Bullant Banter Round 11 2018

Presidents Message

Text

Whitlam Malkoun
President
Preston Bullants JFC

Under 9's WHITE Match Report
Banyule Bullants

Tackers White had the late start at 10am down there at Banyule. We don’t mind it down there and have played well in the past. There has been a bit of a break between drinks for the lads and we kicked off the game a little slowly, but the improvement the guys have shown to date soon came back with a cracking second term. We had a bit of a new look mid field this week that reflects the hard work and improvement of a few of our guys. Tomas Coravic put his hand up to go into the midfield and did a great job jumping high for ruck contests and following up with chasing and tackling. After about 5 minutes he said, “I’m already exhausted!”. You bet, it’s hard work in there Tomas, but you did great! He was joined by Ollie Caruso who is a different player over the last two or three weeks. Seeing him down on the bottom of packs and tackling away was fantastic. Well done Ollie. Also in there was Jamie Wilson who Russ and I keep putting in there because he’s as honest and hard working as the day is long. What a champ. Andrew McDonald was also in great form getting touches through the midfield and getting the ball forward.

The second term saw the backline under pump, but we kept repelling. Louis was great, with run and carry and a couple of bone rattling tackles. Good work mate. He was helped by Jett who took on the role of kicking out and Percy who is terrific back there. They were also joined by another big improver, Zac Horton. He’s really coming into his own and a spell in the midfield for Zac beckons. The 2nd term was crowned with a foray into the forward line where Joe Wood swooped on a ball deep in the left forward pocket. He got it onto his super reliable left foot and floated one across the face. As I watched the goal umpire unmoved stare skyward, the footy sailed over his head. Goal of the day Joe. Awesome!

The third term was more of the same, with some great tackling and leading. Sam Heffernan continues to work hard, with Benny P running the ball out of defence. Again, a goal was scored. Really, this was a terrific team goal with a chain of passes and marks – 3 in all – involving Jayden, Zac and ending with Joe who slotted an easy goal from 10m out straight in front.

So, 2 out of 4 quarters were a real treat. Well done guys. Our next game is against Fitzroy and we’re really keen to keep improving and getting a few new faces into the midfield.

A rousing version of the song ensued. The boys have really go the hang of that number, and it’s sounding awesome.

Go Bullants

Under 9's RED Match Report
Heidelberg Bullants

A short and sweet Banter this week.

After the school holiday break it was great to finally be back into the footy. We hadn’t trained for a few weeks so we would all need to regroup and focus for the task ahead. We headed down to Heidelberg and were all raring to go.

The team looked sharp in the pre-game warm up and after reciting the team rules the team got behind Captain Lucas and ran out to the ground.

We lined up against our opponents and from the opening bounce they seemed to be a bit cleaner with the footy and exposed us a little for height and strength.

I think we were a little shell shocked early, as we hadn’t confronted a team like this before and we found it hard to get to the ball and hold a tackle – which was really unlike us.

We regrouped after quarter time and made a few positional changes to counter Heidelberg’s talls and centres, and we started to improve and our efforts intensified.

It was pleasing to see the team begin working to be first at the ball, applying pressure both defensively and in the centre and making strong leads in the forward line. The tackles stuck and Heidelberg had to work harder to move the footy around.

Our efforts increased each quarter we began to make space and I thought we outplayed Heidelberg towards the end of the 3rd quarter and in the final quarter.

One of the fantastic features of the Bullants Reds is that they respond and when we ask for increased intensity and we back each other up. Again, this was on display on the 3rd and final quarters.

Overall a great team effort. I was very proud at the way the team fought out the game and ran it out until the end.

Whilst there were a number of great team and individual efforts, Matilda was awarded the medal. She played in the centre for 3 quarters and it’s fair to say against the best midfield we faced all year and twice she ran to a contest and she put herself in front of a big pack taking the ball and handballing out to space.  

The song was sung loudly and proudly at the end of the game with the team setting up a circle and our captain Lucas and medal winner Matilda in the middle of the circle.

Thanks to everyone who assisted on the day its much appreciated by all.

Go Bullants!

Cheers

Coach Dave

Under 10's WHITE Match Report
Preston Fitzroy
41 40

Our first game back after the school holidays. We were to face Fitzroy for the second time this year. Our first encounter we left them scoreless and embarrassed kicking a staggering 16 goals against them.

Even though the boys were still in holiday mode, the coach wasn’t too concerned and knew they will have a few rusty screws going into the game. We got news early that Boodie one of our best players will not be coming due to his father sleeping in due to staying up all night watching the soccer World Cup (get your priorities straight Kass). This was a massive blow to our midfield but still we weren’t too worried. Sean was picked as captain to lead the team into our 8th win in a row. Just a straight forward win very simple.... But it was going to be a game we will never forgot.  

