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Match Report Round 14
Colts vs East Sandringham JFC
With such an early start I was very impressed that everyone was able to get there nice and early and we were able to have a very good warm up and ready to take the game on.
Led by this weeks captain the run and gun specialist Lucas Younger we were trying to play on and move the ball forward at all costs. With such a big ground this definitely was necessary and I was trying to get the boys used to moving and creating more space. We will continue to do this as much as possible as this doesn't allow the backman time to man up and the leading players who have worked hard to get into space can be rewarded.
With a slightly different team make up I was very pleased to see Tommy Tisdale who was allowed only temporarily to leave the backline and kick 2 goals. Charlie Ablinger played an amazing game and it seemed he could have finished with 5 goals if he was more composed with his finishing. Sadly this became contagious as Loius Fulcher missed some very gettable shots on goal before finally slotting one. We really need to work on taking our opportunities especially moving into finals. There is not enough time for me to do this at training so it is up to the boys to work on this themselves something that only takes 15 minutes but is so important. I believe other teams have finished now so we should be able to get some shots in before training
Bailey Rudd again ran beautifully quite often long runs with 5 bounces or more and finished off his work well. Omar Kamel even after doing his finger was a rock in defence and was able to stop a lot of the Zebra's momentum.
We have the luxury of playing the side we will play in the finals this week. So it is important we really play well and see if we can have them mentally beaten before we see them again in the Semi.
In summary we need to get better at converting our chances 8.17 is not going to be good enough in finals. We played well to get these opportunities and I am looking forward to seeing what the boys can bring this week.
Please check Teamstuff as we have to play our home game at Albert Park as we are hosting finals.
Match Report Round 13 Sunday July 29th
Port Colts U9 v Prahran
Venue: Woodruff Oval, Port Melbourne
Round 13 was our final full home and away game against great rivals Prahran. The raging westerly only added to the torrid challenge. In a rugged and scrappy affair the whole squad of 24 players showed doggedness and true grit. With most of the coaches’ words getting lost in the wind anyway the players took it upon themselves to battle on and find a way through the often chaotic proceedings.
Ardi Williams and a hungry Albert Gavril were our captains for the week. Losing the toss meant that the Colts had to defend into the wind for the first quarter. Our boys played a disciplined, if at times dour, style in the tricky conditions. Luke shut down a few dangerous attacks right on the last line. Woody gave his all to be the get-out valve from defence. Only one behind was kicked for the whole quarter. Port up by a point!
The second quarter opened up a bit. Port tried attacking relentlessly on the scoring side of the ground. Lewis guided through the first goal of the match from a free kick. But Prahran defended equally as well as we had done in the first quarter, and even managed to score a vital goal of their own. Will Bacon was generating some characteristic run and carry, whilst Charlie Marshall was sharing the ball around with unselfish handball.
In the third quarter Declan racked up some imposing touches through the middle. Ewan, also in the midfield, had a purple patch of marks, dashing runs and kicks, putting in his best performance in his last game of the season. Magnificent Ewan! Many players flashed in and out. Jonesy was more than useful, Elijah solid, and Finley read the game beautifully at times. Prahran managed to find a way through our defence to score two goals. Albert and Johno Johnson went down heavily, the latter crucially unable to return to the fray. Ozkar took a strong mark forward but was let down by a rushed kick. In such conditions many kicks were flying everywhere, or dribbling along the carpet. It was that sort of day for both teams.
The last quarter beckoned as the last hurrah for the brave Colts. Lordy, Freddie and Leo battled hard in the clinches, absorbing some tough stuff from an equally committed opposition. Skipper Ardi showed inordinate bodywork around many contests. As the ball rocketed forward, the Colts all-star forward line, led by a rejuvenated Albert and a menacing Koby, could only manage behinds. Then Lewis received a free kick at half forward and got onto a towering kick that sailed through for a major score.
Unlike last week’s goalfest this match collectively produced only five goals. At match end the difference between these two teams was a goal or less for, almost unbelievably, the third time this year. Well done Colts U9s!
