Round 1 - 24th April 2016

U12 vs Belgrave - Coach's Match Report

Welcome everyone to the 2016 season. After some preseason games with round robin and our practice match against Belgrave we had our first match of the season away against Monbulk. We had almost a full team with only Cyrus away, overseas and Charlie on the side lines feeling a bit crook. We’ve lost Eve to the girls team, good luck Eve, go girls! Clearly Monbulk boys were a bit older than us heading out onto the ground. First quarter showed it was going to be a real battle as they kicked the first 3 goals. The next 3 quarters didn’t prove to be any easier, with Monbulk kicking 3 or 4 goals in each quarter. Our back line was continually getting bombarded. We were pleased with Xander and Rian’s effort in the back line, who were doing their best best to stop the flow. We’re really happy with the effort of Jared and Hamish Smith in their first game of football. Hang in there boys, it’s a long season and we’ve only just got started. Go Bloods!!

Adam and Mick

U14 vs Belgrave - Coach's Match Report

Great to finally begin the season today and what a day we were treated to, with a pretty warm blast down the hill at traditional rivals Monbulk. We were coming up against last year’s premiers, and with the side chock full of first year 14s, we knew we had our work cut out. I personally learnt from last year, that we needed more focus on the physical side of the game through this pre-season, to give the new boys a taste of the step up they’ll be required to make – and I’m glad we did this because step up they did and we hit the ground running in a big way.

Our aggression at the ball and every contest caught the Hawks by surprise, we were able to get repeat shots on goal and entered Qtr time with a 3 goal to 1 buffer. We actually missed a couple of easy shots which could’ve taken the margin out to 5 goals to 1 – we need to make sure we nail those early goals, it’s crucial that when we get good starts in general play that we reward all that hard work by kicking those early goals, especially from in front. Our clearance work was exceptional and this continued well into the 2nd term where Monbulk genuinely had no answers around stoppages. Despite what we felt was a fair bit of dominance in general play, Monbulks limited entries saw them hit the scoreboard and they snuck in front at halftime. Our defenders had real trouble locking down the tall forwards, particularly in their body positioning where we allowed our opponents a free run at the ball, instead of really fighting hard for that front spot and denying them the chance to run at the ball. Our boys had worked really hard to this point, but our rotations were working well and we hoped that this would help manage them through the conditions.

We lost our edge through the 3rd term and whilst Monbulk kicked a couple of goals clear, they could’ve kicked further ahead if not for some inaccurate kicking. Hard as we tried, we just couldn’t make the inroads up forward that we did in the first half. We began to lose our energy around the contest, and we put our back 6 under some enormous pressure at times. They were really quite admirable in the way they stuck at it and were able to win so many contests under pressure. The Hawks pressed on in the last with a pretty hard working display that saw them finish 5-6 goals ahead, but at no stage did we give in, and at all times we remained competitive which is something we are always drilling this group to be.

Really pleased with the start against the team I know will be this year’s yardstick. We showed we could well and truly match it with them, but we also saw that when we can’t sustain the effort, then the really good teams exploit that and can score quickly. Looking forward to this week’s contest, hopefully our boys will give a great account of themselves and produce another fantastic effort !

Tim Scott

U10's vs Belgrave - Coach's Match Report

What a fantastic opportunity today to take charge of the 10s as super coach Pat Ford was away. We headed down the hill to Monbulk on a magnificent day, to begin the new season and with at least 8 debutantes, it was an incredibly exciting build up for us all. Some of our key areas today were to be first for the ball so we could try and control the game, to really work hard at manning up our opposition when we lost the ball, and to really chase hard and put pressure on as much as we could. And on the big Monbulk ground, we definitely needed to kick long and direct through the middle and find the quickest way to goal.

Across the course of the day, I thought we did so many things really well. We took a lot of marks which was a result of a lot of very skilled kicks into space. I thought our tackling and our work in the packs to help each other was also extremely good. The Monbulk team weren’t able to get many clear possessions, but neither were we and what we saw was a really tough and tight contest. One area we need to focus on next week is in our defence, and especially our “Back 6”. We must remember that when our opposition have the ball, or its in dispute, we must “defend first” and stick with our opponent. We conceded a goal in the last 30 seconds of the 2nd Qtr and the same in the 3rd, where Monbulk players were left free inside 20 metres from goal. This proved to be the difference in the game ! If we can tidy this up next week, we are going to have a great contest.

A massive thanks to all our players today who did such a great job in hot conditions, and who made my job really fun and pretty easy. Well done to all those players who officially put the Mighty Bloods jumper on for the very first time, we hope you enjoyed it and best wishes for the year. Thanks to all the parents for your support today and a huge thanks to Ash Spurrell who continues to do a brilliant job standing in for Liam as the 10s Team Manager.

Best of luck for your next game guys, work hard for each other, follow Pat’s instructions and I know you’ll be amazing !

Tim Scott