As the Bullants were walking onto the ground they were still talking about what they did on the holidays, they were comparing kills on Fortnight and who’s a better player - none were really focused on the game. We were kicking against wind and coach’s instructions were clear which was to man up and play the boundaries. All they needed to do was to hold them up maybe concede a goal or two and then come out firing in the second quarter and kick a bag with the wind. But unfortunately, that was not going to be the case.

The opposition boys clearly ate more weetbix than ours, footy had cranked up another notch for the Fitzroy boys and they were ready for us. We started the game and it was all Fitzroy dominating play, putting on the hard tackles and playing a hard and tough brand of footy. It was a different Fitzroy side compared to the first time we played them. Fitzroy kicked 3 straight goals in 10 minutes while the Bullants were still asleep counting sheep.

The game started off at a fast pace with Fitzroy proving to be a quicker and more skilful side, which saw our boys chasing rather than leading the play for the first time this year. This was a physical game that constantly tested both their mental and physical strength.

After a tough first quarter and what was viewed as a one-sided game on the score board, coach knew we had a very hard task ahead - what was he going to do now?

After the first quarter the coach grabbed the boys and gave them the biggest spray for the year. We saw veins popping out of his neck only Frankenstein would be proud of. Steam was blowing out of his ears like a puffing Billy. The hairs on his neck stood up like a black cat hissing away at all the boys. We knew he meant business. He asked the boys why they were scared to go in hard and why they weren’t chasing. The boys looked like they were searching for Pokémon out on the ground instead of playing footy. Coach Ufouk asked the boys to roll their sleeves up and start showing us the pace and skill they have been working on all season. The coach really hit them hard with the truth and I think that woke them up. Lucky for Archie (the only one that brought his A game so far) kept us in the game with his magnificent defensive skills. We were 4 goals down going into the second quarter.

To the boy’s credit, you could see that the team committed to their football and lifted their game. We began moving the ball more cleanly and with greater confidence, we started playing hard football and put on the tackles that they were taught at training which saw us starting to push the opposition deeper into our forward line. We kicked 3 goals this quarter but unfortunately Fitzroy also kicked a goal against the wind.


Second half started strong with Yusuf remarkable in the ruck not giving an inch to the opposition. Winning all the rucking it gave our midfield a chance to create play and get back into the game. We were kicking against wind this 3rd quarter and kept Fitzroy to only 2 goals and to our credit we also kicked a goal. Archie continued his brilliance in the defence keeping us in the game. Sam, Christian, Luca and Jackson in the backline worked extremely hard and could have easily given up, however they refused to and we saw an opposition beginning to show cracks across the ground. Pressure was applied everywhere and we knew this game was going to go down to the wire.

Before the boys went out into the 4th quarter Coach gave them the most inspirational talk for the year. He told them all to have the self-belief that we can run away with a win but every player needed to be accountable and expected 150% out of them all.

We went into the last quarter 20 points down and the boys knew this was going to be the hardest quarter of footy they have ever played if they wanted to win. What will they produce? What was going to unfold?

We had the wind and straight away Yusuf was solid winning the first bounce with a strong 20-meter punch towards the Tony Lockett End. With Omar’s strength and Darcy’s skill and Adams magic we managed to kick the opening goal for the quarter. The boys were smelling success but knew they had a lot more to do.

Louie stood up and tagged his opponent and kept him 0 touches. The best quarter of footy we have seen him play. Lucas and Jackson reminded us of the famous duo Koutoufides and Christou in the 90s absolutely dominating the field - everywhere you looked they were there. Aiden, Sean and Owen did not stop running up and down the wing which gave all the boys confidence in relying on them to take the ball down to our forward line and protect the back line. Their input was instrumental.