Let’s finish our grand 2018 football adventure in fine style at the Lightning Carnival next weekend at our hallowed Murphy’s Reserve. Go Colts!
Match Report Round 12 Sunday July 22nd
Port Colts U9 v East Brighton Vampires
Venue: Aaneneson Oval, Port Melbourne
Let’s run the film script of this match in reverse.
Final credits: To the soundtrack of “Hi Hi He” our Colts heroes rousingly belt out the club song. Forming a circle in the clubrooms, Captains Eddy and Billy and their merry gang of bandidios have added another title to their achievements: #VampireSlayers.
Final scene: In the far end forward pocket a veritable haystack of joyous Colts player unpick themselves from the human mound. At the bottom lies a, no doubt, wild-eyed and newly pressed Mitchell Nicholas. Seconds before he had gathered the ball at full forward, swung onto his right and ploughed it through the uprights for his first goal of the season. It was the final stake in the opposition’s heart and sole cause for the ensuing pandemonium.
Fourth quarter: Ozkar, after a few solid bumps, dusted himself off and at half-forward was picking up possessions like grabbing apples off a tree. Whilst not all his kicks were straight, they were going forward. Further downfield the “Kob” was running and gunning like never before. Freddie was into everything bouncing from contest to contest like a silver bullet.
Third quarter: Charlie and Billy in defence managed to keep the Vampires to two goals. Leo was definitely “in amongst it”, not to be crossed. But an open front half gave our hungry forwards plenty of opportunities. Elijah navigated a very skilful set shot goal. Lewis nailed two from afar in frenetic play. Liam was unlucky to see the ball bounce away from his clutches and scurry through for a point.
Second quarter: With prime mover Declan out of the game with a finger injury zonemates Ewan and Fin stood up to fill the void. Lordy and Woody impressed with match sense and general hardness at the ball. Johno continued his rich vein of form with multiple clever handballs and kicks to open the game up through the middle. Freddie and Ardi bagged running goals.
First quarter: Phew! What can you say about a 12 minute period that produced 6 Colts goals to no score? Scintillating. Will Bacon plundered three exciting goals, Koby Turner two, and Jonesy a very poised neat one. Others were no mere bit players in the flurry. Charlie weaved and ran via the cape to dob a flying point. Bryson Walters was unlucky not to add another goal to count. Billy Burnip always threatened out of the square.
Mobile ruckman Eddy Baker flew to the heavens to take the first tap of the game looking every bit the modern athletic footballer. His thundering runs from the centre set up the quarter.
And finally, Luke’s tooth fell out pre-match though it certainly didn’t faze this indomitable little footballer!
Yibbida yibbida that’s all folks and thanks for watching.
Match Report Round 11 Sunday July 15th
Port Colts U9 v Mordialloc-Braeside
Venue: Walter Galt Reserve, Parkdale
After a two week holiday break we had to get the band back together and fast. We were taking on the mighty Mustangs on their home deck. Bandleaders, co-captains, Finley “the General” Knightley-Collinson and Bryson “the Conductor” Walters tuned up the boys, high-fiving each teammate as they ran onto the park. After stirring speeches, these two seasoned and resilient veterans, having played every match this year, won the toss and very sensibly kicked with the wind in the first stanza.
The red and blue midfielders made the most it with good clean clearance work from the middle and long kicks to advantage. Lewis and Charlie teamed up well with handball and good vision to feed our hungry forwards. Elijah stood up immediately with two high sailing through majors. Woody dobbed a nice one. Then skipper Bryson snaffled a memorable six pointer from close in to send away supporters into ecstasy. The willingness to battle hard for the ball, share it amongst teammates and kick to leads reaped ample reward with four unanswered wind-assisted Colts goals for the quarter.
The second quarter would test our defensive mettle. Declan may have picked up some Kapu Ku?ialua from Hawaii as he wrestled an opponent to a standstill with a very intricate hold. Cohen was once again a rock in defence. We were able to work it diligently from down back, and Will even managed to get one for us at the non-scoring end. Evens for the quarter indicated a great team effort.
