Round 3 of Eastern Junior Football took place on the weekend and The Mitcham JFC was pleased to take part along with each of the visiting teams in an Anzac ceremony before each home game - Not to celebrate or glorify war, but rather to remember those who have served our country during conflict and crisis.  The club also presented an Anzac medal to the “Most Courageous Player” from both our club and the visiting team.  We would like to than The Vermont JFC (U9), The Basin JFC (U11), The Kilsyth JFC (U13) and The Waverley Blues JFC (U15) for their co-operation and enthusiasm in being involved in our Anzac ceremonies.  A big thank you to Gavin Ward for providing the sound system, organizing all the club theme songs and Anzac ceremony material for both Saturdays Seniors and Sundays Juniors and a special thanks to Alistair Hardie who played The Last Post “Live” before all 4 junior  games at Walker Park on Sunday.  “Big Al” also played his 100th game in the Under 15’s match.

Mitcham Black Under 8’s took on Heathmont and Coach Peter Ajani had this to say -  “Todays game was a very even contest.  Our boys had a real desire to be first to the ball and you could feel that they were switched on early.  Captain for the week was Lucas who has consistently played contested footy, always first to the ball and today showed he was a terrific leader.   One of our newest recruits was picked out by Heathmont to be our ANZAC medalist, well done to Noah – a deserved winner.  This   week the Mitcham Medals went to Lucas and Noah who played their hearts out for the whole game.  The Panelen’s Healthy Nut Bar and Cafe award went to Gabriel and Marcus.  Gabriel showed what a beautiful kick he is by kicking the ball over the pack and half way done the field.  Marcus’ desire to be first to the ball was great - well done Marcus and done to both the boys for following the coach’s instructions.  The Mr. Croc EFL Encouragement Award went to Aiden who took a great mark and had a nice kick.  Matthew and William were awarded the Mitcham Encouragement Award for clearly their best games yet.  Matthew was first to the ball on several occasions and managed to run his full distance.  William’s second, third and fourth efforts in one passage of play resulted in a great goal.   Jesse received the Mitcham Hot Dog and Drink Encouragement Award for his best quarter of football yet with marks, kicks and goals. Special mention to Felix who has kicked goals in all out games.  Other players efforts worth mentioning were, Gus’s nice kicks, Steven’s ruck work, Liam’s run, LeBron first to the ball approach, Jett, Nay and Tong playing great team football.  Great game this week by all the boys!”

Mitcham Yellow Under 8’s took on Ringwood East.  Coach Josh McConnell posted this report – “Charlie Martin was our Captain this week.  The boys were right behind him from the get go and Charlie did a fantastic job of leading the team.  Being a wet day it was great to see the boys work hard at being in front and being first to the ball. This was an area that we worked on at training and all the coaching staff were very proud and pleased to see the kids not only listening well to instruction but also putting practice into play during the game.  As always there were great individual marks and shots on goal, but a couple of the pleasing aspects from todays game were that we continued to be in front of our opponents all day and we showed great teamwork when running and handballing to each other out of the backline.   This set up many scoring opportunities.  It’s fantastic to see the kids improving in this area and knowing where to run and supporting each other.  Daniel Grace played a great game today, always being first to the ball, which earned him the Coach’s medal.  Great stuff Dan.  Charlie Trollope has been hard at the ball all season and this week he again showed how good he is playing in the centre.  This earned him the other Coach’s medal for the day.  Keep up the attack on the ball Charlie!  The Mitcham JFC Encouragement award was awarded to Charlie Martin today for playing in front in the backline and taking a very courageous mark to stop a goal.  Well done Charlie and keeping fighting for the ball!  Henry Thomson was awarded a Mr. Croc’s Star Award for his efforts to always to be the first at the ball and use his teammates once he got it out of the pack.  Keep up the run Henry.  We welcomed Ashton Smith into the team for his first game this week.  Straight away he showed us how well he can run and look for teammates all over the ground and this saw him also gain a Mr. Croc’s Star Award for his efforts.  The Panelen’s Nut Bar and Café award went to Ryan McConnell this week for his hard work playing in front and kicking the ball well to his teammates. Keep up the nice kicking Ryan.  Being Anzac Day weekend, a special medal was awarded by the opposition coaching staff to Mitcham Yellow’s most courageous player.  This award was for being courageous, confident, attacking the ball and supporting your teammates.  Fittingly this medal was awarded to Angus Butler.  Great stuff Angus and keep up the hard work at getting the ball first.  It was really a great game today as we could see so much improvement in the boys from what we have been working on at training.  Thanks to our support team today and each week for stepping in as goal umpire, umpire escort etc etc.  To Mark Butler (Assistant coach) Steve Darmody (Team manager) and Anthony Grace (Trainer), your support on game day is much appreciated.  Round 4 sees us play North Ringwood Red at 9:30am.  See you at training. Go the Tigers!!!!”

