferocious, passing accurate to decisive leads. All the play was in our half and we dared to dream….could this be the day? The midfield in Hamish, Tommy G, Tom and Xavier won the ball at every contest. Marcus and Azza dominated the wings and our forwards worked hard. Pablo took a ripper mark & pumped the ball forward, a scramble for possession ensued with the ball inching closer to our goals. With 2nd and 3rd efforts Ziggy got clear enough to soccer the goal through. Again the bench erupted! Our Bullants worked tirelessly. Slick running saw Tom drive forward again…his snap on the run drifting left for a minor. Hamish drove forward for a trademark long range goal on a tight angle…it was all Bullants and they ran to the huddle heads high and to the applause of the coach at QTR time. Bullants 3:2:20 Ashburton 0:0:0.
“Wow! How good does that feel? Reward for effort. Just as we trained for. Just as we’d planned!” Smiles and praise all round! We applauded the “Ammo’s” boys who had come down to watch and patted each other on the back. All had gone to plan. The best first quarter for the season son far!
The second term was a tighter, scrappier affair. Still plenty of the ball with the Bullants but Ashburton were working hard. With a goal early, Ashburton looked like they might rally. Issy played one of his best quarters so far with 2ndand 3rd efforts across half back and stuck his tackles well. Wato held steady at Full Back and mopped up beautifully while Sam did the same at CHB. As hard as we tried, Ashburton chipped away. Loose players looked dangerous and things didn’t all go our way. Harry streaked in from the wing to score a minor but Ashburton had 2 scoring shots to 1. Half time saw the scores at 3:3:21 Bullants to Ashburton 1:2:8.
Still feeling on top, the Bullants stayed on the ground to enjoy the oranges and the meagre sunshine. We really needed to tighten up on the loose men and make our opponent accountable but we’d had 2 good quarters and felt positive. We needed to maintain our focus and ramp up the intensity.
In the third it was all Ashburton. Our backline of Tamer, Joe, Steven, Issy, Woody and Harry were kept busy as our opponent linked up and drove forward. Despite our momentum at the start, Ashburton stuck to their plan, were patient, and used their superior making and passing to chip away. The resulting 2 goals and a behind see them undo all of our hard work and go into the final term a solitary point ahead. From a flying start, the Bullants had only managed 2 behinds in a half of footy and were now on the back foot. Still, on the sidelines, there was a glimmer of hope. If we could find our form again, it was anyone’s game.
It soon became apparent that it was not to be. As the final quarter unfolded, the Bullants went into their shells. Balls dropped in front of players rather than being marked. Tackles were half-hearted and our run was gone. Ashburton on the other hand were slick, attacking and wanted it more. With a 4 goal onslaught they made the scoreboard flattering….26 point victors in Bullant heartland, no recognition of what had transpired in the first half and leaving all in the Bullants camp flat. Marcus and Tom, despite great games befitting their 50th, struggled to raise a smile for their post-game photos. Heads were down as we retired to the rooms. Sage advice from Simon as always….Go home and think about what you did in the first quarter, and then what you didn’t do after that. It was taken on board by the coach as much as the players….I’m sure we will all go and reflect. More than a glimpse this week of what we can do…the best opening term for the year. The best quarter for the year. Time to regroup, reassess, re-evaluate. We are Bullants. We will fight on.
I love these boys like my own. I love watching them grow, develop and be challenged. Equally, when I know they can do more, do better. It hurts. As the boys said last week. “We’re all in this together!”
Brunswick welcomed the Under 12 Preston Bullants to their home ground in Parkville on the weekend. The precinct was buzzing with soccer on one ground, the AFL veterans on another and the YJFL playing.....a real hub of activity creating a fantastic atmosphere for a Sunday morning! Brunswick came down from Brown division and since being in Green Division, have been beating their opposition convincingly. In our pre-match meeting, Pat explained to the team how important the first quarter was going to be and we couldn’t allow them to get the jump on us early. He asked the team to play man-on-man, take a risk, work hard and believe in yourself and your team mate. He set each player the objective of 1 tackle, 1 shepherd per quarter.
With 5 minutes before game start time, our coaching group demonstrated how versatile we were.....it was looking like we didn’t have an umpire for the game! Dean put on the whites and braced himself for the abuse that was to come and 'The Reverend' started hyperventilating at the thought of doing the running for Pat for the day! Thankfully, the umpire arrived and we all breathed a sigh of relief. A great umpire he was too, communicating well with the players on the field to keep the ball moving and educating as he went.
