The Mitcham Junior Football Club was involved in Round 13 action over the weekend and below are the coaches match reports from all games….
Under 8 Mitcham Black – Coach Peter Ajani
Mitcham Black played in the toughest conditions of the year for our final game (last round we have a bye). We played a very big and skillful Norwood Raiders. We started on fire with 6 scoring shots to 2 but as the game went on, the tough conditions took its toll. Our Captains this week were Nay and Tong, two boys that have shown enormous improvement throughout the year. I played both the captains in the middle and they were responsible for our strong start. Well-done boys. The Mitcham medal went to a boy who is the heart and soul of Mitcham Black under 8s. He leads the boys in every song and has shown he is a real club man and in conditions so tough he could not feel his fingers, Patrick continued to give 100% to the contest. Well-done Patrick. The Panelen’s Healthy Nut Bar and Café award for an Ice cream sundae went to Matthew, Steve, Liam and Gabriel. Matthew played his role as instructed always holding his position and doing whatever the coach requested. Steve continued with his long runs, forcing the opposition to tackle him and win the free kick. Liam played a great game and kicked his first goal of the season with a fantastic, beautifully executed drop punt. Gabriel continued with his late season form with nice long kicks scoring and creating scoring opportunities. The EFL encouragement award went to Jett who played and looked like a perfect footballer (covered in mud), well-done Jett. The Mitcham Encouragement award went to Declan who created contests for the ball and earned a stint in the middle. The Mitcham Hot Dog and Drink Award went to Noah, LeBron, Archie and Matthew. Noah played a great game, getting plenty of the ball. LeBron also got plenty of the ball and threw in some blind turns attempting to break the lines. Archie played well as a forward and back and is great at following instructions. The boys have been so impressive, continually improving as the season went on. Hopefully we will see you all next year in Mitcham colours!
Under 8 Mitcham Yellow – Coach Josh McConnell
With the coldest day yet, the boys from Mitcham Yellow really got a taste of winter football, which was a big test for the boys to say the least and few of us on the sidelines!! The Yellow Tigers played a very tough team in Kilsyth Red for the second last game of the season. Our two Captains in Stephen Stansfield and Mason Porter led the team really well and had great fun doing it. It was all smiles early on during a really good warm up but as the game started and the hands started to get colder, things got a little tougher. However the run and handball from the warm up was there from the beginning with a great team effort to clear it from the centre via handball and move it into the forward line for a quick goal only moments into the first quarter. This run and handball continued through the game and created many opportunities for our forwards including James Wilson who had a standout game in front of goal, finishing with six goals. It was tough game towards the end as the rain started pelting down but the boys stuck it out. Two in particular stuck at it and played all four quarters. Charlie Martin was one of these two; he had a great start to the game with standout first half in the centre and on the wing. Charlie showed some great run and handball and the ability to get into the pack and get the ball out. T his effort won Charlie the Medal for today’s game. The other of these two was Nate Evans who was also awarded the Medal for today’s game. Nate played a really well balanced game in the forward line, back line and in the centre. Nate’s been working really hard on his kicking with lots of concentration, and today we saw that hard work paying off with many great kicks he had. Well done Charlie and Nate keep up the good work and enjoying your footy. Heath Fox was awarded a MFC encouragement award for another amazing display of skill and reading the play. Not even a sore heel could stop Heath from running all over the ground, taking marks, handballing or kicking direct to teammates and snapping a lazy goal or two. Well-done Heath. Daniel Grace was awarded the Mr Croc’s Star Award for his game today. Daniel started on off the ground in the first quarter but when he got his chance in the second term he tore it up in front of goal. He is a beautiful little goal sneak who can find them from any angle. This saw him snare three goals for himself today. Great stuff Dan. Another fella to play the whole game today in the terrible conditions was Tyson Darmody. Tyson was awarded the Mr Croc’s Star Award for his continued effort at being in front and presenting himself for marking opportunities. Tyson’s ability to run in and grab the ball out of a pack is great to watch and today we saw that on many occasions. Well-done Tyson on a great game. Stephen Stansfield was awarded the MFC encouragement award today. Stephen’s approach and endeavor to be in front and get the ball, over his last few games has been fantastic to see. His handballing today was spot on and hit targets on many occasions and when playing in the forward line he was also in front creating a contest. Nice game Stephen. The tall marking forward or defender in Mason Porter was awarded the Panelen’s voucher for his game today. As always Mason was busting open the packs taking huge marks or getting the ball to his mates on the ground. These efforts created many scoring shots for himself and others in the team. I t was great to watch Mason get in to position as his mates including James Watt and James Wilson were kicking and looking for him to take a solid mark. Well-done Mason great game. Next week Mitcham Yellow play their last game of the season against Montrose at 11am. Our two Captains for a final game are Noah Quinlan and Ryan McConnell. Both boys have waited patiently for their opportunity to lead the team out and we look forward to watching them and all the kids in the last game, with some playing their last game of U8’s. Great game today Tigers, see you at training. Go Tigers!!!!