The Under 9’s were at home and took on The Vermont Eagles.  Coach Brad Aujard had this to say about their game – “Awesome day today....What an fantastic team effort from all the boys who played in the true spirit of football.  All parents should be extremely proud of how the boys conducted themselves during the pre-game Anzac Ceremony and then to continued to represent the MJFC with honour and respect out on the field.  Ryan P led from the front and it looks like we found his position this week at centre half back!  What a start to the second quarter it was for the team with Felix breaking a tackle and kicking a great goal to start the avalanche.  Ben breaking out of the centre and kicking into the forward line was fantastic to watch and he was ably backed up by Gruff again this week.  With Lachie deservedly winning the inaugural Anzac medal, he must be very proud!  I could name everyone today for the amount of effort and toughness the boys provided, and as a result I can't wait until next week at the Lightning premiership and to hopefully come home smiling...pray for a sunny day!  Have a great week and we will see you Friday for a big training session!”


The Under 10’s played in the Lightning Premiership at Pinks Reserve in Kilsyth.  With Coach Carlo Fanfulla away, Assistant Coach Sandi Marini stepped up to take control for the day and he had this to say about the days’ proceedings – “Well what a day! The Mitcham Tigers tent and bbq was the envy of all other clubs.  Our site looked great.   Our First game against Knox was a beauty.  We had played this team before in round 1 and lost convincingly, but this time round the tackling pressure and the run we created made Knox aware that this wasn’t going to be easy.  Unfortunately we went down by a very narrow margin.  Second up we played Upper Ferntree Gully. It wasn’t through lack of effort that the boys went down by another narrow margin. They fought till the end, just coming up short.  Hamish, Lachlan, Hudson and Jordan were ferocious in the middle with many clearances.  Charlie was great in the ruck taking a step forward in his role.  Game three was against the Heathmont Jets.  Boy, Oh Boy what a cracker this one was!!  We had so much of the ball that if someone was taking a possession count; we would have been up by miles.  Sadly we didn’t convert our efforts on the scoreboard and went down by three points.  Our final game was against Norwood.  The boys saved their best game for last. This was the proudest moment of the day for me.  The boys realized what happens when we all play as a team and help each other out.  Norwood had no chance at a run with the ball.  Our tackling was A1 and our use of the ball was surprisingly clean for the wet conditions.  We beat Norwood by seven points finishing off a perfect end to the day. Earlier on in the day we lost one of our players with concussion.  Sam was taken to hospital and was given the all clear after some tense moments.  He courageously came back to support the boys in their last game.  I reckon the boys played a little harder because he was there.  The two Anzac medals went to Charlie B for holding his position at half back and not getting drawn in to the play.  Great work Charlie!  Jack received the second medal for his efforts in the ruck and creating many options for our midfield.  As I said to the boys, you don’t have to get one hundred kicks or kick ten goals to win the award. You just have to listen well and do the job required for your team.  A big thank-you to all the parents that helped out on the day with setup, BBQ duties, packing up and everyone for providing the food.  It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to coach these young boys in Carlo's absence.  I gotta tell you now, it was very rewarding.  Finally, I think this is a turning point for our young football team.  I think they all understand that this is a team sport and we have to help out our mates, just like the Anzac Spirit.”