Unfortunately, the first quarter started as the coaching team had feared. Our Bullants weren't ready for the immense intensity, high skill level and effective disposal from our opposition early. The backline held strong performing as instructed but we lacked the run in the mid-field and forward 50 entries. Late in the first quarter, we made a few positional changes to get us back in the game, all of which were successful. We went into the huddle at quarter time 4.3.27 to 1.0.6. Pat reinforced the messages in the pre-match meeting and reminded the boys that we were as good as this team but we just needed to believe in themselves. The boys played the second quarter with a level of focus and intensity that is true to their training and preparation. Our core group of leaders stood up to the challenge.....the intensity increased, the disposal was effective and the determination could be seen in their efforts. They were there to win! We kept Brunswick to 1 goal and 1 behind in the second quarter, while we scored 3 goals, 3 behinds. You could feel the belief in the rooms at half time. They knew they were capable and they were committed. The third quarter was more evenly matched on the scoreboard with the Bullants scoring 1 goal, 2 behinds and Brunswick scoring 2 goals even. We had a lot more use of the ball but unfortunately couldn’t translate on the scoreboard. Our backline and mid-field were outstanding, however, we struggled at the half forward line to move the ball into the goal square. The final quarter was exciting, the coaching team were pacing on the boundary line and the parents were cheering furiously on the side lines. The Bullants won the final quarter but unfortunately couldn’t come away with the win. The final scores were Brunswick 8.4.52 to Bullants 6.7.43. Unfortunately, due to lack of focus and determination in one quarter, we lost another game that was winnable.
A few special mentions to key four quarter contributors on the day:
The Under 12 Bullants will benefit from the weekend off to get some rest and be ready to train hard in the week leading up to another away game against Hawthorn Citizens. To our Under 12 Bullants families, thank you for your support to date with encouraging the team and filling necessary volunteer roles on match day. Pat, Dean, Jodi and Amanda truly appreciate the support and effort and thoroughly enjoy seeing friendly faces in the red and white on a Sunday morning. Best wishes for a restful long weekend.
Fitzroy and Preston have a genuine rivalry that has seen some tough encounters over the last couple of years. Last time we played them they belted us on our home turf by 10 goals. Today they would meet the 2018 Preston Bullants model which has been shaped by a hard and tough pre-season. This model is tenacious, fierce at the contest and unrelenting. Both teams came out of the blocks with a point to prove. The tackling and pressure was like that of a final. No team was willing to back down around the ball and this saw a tight first quarter, with our girls tackling the opposition no less than 29 times. Every player wearing a Bullants jumper was switched on and ready for war. Ayva M. playing a new role in the backline was sensational and Freya was in every contest early. The game was easily the most physical encounter I had witnessed in my time as coach. Scores at quarter time were Preston 0.0.0 to Fitzroy 0.0.0.
The second quarter saw both teams moving the football with speed from one end to the other. Olivia Cotsy was moved into the ruck and Charlotte to her usual role up forward. Fitzroy hit the scoreboard first with a coast to coast goal. Preston replied immediately with Freya extracting the ball from the centre bounce and linking up with Gabby who found Charlotte in front of goal. She nailed the kick and scores were locked together once again. Libby was playing her best game for the Bullants using her speed and sure hands to repel many forward attacks by Fitzroy. Erin and Victoria also had their hands full but were ice cool in defence. The game was an absolute arm wrestle with supporters on the edge of their seats. Again our tackle count was well above the 20 per quarter we had set ourselves before the game. At half time the scores were Preston 1.0.6 to Fitzroy 1.0.6.
At half time we talked about trying to open the game up and score but this did not occur. Ayva B. went into overdrive and again showed why she is one of our most valuable on-ballers. She is having a terrific season and has improved so much from last year. I was expecting the game to break open in the third because both teams had spent a great amount of energy thus far and it did not seem sustainable. I was wrong. The pressure seemed to elevate to new heights and the tackling was ferocious and bone crunching at times. Neither team was giving an inch. It was like two young bulls with their horns locked together pushing back and forth tirelessly. The scores at the final break were Preston 1.0.6 to Fitzroy 1.0.6.