The third quarter was the tightest even with the breeze. The Mustangs had some great moments with strong body-on-body marking, and were working their way back into the game. For the Colts Lordy was finding the leather, Freddie was terrier-like and Leo was running straight at the ball and as usual taking no quarter. Lewis slotted through a set shot for our sole major of the term, setting up a tense against-the-wind final chapter.
The fourth quarter was a Colts classic. Finley played a superb kick behind in the middle role racking up a tonne of possession and delivering it oh so smartly. Ardi started to up the ante physically, on one occasion beating three opponents to the ball. Johno and Woody were joyfully playing tiki-taka handball in the centre corridor displaying uncanny synchronicity and skill. In one memorable passage of play the Colts worked the ball forward to Jonesy, who marked in front and booted through a “special” team goal.
The whole team played with heart, passion and zeal in trying conditions to finish off strongly. After the final hooter honked, lucky supporters again got to hear/witness the team song. The band is no longer on the run and the boys are well and truly back in town.
Special mention and thanks this week to our well-loved team first aider Peter. He truly has miraculous healing powers (considered a health professional career Pete?). Every week seemingly mortally wounded players jump to their feet upon his ministrations! Thanks Dr K.
Match Report Round 10 Sunday June 24th
Port Colts U9 v Cheltenham Panthers (Green)
Venue: Woodruff Oval, Murphy’s Reserve
In our third meeting with Cheltenham Panthers we at last hosted them on our turf. In perfect football conditions, with a soft ground and little wind, the siren blasted, the ball went up and Captain Cohen leapt skywards to take the first ruck tap.
You could sense early that our great rivalry with the Panthers would once again produce something special. With both teams fielding strong midfield groups the ball was whizzing up and down the ground at pace. Luke was firing in the middle with 3 possessions in the first 5 minutes. Lewis at centre half back was able to repel many attacks with sure overhead marking and long kicks back to advantage. With our predilection for slowish starts the whole coaching panel were keenly waiting to see which team would be the first to burst the game open.
Kicking to the Williamstown Road end always seems to be an advantage. At Under 9 level you’re kicking to the big firm solid and highly visible goalposts, rather than the skinny green temporary sticks. And the big crowd tends to gather nearer the coffee cart and bbq end too. The Colts were going that way.
Sure enough the Kobra kicked his first goal. With so much space at full forward (Kobra’s paddock?) he was able to win one-on-one with speed and touch. The good players only need a sniff of the ball to be damaging. Then there was another, alone in the goalsquare, after a great “pass” from Elijah.
Two scenes will stay with me from the first half. Charlie Marshall, strong in the hips, evaded two players in green and black, swerving and weaving with the ball at full pace on the wing. Beautiful to watch! Then Ardi did a similar act, but in his own style and in more traffic, ducking, dodging and spinning out of the mayhem. My god, that was a brilliant blind turn! So there was a lot to be happy about in the first half. But the Panther is a dangerous beast, never to be underestimated.
At half-time Co-captain Mitch revved up the boys in his calm and measured way. The third quarter was an arm wrestle. Liam clunked a great mark forward and drilled it through the goals, only to find it had been agonisingly touched off the boot. Declan and Will were coming into their own in the corridor. Ewan showed his tenacity. Jonesy and Ozkar were flashing in and out.
In the last quarter it was the Panthers kicking to the Williamstown Road end. Their midfield was getting on top, streaming the ball into their forward line. They were coming home with the proverbial wet sail. A bit of panic set in for the Colts, with some pressured decision making and a few skill errors particularly down back. And our tackling let us down a little too. Woody was thrown onto their star number 18 as a run-with midfielder and battled manfully (boyfully?) to stem the tide. The Panthers kicked three for the quarter while our forwards mainly shivered.
Ruefully it was another close one. But for some luck here or there, or some more accurate kicking early, who knows? That’s something only footy-mad coaches need to ponder. Football was again the winner, as were all the boys out there running around playing our fine indigenous game.
