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”

Tuesday, 24 June – training

Nice conditions for training today.  Unfortunately I got to training about 10 minutes late but it’s always a stretch to get there by 4:30pm.  The kids were all having shots on goal when I got there so I don’t even think they realised I was late.

Only had 11 players at training which was surprising because the weather was pretty good.  I suspect it’s that time of the year when everyone gets sick.

Parent support was excellent (as usual) – Simon, Jamie, Scott and Marty made my job pretty easy.  Tim helped a little bit.  The kids all trained pretty hard, we just moved from one drill to the next and I didn’t give them any breaks.  Best to keep the kids occupied because it doesn’t take much for a couple of them to get distracted.

I’d just finished telling everyone there was training on Sunday when one of the parents reminded me that we had a game on.  It’s not the best when as the Coach you don’t know when the team is playing a match.  Anyway, an email went out early the next morning letting everyone know we have a game on Sunday.

Riverton Football Club Family Day – Sunday, 22 June

The Riverton Football Club was celebrating it’s 50th year this weekend and one of the events was a family day at Riverton Reserve.  Jeremy was really excited because there was a parents and kids Auskick match.

There were lots of Auskickers from the Joey’s, Kanga’s and Boomers teams.  The Super 8s had Ethan, Kevin, Jeremy, Jayden, Jayden’s little brother, Kobe, Matthew, Damien and Truan.  For the parents we had myself, Scott, Marty, Adrian and Darren.

All of the boys had a few possessions each which was great and they all seemed to really enjoy themselves.  I recall Ethan kicking a good goal on the run and Jeremy snapped an excellent goal from a long way out.  Marty was easily the best of the Dad’s, he was leading for the ball and quickly playing on and bringing the kids into the play by handballing and kicking to them.

Truan told me that Matthew, Damien and himself had shifted house and were now living in Kenwick.  He said that they still wanted to play for Riverton but the travelling from Kenwick to Riverton may be too far.  It’ll be sad if Truan, Matthew and Damien can’t be a part of the team anymore.

Life Member of the Riverton Football Club

I received a surprise at the Riverton Football Club’s 50th Year Anniversary celebration (Saturday 21 June) – I was presented with life membership.

My family knew what was happening and they did a good job keeping it a secret from me.

I can’t remember exactly when I first got involved with the club.  It would have been roughly 2002, I think that’s when Josh and Tim started playing Auskick.

Riverton Football Club Life Member
Riverton Football Club Life Member

Round 4 v Melville – Sunday, 22 June

The weather had been cold, wet and windy all week and today was no exception.  The game started at 8:30am and it was pretty cold and dark when people were turning up for the game.  The following players were absent – Nick, Jordan, Nathan, Dylan, Matthew, Truan and Damien were all missing which meant we were one player short.

Unfortunately Matthew, Truan and Damien had shifted house so when I went to pick them up I didn’t know where they were.  Apparently they are now living in Kenwick, but are still going to play in our team.  It would be a shame if they couldn’t play with us anymore.

Because we were one player short the opposition team loaned us a different player each quarter which was good sportsmanship.  The Melville players that played for us played well so it was all good.

We only had one heavy downpour during the game but I was well prepared with my weather proof jacket and pants.

Cambell was outstanding and just dominated for the whole game – he just kept getting the ball and never stopped competing.  Ethan played his best game of the season, he was involved in the play a lot and got some good possessions.  Jayden continues to improve and looked good either playing in defence or in attack, although he missed a good opportunity to kick a goal.  Amelie did some good things which was pleasing to see because she was looking pretty cold and not very keen on getting out onto the ground but once she started to run around and get involved she did well.  Jensen also did well chasing hard, tackling and making it hard for the opposition.  Caleb had a few good kicks but for some reason kept wanting to play on when he received a free kick which resulted in him having to kick under unnecessary pressure .

As usual the kids did their best and although a few were complaining about the cold I’m pretty sure they had some fun.

Tuesday, 17 June – training

Today was wet, windy and cold and there wasn’t too many players at training.  Only four boys and their parents braved the weather.

Caleb, Kevin, Kobe and Ethan you are legends.  The boys trained non stop for an hour with no breaks and never once complained about the rain or the wind.  It was actually a pleasure to train these guys.

Training consisted of a handball drill, kicking in pairs, goal kicking, working together in a group of four to run the ball, a few running races and some two on two competitive work. The effort and skill level in the conditions was excellent.

We just finished training as the rain began to bucket down.  Thanks to Marty and Kobe for giving me a lift home.

Looking forward to our fourth game of the season v Melville and the Riverton Football Club celebrating its 50th year anniversary this weekend.

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.