Under 9 – Coach Brad Aujard
Today against the Donvale Magpies, we faced the worst weather conditions of the year, and we showed just how tough and determined a team we really are by putting in a wonderful team performance. The job was made tougher with our enforcer, Christian, unable to take the field due to illness. To see our players stand up in the freezing conditions was great to watch. Seeing Cooper in full flight running through the middle and booting it long into the forward line was extremely exciting for the future. Jacoby showing his love for a goal, booting three in the third quarter and Ben encroaching into the forward line sneaking 2 goals was a great effort. The tenacity of Joshy for the ball saw him kick goals early when down forward and then stop even more when moved to the backline. Saying all that there was one player that continued running, smothering, and doing the “one percenters” all day and that was our spiritual leader Lachie. Boy’s thanks for a full four-quarter display of football. It was too difficult to pick out individual awards with each of the players putting in such a good performance. Instead I decided to give each player a pack of footy cards and I hope you enjoy them! One week to go, let's go out on a high against Boronia, with a final four-quarter game. Well done again boys.... stay tough tigers
Under 10 – Coach Carlo Fanfulla
Our Under 10 boys today hosted a great game at Walker Park against Donvale. It seems the more unpleasant the weather the better the boys play. Luke Marriner stood tall today as Captain; he was outstanding playing on the ball in the centre, winning a lot of one on ones by taking great marks in the wet conditions. His ability to clear the ball out of the centre with long kicks into our forward half was a joy to watch. It was a slow start for us throughout the first quarter as Donvale were impressive controlling each contest. In the second quarter our boys began to lift and a running goal from Hudson Goulding was impressive. As the rain came down and the temperature dropped at half time, towels and buckets of warm water came out, as the toughest task of the day was to keep the boys motivated to want to go out and play another half. Wow what a second half of football it was. As a coach, to see the boys display the type of skill you would expect on a dry day was fantastic. Our marking and movement of the ball improved. We had numbers at every contest as we gave ourselves options to handball to teammates running along side or kick long to leading players. This type of play created a goal from Hamish Gill who was also outstanding jumping high over his opponents marking overhead. Sam Atherton’s strong marking at centre half forward was rewarded with a great goal, which seemed to get the boys pumped up going into the last quarter. They did an outstanding effort to keep the ball locked in our forward for most part of final term. George played an important role at full back always keeping in front of his player and keeping the ball well out of the danger zone. Charlie B, Alexi, Xavier James M and Elijah played well in defence, applying pressure at every contest and never giving up an opportunity for a tackle. James F found his feet in the second half picking up his pace and making sure the ball did not go past the centre into the Donvale forward line. Stephen, Noah and Robbie had the wing covered showing great courage to stay out and never giving up chase. AJ and Oscar worked well together up forward resulting in a goal from Oscar with a run from the boundary line, shrugging of players who tried to catch him. Jok did exactly what was expected of him at full forward and came close to kicking goal, which unfortunately just touched the post. Charlie Webb’s hit outs in the ruck provided Jordan and Hamish to win the clearances out of the centre. So proud of the boys effort today! Go Tigers!
Under 11 – Coach Jason Philactides
The weekend got off to a great start, with the club sending our boys off to Bounce for Friday night training. This was a great idea by the committee and I'm sure I can say this on behalf of everyone involved in our team - thank you very much! The boys had a great time! Onto the footy...Sunday was quite possibly the coldest day I have ever coached in as well as played later on in the afternoon. Not only was it freezing, FTG were a very strong opposition that seemed to play and handle the conditions extremely well. At times we moved the ball really well and controlled the play, but unfortunately we weren't able to sustain the pressure from FTG. Our kick-ins from full back worked well, with the opposition coaching staff showing our boys respect by trying to nullify the meterage and momentum we could gain from these when executed correctly. Bailey was awarded the encouragement medal this week for his determination to follow instructions. Early on in the game I took Bailey off the ground for not following instructions, but once he got back on the ground, he did not deviate from my instructions one bit. He played close attention to his opponent, played in front and jumped on the footy at every opportunity. Well done Bailey, nice game. Tommy was the other award winner. Tom was made for these conditions and as soon as he was shifted into the midfield he had an impact. Tom’s ability to win his own footy and get a quick clearing kick on either foot is fantastic. Not only was Tom clearing the ball, but he also made his presence known with some very hard but fair bumps. Tom has developed really well over the year and I can see he puts a lot of work into developing his opposite side of the body skills. Great game Tom! One game left for the season so lets give this everything we have to win. Go Tigers!