The Under 11’s took on The Basin at Walker Park.  Coach Jason Philactides had this to say about his team’s game –  “Today we played The Basin, however it was more than just a game of footy, we were also paying our respects to the ANZACS with a fantastic pre game ceremony.   Today's game, based on The Basins previous results, was probably our first real opportunity for a win.  Having said this, winning was not the main focus for the day.  The real focus was on teamwork!  Prior to the game I spoke to the boys about the ANZACS and the importance on how they worked together as a united team at Gallipoli.  I also spoke about the ANZACS commitment to climb out of the trenches when it was their turn to go.  The basis behind my pre game speech was to deepen the boy’s knowledge on the ANZACS but to also translate the message in football terms.  Right from the first bounce the boys were committed to one another, played like a united team for the first time and focused on what they could do for their teammates.  When it was their turn to go for the ball, they went for it, and on many occasions won the ball.  At 3-quarter time, we had a sniff of victory with the scores all tied up.   Unfortunately the bounce of the ball and some decisions didn't go our way and the game was lost.  While we didn't win the match, we certainly made huge improvement.  All 4 quarters showed the brand of footy we are working towards; hard, committed and skillful play.  I would also like to congratulate Daniel Trinder on winning the ANZAC medal for an outstanding game.  His performance across the 4 quarters was superb and when it was his turn to get the ball, he did exactly that.  Daniel only had eyes for the ball and took the game on all day along with providing some stunning run through the middle of the ground.  Congratulations Daniel “Pocket Rocket” Trinder.  Thanks to The Basin JFC for also presenting both teams with an Anzac medal to go with ours!

Final Score:  The Basin 5.5.35 d Mitcham 2.3.15

Goals: Nathan P 2

The Under12's ANZAC weekend clash saw them travel to Rowville to take on Lysterfield.  Coach Mark Ross sent in this match report -  “Today we were up against the undefeated Lysterfield.  In “coolish” conditions, the first quarter was played between the two half forward lines with neither team finding any space to break free and score goals.  The game slowly opened up with the Tigers finding their run and creating space and opportunities for the forward line to kick some goals.  The most pleasing thing about the game was our discipline in holding our positions, especially in the back line.  This enabled us to set up attacks by rebounding from the back line and keeping our forward line open.  The attack on the ball and the desire to win the one on one contest saw the tigers get over the line against a strong opposition. Congratulations to Joel Michaelson on winning the "ANZAC" medal awarded by the opposition coach and also to Ben and Alex; winners of this week's encouragement awards.  Great effort boys - continue to work hard and I'm sure we will continue to improve.”

 Final Score: Mitcham 4.7.31 d Lysterfield 1.1.7

The Under 13’s were at home and took on Kilsyth.  Coach Shane Dickson had this to say about their game – “It was a great to finally play our first home game for the season at Walker Park.  The day started for us with the Anzac Ceremony, which encouraged the boys to show great courage and commitment throughout the game.  It was even better as the boys came away with a hard fought 5-point win.   The boys played hard and attacked the ball with great endeavour.  We moved the ball well and switched play often.  Kilsyth were a much taller side, but that didn’t seem to bother us as we tackled hard and kept moving the ball forward.  It was a great team effort throughout the whole game, and everyone contributed.  It is good to see that our work at training is starting to pay off.  Keep working hard boys and we will continue to improve.  Thank you to all those at the club that organized the Anzac weekend commemoration, and also all the support that we had throughout our game today.  It was much appreciated.”

                                                   Final Score: Mitcham 6.5.41 d Kilsyth 4.12.36

Goals: Nick 2,  Luke B 2,  Jayden 1 & Michael 1

                                                   Awards: Corey, Jayden, Josh

The Under 15’s also played their first game at home for 2015. Coach Cam Horsey posted this report though – “Today we hosted The Waverley Blues for our first home game of the year.  The team was very focused on turning last week’s loss around and concentrated on winning the hard ball.  We weren’t disappointed.  Being Anzac round we spoke about the sacrifices of our past and present diggers and how important it was to honour them this week.  The way the boys played for each other today was testament to that.  We started the game strongly and our attack on the ball was ferocious.  Our forwards made sure they worked hard to get in front for all the forward entries, with Horse slotting the first and Kahleel weaving some magic through heavy traffic to claim the next major.  Timmy Ross laid a huge tackle on an opponent twice his size, which set the tone for the rest of the boys to follow, something they all did extremely well for the rest of the game.  Keenan Hoare played a blinder across the wing, while Adrian controlled the centre bounces and was also impassable across the half back line when he dropped back.  The backline were magnificent all day with Stinger running off his man and setting up many forward entries.  Congratulations to all the boys today!  You could all get a mention for your efforts today.  Last but not least, I want to congratulate “Big Al” on his 100th game. Alistair is a great addition to the mighty Mitcham junior footy club and the boys all put in a huge effort to make sure we had a win for him.  Alistair even seized the chance to score a goal on his big day.  Fantastic effort again boys, let’s have a great week on the training track and carry it into next game.  Go tiges!!”

Final Score:  Mitcham 9.12.66 d Waverley Blues 2.3.15


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