Tuesday, 1 July – training

Last training session before school holidays and a couple of weeks off.  We had 10 players at training including Dylan’s brother Keiran (who is an honourary member of the team) which is about what I expected.

I thought I’d try something different today and incorporate bump bags into our training drills.  I had a feeling that the kids would like crashing into the bags and have some fun with it but I was also aware that if not properly supervised someone could potentially get hurt.  The training with the bump bags, although not perfect was pretty good and I think I’ll definitely use them again.

We also practised bouncing the ball and kicking for goal on the run.  Jeremy is getting very proficient at running and bouncing the ball and Dylan and Kobe consistently kicked some nice goals.  It was good to see that the boys were concentrating and trying to kick a goal instead of just kicking the ball and not caring where it went.

We finished with a game of 5 on 5 where to score a goal (6 points) a player had to kick the football into a bump bag being held by a team mate, you could also score 1 point if you handballed the football into the bump bag.   Steve did well to think up this game in about 30 seconds.  The kids had a great time playing this, Alex was crashing into everyone and played really well, Jeremy and Jensen also had a lot of the football.  I thought Luke and Caleb combined well, they always seemed to be kicking or handballing to each other.  Ethan wasn’t scared to dive into the bottom of the packs and Nathan won a few contested possessions which will be great for his confidence.  Kobe went for a couple of runs and no one could keep up with him.  Keiran and Dylan aren’t big kids but they don’t stand back from the action, they love getting involved and getting a kick.

The players were rewarded with a Freddo Frog for completing a hard training session.

All of the players have trained hard and played well so far this season, it’s been a massive improvement from last season.  I hope everyone enjoys the school holidays and I’ll see everyone in a couple of weeks time.

Round 5 v Booragoon – Sunday, 29 June

Weather wise, it wasn’t too bad today.  No rain and not as cold as it has been.  The grass was nice and dry with no dew.  We had a bit of drama before the game when a dog ran off with one of our football’s.  Luckily the football was ok (I thought it may have got punctured because the dog was aggressively chewing it) although Jeremy didn’t want to touch it because it was covered in dog saliva.

We were very low on numbers with only 10 players available.  Kevin had a broken toe, Jayden was overseas, haven’t seen Nick for a couple of weeks, not sure what happened to Amelie, Nathan didn’t feel up to playing, plus I don’t think Matthew, Damien and Truan will be back (now that they have shifted house).

I would like to note that it was excellent to see Kevin come to the game and support his team mates even though he was unable to play – great stuff Kevin.

Continue reading “Round 5 v Booragoon – Sunday, 29 June”

Round 2 v Attadale – Sunday, 25 May

Second game of the season and everyone is improving.

Neil looked after the timekeeping duties.  Steve umpired the entire game and did a really good job which was a big effort when you consider his son didn’t even play because he was ill.   I think even the opposition team were impressed with Steve’s consistency and rule interpretations.  Thanks to my son Tim for positioning the goal posts correctly after I stuffed them up for the second game in a row.

We had 17 players so it was great that the Attadale Coach told me it was ok to put everyone on the field i.e. no interchange.  I actually knew one of the parents from the Attadale team (coached him many years ago) – his son was a very good player taking some very good overhead marks.

Alex, Cambell and Jordan tackling an Attadale player
Alex, Cambell and Jordan tackling an Attadale player

Damien played a good game in defence picking up quite a few kicks.  Alex tried hard all game and kicked our first goal which got the crowd pretty excited.  Matthew kicked two great goals and took some excellent marks in defence which stopped Attadale from kicking goals.  Cambell and Jayden were in the action all game, tackling and getting in hard for the ball.

Overall everyone is improving individually and therefore the team is improving.  We’re definitely not perfect there’s still lots of players losing concentration and having a chit chat and a wrestle – but as long as they’re having fun I’m happy.

Dylan in the ruck
Dylan in the ruck

Big thanks to my son Joshua for taking some great photos.

Also big thanks to the parents who helped pack up after the game.  I did see Marty packing away goal posts but I’m sure there were other helpers with collecting cones etc. that I didn’t see – Thank You.

Matthew kicking a torpedo punt
Matthew kicking a torpedo punt

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Tuesday, 13 May – Training

I got to training at about 4:25pm expecting everyone to be there waiting for me, but I only recognised about 2 players and a couple of parents. OK, we might be a bit light on for numbers tonight I thought. I started to unpack the footballs and cones from my football bag and when I looked up there were 16 kids looking at me plus about 10 parents. Only a couple missing and everyone keen to start by 4:30pm.

Everyone seemed to be in good spirits following our first game and most importantly everyone had come back for more. The parent support was excellent, assisting with the drills and also maintaining discipline when some of the players began to lose concentration (which was happening pretty regularly).

The first half of training we concentrated on skills with handballing, kicking and marking and the second half of training we split the group in half and played a couple of 4 on 4 handball games. The big thing that stood out to me during Sunday’s game was that the players lacked some confidence to compete for the ball, so we tried to give them some practice at competing for the football and then trying to share the ball and keep it off the opposition.

We finished training with me racing the entire team (I didn’t think this one through). I finished 3rd so I was pretty happy.

I nearly forgot to mention I must have over inflated one of the footballs because during training the stitching burst and the bladder of the football started to stick out. At the end of training I actually pulled the bladder out of the football and gave it to the players to have a kick with. Everyone wanted to get a hold of the bladder so this exercise nearly caused a riot.

Next training session Sunday 18 May.

Round 1 – Sunday, 11 May

First game today and I was totally unorganised. Wasn’t sure where to set the oval up, hadn’t organised a time keeper, hadn’t organised anyone for the BBQ, forgot to bring the colored bibs (I hope the year 7 team finds the jumpers I ‘borrowed’ out of their kit bag) and didn’t do the match day player rotations (that was a BIG mistake). One thing I did do was get the keys to unlock the club rooms the night before, so I’ll give myself a tick for that.

I bumbled my way through with lots of help from Darren (time keeping), Anthony + Adrian + Tim (setting up the oval), Scott (BBQ) and Thalia (oranges & grapes at half time). Also thanks to Anthony and Alex for helping pack up after the game. Thanks to all of the parents for being supportive and positive.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to see much of the game because I was rotating players on the fly all game. We had 17 players but only 12 can play at any one time, so apart from rotating all the players every quarter so that players play in different positions throughout the game, I was also juggling 5 players on and off the ground both during quarter breaks and during the game. I tried to make sure that no one was sitting out for more than 6 minutes (half of a 12 minute quarter).

The game went over time (surprise, surprise) and we had to cut the final quarter short by a few minutes because the next game was due to start and we were in their way. A few players noticed that they’d just been rotated into the game when we called time – ooops.

The best news was I’m positive all of the players had a good time and were now looking forward to the next game. The good news is I won’t be this unorganised again.

Tuesday, 6 May – training

Great turn out for our first Tuesday afternoon training session – 17 players and only 1 missing. First game of the season this week and everyone is looking forward to it. Players got to pick their match day jumper for Sunday’s game. Mostly everyone was happy with their jumper but I only had 15/16 jumpers so I’m going to have to find a couple extra for the game. The players have all been told to bring their jumpers along to the game, hopefully no one forgets.

I had to tie up about 6 shoe laces during training – why do kids turn up with their shoes laces not tied!!