The Mitcham Junior Football Club teams were involved in Round 5 action on Mother’s Day.  The Under 9’s travelled over to Rowville this week to take on St Simons for their “Mothers Day” clash.  Captained by Sam Atherton and James Fanfulla, the boys were slow to get going in the first quarter but once they settled, played very competitive in the second and third quarters.  In the final quarter the team seemed to run out of steam as St Simons pushed ahead and proved to be the better side on the day.  Coach Carlo Fanfulla took plenty of positives from the game and had this to say -  “A goal and a couple of attempted shots from Ryan O’Sullivan lifted the boy’s confidence throughout the match. Sam Atherton played a brilliant role in the backline by preventing goals from being scored and having a lot of the ball himself.  Lachlan Gilchrist did well marking and moving the ball forward through the centre and out running his opponents and making them chase on plenty of occasions.  Noah Melville was hard at the ball, always putting his body on the line for the team.  He showed great courage in coming back on to play after being hurt in a contest.  There were some good defensive clearances from Luca Orsini and Charlie Webb as they stood up to St. Simons tall No 32 in the centre ruck contests.  The Mars play of the day was awarded to Sam Atherton, closely followed by Ryan O’Sullivan.   Lachlan Gilchrist also received an award from the St Simons coach which was fitting.  It was great to see new faces stepping up and shining this week as the boys enjoyed getting out there in the mud. Well done boys. GO TIGERS!”

The Under 10’s took on Donvale at home and Coach Jason Philactides gave this match report – “It was great to be playing at home again on the MCG of the East.  Based on previous encounters against Donvale, I new this game would be more evenly matched than the previous week against Glen Waverley and the game turned out to be a nail biter! We started really well and our first half of footy was the best 2 quarters we have played this year.  We had all the play and were peppering the goals but only managed to have 1.1 on the board at half time.  Our tenacity around the ball and the running in packs was a real highlight.  The coaching staff also tried implementing our first “game plan” and to the boys credit it worked perfectly.  When a point was scored by Donvale the instruction was for our full back to kick the ball back in towards the grandstand side of the ground every time so every player new that if they were to get the footy they would have to be on the correct side of the ground. On both occasions we kicked back in all our players were on the correct side and we had 2 beautiful clearances that both resulted in scoring opportunities for Mitcham.  The second half was a different game with Donvale attacking the ball a lot harder but our boys did respond with some inspirational pieces of play!  Every week I am seeing some huge improvement from everyone in the team and I am really proud of the boys effort, win lose or draw.   The boys were disappointed when the final siren blew...they all new that they had lost an opportunity to come off the ground on top.  Having said that, with the fast improvement we are making, I have no doubt great things are around the corner for this group of boys! Well done to Sasha and Liam for captaining the team and congratulations to Jack Goldsmith and Matt Booth for being awarded the 2 best players.  This was a great team effort and every boy should be proud of the way they played and conducted themselves.”

The Under 11’s travelled to Knox to take on another team sitting on 3 wins and one loss. Unfortunately the most positive thing to come out of this "Mother’s Day" game was the weather.  Our Under 11 outfit faced a lot of difficulty defending against a really well organised Knox Falcons side.  The Tiger’s back-line could not keep up with the fast ball movement and it wasn’t long before players started to panic when they did find the ball; rushing their disposals.  Although the scoreboard does not reflect it, this did seem to improve in the final quarter.  Overall a sobering lesson on what it’s like to be on the other end of the ledger.   We all hope the team can take stock and think about how they can improve for next week’s game at home.

Final Score: Knox 12.11.83 d Mitcham 0.0.0

The Under 12's played Knox at Walker park.  Knox are a good side and but for poor goal-kicking would have been well ahead early.  As it was, they steadily built their lead all day and our boys struggled to get on the scoreboard.  The boys all tried hard at different times but Danny was clearly the inspiration early playing a good game at Full back - spoiling, kicking well and tackling hard.  Michael was great all game providing a lot of run, marking and continually driving the ball forward.  Lincoln too was industrious around the ground, as was Harry.  Noah was good with limited opportunities up forward, Josh’s tackling was great down back and Luke B and Nick provided some highlights throughout the game.  Coach Marcus Webb said - “There was plenty to learn from this game and definitely plenty to improve on, so lets keep working hard at training boys. Go tigers!”

Final Score: Knox 10.10.70 d Mitcham 1.1.7

The Under 14’s took the trip to Ferntree Gully to take on the other unbeaten side in C Division for a top of the ladder clash.  Coach Cam Chivers had this to say on the big match -  “Always a challenge playing another unbeaten team on their turf and considering Ferntree Gully have always given us plenty of headaches in previous encounters, today was not about trying to get even, it was about playing our game under our terms.  We started slow trailing by 2 and a half at the end of the first quarter, but some changes and a few home truths saw us level at half time.  Going into the third we knew we could run them down which we managed to do and through the final quarter our fitness and determination showed through.  The aim was to finish outright first which we have managed to do but know we have to keep up the pressure and work harder to ensure we stay on the correct path. The whole team is focused on the job at hand.!”

Final Score: Mitcham 10.10.70 d Ferntree Gully 7.11.53

The Under 17's made the short drive down the road to Ringwood to take on the  undefeated Ringwood Redbacks on the wide open spaces of Jubilee Park. Coach Gavin Ward said after the game “It's fair to say it was a spirited affair and anybody that watches our under 17s play and understands footy will realise that these boys try to play a team oriented brand of football - Hard, fair, disciplined and within the spirit of the game. Regardless of what anybody throws at us there’s strength in numbers and the boys showed this week that they are beginning to mature both individually and as a team. On a big ground like Ringwood you need a number of winners around the ground and it fair to say we got that and it showed on the scoreboard”

Final Score: Mitcham 17.6.108 d  Ringwood 6.4.40


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