Round 1 23rd April 2017

U10's v Monbulk

It was a perfect sunny day for our first game of U10s footy with a buzz of excitement in our change rooms clearly evident between the kids pulling on their Bloods guernsey for the first time of the year. Cas Hine was made Captain for the day after his outstanding attitude and eagerness at training, with Lachie Tonkin his Vice Captain also because of the aforementioned traits.  With so many first-gamers and boys 7 and 8 years old, we didn't really know what to expect; especially against a traditionally strong Monbulk outfit who we have struggled with in the past.

We had a great start to the game with Cas Hine working hard in the ruck, Alex Higgs doing great things off Half Back and Tom Ford and Oscar Viers presenting well in our Forward Half, eventually kicking our first goal. As a team we lead from the front with the young boys especially not afraid to put their bodies on the line and over the ball. James Clay-Johnson started to win the ball and provide some run and Django Ladds taking some fine marks at Full Forward Our defensive pressure was exceptional and there was a reason why we kept Monbulk scoreless until half-time. We kept our attack up and willingness to tackle in the second half but Monbulk slowly got their way back into the game clearly showing fresher legs due to the fact they had a bench- something we didn't have the liberty of having. Aden Bates chased and tackled well as well as providing good run, with great defensive efforts by Jacob Boyd, Rio Neish, Braydon Sharp and Will Blenkiron stopping their opponents from getting the ball. Unfortunately Monbulk kicked a goal with about a minute to go, which meant the game was a draw!

We are extremely proud of all the boys' efforts on the weekend, with their enthusiasm, attitude and willingness to tackle and attack the ball a real highlight. I can't wait until our next game against Seville. Well done boys!

Our award winners were Cas Hine, Oscar Viers, Jacob Boyd, James Clay-Johnson and Aden Bates.

Also, a huge thanks to all those parents who helped out on the day, without your commitment these events can not run smoothly.

GO BLOODS! Dan, Brad & Tim

U12's v Monbulk

After a solid preseason with 7 training sessions under our belts, the Under 12 boys were primed and ready for their Round 1 clash against our friendly neighbours from down the hill, the Monbulk Hawks.

We spoke pre-game about the need to be first to the footy, to attack the footy and to be ferocious at the footy. The boys responded well and lead by Lachie Bates and captain of the day Percy Hyatt, this is exactly what the team did with a great opening quarter that saw us dominate play taking a slender lead into the quarter time break.

The second quarter was equally impressive with some great link up play and continued attack on the footy... Isaac Tonkin and Menzie were doing a tremendous job across the half back line creating lots of opportunities for our forwards. First gamer Ripleigh Hayes was outstanding in the ruck and Blair Wilson was having a big impact in the middle. Ned Ford was doing his job up forward kicking two goals for the quarter which was great reward for the teams efforts.

The third quarter was a willing contest with some great football on display. Young Nick Reid put his body on the line and took a knock to head which saw him sidelined for the remainder of the game... It was great to see another first gamer in Ethan Clark taking a strong mark up forward which assisted  Lachie Bates to snap truly to see the Young Bloods take a three goal lead into the final change..

Monbulk came strongly in the last quarter  kicking two early goals to put some pressure back on our Young Bloods... I was very happy with the response from some of our younger players. It started with some silky skills from Cooper Spurrell with a great pass to Liam Bradford who took a strong mark up forward. Charlie Eames did likewise and continued to apply great pressure creating opportunities for our forwards.

I was thrilled for the boys when Mattias Sleeth snapped truly in the dying minutes (courtesy of some tough hard play by Max Monkhorst) to cement  a much deserved and memorable Round 1 victory....

A great team effort and a great start to the season boys....Well Done lads!!!!

U16's vs Monbulk

Today we came up against a very sharp Monbulk outfit. Our preseason had been great however we hadn't trained much as a whole unit as boys had other sporting commitments and work.

We started the game strongly, standing up well against the hawks' barrage of inside 50's. The backline toughed it out and kept them to a low score considering the amount of footy they had and we were able to put a goal on the board against the flow.

Then came the second and third quarters, the pressure around the stoppages dropped off a little and the Hawks were able to get clean entries inside 50. It was a credit to the backline and especially to Oscar Sarafian who took 4 contested intercept marks and even more spoils. Joshy Langer really stepped up as well after Josh Attoe went down with a crook back after getting slung to the ground, his rebound and drive off the half backline was vital in moving us forward.

It was the 4th quarter where we started to play "our brand" of footy. We were far more ferocious around the stoppages and stuck all of our tackles and had some brilliant link ups. One that comes to mind was a josh sharp switch to Jonty who kicked long to brad langridge. If we can keep the games on our terms for a full "4 quarter effort" then we will be a very tough team to beat.

Thoughts are with Ethan Kennedy who got squashed in the ribs, Alex Eames who went down with concussion, and Joshy Attoe who stuck it out up forward after hurting his back in a contest early in the game. A big shoutout to the U14 boys who played up today, they were fantastic and played a big part in us sticking the game out for as long as we did!

Thanks guys, big week on the track and down to Seville for a tough contest this weekend.

Go Bloods,

Regards, Mitch Low-Morris