The Mitcham Junior Football Club was involved in Round 14 action over the weekend and below are the match reports from all the coaches…
Under 8 Mitcham Yellow – Coach Josh McConnell
The last game of the season for Mitcham Yellow against Montrose was played under glorious sunny conditions even though the day started off at a chilly -1C! Our two Captains to finish off what has been a fantastic season were Noah Quinlan and Ryan McConnell. Both boys have been playing some fantastic team football over the last couple of weeks and were champing at the bit too lead their mates out this week. After some great footy over the last few games, the Tiger cubs were put to the test today by a big, strong running team in Montrose. This had the boys having to fight harder to get the ball first and to support their teammates. Montrose had some very tall kids that ran well with the ball and our Tigers played a great brand of team football trying to stop this, with lots of handballing and sharing, always looking for a better positioned team mate. James Wilson, James Watt, Tyson, Aston, Archer, Angus, Mason, Dylan, Alexander, Noah, Henry, Nate, Harry, Stephen and Will put great pressure on the opposition players whenever they got the chance and a few even snared a goal or two for themselves. With all the kids playing exceptionally well over the last few games we had no more medals to give today, which is a testament of how each of our boys have played. If they were given out, I think all the kids deserved one, even if was just for turning up after last week’s atrocious weather!! We did however have a few encouragement awards today that were well earned by the recipients. He was our first Captain of the season and today finished off a great first season of footy for this young man; Charlie Trollope. Charlie was awarded the Crocs award today for his busy work under the packs when they ball came in his area. It’s been great seeing Charlie develop over the season and look forward to watching his skills grow even further over the coming years. Well done Charlie and keep up the concentration. The Panelen’s Healthy Nut Bar and Café was awarded today to a quiet but tough competitor who’s confidence his grown with every game played. Great game Charlie Martin. In the forward line today he was on the cusp of bagging his first goal after diving in and grabbing the ball from under a pack. I look forward to seeing many goals in the years ahead Charlie. The second Crocs award today went to Heath Fox. It is a pleasure watching Heath and his skills week in week out as it looks like he has been playing the game for 20 years and I am sure could give some of us parents a run for our money. His ability to read the play, run, bounce, handball and hit a target or score a goal off that magic right boot has been a joy to watch all season. Well done Heath I look forward to watching you and a few of your mates on the MCG one day. The Mitcham football Club Encouragement award today was awarded to a player who has developed not only his skills but his confidence throughout the season. Today this award went to Ryan McConnell for has hard fighting spirit across the half backline and never giving up in a contest to get the ball to one of his team mates by foot or hand. He now knows he can do anything he puts his mind to, and when moved into the forward line bagged himself a goal after a couple of tries. Great stuff Ryan I look forward to seeing many more of today’s efforts next season. On behalf of all the boys and parents I would like to say a big thank you to Paola and Paul Parigi for opening their home after our last game today for all the players and parents. Walking into a great spread of food, drink and an expanse for the kids to hangout and run wild after the game was fantastic. Thank you very much it was a perfect way to finish a great day and season. It has been a great first season not only by the kids but the parents also! With many not knowing what to expect for their kids, I think we can all see our boys love it and show many skills that will put them in good stead for healthy football careers at the Mitcham Football Club. I would like to say a massive thank you on behalf of the parents to the football club for giving our boys a fantastic start to their footy. Glenn, Craig and Gavin do an amazing amount of work during the season and the off season to make this all happen, so if you see them at the presentation night make sure you pass on your thanks. From myself, Steve, Mark, Tim, Anthony, Andrew and the other helpers, we thank you. We had many good players trying their best today and these efforts made the coaching staff and parents alike very proud. There has been a marked difference by all kids from the first training run to the last game played today and all the kids should be extremely happy and proud with what they have achieved. I think we may see a few AFL champions in the years ahead. I look forward to seeing all the kids and parents at the presentation night next Friday at what will be a great season ending event, but remember Mitcham juniors and seniors have many teams in the finals. So it will be great to see you there supporting them and the club right through to the end of the footy calendar. Great season boys.. I look forward to the next one… Go Tigers !!!!!
