The wind was still blowing, but at least the sun was shining as the Selwood U10s faced off
against the Manly Bombers Hurricanes. This is the third Manly Bombers team we’ve faced
this year (and there are another two teams in the other U10 comp) which shows the growth
of interest in AFL on the northern beaches.
It was a competitive game of footy, with the ball moving from end to end, with the two
teams battling each other all game, as well as the strong wind, trying to get the upper hand.
Ryan had a superb first quarter, getting multiple shots on goal from strong marks, and free
kicks from strong tackles. Unfortunately, even though Ryan was beating the Manly
defenders, he had a bit more trouble beating the wind, kicking 1 goal 3 for the quarter. He
continued his strong play throughout the match, using his pace to be first to the ball, and his guile to get into space.
Jerry continued his great form from last week. He started in the mid-field and was a big
reason why the ball kept being fed into our forward line. He also played a strong defensive
game, repelling the Manly attack. When forward he was able to get shots on goal, but once
again the wind had more of a say than the defenders.
Parkes had a little more success, kicking his first goal for the season in the third quarter. It
was the result of consistent effort to get to the ball and giving our mid-field a target to kick
to. He took a great mark a bit too far out from goal to score, but the next time the ball was
booted into the mid-field, he pounced on the loose ball, 15 metres out from goal, and
snapped it through. A great reward for yet another strong game from Parkes.
A big reason why Parkes had multiple shots on goal was due to the mid-field work of Jonti.
He marked anything in reach, contested hard for the ball, tackled any Manly player who
won the ball, and repeatedly got clear of the contest with ball in hand. He had multiple runs
and bounces though the centre of the ground. The only time he was beaten was when
playing forward, when the wind blew his running snap on goal through the behind post.
Another win to the wind.
Selwood’s four quarter competitiveness returned this game, with all of our players fighting
hard to get the ball. The ability to swoop on the loose ball is important, and strong marks
are spectacular, at least as important is the willingness to go in hard for the footy when the
ball is on the ground surrounded by the opposition. Getting the contested ball is what wins
games and Harry, Ivan, Oscar, and Ollie L were stand outs in this regard. Harry didn’t get a
lot of kicks, but I lost count of the number of times he was able to get the ball from a pack,
and handball to a player in space. A huge effort. Ivan took some great marks, including a
beauty in the forward zone (wind beat him again, making him miss a shot on goal he
ordinarily would have gobbled up), but it was his competitiveness at the ball that I really
enjoyed. Ollie L was also able to repeatedly get into space from a contest, ball in hand.
That’s not to say that our other players didn’t fight hard for the ball. Ollie M had another
strong game, using his speed to get to the ball, forcing the ball forward. He also made some
strong tackles, an area of his game that is much improved.
Archer’s silky skills, particularly by foot, were also on display. He also got plenty of the ball
and made great use of it. He always looks for a target to kick to and is a great team player.
In fact, the intent to hit a target was an area where the Selwoods really stepped up.
Whether it was by hand or by foot, our players really worked well together, playing as a
team and executing great passes, despite the pressure placed on us by Manly. And no-one
did it better than Hamish. In the mid-field he teamed up with Jonti at each ball up, getting
into space to receive the tap, and then really using the ball well, as he targeted a loose Cats
forward with his accurate kicking. Playing forward Hamish worked with his team mates to
get into space. He scored one goal, but was denied a couple more, one just touched off the
boot, and the other just touched before the line. In defence he chased and tackled hard.
After the match he said proudly, “I got the most possessions I’ve had all season.” It wasn’t
just the number of possessions but the way he used them that made him a very deserving
winner of the coach’s award for this week! Great effort Hamish.
In the end the Selwoods managed to kick 3.11.29. The wind might have had the final say in
that score line, but the fact that our boys managed 14 scoring shots (and a few more that
the wind stopped), is a testament to the way our boys went about their business this week.
A great game by the Selwoods, they should be very proud of their effort.
This Friday the Selwoods play their first ever Friday night match, up against the St Ives Saints away at Acron Oval. The Saints better pray that we don’t continue our good form this week, or heaven knows what the final score will be.
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