Yusuf’s ruck work was second to none. His 7-foot talk opposition did not have a chance against his skill and strength. Yusuf won the next 3 contests and we got 2 more goals with Barnaby getting his first for the season. But Fitzroy were not going to give up that easily. They found a hole in our defence and responded with an angry goal. Bullants were 8 points down. After a few minor scores, we were 1 goal down. The ball went up Yusuf taps the ball to Barnaby. He ran the run of his life, kicking the ball into our forward line only to land it in front of Adam, and with the luckiest bounce, the ball landed in Adams hands. He took on 3 players baulked one baulked two, spun around the third like a figure-Skater and snapped the ball for a goal. The crowd went wild!!!! The scores were a tie with 30 secs to go. Umpire throws the ball into the air and with eyes fully locked onto the ball Yusuf wins it and taps the ball to Darcy, a shepherd by Omar allowed Darcy to run with the ball a clean handball to Adam who then ran 15 meters and kicked a long torp into our forward line. With 10 secs to go and a race to win the ball we needed someone to stand up. Someone to take leadership and lead our team for an impossible win. Who could that be? Who had it in them to be an unsung hero???? 5 secs to go and before we knew it Sid scooped the moving ball off the ground on the boundary and snapped it for a behind with 1 second to go!!! Siren goes!!! Bullants win by 1 point!!! The crowd was louder than the 1999 Grand Final. Parents, coaches, dogs all running onto the field to congratulate the all Australian side. All the boys were cheering like they won a grand Final and boy did it feel that way. What a sense of relief. The Bullants have never been in this situation. A nail biter and a finish you only see in the movies. This game belonged on Foxtel. One of our highs for the year.

We are really proud of the teams efforts and well done for digging deep and winning. The boys were united and played as a team. A game that was deemed to be a definite loss turned out to be the most memorable win for the year. Well Done Bullants!!

Well done to Archie BOG

Under 10's RED Match Report
Bullants Fitzroy

The wind blowing across Zwar was as cold as the stare you get from Stuart Horton when you don’t complete a match report on time!! It was nasty – not quite the welcome back to footy we would have liked – the blustery conditions were obviously going to play a big part in how the match progressed. With both sides down on numbers, Josh Sergi was asked to play for the Fitzroy boys and what a great effort he contributed - thanks Josh.

The oft repeated request from our boys is to attack the ball and switch on from the commencement of the game and this was the request this week again. We were kicking to the Bell Street end of Zwar with a distinct wind advantage. The first goal of the game went to Tom and it was a tightly contested tussle. The ball proved hard to shift from our forward 50 but we were unable to convert to scores.

The second quarter saw Fitzroy come out strong and assisted by the wind they were able to add 3 goals 2 points to their ledger. Zac had a sore leg and was playing deeper in the forward area than normal. Our midfield and defenders were kept busy. Pauls instructions at the break were to not sit back and to get in and get the ball – we weren’t quite able to stem the flow to Fitzroy.

The third quarter provided some great forward work by Zac who ended up with 3 goals for the match. Leon, Sonny, Archie and Jack all tried hard to keep the ball working towards our goals. It became clear that the wind would determine the outcome. A great quarter with 4 goals 3 points scored – this was going to come down to the wire. A shout out also to Noah S-B who wore the Fitzroy strip for the second half – great effort.
 
The fourth quarter was again hotly contested and the score probably didn’t reflect how hard and how well the boys worked as Fitzroy were able to add 3 goals 3 points to the scoreboard and we were able to add 1 goal (apologies to our goal scorers I missed who kicked one of the goals). With hypothermia almost setting in and the wind refusing to die down we were pipped at the post!

Moving into the last few weeks it will be great if the boys can work to quick movement of the ball down the ground – ensuring setting up into position – staying defensively with your player whilst working out of congestion to offer a lead to your team mate to work the ball into our attacking zone…

Thanks to our parents who step in and help week in week out – we couldn’t do it without you!

Go Bullants!
 
Kathryn Fraser

Under 11's Match Report
Park Orchards
Bullants
12.11.83 3.6.24

Thanks to Carlo Venuto for the following match report and for stepping in to give the Coach a weekend off!

It was with some trepidation that we approached this round, not because of the opposition but because of the weather conditions that we were faced with last year in the corresponding match. The boys were worried during the week at training about facing a cold frosty morning with a ground that looked more like an ice skating ring rather than a footy oval. They need not have worried as we had a fine sunny morning with a slight breeze which made for pleasant (relatively) conditions for football. We worked on some key things during the week at training that we wanted to focus on in the game, those being taking on a contest and to get out run and link play going. We had some late changes prior to the match with Marcus not being available which required a reshuffle, but nothing that Rob and Simon couldn’t handle.

Captains for the day were Harry and Jake, and they decided to kick with the wind in the first quarter.

Q1:
The boys took to their positions, fresh from having a chat to the coaches on how they should play their positions. Their spirits and confidence were high as we had a good week on the training track and were fresh off a good win against Fitzroy. The game started at a frantic pace with Park Orchards getting the better start. They kicked the first two goals of the quarter before the Bullants started to switch on. With our backline with Hamish, Joe, and Eden started to get on top and with our midfield winning their share of the ball we started to put pressure on their backline. Kes was playing a great game across half forward using his speed to breakaway from packs and almost kicked a beautiful goal on the run. The outcome of all the good play was a fine goal by Tommy G after he was setup by some brilliant individual play by Ned on the wing, who took the ball and ran hard hitting Tommy G with a lace out pass. The Bullants then hit their straps with Dash in the ruck giving a great contest, along with his follow up play and Dom laying some great tackles and smothers and Venuto setting up on the 50m line marking everything that was coming out of the park orchards defence and kicking back into dangerous spots where Andre, Tamer and Jake were all looking likely to take a mark, and where they couldn’t, they bought the ball to ground with good hard contests. When the siren sounded to end the first quarter we had made a good come back after out slow start and were only a couple of points down.