Under 9 – Coach Brad Aujard
For our final match of the season we headed to Boronia to take on the Hawks and what an awesome way to finish the season it was! It started as a frosty morning but warmed up very quickly with the first clearance out of the middle and a beautiful goal to finish. The boys then put in another four quarter performance, all of them making the most of their final minutes of football this year. Boys it’s been a wonderful season, starting off a little shaky against the Wolves in Round 1 but it all came together the following week against Lilydale and stayed with us for the rest of the season including the fantastic Lightning premiership where we won the first one for the U9’s at the Mitcham Junior Footy Club. Every player has performed their role over the 14 games and lightning premiership. From Rory Hume who was breaking through packs showing how tough he really is. Leo Gigliutto showed class in the midfield and all over the ground with his determination and skills. Gruff Edwards today typified how well he can play, finding space and being aggressive towards the ball. Ryan O showed the silkiest skills throughout the year hitting targets and the scoreboard. Samuel the magician in the forward line, who seems to kick goals and take marks from everywhere and his partner in crime Joshy - wow can this little pocket dynamo play, forward or back he puts in 100% every week. Felix was missed this week but his team play and skills have been getting better and better every week. What can I say about the “Candy Man” - Lachie has been in everything all year, from kicking goals to keeping the backline in order and bringing other players into the game. Will showed much promise this year growing in confidence and is clearly ready to take on the U10’s next year. Seb has shown how well he can run with the ball, tucking it under his arm and running in a straight line to get it to one of our players. Luca has become a very reliable player, both back and forward, kicking goals and stopping them when required. Caylem was a late addition to the team but has shown that he can fit in well and showed that he is very eager to get the ball. Run and Gun Ben, wow what a speed machine and doesn’t he love a goal, kicking many this year. The stalwart of the backline constantly keeping the opposition to less goals than us and has fantastic skills is Ryan P, what a great year you’ve had. Jack Pilven it was great to see the number 16 do some wonderful things throughout the season, and todays game showed why it would be great to see him back in a Tigers Jumper next year, clearing packs and kicking it lace out to our forwards. The hard man of the team, Daniel has shown unparalleled hardness running out of the backline through the middle to deliver the ball to the forwards and as a relief ruckman he also showed he can jump with the best of them. Ethan took a while to get the confidence up as a ruckman, but gee when he did he dominated the ruck putting it down our players throats to give us first use of the ball. The last addition to the team was Cooper, what a welcome addition he was with his running and long kicking proving a handful for the opposition and a massive asset for us. Whilst mentioning running and long kicking is there a better site than watch Tynan running down the wings in full flight finishing with a beautiful left foot kick either to one of our player or goals. Show Pony Christian has been the hard man of the side ensuring the opposition didn’t mess with him when he had the ball or he’d simply use his lower centre of gravity to win the ball, even the under 11’s were impressed with his tactics. Last but by no means least, Jacoby has shown so much promise throughout the year kicking many goals and showing his excellent skills. I would like to thank all of the boys for playing so well and being so dedicated to the team all season, also all the parents must be thanked from helping at training and during the games. A special mention must go to Paul and his son Jack for their efforts at training and during the games. Thanks also to Vince for running out my excellent messages throughout the season. Also a huge thank you to Michael for stepping up as the Trainer this year. Not only does he carry the white shorts better than anyone but the way he applied that band aids during the season was inspirational. But most importantly Jamie Gilchrist, without you the team would have fallen flat. Your organization and support all year has been exceptional. See you all Friday night for Presentations, all of which have been thoroughly deserved. Go Tigers
Under 10 – Coach Carlo Fanfulla
It was sunny skies but still very cold as we hosted The Vermont Eagles at Walker Park for our last match. Captained by James McKelvey and Alijah Kwah, who both stood proud leading our boys onto the ground for the last time this year. Full credit to our boys as they played a very good game. Vermont are a good team and were very efficient in kicking to leading players out in front of their goal. It was great to see George take a good mark twenty metres out from goal and slotting it through the middle as he played a great role up forward as well as spending a stint down at full back. Elijah was fantastic today playing in the midfield and each time he grabbed the ball, he found open space having full control fending off his opponents with a bounce and long kick into our forward line. Jack Crawford-Boyce contributed well from the wing keeping on his opponent and positioning himself well to win the ball several times. They did not give up applying tremendous pressure with strong tackles, which is a strength they developed this year. It’s been very rewarding watching how well the boy’s footy skills have improved throughout the season. Their understanding of game plays and how to play each position is something that will certainly give them success in the future. They made me proud in how competitive we have been against good sides and also winning some close games along the way – not that we keep scores! Well done boys!
