The Mitcham Junior Football Club was involved in an action packed weekend with our family day held on Saturday at Walker Park as our Senior side battled it out against Ringwood for the “Greg Pimm Memorial Shield, and then on Sunday all teams were involved in Round 12 action. The weather did us no favors on Saturday but that did not stop a big turn out of juniors and parents attending the family day. With our tiger tent set up on the Dunlavin Road wing, along with face painting, a giant jumping slide and pony rides; a fun afternoon was had by all. It was fantastic to see Craig Giles and his 2014 Auskickers play a grid game at half time of the main game. We thank the senior boys for lining up as the Auskickers ran out. It is something they will remember for a long time. Watching the senior team win against Ringwood topped the day off! It looked fantastic to see so many of us there supporting the club and with the large turn out of the past players in attendance underneath the scoreboard, it sends a message to all and sundry that the Mitcham Football Club is really up and about. A big thank you to Macca and the senior club for allowing us to have this day!
The Under 9’s played their final home game this week against a very good opposition in Lysterfield Grey and were very excited to run out and play to their home crowd. Coach Carlo Fanfulla had this to say about the game - “It was very cold and we were very lucky with only a sprinkle of rain throughout the game. Captained today by Alexander Fousias who showed plenty of skill with the ball moving it forward and also having several good shots at goal. I was pleased to see how the boy’s have improved, especially supporting one another by stopping the oppositions run and creating a wall of defense, which is something we have been working on at training. Leo Gigliuto displayed his skill in the midfield, particularly how well he can run around his opponent and also produced a courageous smother. Oscar Marini had a good game while playing in the back line clearing the ball out of our danger zone. Gruff Edwards used his rugby skills to his advantage by charging through his opponents while holding the ball tucked under his arm and following through with a great kick to Alexander. It was great to see Jok Chol shining in confidence and positioning himself in the right spot at full back and stopping goals from being scored. Our only goal came in the third quarter and was kicked by Jordan Ede after a great pass from William Aujard. The ‘Players of the Day’ MJFC footballs were awarded to Gruff Edwards, Jok Chol, Alexander Fousias and James Fanfulla. The boy’s really put on a good fight against a strong Lysterfield side and should all be proud of their effort. Go Tigers!”
The Under 10’s were away against Donvale this week. Coach Jason Philactides posted this match report - “I think the boys sensed a win was possible again this week as we've always had close encounters against Donvale. The conditions were a little damp and cool but not too bad considering the weather we have all experienced this week. The boys came out the blocks firing with some great signs early which saw Liam putting his head over the footy and getting clean possessions out to his team mates by hand. Early on in the game the back line was playing too deep, but with some help from Rob to deliver the message to pull the boys up the ground, we quickly started to repel any forward efforts Donvale were throwing at us. The back line then used the ball beautifully passing it to our runners which saw Luca getting on the end of some long runs and then going on to deliver the ball up forward giving us many scoring opportunities. While we were putting scoreboard pressure on we weren't converting enough opportunities into goals. We went into the long break with a reasonable lead however Paul and I both commented that last time we played Donvale we were in a similar position but Donvale managed to run over the top of us with a last minute goal, therefore this game was far from over. In the 3rd quarter, Donvale came out and looked like they wanted the win more than we did. They controlled most of the quarter and got within a goal of us however that's as close as they would get. After a minor spray from me at the break, our boys responded and took control of the game again. Also at the break I asked Will to be dominant in the ruck and he was which allowed our midfield to get first use of the ball. Boothy was continuing to use his handballs to perfection and precision timing to release our runners. While it was great to have a win and see the boys sing the song I was more pleased that we were up against a great opposition in Donvale, who played fair and seemed equal to us in skill and size. It allowed our boys to play with confidence and try the things we do at training. The continuous release handball to runners for me was the highlight of the game, including opening up the play to kick a couple of ripper goals! Everyone really did play fantastic today. Congratulations to the tiger football winners today, Liam, Luca, Will and Boothy. You all contributed with the skill and desire that is required to win games of footy. Congratulations also to our two captains, Nathan and Jamie C for leading from the front with great performances.”
The Under 11’s took on Heathmont Gold at Heatherdale Reserve. Coach Leigh Walters had this to say – “Heatherdale Reserve was in surprisingly good condition considering the winter that we have had so far. Our team went into the game knowing that Jake McCall and his family were grieving over the loss of his grandfather and wanted to do the right thing by Jake to secure a win. There was also the added bonus of a win almost guaranteeing us a finals birth. The first three quarters of the game was a tense arm wrestle between the two sides with the scores locked at 2.3.15 at the three quarter time break. Making things harder for both sides was the constant drizzle, making the ball handling really tough. With some more positional changes at three quarter time, the team was eventually able to get on top Heathmont Gold and run out winners. Our major goal scorer was Callum Mead with three goals. While the team was a little bit below our best, full credit should go to Heathmont on their improvement since we last played them in the first game of the year. Our attention know turns to Upper Ferntree Gully next week at Walker Park as we push forward to try to gain a top three finish and the double chance.”
Final Score: Mitcham 5.5.35 d Heathmont 2.7.19
The Under 12’s took on Scoresby at home. Coach Marcus Webb sent in this report – “The boys put in all day and looked good at times, moving the ball the way we want to but we just couldn’t quite execute when it mattered most; credit to Scoresby for their pressure! Throughout the game we managed to win possession of the ball only to give it away with rushed kicks. With the continued pressure from Scoresby, we seemed to lose intensity late. Danny had another terrific game at full back, attacking the ball, marking and kicking long. He was assisted down back by good efforts from all the boys but in particular Harry and Lincoln. Max W and Luke B both managed to win the ball a few times while keeping their opponents relatively quiet. Bailey was good in the second half when moved to the middle. Nick, Corey, Ryan, Michael and Kyle were all good at different times during the game. For all the good efforts there’s plenty to improve on, so let’s keep working hard boys. Go tigers!”
Final Score: Scoresby 9.20.74 d Mitcham 0.0.0
The Under 14’s traveled to Ferntree Gully to take on the Eagles. Coach Cam Chivers had this to say about the game – “A top 3 spot was on offer in this game so we were keen to get amongst it early, but a poor start meant we were playing catch ups for the rest of the game. I made a point to the boys before the game that in heavy conditions a goal was worth double so we had our backs to the wall going into the third being down by 5 odd goals. The third quarter was better as we showed more poise and endeavor and then in the fourth we fought back solidly as I had pleaded with the boys at 3 quarter time to give our supporters something to cheer about. To lose the game by 10 points hurts, but there were pleasing efforts in the second half. We will regain a couple more players next week and we will be glad to have them back.”
Final Score: Ferntree Gully 8.8.56 d Mitcham 7.4.46
The Under 17's played an “away” game at “home” against Norwood who’s ground had been shut down due to poor condition. To add to that, a couple of the Norwood parents got a little confused and came to the wrong huddle at quarter time…Unfortunately the under 17’s, while gallant, just got pipped at the post. Assistant Coach Matt Schneider had this to say after the game – “Couldn’t doubt the boys endeavor today and while we didn’t get the chocolates, thought we won all the key stats apart from the one that matters most - The Scoreboard. Good news is our season is far from over and the equation is simple - win our last two games - Play Finals. Plus we should start to get some boys back next week, so we look forward to our last home game of the year and that is our first hurdle to jump.”
Final Score: Norwood 12.3.75 d Mitcham 8.9.57
Thank you to Graham Bradtke and Bec Clark for the photos!