Park Orchards 2:1:13 Bullants 1:4:10

 

Q2:
With Tamer and Issy starting in the middle providing some real grunt and drive with started where we left off and applied good pressure for the first part of the 2nd quarter unlucky not to add a couple of goals to our tally. However, the intensity dropped off and Park Orchards started to use the conditions better than us, kicking long and using the breeze to their advantage to get the ball moving quickly. They managed to kick a number of goals despite the best efforts of the backline held up beautifully by Wato, Joe, Xavier and Woody who had their hands full with some of their bigger forwards (did I mention that some of the park orchard boys were as tall as me !!). Without their effort, we would have been a lot further down than we were at half time.

Park Orchards 4:9:33 Bullants 1:5:11

 

Q3:
With a pep talk from Simon which reinforced what we wanted to work on (hitting the contest and running and supporting) the boys come out and played some of their best footy for the year in the 3rrd quarter. Hamish started to dominate around the ground and used his pace and kicking skill to setup team mates up the field, none better than when he took a great mark in the forward 50, and then unselfishly hit a beautiful pass to Woody who had worked his way into the goal square where he kicked his first goal as a Bullant (Well done Woody !!!). Browny started to influence the game with his great running on the wing and unselfish play setting up teammates in better positions. Out backline was playing beautifully, outrunning their forwards, with Callum leading the way by taking the game on and getting the ball moving quickly as we asked the team to do. Sam was playing a great game winning hard ball contests against opponents who were a lot bigger and with him and Harry starting to get their hands on the ball, they could have a sustained period of dominance, which saw the Park Orchard players start to get physical, but to our boys’ credit they didn’t get sucked into. Unfortunately, the last two goals of the quarter went to Park Orchards, somewhat against the run of play as we had dominated the quarter. This left us 20 points down going into the last quarter.

Park Orchards 6:10:46 Bullants 3:6:24

 

Q4:
With the final chat to the boys reinforcing the way we wanted them to play they went out and gave it their all. Ned and Venuto continued their relentless running on the wings sometimes going unrewarded, but still great to see. Unfortunately, the slight breeze that was present at the start of the game had stiffened and was now a 4 goal wind which Park Orchards (to their credit) used well. With the boys putting everything they had on the line we couldn’t hold the continual wave of forward entries, with them kicking 6 last quarter goals despite great efforts down back by Callum, Wato, Jake and Issy.

Park Orchards 12:11:83 Bullants 3:6:24

 

In the end, Park Orchards were too good, they used the conditions better kicking long with the breeze which stiffened throughout the game and one that we struggled with, especially when trying to kick out of our backline. Their coach was full of praise for the Bullants highlighting their running as being something which troubled them especially during the period of dominance in the 2nd quarter. To the Bullants credit, they never gave up and even against physically bigger opponents never took a backward step. We will get back to training this week, re-enforcing the positives and working on the things that we need to improve on. On a final note, I’d like to thank all the parents who helped out, with a special mention to Rob for stepping in to help the coaching team whilst we were down a man.

Under 12's Match Report
Bullants Warrandyte
7.7.49 0.3.3

Round 11 saw the Preston Bullants Under 12’s play host to Warrandyte at Zwar Park.  The ground surface was in good condition; however, the wind was an extremely strong northerly favouring the Bell Street End.  Wag’s assessment was a 6 goal wind.  Warrandyte won the toss and kicked with the strong northerly wind.  
 
The wind was so influential that most the first quarter was played in Warrandyte’s forward 50 metres.  The Coaching move of the day was made by Senior Coach Pat, restructuring the team by moving ‘Ruckman Rylan’ to a role inside Warrandyte’s Back 50 metres before the first bounce.  Rylan responded with his ability to read and intercept the incoming ball and support his brother Jaxsyn with his competitive, ‘team comes first’ attitude.  Pat started TJ as a high half back and TJ didn’t let him down and again demonstrated his versatility as a swing man reading and winning his own ball.  The back six players were supported by the midfield who worked deep into defence. The Bullants did not trouble the scorer but more relevant, kept Warrandyte to zero.  This set the Bullants up for an opportunity at quarter time to plan and reinforce for each player to play their coach driven roles during the second quarter and build a lead on the scoreboard to further push for a psychological advantage.
 
