Another beautiful weekend of AFL as Selwood travelled to play the Manly Bombers at their home ground. Unlike a normal winter in Melbourne, the centre pitch was not soft and muddy but very hard, and this really was an ominous sign for the rest of the day for us.
The game provided few positive moments for us, we were outclassed across the ground all day, and despite some strong tackling, we lost our way more often than not. We seemed to be a bit like the Dockers, full of promise but let down by the desire to win the game, and do the basics well. We let ourselves down by not manning up, with poor kicking decisions and really just our lack of basic desire to win the contest. There were some strong performances by individuals but they were short lived and we were simply out numbered and out played across the ground. The score board, that wasn’t there, would have shown that for the first time this year we remained scoreless.
We will continue to learn from these games, and work on our ball movement, and pressure, but the desire needs to come from everyone playing the game.
Over the coming weeks we will look to get back the great form we had at Blackman a few weeks ago under lights.
Selwood coaching staff
The week saw our team return to the scene of our first game of the season where we went down in a tight game to Manly. This time was always going to be tough, and even more so as we were missing three high calibre players in Daniel, Angus and Lachie. In testament to the way our team has been training, playing and improving we turned the result around this time and had a great win! Charles was our captain and he rose to the occasion with another award winning performance. Emma backed her always strong defence up with a great attacking game snagging a difficult goal and finding space constantly. Darcy was our other award winner with yet another consistent performance with probably more assists and tackles than any other player on the field!
Our attack has been constantly improving with the likes of Alex, Sam and Jarrod using the wings well to get the ball down to our forward zone. Mac and Jaeden continue to work the ball up the field well through the middle and Cooper and James are winning the ball off the ground and getting it forward with great regularity – setting up many of our goals. Will, Nick and Max set up a very strong platform for our team to win the ball from the breakdown as they disturbed the opposition attack and supported our players with the ball. In short we played well as a team and that is when we look the best!
One area for us to work on is finding our players in attack. We will go through some end to end team wicking drills this week in training to practise looking for a team mate and kicking accurately short to the player. We will also remind all players to “look up” when they get the ball to find a team mate to either handpass or kick too. Too often we are undoing all our good work by looking down and not seeing teammates who are free to attack!
In a rare late afternoon timeslot, Team Enright took on the Mosman Swans for the second week in a row. Despite a hard fought win in tough conditions last week, we weren’t going to take things lightly. With only six Swans players returning from the previous week, this Swans team looked a decidedly different. The skill level was higher and the pressure much greater, which seemed to rattle our boys.
The Swans took advantage of our lack of intensity to take a strong lead into the first quarter. In fact, we couldn’t handle the level of pressure the Swans applied. Our decision making was poor, which resulted in turnovers across the field.
This started to turn around in the third quarter. We started to look for the right options, instead of blindly kicking long. Our tackling pressure also ramped up, which created opportunities for our backs and midfielders to attack and give our forwards some options.
We entered the third quarter break with the momentum behind us and only nine points down. However, the Swans kicked the first goal of the last quarter, which took the wind out of our sails. Our pressure dropped and allowed two more goals from the Swans.
In the end, it was a tough loss for the boys. They are quickly learning that despite being on top of the ladder, every game is losable. You can never rest on your laurels in this game.
Overall the boys handled the constant banter and rough play by the Swans without issues. They remained calm and didn’t react, which shows how much they have matured lately. Individually, we continue to see some massive improvement in some players. Cook showed some great skills during the game, adding to his strong running. Fenton is becoming a perfect combination with AJ down back, with his attack on the ball is a delight to watch. Despite having a saw knee, Ballhausen kept one of the best Swans players very quiet, while Hynes continues to take his opportunities up front, kicking another 2 goals.
While our next three games are against a couple of teams near the bottom of the ladder, I will be looking for our boys to bring great effort and intensity to each match. Any thing less will not be tolerated.
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