The team trains this Wednesday, then breaks for two weeks during the holidays. Our next game is on the last Sunday of the holidays so be sure to notify player availability on Teamstuff. Have a great holiday break everyone.
Match Report Round 9 Sunday June 17
Port Colts U9 v Ajax
Venue: Princess Park, Caulfield South
This was game that almost never was. Huddled pre-match in the (quite luxurious - thank you) Ajax rooms, we heard that the previous match was cancelled due to reports of lightning. Outside marvellous Melbourne was pounding us with an icy tempest and lashings of torrential rain sweeping across the wastelands of South Caulfield. Nevertheless it was hard holding back our guys from bolting out into the blackness, such was their enthusiasm. Then we got the go-ahead.
Ewan and Leo delivered some astute captains’ wet weather tips, leaving the coach with, in fact, very little to add. Go Colts and good luck!
As per the regular script, our opponents started with flair and had a goal early in the piece. (Perhaps the howling gale going their way helped somewhat.) Our midfield were up to their necks in it: Ardi, Declan and Woody were giving their all for the ball. Jonesy was magnificent in defence. Meanwhile Freddie, Finley and Charlie were keeping the half-forward line open and mobile for counter-attacks. The ball was moving up and down the ground reasonably freely given the atrocious conditions with both teams marking well and looking for teammates with ball in hand. It was a splashy, rugged and muddy affair, but all players out there were clearly revelling in the glorious madness of it all.
Towards the end of the first quarter the wind miraculously abated somewhat meaning spectators had a more un-scarfed view of the puddles, gambolling bodies and frolicking football boots that this absorbing encounter had become. Even umpire Doug took an unscripted dive into the quagmire, adding to the merriment.
At half-time I implored our mosquito fleet, perhaps today more aptly a “tadpole fleet”, to get in and under, knees dirty, ball out. Johno, Bryson, Lordy and Mitch didn’t let the coach down. Well done to that hardy underwater crew. Oh, and to everyone, let’s ban the bounce today. Ok? Nada bounce! Nyet!
Slowly Colts’ goals started accumulating. Will, Ozkar, Declan and Lewis were getting hold of the ball and sure enough the opposition too. Skipper Ewan took a gluey mark and played on through the slush. Billy threw one on his boot for a terrific opportunist goal. Leo “Ando” Anderson was holding the line a kick behind the play in the midfield to great effect, taking a repelling mark.
Koby was superb in the wet with great ball handling skills and dash over the marshlands. Cohen grandly introduced himself as a big game wet weather player, roaming the forward flank at will: a Buddy-like performance. One thumping chest mark he took as he rose up into the clouds on the wing will stay with me for the rest of the season.
Mitch was particularly courageous, rolling his ankle in the warm-up, and recovering well enough to take the field in the first quarter. And speaking of courage, our two munificent team managers get the off-field kudos this week: Kiani ”Can-Do” Mills and Geoff “the Bread Whisperer” Collinson. Well done to two champions!
“The Colts love the wet.” Just keep saying it, through chattering teeth and blue lips, through sleety eyes with chilled spine. Say it for long enough and perception becomes conception. Perhaps.
Match Report Round 8 Sunday June 3rd
Port Colts U9 v Prahran JFC
Como Park, South Yarra
So we return to Como. Whilst some in our coterie may have been envisioning languorously sipping Nespressos with George and Amal at Villa Oleandro by the glistening Lake Como, in reality it was off to the the Park we went, by the dear old brown and snaky Yarra River.
Luckily we had the collective brainstrust of assistant coaches Kelvin Wightman and Leigh Frost to help guide us through this week’s footy conundrum. Certainly for Hawks aficionados of the 1970’s their christian names alone give them unlimited cachet. Captains for the day and team stalwarts Frosty and Jonesy orated their respective pre-game addresses in full mouthguard. Impressive words, but even more impressive oral gymnastics! Those pesky Two Blues were again our foe. Let the games begin.