The coaching panel got what they were searching for in the second quarter and went to the half time break with the scoreboard reading the Bullants 4.2.26 and keeping Warrandyte again to zero.  The players made a commitment at training on Friday night to train the way they were going to play on the weekend with concentration, discipline and hard work.  The commitment included to attack the ball and play the game contest by contest for 100% of the game regardless of the status of the game.  They were aware of the importance of the game and were committed to keeping our finals hopes alive.  
 
The structure and discipline lessons learnt in the first quarter, in terms of attack on the ball and keeping to our strategy, were taken into the third quarter with the Bullants not scoring (4.2.26) to Warrandyte 0.3.3.
 
The final quarter the Bullants built up further confidence and belief in the systems.  At the final siren, the scoreboard read Bullants  7.7.49 to Warrandyte 0.3.3.  A highlight was the ability of the team defence to keep Warrandyte to only 3 behinds for the game.  This contributed considerably to building a percentage that may be the difference between playing finals or not.  The Under 12 Preston Bullants increased our percentage from 138.58% to 156.03%, which is a considerable amount at this stage of the home and away fixture.
 
The coaching panel are pleased with the result but more importantly the development on display from the team.  At under age football ‘coaches coach to develop and players play to win’. This philosophy, we trust, will pay the coaches and players back in the future games to come.
 
Goal kickers:
·        Lucas – (1)
·        TJ – (1)
·        Will – (1)
·        Samuel  – (1)
·        Jaxsyn – (1)
·        Caspian – (1)
·        Max – (1)

 

The YJFL Under 12 Green Ladder after Round 11 is as follows:
 

 

TEAM

P

W

L

D

%

POINTS

1

Bulleen Templestowe

11

9

2

0

171.55%

36 points

2

Balwyn

10

8

2

0

150.39%

32 points

3

Preston Bullants

11

7

4

0

156.03 %

28 points

4

Hawthorn Citizens R

11

6

5

0

104.97%

24 points

5

Brunswick P

11

5

6

0

102.34%

20 points

6

Warrandyte

11

4

6

1

81.69%

18 points

7

Canterbury B

11

3

8

0

54.70%

12 points

8

Hawthorn Citizens N

11

0

10

1

49.01%

2 points

Under 13's GIRLS Match Report
Hawthorn Citizens Bullants
0.12.12 2.1.13

Well, the equation is simple. We have four rounds left including a bye and need to win 2 of the remaining games to guarantee a finals berth. We have the second placed Hawthorn Citizens this week and the top placed Beverley Hills next week. Are we up to the challenge? Today we would find out the answer. Coming off the bye I am always nervous as a coach. I am the runner for the seniors at VAFA level and we don’t win too many after the bye. It is purely a mental thing I am sure, but working out how to fix it is another thing entirely. We were playing a much bigger opposition today on their home deck and we needed to start well.  We didn’t. Hawthorn was getting first to the football in the centre square and on their small home oval was pumping it into their forward line effortlessly. The message was to rush behinds and kill the footy if the opportunity presented. We rushed 3 behinds in the first quarter. Victoria had her hands full in defense in the first quarter and was bravely supported by Ella and Libby. Olivia Cotsy had her hands full in the ruck with a much bigger opponent. Freya, Caitlin and Marianne were also busy around the stoppages. We leaked a few behinds in the first quarter but we were still in it at quarter time. Scores at the first break were Hawthorn 0.5.5 to Preston 0.1.1.

The second quarter saw us regain some momentum through pure grit and determination. Erin started winning the loose ball and going on her characteristic gallops down the wing from half back. Our small forward line was beginning to look dangerous. Little Liv, Lucy and Gabby were running their larger opponents around and when Lucy finally found the big sticks we were in the game. Our constant pressure meant Hawthorn was always rushed when disposing of the football and this was no more evident than around their goal mouth. They were having rushed shots at goal that we were able to defend and often touch the ball through. Caitlin was beginning to have a major influence on the game as a ball winner. She has taken her game to a new level this year and is still one of the youngest in the team. She holds down the centre position week in week out and rotates through a half back flank with fellow hard nut Ayva Beki. We were still in the game at half time and we knew we had 30 minutes of an even tougher challenge ahead in the second half. What a game thus far. Scores at the main break were Hawthorn 0.8.8 to Preston 1.1.7.

