Under 11’s by Brad Aujard (Coach)
With a blustery wind and threatening rain, on Sunday we played our semifinal against Glen Waverley Hawks, one of the toughest teams in the competition, at East Ringwood. Its was a hard tussle from the first bounce both teams not wanting to give an inch, the Tigers had majority of the play but unfortunately couldn’t capitalize early, the first break saw both sides equal on 1 point. The second quarter was much the same however the Tigers were held scoreless and the Hawks scored a solitary goal. After the break it was much of the same with both teams scoring a point each. At three quarter time it was time to change something up, so we went all out attack, and it paid off with Luke Mariner and Aiden both scoring much needed goals, it was great to see the boys never give up. Big thanks to all who turned up to support our boys, with a massive Mitcham contingent. It was hard to determine the best players today but a special mention must go to Tynan who played out of his skin, Gruff for hitting target after target and Leo for saving the last thrust forward from the Hawks.
Goals: Luke M and Aiden
Best: Tynan, Hudson, Lachlan, Hamish, Gruff and Leo
Final Score: Mitcham 2.2.14 d Glen Waverley 1.2.8
Under 13’s by Jason Philactides (Coach)
Let me start off by saying that whether we won or lost on Sunday was not important. The important thing was making sure that the boys enjoyed their first finals experience. I am extremely proud to have watched and coached our junior champions play in 2 finals. They will always remember playing in their first finals series. The boys have achieved so much, considering 2 seasons ago they didn’t win a game and last year, while they finished 6th, they were still a long way off being competitive against the top 5. It has been said to me the boys have improved heaps, however, the improvement is all the boys doing, all I do is guide and challenge them to make the right decisions game day. Across the board, all the boy's skill level has improved considerably. Sometimes that improvement comes with getting older, but for the most part that is due to the hard work they boys put in at training and on their own in the backyard or having a kick with their mates. I have been incredibly impressed with how the boys have improved their handballing under pressure and playing keepings off from the opposition with their kicking. And while we may have been beaten in a big final, what I don’t see opposition teams do is win by strategic ball movement. All of our losses have happened as a result of other teams having some adult size bodies in their team, not by better ball movement (Is it legal to put our kids on a stretching machine?) Our boys will eventually catch up in body size and when they do, they will be a lot more advanced than other teams. I have been lucky enough to spend 3 days a week with the boys for the last 6 months and some will say am I crazy to put up with 25 maturing boys, but to be honest we have had a lot of laughs. Their spirit and friendship amongst the playing group is a bond that can’t be manufactured and that is why we have had some great moments this year, winning games that looked well and truly out of our grasp…the boys never gave up! Yes, I have raised my voice on a couple of occasions, but the strength of the group has been able to acknowledge the reasons and laugh it off at training. And what I love about the boys is they can take the piss out of me when I have been a little vocal. Seriously…what a champion group of boys we have! Parents you should all be very proud of how your boy is growing up. Mick Malthouse (ex Collingwood coach) would always refer to his players as ‘My Boys’. Whether I am coaching or not…the 2017 u13 LEGENDS will always be referred by me as “MY BOYS”
Final Score: The Knights-Rowville 6.11.47 d Mitcham 1.3.9
Under 16 Girls by Luke Smith (Coach)
The Under 16 Girls travelled up to Olinda to take on Knox in an Elimination Final. In freezing conditions, the girls tried their hardest to compete against a much bigger and stronger team. As has been the way for most of the season, the difference between the very top teams and the rest in this competition has been huge and we have been playing against teams who have been playing together for several years. It has been a steep learning curve for the girls after making the Grand Final last season, but learn they have. Well done girls – Great effort to make the finals in the Under 16 Premier Competition.
Final Score: Knox 12.10.82 d Mitcham 0.1.1
Under 17’s by Cam Horsey (Coach)
On Sunday we took on Sth Belgrave in our first final, knowing that with a win we would elevate ourselves to another shot at a Grand final appearance. We started the game with intensity, winning the first clearance and converting a major. It was a great start and blew the cobwebs off from the week off. The game started to lift from there with Sth Belgrave hitting us hard and running with intent. We maintained our pressure at the contest with a strong defence and our mids and wings working hard while applying forward pressure. The scores remained about even leading up to the first break and we couldn’t drop off the pressure. The second quarter was about even with the scores shifting back and forth and neither team could get a break in the lead. Timmy started to get his hands on the ball giving us some momentum leading into the main break. The second half was going to be won by the team who could withstand the pressure. The third quarter started as expected with both teams lifting the intensity and the scores remained close. Sth Belgrave weren’t going away. The final quarter we had a few opportunities to break open the game, but we weren’t able to convert, this gave the opposition a sniff and they took it. A few things didn’t go our way, which was disappointing and Sth Belgrave finished in front at the final siren. We lost the chance to move into the grand final. The beauty of our season was we gave ourselves the opportunity to reload and have another crack at it. Stay focused and get yourselves up for this week. We have beaten Croydon once and we can do it again. Keep your eyes on the prize. Mentions go to a few players who gave four quarter efforts, Tommy, Max, Timmy, Jimmy N, Adrian, Horse and Cam P. Don’t let the loss get to you. You guys finished on top for a reason. Use the pain of defeat to build you up for success Keep the season alive boys. Go Tiges!!!!
Final Score: Sth. Belgrave 7.8.50 d Mitcham 7.6.48