The Mitcham Junior Football Club was involved in Round 9 action over the weekend and below are the match reports from all the games.
Under 8 Black – Coach Peter Ajani
Mitcham Black played a very talented Mooroolbark team today in very cool and crisp conditions. All the boys came switched on to play and played their best team footy to date. The Captains for the week were Marco and Matthew, both whom really lifted and showed their leadership ability. Matthew continued to improve, really contesting the ball and Marco who showed how important it is to have second and third efforts, genuinely attacking the ball. Well done for great captains games. The first quarter saw Mitcham dominate play with Charlie kicking three goals, one from the centre square and four for the game. This was backed up by Declan at the other end of the ground who controlled the back line and showed how well he can kick the ball. This was the best game Declan and Charlie have played for us. Both boys were awarded Mitcham medals. Well done on great games! Panelen’s Healthy Nut Bar and Café awards went to Lucas and Jett. Lucas returned after a few weeks away to remind us what a terrific player he is and what competitive spirit he has. Jett continue his run of good form attacking the ball and winning several contested possessions and taking some great marks. The Mr Croc EFL encouragement award went to William and Jesse. I have seen William play his best footy when annoyed and I had to laugh when I saw the opposition bumping into William before the game started. This saw William “play angry” winning the ball, taking marks and running off his opponent. We also say Jesse, who tries his heart out for the whole game, having a few terrific runs down the wing. Great game boys! The Mitcham encouragement award went to Patrick who threw his body at the ball and had a great kick out of the back line in the first quarter. Great game Patrick! The Mitcham hot Dog and Drink award went to Aiden who scored a great point - so close to being a goal. Marcus also played a great game especially the first quarter where he just threw himself at the ball. Other boys who played especially well were LeBron who had several great runs and should have ended up with three goals but ran just a little too far. Steve kicked his first goal, which was nearly as good as his defending and smothering. Well done. Felix kept us in suspense until the last quarter to get his goal. I can still call him “Goal a Game Felix”. I also really enjoyed Liam’s great play in the middle in the last quarter along with Gus’s continued around the ground efforts. There was also plenty of fantastic marks taken, especially by Jett, Charlie, William, Felix and LeBron. Good game guys!
Under 8 Yellow – Coach Josh McConnell
After the long weekend off the boys played a very tough North Ringwood Black with our two Captains in Tyson Darmody and Will Serong leading from the front. They set the pace when they started the game in the middle and each set up many scoring opportunities in the first term. This really set the tone for the whole game. All the boys were hard at the ball and played as a team the whole game, which is something that we have all been working on at training. It was very hard to pick the awards this week as there we so many contenders from all over ground. Archer Kane again had memorable game getting many touches and brings teammates into it with his ability to read the play so well. His many marks and goal won him the Mitcham Encouragement award. Alexandra Parigi second half when playing in the ruck was outstanding. His attack on the ball to set up his teammates earned him the Panelen’s Healthy Nut Bar and Café voucher. Tyson Darmody is a hard running player and today was no exception. Being Captain seemed to give him an extra leg and saw him score a goal or two for his hard work. This saw him also get a Mitcham Football Club encouragement award. Angus Butler is another who has worked really hard at his defensive work during the year and during today's game we saw that. He was in front one just about every occasion and when he moved into the forward line he got himself a great goal. His game today earned him the Crocs award for this week. Daniel Grace was awarded the Panelen’s Healthy Nut Bar and Café voucher today for his ability to run and carry the ball from all positions. On many occasions he created a goal for himself or his teammates with his hard running. The Medal this week was awarded to James Watt for always fighting to be in front no matter where he played. He has great skills and uses them really well to find a teammate or to create a scoring shot for himself. He finished with many score assists and at least one goal for himself. Great game James! All the kids played really well today. The running and handballs to create space and run has something we have worked on at training. It was very impressive to see this working today and how many goals came from it. Great stuff tigers! Can't wait for training and seeing you all in action next week against Norwood Raiders at 10am.
Under 9 – Coach Brad Aujard
To play against an opposition that also won a lightning premiership was a great challenge for us today. To want the ball and run at the ball no matter what or who gets in your way is a great way to play football and I am extremely proud to have a team that does that. It shows a total commitment and desire. Welcome to the team Cooper. To walk home with the encouragement award in your first game is a great achievement and to get back up and out on to the field after copping a big knock shows great promise for the future. Ryan P showed again that he can play all over the ground and this week displayed some great marking and precision kicking in the forward line. There was one player on the field today that was in the heat of the battle all-day and continued to fight on, and that was Ethan Jesse. As a result he scored the well-deserved canteen voucher. Ryan O proved too that he loves playing forward, booting 3 goals…great effort Ryan. The team play every week gets better and better and our skills are really starting to shine through. The forward passing was exceptional today, but we must continue to practice it as the older you get the more and more you are going to need those skills. A big thanks goes to Christian, Lachie, Ben and Tynan, for playing a quarter each for South Croydon. It was good of the four of you not to kick a goal, even though 2 of you easily could have, but chose to hand off to a South Croydon player to kick the goal. Well done boys another great effort.
Under 10 – Coach Carlo Fanfulla
Our under 10 boys played a great game this week against Kilsyth at Pinks Reserve. Our proud captain this week was Lauchlan Dane who led the boys out for his last game of the season and made a big impact through the midfield. He will be sadly missed for our remaining games. A good start to the game with a running goal from Sam Atherton helped lift the boy’s confidence and let everyone know that the Tigers were up and about. A strong tackle by Hamish Gill in the forward line provided Hudson Goulding the advantage to also kick a goal. Elijah Kwah dominated the back line with some great runs with the ball making the opposition chase and chase. Kilsyth were also impressed with his performance as their coach awarded Elijah a best on ground award at the end of the game. It was good to see Charlie Bamford obeying instructions by shepherding which is what we have been practicing a lot of at training. Oscar Marini who was rested during the third quarter was full of steam going into the last with a run in to an open goal that got us all cheering. Noah Melville played an important role in our forward line always positioning himself well to win the ball from packs. I congratulate both teams today who played a really good game of football. Well-done Tigers!