Today we were focusing on each quarter as an isolated 15 minute block. So far it had worked and the girls were rising to the occasion. Erin was given a job on the opposition’s dominant player and we knew we had to kick at least a goal per quarter from here to have any chance of taking the chocolates and looking towards the finals. Every player in the team stepped up, from our youngest player Hailey to our guns in Victoria and Charlotte. We had been involved in three close games in a row. A draw, a loss by a goal in the dying seconds and now this one. I asked the girls to remember their past experiences in these types of encounters and they did just that. We took the momentum away from a wayward Hawthorn and when Caitlin slotted a pressure set shot to the non scoring end I knew we were the real deal this year. For the first time in this epic struggle we hit the lead. Scores at the final break were Hawthorn 0.9.9 to Preston 2.1.13.

The last quarter saw us come up with a game plan to enable us to score by releasing Erin off her opponent and giving Zara the job. It started well until Zara copped a knock to the face. For a few moments things were tough on the bench but we regrouped and no damage was done by the opposition. Hawthorn is a well drilled side and they kept on coming. We were playing like our lives depended on it, with true Bullant spirit. Zara shook off the injury and we were able to re structure in the final 5 or so minutes of the game. Amelia also shook off a heel injury to come on and give us some much needed run in the last few minutes. Zoe was sensational with a few clearing kicks and when the ball found itself on the outer wing with a couple of minutes to go with us 1 point ahead I knew all we had to do was lock it down and it was ours. Final scores were Hawthorn 0.12.12 to Preston 2.1.13. Easily the best win I have been associated with at the club in my two years as coach. Caitlin won the medal for best afield and typified everything we are about. Tackling, winning the hard ball and kicking goals. What a star. Olivia Cotsy received a special mention from the opposition coach for her tireless ruck work. Every player was knackered but elated with the result. The footy Gods looked after us today but they seem to look after the team that plays the hardest, and today that was us. The rendition of the club song was one to savor and we have three games left to continue to build. Well done girls!


Thanks to Dean (filling in as assistant coach), Leanne, Bek, and Mish for taking on the match day and training roles. Thanks to Marc and Pauline and the girls who ran water for us.

George Cotsonis

Under 13's Match Report
Bullants Bulleen Templestowe
7.5.47 2.1.13
Goal Kickers  Josh 4, Phoenix, Dion, Lucas

A great team effort from the Preston Bullants who hosted Bulleen Templestowe at Zwar Reserve in an exciting match that also represented a 50-game milestone for Coen. Out on the ground for the first bounce, nature’s influence on the game was apparent, with the boys having to kick against a strong wind to start things off.

The conditions made it difficult to read the flight of the ball for both teams, and most of the first quarter was played out in Bulleen Templestowe’s forward half, which would prove to be not only the scoring end of the ground, but also where most of the match would be played out. After conceding the first goal of the match, the Preston Bullants found it hard to find an avenue out of their defence, with Ben, Lachie and Seb F having their work cut out for them, but making sure that whilst the ball was in Bulleen Templestowe’s attacking half, it wasn’t going to be easy. Knowing how difficult it was to get the ball out, Mahmoud worked tirelessly to present himself as an outlet. At the end of the first quarter, the Preston Bullants remained scoreless, but did well to restrict the visitors to two goals and a behind.

When play resumed in the second, the Preston Bullants got their chance to kick with the wind, Dion having the earliest opportunity but failing to convert. Josh kicked his first for the match, a goal set up by his own hard running and pressure, and added another moments later, with a smart kick that rolled (and bounced favourably) into an open goal. Caspian was prolific around the ground, and Jordan relentless in his attack on the ball. Rufus was steadfast in defence, and Josh’s two goals seemed to indicate that the wind offered a two goal advantage as the Preston Bullants headed into the half-time break with a slim one-point lead, both teams failing to score against the wind in their respective quarters.

Early in the third quarter, the ball found its way into the Preston Bullants forward half, against the flow of the game so far. Jesse tried hard to make the most of this rare opportunity at the part of the ground that had seen little action, before Bulleen Templestowe managed to bring the play back to their forward half. The visitors worked hard to lock the ball in their forward half, but our boys worked just as hard. Ben was the rock in defence, and skipper Phoenix was marshalling his troops and leading by example. Late in the quarter, the Preston Bullants were able to make one more charge forward against the wind. Harry ran and kicked into open space up forward for what could have been the only score thus far at the non-scoring half of the ground. Bulleen Templestowe did well to get back and ensure both sides would remain scoreless for the quarter.

With a one-point lead at three quarter time, and finishing with the wind, the boys worked hard to not let this one slip away, and they did so in a determined fashion. Josh set the tone early with a crunching tackle to win a free kick which set up Phoenix’s goal, and good pressure on the ball setting up Josh’s third. Jacob was great in defence as a rebound option, and Brody was imposing at both ends of the ground. When Dion and Lucas kicked a goal each, the Preston Bullants had kicked four unanswered before Josh added another, his fourth for the match, which put the result beyond doubt. A huge effort from the whole team, in what was literally a one-sided affair.