The last quarter felt like it went for an eternity. Freya was still working above and beyond and even played out the final minutes with a badly sprained finger. All 32 girls on the field were exhausted but did not stop giving their all when the ball was in their area. No team could manage a score in the final term. Victoria was sensational in the last few minutes of the game taking a saving mark on the last line of defence and pumping the ball out of the danger zone, which saw us move it quickly to the wing in time for the siren to blow. We have come a long way from last year and I honestly believe that this group of girls is capable of anything they set their minds to. I am enjoying coaching them more and more every week. If I could bottle their determination and grit and sell it I would be a very wealthy man. Best players were Freya, Ayva B., Caitlin, Marianne, Victoria, Libby and little Olivia, who won the opposition medal for courage. Final scores were a draw with both teams locked on one goal apiece.
Thanks to Emma, Leanne, Bek, Marc (statistician number 1), Jamie, Pauline, Jim (statistician number 2) and Mish for taking on the match day and training roles. Emma is away with football and an overseas holiday for the next month or so. We wish her a safe trip and look forward to catching up on her return.
|Goal Kickers||Josh 4, Seb R, Lucas, Liam|
After 2 losses on the trot, the Under 13’s were keen to get their season back on track at Ramsden Park against Fitzroy.
The Lions were competitive and disciplined early, making it difficult for the Bullants to find space inside 50. It was quick ball movement that was going to be key, and the Bullants first goal came after Joel ran on to a long ball, surveyed the options and picked out Seb R on a strong lead from full forward. He converted and the Bullants never looked back. Seb went on to have a strong impact all day, forming a dominant ruck tandem with Makaio (who won nearly every hit out he contested), and marking strongly around the ground. Although the Bullants only kicked one for the quarter, we looked more threatening inside 50. Jacko was leading strongly and providing a target, and Max’s forward pressure was fantastic. Down back, Rufus, JJ and Oscar had everything under control. Phoenix was forced from the field after a knock to his knee, being the only concern after a solid first quarter of Bullants footy.
The Bullants piled on the pressure in the second term – with Jordy and Dion having a big impact. A long kick from Phoenix (now resting at half forward) was crumbed by Joel and with quick hands found Josh for his first of his 4 majors. Benny G followed up with back to back inspirational plays, finally forcing his way through traffic to set up a long shot by Josh for his second. Fitzroy kicked their only goal after they converted a nice grab 30 metres out, however they didn’t celebrate for long as Lucas responded almost immediately to kick the Bullants fourth, and provide a handy 20 point half time buffer.
The second half went according to script, and was highlighted by a big second half from Hazza who responded in the best possible way after a halftime tongue-in-cheek spray from coach/dad Phil. Always a galvanizing presence on the field, Harry’s marking and reading of the play brought the best out of his team mates, and the Bullants really started to hurt the Lions on the spread. Strong marking around the ground from talls Lucas, Rooey and Sebo made life even more difficult for Fitzroy. When Josh kicked his third the game was absolute toast.
Liam hit the scoreboard in the last quarter to kick the Bullants 6th, and Josh capped a dominant afternoon kicking his fourth and the Bullants 7th after the siren from a set shot. The Fitzroy back line helped the Bullants celebrate by throwing their boots in the air as Josh’s kick sailed through, only to be reminded by the umpire that it wasn’t the best look. Jordy took home the indigenous round medal after a great 4 quarter performance. A great game by Jordy and all the boys going into the week off.
This week the boys found themselves taking on our biggest challenge in Fitzroy 1 who had come down from gold. This weeks game was at an away ground in Bulleen. It was chilly morning and the boys found it quite hard form the onset to find their zone and warm up.
The game set off to an average start with us down by 2 goals at the quarter break which was a first for our boys this year. The second term wasn’t much better with the Bullants unable to move the ball and unable to convert inside 50.
The half time break gave us the opportunity to change our approach as we altered our structures and game plan to catch them off guard. However, after a successful 10 minutes, the experience of the opposition coach caught up with us, and our lack of ability to capitalise when we had the opportunity saw us go down hard. Unfortunately, we put our first L on the board for the year.
The boys did well overall however it came down to the attitude prior, during and after the game which lead to our demise this week.
