What a great day it was on Sunday, the sun was shining and we were playing footy on our beloved astro turf at Blackman Park. As it so happened our first game of the season was against one of the other Lane Cove teams – Bartel, over the past 2 years the teams are tied at 1 game each. I must say what great players there were from both sides and the sportsmanship was excellent, especially Haine Lim who actually corrected the umpire and admitted to throwing the ball, well done Haine that is great sportsmanship.
I must say how proud I was of everyone on the weekend, for a team that hasn’t played together before and who only 5 minutes before the game were learning each others names, they worked really well together. The two Billy’s, Nikki and Xavier all showed the newer team members what the U9s is all about, and the rest quickly learned. By the 3rd quarter we had running play, linking multiple handballs together and people holding their positions to receive the ball in the goal square, we had really strong tackling, good defensive play, and although we don’t keep score I think we did pretty well.
The first game is always tuff, as we have players who have never played competition football before, in fact I have found that it normally takes about 1 month for the kids to find their feet and get used to the tackling and more ferocious play. From what I saw on the weekend I think we are going to have a great team this year and I thoroughly look forward to the year ahead.
Well done to all. Thanks to the coaching staff of Gavin, Victoria, Tim and thanks to Jonathon for being goal umpire.
This week we have training at Blackman on Thursday and a game against Willoughby Wildcats at 9:30 at Blackman.
Michael, Victoria, Gavin and Tim
What a great start to the 2016 season for our Under 10s Hawkins team! All our players showed an amazing ability to play together as a team – when in fact most of them had not played together before. We had 14 players on the day and had to lend the opposition 3 players per quarter which can be quite disruptive to the team cohesion and flow. Our players should be proud of the way they played for both our team and the opposition and their coach thank us at the end of the game for being so sporting.
Our defence was a standout, with Emma, Will and Lachlan taking it up to the opposition regularly. Cooper led from the front and played a captains game right across the field, supported well by Angus, Jaeden and Mac, who all had great games in each zone. Jarred, Max, Nick and Darcy worked hard for good reward, often winning the ball in contests on the ground and clearing it out to the mid field and wings when defending.
In the end, Charles, Alex and Daniel took out the awards this week with great displays of courage, marking and kicking throughout the game.
We will work on our goal kicking and kicking out from a minor score at training this week as areas for improvement. We faded a little late in the game so there could be some fitness work as well – which should be no surprise for the team.
If that’s how Hawkins plays our first game of the season – I can’t wait to see the way we finish! We have a home game this week and hopefully we can welcome James and Sam back to the team for their first games of the season.
U11 Taylor vs Willoughby Wildcats
There was a great deal of anticipation going into Round 1 of the U11 competition this season after a great year in U10’s last year. We had recruited well in the off season picking up 5 new players and were placed in the highest division for U11’s – Division 1.
Coaches, managers, trainers and parents were all as excited as the players as we ran out onto the field through a banner for 50 game player Ben Cheshire. Congratulations Ben on all you have achieved as a Lane Cove Cat footballer so far.
The game got underway and we immediately knew that this season was going to be different. The intensity was on from the first minute and the skill level was very high. Both teams were tackling with purpose, with Declan Fitzgerald and Liam Cunneen in particular making many great tackles. Our backline was under a lot of pressure early and first gamer Nick Foster was absolutely brilliant repelling many of the Wildcats forward advances. Matt Sidhu was also a standout in defence taking strong mark after strong mark, but we struggled to get the ball forward of the centre due to the opposition pressure.
In the middle our fast and skilful runners in Declan and Max Negri were working well with newly recruited ruckman Lucas Visscher, but they were up against much bigger bodied boys and certainly didn’t have it all our own way. Some of our new recruits in Nic Berthold and Finn Murphy got into the game early with some great handballs out of congestion, exactly as they had been instructed by Coach Cunneen. The pace of the game was quicker than any training and that took some getting used to for our new players.
Up front we were well led by 50 gamer Ben Cheshire and the tireless work up and down the field of Ben Williams. One of the key highlights of the first half was a long ball into full forward from Ben Williams that hit Tom Hardy on the chest after a 25 metre lead. It led to a goal, our second of the half and at half time we were down 5 goals 0 to 2 goals 3. Same scoring shots and we had held on against a very strong opposition. We needed to all work hard and take our chances.
Unfortunately we were to suffer a slow start to the 3rd quarter and then an injury to Ben Williiams that effectively ended the quarter. Ben was tackled strongly after a great long run and unfortunately fell awkwardly and hit his head on the ground. The St John’s ambulance were called onto the field and Ben had clearly suffered from a concussion. All involved, from the St John’s team, to the Wildcats and our own parents and helpers did a fantastic job to make sure Ben was well cared for and taken safely away to be monitored at the hospital. Ben has recovered well and will have the next two weeks off to ensure he has fully recovered. Sadly not what any of us wanted, but simply a part of football. Well done to Ben for being so competitive for every minute he was on the field.
The game became a little secondary at this point – as we were all concerned for Ben, but the players continued to try their hardest and work on sharing the ball around with their team mates. The arrival of Billy Sykes added some height and class to our midfield and he had an immediate positive impact when he ran onto the field, providing another outlet for the backs to aim for. The backline which had Callum Mitchell working hard alongside first gamer Jasper Tippett, who again did some great things in his first game getting several key possessions.
In the end we were well beaten by a very tough and skilful Wildcats side. A tough start to the season, but something that we will take a lot of positives and learnings from. Let’s keep working hard at training and the success will follow on the field as the season progresses.
We approached the new season with a fair bit of trepidation. After losing the grand final the year before, one could be excused for thinking the team’s mindset would be negative leading into the new season. We also had a few new players that could take time to their feet.
To make matters worse, several players were unavailable due to school commitments. In fact, numbers were so low we were struggling to get the minimum number required to start a match. However, two boys stepped up to the plate and for that, we are truly thankful. Toby, who had decided to take a year off, dusted off his footy boots. While Aarun Bhattacharya, who had never played the game before, also took up the call from his friend, Samuel Hynes..
This seemed to garner some passion, with the team bursting out of the gates and producing some of the best team footy I’ve ever seen them play. Good old-fashioned footy; quick ball movement (by foot and hand), great use of team mates and hard gang tackling.
Toby Zerna went up forward and presented like a great full forward. He contested everything and was rewarded with a goal. Then Arun also went up forward and kicked a goal in his first quarter of AFL ever!.
It was a dominant performance. By half time, we had a lead of over 60 points, and the 10 goal rule was invoked. This involves the scoreboard being frozen (with a win officially recorded), and the winning team either adjusting player positions, lending players or even taking others off. This was a position we found ourselves in several time last year. And the boys realised it, with no complaints from anyone who had a rest or played in an different position.
Overall a superb start to the season for Enright U12.
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