Go BULLANTS!

Under 14's Match Report
Team Team
0.0.0 0.0.0
Goal Kickers  
Best Players  

Text

Under 15's Match Report
Team Team
0.0.0 0.0.0
Goal Kickers  
Best Players  

Text

Youth GIRLS Match Report
Bullants Parkside
8.8.56 5.7.37

Our first game back after school holidays and the girls were keen to keep their winning streak going. The clash of red and white between both sides was like trying to find ‘Where’s Wally?’ in a Sydney cheer squad.

It was noticeable from the first bounce that Parkside had improved dramatically and were up for the fight, but so were our girls. The ball was mostly in our back half for the first quarter and Zoe had a number of early possessions, always looking to take the game on. Oceane had a terrific game at fullback, hardly giving her opponent any chances to score. A lapse in concentration allowed Parkside to score two early goals to set the tone for a fierce contest. Once we were able to clear the ball from the backline, Ruby was linking up the play superbly and creating chances for our forwards to score. Down by a couple of goals at quarter time, the girls needed to switch the ‘snooze’ button off and make sure they were focused for the remaining three quarters.

The second quarter was played under our terms with Isabella attacking the ball like Dusty with chopsticks in a Chinese restaurant. The girls were able to kick a couple of goals and the momentum was slowly swinging our way. Esther continues to improve each game with her kicking getting better and laying a number of good tackles whilst in the forward line. Amelia worked and ran hard all day playing on the wing, ruck and forward line despite not getting the reward for effort. At half time, we were three points down with an exciting second half coming up.

The third quarter was dominated by the girls with Georgia working non-stop in the ruck all day and covering plenty of kilometres on a big ground. Mia B also played a terrific game kicking a goal while also keeping her team mates involved in the game. Her midfield team mate Darci was vital in bringing the game into our favour with her trademark contested possessions. A point up at three quarter time and girls weren’t going to let this one slip.

In the last term we had a four goal to one quarter with Helena leading the forward line, having a number of opportunities to score and always persisting to kick a goal. Smiling Sabrije was terrific at playing a team role as well Mia H who always helped her team mates at every contest. The girls were able to kick away and earn a hard fought win.

Although we started off slow, we got better with every quarter and finished the game off strong. To my girls, keep coming to training with the aim to improve every session as well as to learn the team song!

Thanks to Sofie for being team manager and to Danette, Louise, Brendan, Marina, David, Jahn, Trev and Ava for volunteering their time!

GO BULLANTS!
Simon O’Connell

Colts 1 Match Report
Fitzroy Bullants
4.4.28 8.16.64

If you have to accept winter then this is the way to do it. A game of footy on a sunny (but definitely not warm) day at a ground that speaks to the history of the game Wills and others devised over 150 years ago. Inside the rooms Marty (who has enjoyed the actual sun and other worldliness of Broome in the Kimberly beyond the 26th parallel in far north WA) summed it up when he said, “It’s good to be back playing footy”.

This game is the first of a two week litmus test for the Bullants regarding their standing in this division and what their finals aspirations might look like. Currently we are ladder leaders but this game was against third placed Fitzroy. And they are not to be under-estimated. Let’s just say, it was a memorable trip south (of 4 kms) for the Bullants.

Marty and Nick had posted key catch-phrase expectations on the change-room wall. They addressed these points in the pre-game address. Do the Bullant thing – work together, share the load, play as a team, believe. Marty drew the line in the sand. He said, a win today guarantees us a Top 2 spot in the Finals. And with that the team put their game face on.

A swirly wind with a bite and some oomph blustered across the ground, charging down St Georges like a runaway tram and onto the oval through the goals at that end. The goals the Ants were kicking to in the First. This was our first test. How to adapt to that hulk of an opponent while the Royboys made the most of a two kicks from the centre wind advantage through the big sticks at their end.

When the siren sounded to end the First, the scoreboard read: 1.3 Roys 1.2 Ants. That’s how well we played. Our defence was at its usual cracking best. And our runners ran their guts out. Jimmy down the flank, literally on the boundary line, forcing the ball into the wind tunnel.

The Ants were getting a lot of the ball, really attacking the contest, winning the hard ball but the wind was their true foe. For periods of the First the wind was relentless. This caused havoc for all the good work our boys were doing. When Savvidis spoiled and in doing so stopped a potential Roys goal you knew the game was ours to win. Our tackling was as impressive as I’ve seen it. The Roys might have got the first goal but make no mistake the backline efforts were terrific. Late in the quarter Chico, maybe consumed by a month of the World Cup, soccered the ball through for our first goal.