It was clear from the git-go that Prahran’s tactics were unchanged from our last outing of only a month ago. Following the ancient Roman military strategy of “Testudo”, or the tortoise, they formed tight legions of players ahead and behind the ball. It was an effective ploy as they were stodgily winning the ball in close with powerful numbers and thwarting our forward advances. But for the heroics of Will (one goal) and the sensationally surprising Koby (in the backline!) they may have troubled the scorers more often. Bryson was excellent sticking to his opponent like a limpet. Leo, Mitch and Luke were more than useful with some tenacious and deft touches. Ardi, the gladiator, was created for matches like these.
At the half-time lacuna we had some philosophical questions to pose. Would our rambunctious free-wheeling game plan stack up against their phalanx of foot-soldiers? We had to keep believing in ourselves and our way. The true and glorious Colts way!
And thank the Lord. For it was Harry Lord who snagged a pearler of a running goal in the third quarter, displaying all the speed and skill that we prize in our beloved Colts. The boys were working out a way through the maze, and that was to run, link and kick long over Prahran’s stolid defensive redoubts. Declan, Jonesy, Elijah, Albert, Woody and Freddie, amongst others, we salute you.
Our aerial strengths came to the fore, something we’ve worked on at training. Cohen pulled in a colossal mark at full forward from a Lewis kick and bagged what was, in the end, a hair-raising goal. Eddy too snatched a ripper and went back only to miss a goal by the barest of margins as it skimmed the upright. Ewan was marking well in the middle. The Kobra got on the end of one in the last quarter too, adding to his formidable goal tally.
So ended another tense encounter against Prahran with less than a goal separating the two sides.
Whilst this report tends to highlight goals, truthfully this match was a rewarding team effort all around the ground. I can look at all 24 players at the halfway point of the season and see improved skills, game awareness and defensive prowess.
Thanks must go to Nes for the lovely “recovery” cupcakes after the game. Remember to wear AFL club jumpers at training this Wednesday and enjoy next weekend off from footy with the bye.
Match Report Round 7 Sunday May 27th
May 27th 2018 will be etched in the memories of the team, parents, grandparents and siblings for decades to come. Old timers in the pubs of Port Melbourne will be talking about the exploits of the U9 colts and their final quarter against the near legendary Brighton vampires. It was an unbelievable game.
The boys were hard at the ball and fiercely skilful. Thanks to the vision and mentorship of coach David Nelson the weeks of hard work on the track were now paying off.
Across the ground the boys demonstrated great vision and incredible handballing to relieve pressure. The marking of the treasured yellow pill was stratospheric with sure hands across the ground. Such marking hasn’t been seen in Melbourne since Alex Jesaulenko in the 1970 grand final https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBeHVLs3kdU
On arrival at the ground there was a nervous energy amongst the group. The Vampires have a fearsome reputation and Coach David was resting himself and a number of the teams stars including Lewis, Ardi, Charlie and Mitch in preparation for the second half of the season. The coaching panel had been consulting all week about combinations and had enlisted the expertise of super coaches Kelvin and Lee for the big day – thanks guys.
After a brief but focussed warm up, the team line up was discussed and the co captains Liam and Jono inspired the team with their vision for clean hands and long kicks into the forward line. With only one player on the bench it was clear the boys would have to dig deep to run out the game.
The first quarter was a tight affair. The Vampires had some tall timber and the signs were ominous until Koby “the Kobra” turned the dial up to 11 (infront of his grandparents) and bagged 3 goals in quick succession. Across the ground the team lifted after Koby’s heroics.
The first half was a see saw affair with the teams going goal for goal. In the backline Finley “ the general” at full back was reminiscent of Luke Hodge in his halcyon days at Hawthorn. Cohen Haynes stood tall all day with fantastic marks and long bombs from centre half back. Luke and Leo kept the forwards under intense pressure while Eddie Baker kept positioning himself perfectly to repel the attacking vampires. Freddie Stevens was hard at the ball and never short of encouragement and a word for the umpires.
