THE PLAY: The Dockers kick the ball forward into their forward zone. Ysabella chases down the ball in our back pocket, runs around a Dockers forward and kicks the ball to Jonti, who take the mark. Jonti spots Scarlett in midfield and so kicks ahead. Scarlett marks the ball, turns takes a couple of steps and boots in towards one of our forwards, Oscar. Two Dockers defenders surround Oscar as the ball arrives to create a contest, but he takes a great contested grab in the forward zone! With three kicks, and three marks our Cockatoos moved the ball from the back pocket to our forward line to set up a goal!
THE GOAL KICKERS: We had 10 players on Sunday of which seven kicked at least one goal. Three players managed two goals each, including Aza, who added two goals to his season tally, having kicked his first goal a couple of weeks ago. Jude also kicked two, including one from long range that split the posts perfectly, coming off a perfect hand ball from Ysabella which put Jude into space. Scarlett was our other multiple goal kicker, the first coming from an impossible angle in our forward pocket. Ysabella kicked her first goal, and was frankly robbed when missing out on the best goal award at the end of the match (sorry Ysabella!). The number of different goal kickers highlighted our teams overall improvement, and willingness to share the ball around.
THE MARKS: Not only did Oscar take a great contested grab, Aza took a spectacular mark in between two bigger and taller Dockers defenders. It was good enough to earn him the Best Mark award. Jonti celebrated his return to the game with a number of important grabs, and Scarlett, Ysabella, Oscar, and Ryan showed their much improved skills under the ball (although Ryan is always impressive).
THE RUN: Ollie continued to show his speed and skill, and ablity to pick up the ball on the run. He was so dominant with his runs down the wing I had to tell him to handball next time to let other player get a go (Ollie wasn’t impressed). Jerry also chased and ran as always. On at least three occasions he took on bigger players, getting his body over the ball to take possession, and still keeping his feet, before tearing off with the ball, and pumping it forward. Max got into the action too, after getting his hands on the ball early in the game he grew in confidence, chasing down the ball whenever it was nearby. At first he wanted to handball to a team-mate but as the game went on he told them, “No i’m going to kick it!” It was great to see him really get involved.
THE HANDBALL: At the beginning of the season handballs often went to ground. On Sunday hardly any handballs missed their target, and our players were using the handball to get to the spare player when they were under pressure. Ysabella and Jude in particular made some great passes, as did Aza and Jonti.
THE EFFORT: For a few weeks now we’ve been trying to put focus on manning up on the opposition when they have the ball. On Sunday the players executed this brilliantly. All our players looked for their opponent whenever the Dockers took possession, and ran, chased and put pressure on the Dockers whenever they got the ball. Oscar’s pressure on the opposition was particularly noticeable. Not only did he chase down balls to take possession, when his opponent got the ball he chased and and harried them relentlessly. He also managed a goal, and showed his marking skills, which is why he won the Best Effort award on the day.
Our player were really good about looking for other team-mates to pass to, which made our play much more cohesive.
Sunday was our best game of the year. The improvement of all our players is remarkable, and is great to see.
Our next game is this Sunday 1 July 2018 against Westbrook Red at Mike Kenny Oval. Kick off is at 9:30 am, so please be at the field by 9:10 am at the latest for a warm up and chat.
Xavier since you missed last week, you get to keep the captains cap for our next game. I hope you are feeling much better!
We have two weeks off after that, due to the school holidays before returning play on 22 July 2018.