Training this week will have a heavy focus on ensuring we are able to work on the attitude of the player and work on them being more accountable for themselves and each other. A well-deserved break is coming over the long weekend which will give us two weeks to ensure that the boys are in tip top shape to take on Parkside when we return.
A sunny but cold day had the girls facing Parkside in a northern suburb clash. Mia H lost the toss but we kicked to the Tyler st end first up.
In the first quarter, we were dominant from the first bounce with inside players such as Darci and Mia B winning the hardball and giving our forwards a chance of kicking a goal. Mia H lead from the front and scored the first goal of the game and the girls were up and about. Angelique was terrific off half back, cutting the ball off continuously and taking the game on without any hesitation. Darci decided to copy Ruby’s pre game routine of dim sims and it paid off with both of them kicking a goal during the game.
In the second quarter, the girls continued to extend the margin but weren’t going to get complacent quickly. Sabrije and Oceane worked hard all day to ensure Parkside’s forward line got no easy possessions and made it impossible for them to score. Helena’s efforts up forward never dropped off all day and was even able to play half forward later in the game which helped to set up more goals.
At half time, we were up by six goals but the girls were determined to keep going and increase the lead.
The second half got under way and Georgia was never flustered in the ruck, dominating hit outs once again and even going up forward kicking a goal as well. Esther was able to kick her first goal for the Bullants and even kicked a second one! The forward line was the place to be and Isabella joined the party by kicking a goal herself. The margin was increasing every minute with the Parkside backline being continually peppered with forward entries.
At the three quarter time, the girls knew the game was already won but wanted to make the most of it before the long weekend break. Amelia started in the ruck and was outstanding too in the forward line laying some big tackles which got the crowd going. The girls were dictating the game now with the ball played in our forward half. Zoe was able to play a wing/forward line role helping set up a number of goals and boosting the score even more.
A massive win that was rewarding for the girls as they thoroughly deserved it as the desire was there and the tackling didn’t stop all day. The best part about the win was that we had multiple goal scorers and everyone contributed to the side.
Thanks to Sofie and Ange for being Team Manager and Runner respectively. Big thanks to Louise, Brendan, David, Danette, Jodie and Jahn for their helping out and volunteering their time to ensure the girls have the best chance of winning each week!
Make sure you come to training with a purpose and arrive early on game day to ensure you prepare the best you possibly can!
If only this game had been played in reverse. The Bullants took the field at Bulleen Park with lost confidence from recent narrow defeats. Conditions were good and on a small ground and this suited our team with Dave having worked on team fitness at training. Bulleen-Templestowe jumped us from the start and quickly established a five goal lead at quarter time. It was clear that the opposition thought they had our measure and were vocal and confident as they headed to their quarter time huddle. Dave, sensing that we were still right in the game despite the score, encouraged the boys to run at every opportunity and made some pivotal changes in the middle. In the second quarter, things opened up and we were rewarded with two terrific goals by our full forward, Anton, who clearly had some unfinished business. Unfortunately, during a contest Max was injured and could no longer take part in the game. At half time, we walked off the ground down by six goals, but there was a feeling that things had changed.
The Bullants came out a different team in the second half. Dave, seeing that the opposition had slowed, encouraged our pace attack of Daniel, Jordan and Jakeb to take the game on and run at all cost. This paid dividends as the boys created space and with some injected midfield grunt through Brandon and Jon we were at full attack. Anton kicked another three goals to make it five by the end of the quarter. He couldn’t be stopped. Our defence held strong with Tony and Ethan taking telling marks and restricting the opposition to only one goal. At three quarter time the team knew that they could win, the coach knew that we could win and the opposition knew they were in trouble. Dave urged the boys to go for it! Jack dominated the ruck and we continued to clear the ball through our midfielders. Stathis scored a major on the run and Anton was unstoppable, kicking another two goals. He had kicked 7 of our 8 goals – and unbelievable effort with the opposition fighting over who was playing on him. We had our chances to win with late shots narrowly missing whilst the defence keeping the opposition goalless. In the end were only beaten by the siren. Everyone at the ground knew that if the game went another five minutes it was ours.
In his post-match address Dave and the parents were so proud of the team effort and commitment; it echoed our song of ‘that’s what the spirit’s all about at Preston’. The boys should reflect on this performance and tackle every game from here on with a renewed confidence. Awesome game - well done Bullants!