Under 11 – Coach Jason Philactides
For only the second time this year we had the lead at quarter time, this time up against St. Simons at Stud Park. The boys came out firing again and were playing a brand of footy I have been asking for all year. The first quarter we dominated possession and were able to lock the ball into our forward line for the majority of the quarter. We lead by 5 points at quarter time and the boys came into the huddle with confidence and were very vocal as a team as to how to keep the momentum going. Many of the boys were playing really good footy. Jamie was playing in front and winning possession of the ball. The midfield were relentless in their competitiveness to win the ball with good skills shown by Denzell and Damon to tap the ball down to the midfield. The backline did not see much of the ball, but when they did, they were rock solid. The forwards were awesome in locking the ball in and continually trying to put scoreboard pressure on. This was well supported by the midfield with Nathan taking his opportunity and kicking a nice snap goal. At half time there wasn’t much in it. We were only down by a goal. For the first time I could sense the boys knew they were a real chance to win. The third quarter was much like the first two with both teams working really hard to make the most of every opportunity. Our tackling today was a real feature and listening to instructions was the best all year. In the last quarter the boys were fighting extremely hard to do whatever they could to kick a winning score, but unfortunately a win wasn’t to be. We went down by only 7 points, however, I am extremely proud of every one of the boys to fight it out all the way to the end. Denzell was awesome in the ruck and was winning lots of the ball around the ground. His tackling pressure was fantastic and was rewarded with an encouragement award. Jamie waited till the last game of the year to have his best game. He was playing in front and winning loads of the footy and was very physical, not letting his opponent beat him. Well done Jamie also getting an award. Thanks to all the support staff - Josh, Rob, Paul, Jodi and Annette. Also a big thank you to the parents who committed to filling a weekly role; The McDonough’s as Umpire Escort, Glenn as Interchange Steward and Cam as Boundary Umpire. Well done to the three leaders - Nathan, Dan N and Jack for leading the way during games and at training. Lastly thanks to all the boys for remaining positive, and keeping the game fun during a tough year. I have enjoyed the year and seeing the boys skills grow immensely
Final Score: St. Simons 3.4.22 d Mitcham 1.9.15
Under 12 – Coach Mark Ross
The U12's hosted the fourth placed Croydon in our last game for the home and away season. The first half we played some of our best team football for the season and this was reflected on the scoreboard with the Tigers kicking 6 goals to none. The boys really linked up well hitting targets with kicks, handballing to moving team mates and playing in front in the forward line. The second half was a different story with the Mitcham boys going into their shells and letting the Croydon boys back into the game. It was a little disappointing to be out scored 4 goals to 1 in the second half but all credit goes to our opponents who really finished off the game well. The goal kickers were Callum, 2, Harry, 2, Jamie, 2 and a single to Louis. Congratulations to the ever-reliable Benny P. and one of the most improved players in Geromi who celebrated their 50th games. Well done boys1 Finishing on top of the ladder is a fantastic effort. Keep working hard boys and who knows how the season will finish up! Go Tigers.
