Wildcats lick their wounds while Cats get the Cream….and the Chocolates.
Welcome back and what a team effort to start the season, particularly those behind the BBQ for the early morning session, namely Taya and Nathan Chamberlain and Sarah and Mark Stante. Contrary to reports heard from behind the score board Nathan did not burn any sausages!
On the field, the boys skills have all come up a level since last season, which is pleasing to see. All of the boys were keen to be in and amongst the contest, sharing the ball around and just enjoying being back playing AFL. Their game awareness has also improved since last season, movement, communication and ferocity, all up a cog. There were clean hands everywhere, loud voices a plenty and those foot skills were sublime. Many a target was hit at short or long range because the Blicav’s boys were able to make space and looked for the voice ahead of them to target. Team orders and messages were for forwards to keep structure, midfielders to be creative and defenders to stick like glue to the opposition. Communication was there across the team as was intensity in the contest. It was great to see such intent from the boys for the opening game of the season and such an even level of commitment from all players.
A BIG SHOUT OUT must go out to Elijah (Eli) Dixon for his first every AFL game. He should be proud of what he brought on the day – his intensity, eagerness for the contest and the “have-a-go” attitude paid dividends for the team, whether Eli was in defense or in attack. Henry Creighton thanking you for your contribution and your support for the club – timing stopped Henry’s impact on the score board but he was willing in the contest and supported an all-round team game. Good luck back in Team Cameron for next week Henry.
As for other highlights; I would hate to be the opposition when Jordy Spinks and Ed Callaghan combine in the middle. It’s like watching Stone Cold Steve Austin and Brett Kirk team up in the ring for a WWE fight! – the opposition has nowhere to go and no way of breathing, its stifling in the contest and the hard contested ball is won but not in a pretty way! Who cares though, the fans love it when they are munching egg and bacon rolls and watching these two go at it! Jordy made contested ball look easy as was his goal kicking, slotting two. Jordy gets the chocolates (Brussel sprouts are not popular for some reason I am told) from Sunday for his sublime skills and finishing around goals. The running goal from the Presidents Pocket was an absolute highlight even Uncle Jude would be proud of that one.
We weren’t sure if Ed was going to make it over the weekend. It was good to see him back from the wilderness. Not only did he decide to make a miraculous recovery from one of those old world illnesses but his parents decided to start letting him sleep indoors again! It’s good to have you back Edward. Ed’s presence of mind to go back and slot a set shot from a decent way out showed great poise and control, while his work around the packs (with Stone Cold) and at ground level added to the pressure on the opposition and aided his teams use of the ball down field.
Jake Spiden, our captain for the day, was clean with his hands, taking great contested marks or getting to a contest and influencing 50/50 ground balls to give his team mates the advantage. He was the wall in the last term keeping the ball in our forward half, repelling many a swift rebound from the Wildcats defense, only to make sure the ball went back with interest!
Sammy Nugent’s attack on the contest was great to watch, as was his determination to be involved. He persisted up forward and made sure the ball was held in to give his team the best chance of hitting the score board when in attack. Ethan Chamberlain managed to rack up a tone of possessions and played himself into the game well. The Running Man’s shimmy and side step off of half back a real highlight as was his superb goal around the body.
Marcus Kiley played a solid game and when let loose in the last quarter through the middle, got involved in some excellent passages, with his ferocious tackling and that lace out pass to Benji, a real highlight. Benji Gunning was captivating to watch, whether he was leading up forward or providing crunching tackles in the middle or punching huge barrels from the back half repelling the Wildcats forward thrusts, he was in everything and reveled in the contest. Asher Stante brought has A game as well. There must have been a secret training camp over the school holidays that he attended? He got himself involved in the play, made himself an option out of defense and really put in 110% for the team.
Billy Kerrison was a presence on the field wherever he played. He was willing in defense to back himself with run and carry, as well as kicking it long, repelling many a contest. Billy also made Shane Warne’s ball of the century looked like a Nathan Lion arm ball with the spin he got on his second goal (of three in total) miracle bounce…..sometimes you have to make your own luck and be in the right spot too, just as he proved for his final goal where he read the play well and took a fantastic mark and slotted a great set shot. Chances are he might have booked his spot for the Australia A tour of the West Indies in June but until then, he can keep tinkering with the AFL!
Finally, Jack Phillips reintroduced himself to me before the game thinking that I perhaps missed him or had forgotten him since last year? Perhaps he felt left out when I introduced Henry and Eli to the team? Perhaps he thought I was doing the rotations off the bench not Drew? Perhaps it was because the Doggies are Five and Zero and he wanted to remind me? Jack didn’t appear to look much different, even still wearing the same X-Box hoodie with Teflon coating from last season. Suntan maybe a little darker, but being one of the son’s of Greece I would have expected nothing less! Jack nevertheless looked to be his old self during the game, as if I had forgotten how good he is! In a contest, in a tackle, on the run, on the wrong foot….or as Drew says….In a back pocket! Jack (2 goals) looked to his team mates to share the ball around, ran like Achilles, had a great time and entertained us all!
Its back at training for Thursday evening at Blackman Park 5pm. See you all there if you can make it. Updates to follow for game times and locations on Sunday.
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