The Mitcham Junior Football Club was involved in Round 8 action over the weekend. The Under 9’s this week traveled to Lakesfield Reserve in Lysterfield, where they were up against a very strong Lysterfield Grey. Coach Carlo Fanfulla posted this report. “Our Captains for this game were William Aujard and Leo Gigliuto and they lead the team out with pride and both played a great captains games. It was a tough game that tested our endurance, as Lysterfield were efficient in moving the ball very quickly out of the middle. Our only goal for the match came from a clearance from Ryan O’Sullivan out of the centre to Jordan Ede who kicked a goal on the run. This certainly gave all our supporters something to cheer about on the sidelines. Our “Players of the match” were James Fanfulla, who held his position well in the back line, marked well and stopped several goals from being scored in the process. Also Rory Hume for his brilliant movement of the ball through the midfield and Gruff Edwards for displaying great courage by playing hard for the ball and not giving up on any contest. I’m so proud of our team who show a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and regardless of the score they always hold their heads up high, always smiling in the rooms after each game singing the club song with joy and passion. Go Tigers!”

The Under 10’s were at home to take on Mooroolbark. Coach Jason Philactides had this to say about the weekends game “This weekend the AFL was celebrating indigenous round for the contribution of all indigenous players to the AFL and a celebration of our country’s indigenous culture and the proud athletes who have played such an important role, not just on the ground but also off it. It was fitting for the Under 10's to celebrate with our own indigenous player and teammate, Denzell who was named captain. The boys started well and it looked like we would continue on our good form from the week earlier, however Mooroolbark soon got control of the game and started putting a lot of scoreboard pressure on.  The back line was under siege and did very well rebounding the footy with some nice run and carry, however Mooroolbark having bigger and stronger bodies quickly got the better of us. We started the game with 20 players and finished with 17 on the field.  Nathan copped a fair but strong tackle in the second quarter that put him out for the remainder of the game.  Mick copped a similar tackle to Nathan in the 3rd that also put him out for the remainder of the match.  Then Thomas copped a heavy hit late in the last to finish his superb game on the bench.  We also laid some strong tackles and fierce passages of play through Dan N and Jamie B, while Thomas was like a bull trying to burst through the packs.  I know the boys are disappointed that we are not “winning” many games and trust me, I share their disappointment and have questioned the way I coach.  However I remember back when I was a junior in the early years playing in a team that never won many games, but then something clicked and we became a strong united team.  I never stopped dreaming of winning the premiership or becoming an AFL player. I had a go at both and I hope the boys never stop dreaming of becoming a footy legend or achieving greatness in their lives...because when you dream, everything is possible. Congratulations to Denzell for captaining the team.  Best player awards Dan N, Thomas (who will also receive a footy), Preston and Jamie B. Well done boys!”

The Under 11’s were away, taking on the Glen Waverley Rovers. Team Manger Geoff Jones sent in the following match report. “This Sunday saw us playing away at arguably the largest oval on our junior fixture. We knew we would be facing a challenging opposition in Glen Waverley. This was 3rd versus 4th so both teams wanted a victory to stamp their authority on the top half of the ladder. The performance from our Under 11 players in this game was fantastic. The focus and effort applied by all players delivered an exciting game of football. The final score reflected both the size of the oval, the wet weather and the determination from both sides to get the 4 points. A brilliant trademark Lachlan Callander tackle in the goal square led to a chain of events giving Patrick K the opportunity to kick our one and only goal for the day. The defensive work from our back-line kept us in the game and continued to disallow Glen Waverly from scoring in the 2nd half. A draw from this game was a respectable result and the entire team can reflect on a good day on the park where everybody contributed. Next weekend is a long weekend so no game and the team gets a well deserved rest before we meet the next challenge – Chirnside Park who are also just sitting slightly above us on the ladder. Come on Tigers, we are up for it!”

Final Score: Mitcham 1.0.6 drew Glen Waverley Rover 1.0.6

The Under 12’s took on the “top of the ladder” St. Simons side at Walker Park. Coach Marcus Webb spoke of the positives taken out of a fairly one-sided affair. “It was pretty clear from the outset that we were in for a tough day. St. Simons jumped out of the blocks and had us on the back foot for most of the first half. Our boys never gave up at any stage and fought out the game, restricting St Simons a little bit in the second half - holding them to only one goal in the third quarter. Unfortunately, the ball rarely got to our forward line and when it did we couldn’t quite manage to get a score and sadly we went scoreless for the game. Corey was the standout today - running to make space at every opportunity, chasing hard, competing against greater numbers and even attempting a high flying mark at one point. Bailey also was good in the ruck and at full back. Callum, Josh and Ari all fought hard in defense throughout the day and did some really good things. Luke B was lively around the ground and Nick, Noah, Lincoln and Max W all made some good contributions, tackling, getting in and under or beating their opponent to the ball. The all boys deserve credit for trying hard for the whole game despite the scoreboard. We can only use it as motivation and keep training hard, learning and improving - so we’ll do just that. Go tigers!”

Final Score: St Simons 17.13.115 d Mitcham 0.0.0

The Under 14’s, after suffering their fist defeat for the season last week, were at home to take on The Basin. Cam Chivers had this to say about the game. “We knew coming in that The Basin had a big win over Nth Ringwood last week so we had to be switched on early and ready to apply plenty of pressure to their ball carriers. Without giving away our game plan and structures, we just made sure that we had plenty of numbers around the footy so we could block and shepherd for our ball carriers. We were pleased with the outcome as we won the tackle count and the clearances, which gave us first opportunity to put scoreboard pressure on. With two weeks off now (bye after the Queens birthday break) we get the chance to refresh some players and reset our focus for the second half of the season.”

Final Score: Mitcham 8.7.55 d The Basin 3.10.28

The Under 17’s faced a tough away game against 4th placed Vermont. Assistant Coach Matt Schneider said after the game “Needless to say, a very disappointing result for us today against a team that wanted it more than us in the first half. To only score 5 goals and all in one quarter shows that we need to work harder for longer periods of the game. Once again we gave a team a 4 goal head start and basically outscored them in the remainder of the game - all be it in the third quarter... The bottom line is you don’t win games of footy playing like that. We are right back in the pack now and will need to turn it around very quickly.”

Final Score: Vermont 7.5.47 d Mitcham 5.9.39


Photos from the Under 14's game taken by Bec Clark


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