This weekend saw the Mitcham Junior Football Club competing in Round 8 action. The Under 9s were at home against Wantirna South. Under threatening skies and fairly cold conditions, the boys played a really good game of team oriented football. With the ground being fairly slippery, the team dominated the game for the full four quarters. Led by our two captains for the day, Sasha and Daniel, it really was a fine display with all aspects of the game on display for all to see. Lots of run and carry, plenty of handball and goals galore! The weekly awards went to Wiliam McDonald and Matteo Di Vincenzo. Great stuff boys!
The under 10's played East Ringwood White at Ainslee Park in Croydon. Subjected to the oval on the lower ground, the conditions saw our team off to a slow start, however with Ben Alberico proudly leading the crew and good spreading and leadership by a number of team members, the tiger game started to take shape. It was great to have injured players Sam Balman and Lachlan Callander back on deck adding strength to the team. In the 2nd quarter we started playing more like a team, with good shepherding, vision and tackling. Our team started to have a” real hunger for the ball”, and were fierce at every contest. What really pleased the coach was how our team really held their positions on the field. Overall the game showed a great sense of the kids coming together as a team, making the most of individual player's strengths and doing their parents and coaches proud. Our weekly awards went to Patrick Cotter - "the excitement machine" providing the crowd with thrills, spills and always on the ball, playing his best game to date. The 2nd award went to a team member who has been out due to injury and a family holiday - Lachlan Callander. The break obviously did him good as he showed us how he always goes hard at the ball with very strong tackling. Its great to have you back Lachie!!
The Under 11s were home again this week, hosting Boronia. We had a good first quarter getting out to a lead through lots of hard work. Boronia came back in the second but a handy goal late in the quarter helped us wrestle back the momentum. A great goal from Harrison early in the third got us off to a good start and the boys went on with it from there. Jack was dangerous around goals again and our team had great help from the under 10 boys today - Sam Balman and Tyler Kenyon both doing a great job and kicking a goal each. Overall the boys did very well. There are still plenty of opportunities to improve things like holding our positions, making space and moving the ball more effectively, but with a lot of good tackling, chasing and some impressive teamwork at times, the boys can be very proud of their efforts. Elijah was particularly impressive, using his body and his voice very well for the entire game, along with terrific work from Harry, Emi, Lincoln, Luke, Max, Jack and a number of others. Well done boys!
Final score: Mitcham 9.3-57 d Boronia 4.7-31
The Under 13s played host to the 3rd placed Bayswater-Ringwood combine at home. With three of our boys (Jayden, Kahleel and Josh C) playing their 50th games, the boys certainly had plenty to play for. After playing a terrific first half against a much physically stronger team, our boys unfortunately dropped off the intensity for a ten minute period at the start of the third quarter and allowed the opposition to kick 4 unanswered goals before getting one back. Those lapses in concentration and intensity have been costly for us all season and something the team needs to rectify. It was catch up football from there on and not something the team was able to do. There were positives to come out of the game – great to get Jarrod back and playing after missing the last five games with injury as well as seeing big Max doing a great job around the ground for most of the game. As the coaches keep telling the boys, it really needs every player to do their bit for this team to get the success it strives for. There are no short cuts to real success!
Final score: Bayswater-Ringwood 10.9-69 d Mitcham 3.6-24
The Under 15s played host to Mooroolbark at home on Sunday with the Barkers looking to consolidate their position in the top 5 while Mitcham on the other hand where looking to make it a special day for our two 100 game veterans in James Feltham and Aaron Mason. After a tight struggle early and some poor kicking for goal, the Tigers got their motor running and looked to move the ball quickly. Our run and carry was good, with plenty of options up forward with fresh legs rotating though the middle. To their credit, the Barker boys never gave up, but our boys simply ran them off their legs. The 15s are now well placed heading to the bye, sitting 3rd on the ladder at 5 and 2, but with plenty of work to do after the break to complete with the top two teams in a very even competition. The under 15’s Coach Gavin Ward also wanted to mention a BIG thank you to the younger age groups for their support at games, plus a regular number of senior players, committee and supporters that get along each week to support the boys THANK YOU
Final score: Mitcham 15.9-109 d Mooroolbark 2.7-19
The Under 17s ventured out to Norwood, taking on the fourth placed team, and welcomed back Tom Lucas from injury. We won the toss and kicked with a reasonably strong breeze. Despite starting the game with a greater intensity than we have in previous weeks, Norwood got the jump on us kicking the first couple of goals before we settled and matched them on a fairly heavy track. 'Plugger' Gardner really got the team moving with all 3 first quarter goals. A concentration lapse early in the second quarter, gave them 2 quick goals, before an arm wrestle ensured for the rest of the quarter. We had some good chances to score goals but failed to take our opportunities when presented. Goals to Tom Lucas and another to Plugger helped with some respectability to the score, but again, concentration lapses allowed Norwood far too much time and space to score their goals. The heavy track began to take its toll on our boys in the last quarter and despite their best efforts, fitness and concentration lapses, allowed Norwood to score a comfortable victory. We definitely played with a far greater intensity than previous weeks and some boys like Plugger and Mick Barro played their best games for the year. Unfortunately concentration lapses for patches in the game allowed Norwood to score too quickly and too easily. We continue to work on our deficiencies, applaud our positives, and still believe that a win is not far away. The boys need to believe, work on their fitness and eliminate those concentration lapses from their game.
Final score: Norwood 15.11-101 d Mitcham 5.6-36
Best Players: Gardner, Barro, Atleir, Brindley, Ferlazzo
Goals: Gardner 4, Lucas 1