On another glorious morning at Blackman Park the Lane Cove Cats Team Menzel put on a great demonstration of under 8s AFL against the Willoughby Wildcats. The Cats had another great turnout with 18 kids in attendance, so like last week, we were able to loan a couple of players to the opposition and play a 12 a side match.
Willoughby started the match strongly by kicking a number of goals, but the Cats hung in there and probably had the better of the second quarter. In the second half, both teams played some exciting end to end footy. All the kids continue to impress with their individual skills and enthusiasm but they are now starting to develop some more positional awareness during the game which is great to see. Next week I’d like Team Menzel to incorporate some more hand balls into the game, so parents, please feel free to practise this skill with your child during the week if you can.
Next Sunday we have a home game against the Mosman Swans Red Team (we played their White Team last week). The game starts at 8 am at Blackman Park and we should be up on the artificial turf. Please aim to get to the oval by 7:40 so we can do a few warm ups and organise the numbers.
Until next Sunday,
Team Guthrie were down on personnel this week, with a few of the regulars at band camp. Whilst the ones not there were playing Beethoven, the boys that did played to an allegro tempo all game.
Whilst Leichhardt are still learning the ropes, Guthrie played with fewer players but were determined all game. We saw more handballs this week than we have all season, which was great to see that the boys are bringing others into the game.
The goals were really shared around and the boys took the game on with many of them having a bounce of the ball which is great to see.
Some things to improve on for next week is calling for the ball and letting your team mate know when they have someone about to tackle them. Everyone has a voice and lets start to use it to help your team mates.
A great effort by all. But we are sure looking forward to having the full force of Guthrie back next week.
Award for winners for the week.
Best kick – Jeremy Butler
Best mark – Micah Bonwick
Most courage – Bryce Keevers
It was always going to be a test to see how our players bounced back after their first defeat and we were indeed tested as we trailed in both quarters in the first half against a spirited and quick St Ives team. We were back to basics this week with a focus on each player doing their job in their zone and trusting their team mates to do the same. We concentrated on marking up in defence and getting the ball on the ground by spoiling if we could not intercept marks. This enabled our tenacious on ballers such as Lachie, James and Cooper to swoop on the loose ball and get it out to the wings, where the Iikes of Sam, Daniel and Joey create space and get the ball into our forward zone (or kick a goal).
Everyone played their part perfectly, with Will Z, Will M and Raffety all creating the opportunities we needed. Liam and Lucas continue to be rock solid in providing fullback protection and full forward options, with both boys reading the play well and positioning themselves appropriately. Emma, Jaeden and Schoey used their accurate and long kicks effectively to help maintain momentum. Blake and Max roved well, attacking and defending, and it was great to have Ryan back in the ruck to help us take control and turn the ball over in the midfield.
At the start of the season we only had the minimum numbers of girls in the team, and now our player numbers have almost doubled.
We welcomed another new team member this week, Isabelle or Isso as she would like to be known as we have two Isabelles in the team now.
Isso had previous Auskick experience, and so was already familiar with tackling, kicking and passing and ready to play. This complements all the different skills that the other girls bring to the game, some with rugby7s, soccer, netball, basketball and athletics/cross country, and some with just lots of enthusiasm and willingness to play team sport for the first time.
We fielded a strong team of 12 this week, and missed the few players, such as Catie, Sami, Zoe and Izzy who are still out with muscle soreness and sprains or injuries from other sports.
As coach I am hoping that it is the fun of the game and great team mates that is helping build our numbers, however I am always hopeful of a few more players joining and I will explain why.
With a larger team, this allows us to plan for when players are away, but also to substitute players during the game allowing players to rest and keep our team energy levels up.
A theme of our team has been we are a little slow to start in the first and second quarters. However by the second half of the game, we seem to get ourselves into gear as team and that is when we generally play the best and score more goals and behinds.
This week was similar, as we let the opposition dominate a little at the start of the game. There was still a lot of good tackling by our players in defence, including Lily D, Annabelle and the Char/Char Char/Charli combination.
Our other players in the centres and forwards were also tackling, kicking and passing but as a team we didn’t seem to combine well enough through our kicking and passing, even though we keep the opposition score low.
The turning point of the game was in the second half, when we did pass and kick a few times forward across our team and Annabelle was able to score a great goal.
There were some great individual efforts, including Ducky with her kicking that has improved out of sight in the last 2 weeks, and Charlotte who sets a great example to the team in her ability to gain possession of the ball and run into free space.
Olive continues to develop skills and is actively involved in tackling and defending. Lily S was excellent in her ability to take the ball forward and her stamina in staying amongst the play.
Elin ran and ran throughout the game no matter whether she was in forwards, centres or defence. Emma inspires with her ability to escape tackles and her big kicks, including a goal this week.
A focus this week will be on how we can combine as a team from the start of the game. The key is being able to cleanly pass, kick and mark (catch) the ball between ourselves, so that we can more easily score goals.
High hand passing was something we practiced at training during the week, as a technique for reducing the number of times we are stopped by the umpires for holding the ball.
Unfortunately our few attempts were stopped by the umpires with an incorrect disposal ruling. This means the umpires thought we were throwing the ball, and not passing, so we will still need to do some practice before we try this again.
Greg – Coach
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