The mighty Lane Cove Cats U10 Team Blicavs ventured to Frank Grey Reserve at Curl Curl to face the Manly Bombers U10 Phantoms on Sunday. In what was a very tough and challenging game for the boys, sometimes emotional too, there were many highlights that the boys should be very proud of. Manly was a very skillful team that out played Team Blicavs on just enough occasions and with just enough polish to see them past us at the finish line.
The conditions were fantastic, except for a 35 know sou-easterly, which sometimes wanted to be a southerly but definitely favoured the “beach” end of Curl Curl on what was a clear and sunny day. It was fast paced and energetic football and the boys really served it up to the Bombers in an engaging and frenetic contest. The game was definitely a notch or two up in intensity from previous weeks and Team Blicavs was surely not going home without a fight. It was fast, intense and fierce and sometimes free flowing but never dull. Team Blicavs gave a great account of themselves and proved they have the intensity and were committed to the contest to take it right up to the Bombers. Unlike the previous week where the result was in our favour, Drew and I could not be more pleased with the boys for their effort and commitment to the contest. They were engaged all game on and off the field and you could sense the great passion they have for the game and the dedication to each other in the team. We will however still need to focus on our strategy and skill development at training with further emphasis on kicking the ball to advantage of our team mates and second efforts in the contest.
Special moments for me included the half time break. When addressing the players, seeing those young determined faces, the passion and commitment to each other. The mateship. The flared nostrils and the grit to suck up what was being served up on the field and still listening to the coaches rants. Drew reiterating to the boys the type of team we want to be and how they represent themselves and the club on the field of battle. It proved to me that the boys are starting to listen and get this football thing – Run hard. Tackle hard. Listen to the umpires whistle. Keep structure…. Obviously once the coaches had addressed the players, Levi, as ever takes the lectern and chimes in with an important address to the playing group about the first half, dissecting the nuances of specific events and offering up timely and important expert advice on Fortnite.
It is not often on an U10 game of AFL that we come across players taller than Billy Kerrison and equally as skillful. But on Sunday there was such a boy and it was a great battle amongst the many on the field of battle to play out. At one point Billy copped a high knock and went down in a heap, writhing in pain. I think it was partially a shock that someone else his age could actually reach this high let alone with some force to cause him an injury. When I attended Billy on the field, I will admit that he looked more seriously in pain than what I had first thought from the incident. Nothing seemed broken except a bit of pride and so the blanket (usually only administered for non-finishers at the Grand National) was not required even though the umpire had gestured towards me for a bible and some holy water, as he shielded the other boys away, with a nothing to see here sort of gruffness. I simply said to Billy that its fine to be injured on the field but if its that bad we can sub you out and bring Harry on, to which he jumped up off the deck as if I was administering the smelling salts after hitting the canvass in a UFC fight….. Goes to show sibling rivalry will always turn the primeval lights back on when needed in the heat of battle.
Sammy, our captain for the day lead from the front and managed to keep his opponents accountable in the forward line. His pressure on the opposition and his voice were excellent, while Asher was competitive and passionate about the contest, making himself available to team mates for a handball or chasing and tackling when in the middle of the ground. I thought Benji played a really strong game for the team, using his voice when leading, he took a number of clunking big marks and some tough tackles for the team to impact the game. I think Frank Grey Reserve also felt Benji’s impact from a tackle as well, as he was ploughed into the ground on one occasion!
When I think of Jake Spiden I think of composure and calm. Unlike the conditions on the day which were as far from Jake’s persona as Max Gawn is from clean shaven, Jake stood up in the forward half for much of the game. Took some telling marks and trying to execute kicks on goal with the difficult breeze . Jake was also influential in the middle of the ground when asked to do some heavy lifting around the ground and on the ball. Jake always gives his best for the team, providing deft kicks and handballs to team mates when required and team up beautifully with Teflon Jack in the third term to try and impact the game further. Speaking of Teflon Jack, he tried his heart out for the team all day and took some great defensive marks to send the ball back into our attacking zone. His skill level was telling against a classy opposition and he was certainly not out done by any of the opposition.
Ed was as courageous as ever impacting most around the contest. He was happy to be in and amongst it trying to rip out the hard ball to the advantage of his team mates. Ed took some tough tackles and repelled from defense as we have become accustom to over the last few weeks. Ethan ran his heart out all day and couldn’t do much more if we asked him to. Ethan was influential around the stoppages and managed to find plenty of the ball in a rather workman like performance befitting of the Swannies that afternoon at the SCG which I am sure he will be reminding Drew about at training on Thursday night.
Let’s not forget Jordy. Jordy got down and got dirty when it counted. There were some real tussles at ground level and Jordy equipped himself well in these situations, with his clean handling of the ball reminiscent of Josh Kennedy with about a litre of hand sanitiser. Not to give up without a fight he chased hard all day and tried his best for the team.
Finally, dull pain is usually what someone experiences from back soreness. Often described as chronic and persistent, sometimes stabbing and gnawing…….well this was Marcus actually giving it to the opposition when stationed in defense. Similar to Rod Carter for the Swannies in the 80’s, I don’t think his opponent was really thinking about the ball as much as the presence next to him, giving him the “Dull Pain” treatment for the quarter. Sometimes if you’re not impacting a game with high possessions , you can tackled hard all day, give off a few hard ball gets to team mates by way of handpasses and make yourself known to the opposition forwards when in defense. Marcus’ forward pressure was excellent also and nearly pulled off a brilliant mark in front of the posts also.
…..If anyone has forgotten Rod Carter with the tilted neck…..
Looking forward to seeing the boys at training on Thursday at Blackman Reserve and also you all at the game Sunday 9AM at Blackman Park.
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