Final Score: FTG 12.19.91 d Mitcham 0.0.0
Under 12 – Coach Mark Ross
The U12's hosted the sixth placed Wantirna South who last round defeated the second placed team and had won their last three games. Conditions were extremely wet and cold at Walker Park with large pools of water all over the playing surface. The coaching staff emphasized to the boys that we needed to play strong, hard, wet weather football. The boys were asked to be first to the contest, "body line" the ball, be strong over the ball and play in front. The Tigers carried out these instructions to the letter, showing fantastic determination and effort all across the ground. Our ability to pick up the wet and slippery footy and continue to drive the ball forward was first class. Our teamwork was also very good but the most pleasing part to the days performance was our chasing, tackling and smothering. Today the boys demonstrated all the trademarks of a very good football team. Everyone did their job; everyone supported, talked and backed each other up. Three goals to Jamie, one each to Sam Agius, Louis and Joel finished off the hard work around the ground. A special mention goes to Joel, who took eight marks around the ground, which was an unbelievable effort in the conditions. Encouragement awards went to Josh, who ran hard all day and continually sent to ball into the forward line and to Jamie who kicked 3.4 and dominated the forward line. Well-done boys! Congratulation also to Sam Balman and Josh Lawson who both celebrated their 50th games. Avery polished performance, well done boys. See you all at training on Tuesday as we build up towards the finals. Go Tigers.
Final Score: Mitcham 6.9.45 d Wantirna Sth 0.0.0
Under 13 – Coach Shane Dickson
The Gods were not kind with the weather today, but our boys knew they had to work really hard at ground level and attack the footy in the wet and slippery conditions. With Bailey kicking the first two goals of the match to get us off to a good start and Michael and Jac working tirelessly in the middle, we were able to start the game in front, and managed to stay in front for the rest of the game. Matt M attacked the ball well, and Julian H worked hard all game in the back line. All the boys competed well all day and kept moving the ball forward. Keep believing in yourselves and your teammates and the rewards will keep coming. Well-done boys, great effort! See you at training!
Final Score: 8.13.61 d Vermont 3.1.19
Goals: Bailey 2, Corey 2, Michael 1, Matt 1, Luke S 1, Ryan 1
Awards: Jac, Matt & Julian H
Under 15 – Coach Cam Horsey
Back at Walker park this week for the second last game of the home and away season where we take on Vermont, for one of our most important games of the season. Not only is the game about retaining top spot but also to grab hold of the double chance for the upcoming finals. The weather was some of the worst we have come across in living memory and our record in the wet hasn’t been the best. When the boys turned up to the ground, I sensed that the feeling amongst the group was high and that we were in for something special regardless of the weather. Prior to the game the group watched the under 12’s go hard at it and record a great win and I believe the feeling amongst the boys was if they can play that well in the rain so can we. Going into the rooms to get ready the boys were up and about and getting pumped up for the game, the coaching group were giving individuals their tasks for the game and I knew they were ready. Not only did the group understand the importance of the game, we also had Doigy and Naylz playing their 100th game for the mighty Mitcham Football club. These two boys have been around since the inception of this playing group, it was just as important to win for these two as it was for the top spot. The game stated with our mids, Tails, Hoppo, JP and Spiros dominating through the centre. Their attack in the middle was something Vermont couldn’t respond to and it was obvious we were here to play. Our forwards worked extremely hard in the conditions to lock the ball in and we came away with a four goal lead. With the sort of conditions we were playing in it was like a 10 goal quarter. The boys were full of bounce at the first break and we pointed out how important it was to continue with the attack on the ball and be in front at all times. The second started like the first with the mids dominating again and our forwards busting a gut when it was down our end. Jared Newnham setting the standard with some ferocious attack on the man and the ball. Vermont didn’t stand a chance if we kept this up. Our backline was just as impressive with any advance from Vermont they were quickly thwarted led brilliantly by Gilesy who seemed to be playing with a dry ball but was backed up brilliantly Maxxy, Sting, Zeb, Jaydos, Al and TK. Our wings were running riot with Kev and Horse destroying their opponents when it was their turn to go. At half time the boys were asked again to be ferocious at the ball and take any chance Vermont might have at coming back and they responded brilliantly again. The entire playing group were up and about and the rotations were swift with all the boys coming off for rotation feeling spent after working so hard. The end result was a credit to how you guys played and it will set you up leading into the finals. The next game is one we are looking forward to, with a lot at stake being the top spot on the ladder and hopefully beating Norwood who think they have this finals series already wrapped up. Lets put some doubt into their heads boys. Lets prepare for this game during the week and bring it home like a freight train. Go Tiges!!!!
Final Score: Mitcham 9.9.63 d Vermont 1.2.8