Across the ground we had contributors. Stevie J and EJ stood out. As did Sonza. However, we now had to see what we could do with the wind. The pressure was intense and both sides were committed. It was hard to tell if the Ants could pull ahead. Out of a congested play Chilly cleared to Rhett who took a strong mark and goaled. The Bullants had the lead.

Then the game descended into what this writer might describe charitably as a bit of a mess. We made uncharacteristic fundamental skills errors, with some “did he do that” blunders, wasted chances and failed to capitalise. This kept Fitzroy in the game. We headed into the main break with an eight point lead but a sense that we cannot afford to give our opposition that much room.

How Marty dealt with the matter is the mark of a leader. He sat on the floor with the players, he gave them a moment to take in the last 20 minutes. And when he spoke he did not raise his voice. He spoke to his charges as equals. Too many turn-overs. We need to be smarter. Look for the switch. Where is your voice? We need your voice! And play the grandstand side. With his words and ideas echoing in their ears the Ants headed out to do what they knew they had to do.

A goal came within a minute thanks to Jimmy. It took another ten minutes for our next “goal” (and that was actually six points in a row). Our intensity had lifted but our kicking was not so good. Plenty of attacking entries, plenty of targets up forward and plenty of sprayed shots. The wind was not our friend however our forward line (and it is jewel encrusted) must up their smarts for the conditions they face. We were seeing our best (and it looks great) but only in parcels. Rory, our best forward kicked smart across his body to Leo who marked. He went back and slotted it through, extending our lead. We were definitely the better side on the park but questions lingered.

These questions were dealt with early in the Last. The Royboys did not back down but the Ants knew they had to break the back of this tussle. Bursting through the pack Jack N kicked a crucial major. Green was great down back. Rory found space in the forward line (god knows how) and kicked true.

Then, as if to upset the party the Roys kicked two in a couple of minutes. And it felt like they finally found their hunger. For a moment, the Ants lost their cool and composure. Tension was rising. On the field a couple of spats fired up. You wondered, can Fitzroy steal this game with a five minute late surge?

Stevie was definitely not wondering about that. Deep in the back half he tore through a pack and booted the ball out to the wing. Jackson K gathered it up and booted it deep into the pocket where Ants (sorry, it happened quickly and I missed who it was) ran into a much needed goal. This play course corrected the team’s focus and intent. The Roys would not recover.

Chambo was terrific (all day), Stevie held the backline tight with a series of marks and clean kicks out of defence. Rhett and Rory, Antho and Maiolo were solid all day. Jack N took a strong mark and his goal sealed the game. The Ants have cemented their spot in the Top Two and dealt a hefty blow to the Roys Finals chances with this win. We headed back up St Georges and north to Preston, satisfied with the win and knowing this team (a cracking bunch as Marty called them) have it to go all the way.

Colts 2 Match Report
Bullants Heidelberg - Ivanhoe
0.4.10 4.16.40

Conditions at Zwar Park for this game were very challenging for the team. No goals had been kicked to the northern end of the ground in any of the games prior to ours. Coming up a Heidelberg - Ivanhoe combined side for the first time, the weather made it tough, with gale force winds blowing to the city end and with little protection from the elements. Despite kicking with the wind and a five goal breeze in the first quarter, most action was in defence. The boys held strong with Nick and Tony leading the defence to hold back multiple charges by the opposition. Kicking only 2 points with the wind was a real concern. Although going in down at quarter time, Dave provided some sound advice on how to defend in the conditions. Following these instructions, the team played a great second quarter, restricting the opposition to a single goal. Heading into the half-time break the Bullants were down but had played well and better kicking against the wind.

In the third quarter, the Bullants attacked the game and provided multiple attempts on goal. A breakthrough was finally achieved when Zac kicked a great goal putting the team into a competitive position. A near miss by Sohail's shot was great work and would've put the side within a few points at three quarter time. At the break, Dave and Miles gave clear direction to run, carry and defend to the St George's Road wing. Whilst the team held off the charge from Heidelberg - Ivanhoe for the bulk of the quarter, in the end, the wind proved too great an advantage with late goals conceded. John Maglipris played a great game along with Henry Robinson and Jack King who worked tirelessly in the ruck. The match was played in great spirits whilst Jordan suffered an injury that put him out early. The boys should consider this one of their better games for the year given no interchange players and the extreme Melbourne winter conditions. It will hold them in good stead for the future.

Well done Bullants!

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