Under 11 – Coach Jason Philactides
A good game from the boys today. Again we were on the back foot from quarter time however once we moved Dan N to shut down one of Sth Croydon's dominant players we were able to stay competitive. While there were times when our concentration lapsed, for the most part I was really impressed with our ability to stay tight on our opponents. For a team like us that is struggling to win games, playing tight on our opposition and playing in front are basic fundamentals that we can control and when we do this our play is exciting to watch, as proven in the last quarter. For the first time this year we kicked 4 goals in a game with 2 of those coming in the last quarter through strong and physical football. The backline stayed tight, Mick was superb in the last quarter keeping his player touch-less, the midfield were winning the ball around the ground and our forwards became goal hungry which is exactly what I'm after. We had a wonderful injection of excitement from 2 under 9 players Lachie and Christian. Both boys, all day were simply fantastic! Their energy and desire to win the ball was exciting to watch. I am still very optimistic that a win is not far away. Boys keep your head high! Congratulations to this weeks award winners Jack, Lachie, Christian and Dan N. Goal Kickers Nick, Nathan, Dan T and Christian.
Final Score: Sth Croydon 12.5.77 d Mitcham 4.5.29
Under 12 – Coach Mark Ross
Beautiful winter weather conditions greeted the U12's as we travelled to Pinks Reserve to take on Kilsyth. Kilsyth jumped out for the blocks in the first quarter attacking the football with a ferocity that unsettled some of our boys. A goal to Joel saw the first quarter end with both teams kicking a goal apiece. The second quarter was a very tough quarter of footy with Kilsyth playing good hard footy. A single goal to Kilsyth in the second quarter saw them go to half time with a lead of 3 points. The long break enabled the coaching staff to ask for a greater effort and more intense attack on the ball which was lacking in the first half. A free kick in front to Jamie in the third quarter was just what was needed for the Tigers to lead by one point at 3 quarter time. Still not playing anywhere near our best, the boys knuckled down to kick 2 goals, one each to Wil Drake and Ethan Wu, in the last quarter enabling us to run out winners by 13 points. A special mention goes to Ethan Wu and Tyler who won the achievement awards. These two boys really stood up and won the hard ball all day, well done boys! After a week's break and a night off training we looked a bit lazy and left winning the ball to too few and it reflected on the scoreboard. This needs to be and will be addressed at training. On the positive side we were able to withstand and overcome a team that threw everything at us and still come out on top, well-done boys.
Final Score: Mitcham 4.6.30 d Kilsyth 2.5.17
Under 13 – Coach Shane Dickson
After having a week off with a bye and then a long weekend I thought that the boys would be refreshed and ready to go! In the first half, the boys were a bit slow and allowed their opponents to play in front, which enabled them to gain the upper hand. The second half was a much better effort by the boys and we managed to match it with our opponents. Once again there were great bursts of play, which always give me inspiration, and shows that our hard work does pay off. There were a handful of players that contributed to this play, and in particular Noah, Harry and Luke B attacked the ball well and continually put pressure on their opponents. All the boys need to step up for the final few weeks, and continue to get in front of the contest and work hard for their team mates. It is also quite clear that we will not be doing any meditating before the game again! We will however be giving the boys sugar before game! :)
Final Score: Lysterfield 10.14.74 d Mitcham 4.6.30
Goals: Bailey 1, Jac 1, Michael 1, Corey 1
Awards: Harry, Noah and Luke B
Under 15 – Coach Cam Horsey
Back to Walker Park to take on The Basin for what would be the match of the round with The Basin sitting on top with us in third position. The boys were pumped up for this game and have been preparing all week. The coaching staff asked the boys for a big four quarter effort as anything less we would run the risk of us being beaten. I spoke to individuals before the game and gave some direction to exactly how I wanted them to play, and they sure didn’t let me down. The game started with Mitcham getting out of the blocks early with some heavy work in the middle led by Tails, JP, spitter and Adrian forcing the ball forward where Hoppo was able to finish off with a major. We were able to get two on the board before The Basin finally slotted one. The intensity of the game was at an all time high, waiting to see who would be the first to crack. We just kept on getting better as the game went on and were able to get a few more scores on the board, but it was still in the balance and we had to keep the pressure on as The Basin wouldn’t go away. Led beautifully by big Maxxy down back and Cooper once again blanketing their best player we were in a good position going into the half time break. Starting the second half, we once again had to start strong and get out early, but The Basin got the first and it was game on. Mitcham rallied again and got one back through sheer determination and aggression, (we had up to 40 tackles to this point) and kept up the pressure for the rest of the game. There were so many contributors today that I could mention everyone, but there were a couple of standouts. Hoppo for his leadership on the ground, not to mention his 7 goals, Max for his sublime four quarter effort, Adrian for his relentless attack, Spitter for his work under the packs, Tails for his continual supply to the mids and TK for his ‘never get beat’ attitude. As I said, all players deserve a mention so it is imperative we continue to play well as a group so we can shake it up at the pointy end of the season. Well done today boys, it was a great effort. Let’s load up again for next week. Don’t forget, Con has the reigns this weekend and I am sure you won’t let him down,
Final score: Mitcham 12.8.80 d The Basin 6.6.42