Final Score: Mitcham 7.3.45 d Croydon 4.2.26
Under 13 – Coach Shane Dickson
What a great way to finish our season with a 75 point win. The boys started slowly against South Belgrave, but worked hard to have a 15 point lead at half time. In the second half the team worked even harder by continuing to attack the ball well. Michael helped the team produce an 8 goal last quarter with great run out of the centre. Matt M and Nick made valuable contributions with the goals they kicked along with the other goal scorers. It was certainly a great team effort by all players today, and it was fantastic to end the season with “back to back” wins. This shows the boys are very capable of producing good performances when they believe in themselves and their team. Even though we didn’t make finals, our performances throughout the season and particularly the way we finished off, makes a great stepping-stone for us to build on for next year. I would like to thank all the players for the commitment to each other this season, and look forward to seeing what they can achieve next season. Fantastic effort boys!
Final Score: Mitcham 14.12.96 d Sth Belgrave 3.3.21
Goals: Nick 4, Matt 3, Kyle 2 , Michael 2, Baley 1, Luke H 1, Luke B 1
Awards: Michael, Matt M & Nick
Under 15 – Coach Cam Horsey
The last game of the home away season at home and we were fighting for the top spot. The boys were pumped for this game especially to be the minor premiers but also to play for their captain Josh Hopkins who was achieving the 100 game milestone. Everyone turned up focused on the game ahead and the preparation was done to take on Norwood. The start of the game was ferocious from both teams but it seemed that we had the power to beat Norwood at their own game. The mids were dynamite through the middle and our forwards were playing with intent. Ryley nailed our first one with a strong mark in the square and we were away. The boys knew that Norwood wouldn’t lie down and they kept coming at us. The scores stayed pretty even through the first even though Norwood had a slight wind advantage. Hopefully we would use the advantage when we had the wind. We were down a bit in strength across the forward line with the late withdrawal of Jules and Josh C but the boys who took their place stood up to the challenge and did extremely well (well done Horse and Alex). Going into the second you could sense that all we needed to do was to maintain the pressure and we could break the spirit of Norwood. We started well but both defences were rock solid and it was a real struggle to score majors. What did let us down through this period was the continual fumbling of the ball whether in the air or on the ground where as Norwood were pretty clean in that area. If we can control that on our next outing we will break them for sure. Going into the major break the coaches asked every individual to lift as we knew we had a very even contest on our hands. We came out strong but our sloppiness by hand again let us down and Norwood started to take a slight control on the game. We weren’t going to lie down and we worked hard to stay within a few straight kicks. Again our mids worked well, our defence was strong and committed to the contest and our forwards were in for a real scrap. The last quarter was our last shot at top spot and we asked for a real commitment from all and to go for broke. Within three minutes we were only two points down, with some amazing work through the middle and accurate kicking. It could have been four goals in as many minutes but a decision didn’t go our way and Norwood were able to rebound and get one back. From there they scored another couple of goals and the game just got away from us. We let Norwood in and it had a lot to do with our ball control and some basic errors in judgment particularly with disposal. Our intensity and attack on the ball was there. Our endeavor was there and our commitment to the contest was there, it just came down to ball use. We will re-group for next week and really show the competition what we are made of. Keep your heads up and we will reload. Special mentions to some outstanding players on the weekend, JP, Timmy R, Tails, Hop and Spitter for their tireless work. Well done boys! That’s not to take away from the efforts of everyone. You were all good throughout the day. Training Wednesday and Friday and let’s give this week a big shake-up. Go Tiges!!!!
Final Score: Norwood 8.10.58 d Mitcham 5.9.39
Junior Finals kick of next Sunday. Our Under 12's finished the season on top of the ladder and have earned the weeks rest. The Under 15's finished third and will take on The Basin in the Qualifying Final at Pinks Reserve, Liverpool Road, Kilsyth. Game starts at 2.30pm and it would be great to get the Tiger Army together to give the boys as much support as possible. Dresscode is strictly YELLOW AND BLACK!