The midfield sparkled. Harry Jones roamed the ground with intent. Taking grab after grab as he propelled the team forward. Liam and Albert rotated the ruck and racked up multiple disposals. Ewan was prolific and despite his size layed the biggest tackles of the game. Will Bacon ran hard all day but today his marking and positioning was something to behold. Woody and Jono had silky hands and combined with Will B to cut up the opposition on a number of occasions. I will fondly recall for some time a Woody, Jono handball combo with the game in the balance. Will B (close to best on ground again) finished the movement by booting a magnificent goal.
The forward line in the first half was galvanised by Koby and his passion for the footy. Ozkar was at full forward and had a breakout game. He set up a goal early in the first before snagging his first goal of the season with a lovely snap around the body from a tight angle. His celebration was something special. For a moment I thought we had all been transported to the UEFA league in Europe with Barcelona and Manchester City playing at Camp Nou in front of 110,000 screaming Spaniards. https://www.gettyimages.com.au/event/barcelona-v-manchester-city-fc-uefa-champions-league-665586785#/lionel-messi-of-fc-barcelona-celebrates-after-scoring-the-opening-picture-id615656622
Declan was magnificent again with his raking left foot propelling the ball forward and his attack on the footy. Elijah at centre half forward used his body to take some incredible marks and huge spoils with the clenched fist. Bryson played his role as at forward pocket to perfection. His positioning and vision help the team again and again. Billy Burnip was busy all day and his linking play and intense pressure ensured the ball stayed in our forward 50.
After the third quarter it was evenly matched with the colts just ahead. Then everything seemed to click. Albert was dynamic in the forward line kicking one and hitting the post with another. The “general” finley bagged 2 (his first ever) and the goals kept coming. All the forwards shared the ball around.
The most pleasing thing about the day was the spirit in which the game was played. The boys encouraged their teammates and were respectful to the opposition. The game ended with spectators and players all exhausted but elated.
A big thanks to Kiani and Geoff the team managers, Peter the team Doc, Coach Darren who was umpiring today and our super coaches Kelvin and Lee. I am looking forward to training Wednesday Night.
Match Report Round 6 Sunday May 20th
Port Colts v Mordialloc Braeside Mustangs
Sunday 20th March 2018
Aanenson Oval, Port Melbourne
*There's no place like home – *Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz
Equine bragging rights were up for grabs this week: the Colts versus
Mustangs showdown at the Aanenson Corral. Giddyup!
It was the Colts who jumped out of the barriers first. Some beautiful
linking up play sizzled the ball into the forward third, salving any doubt
about our boys being switched on to play. Strong-bodied co-captain Charlie
Marshall was dangerous on the forward flank, but even with a favourable
wind to the Williamstown Road end the Colts couldn't find that elusive goal
for a large part of the first quarter. It took some magic from the classy
Declan to weave through the first major. He then found a second goal, and
along with an around-the-body snap from the fecund goalsneak Koby, we all
of sudden had three on the board to show for our efforts.
The second quarter was about defending that work as the Mustangs took their
turn with the wind. The mids played out of their skins: Finley, Jonesy,
Will, Albert and Luke. And the backs acted to our strategy of kicking to
the dead pocket, and the well worn mantra: “Pick up yer man!” Bryson was
disciplined, Freddie rugged and poised with ball and Cohen calm in the
storm. Good half Colts.
The premiership quarter with the wind was about making it count while we
could. Lionhearted skipper Harry Lord lead the way in attack. We heard two
mighty roars as he kicked a winning score: two crackerjack goals, one
opportunistically from the smallest of distances right by the upright, and
another from a set shot after marking. Sensational stuff. Ardi's rapacious
forward line pressure was immense. Upfield in the middle Eddy was stopping
everything with his one kick behind play positioning.
In the last quarter the intensity was raised to an even higher notch. Both
teams tackled ferociously, as the 'tangs searched for ways to get back in
the match. Leo was very good, sure-handed and sure-footed with the ball,
then paradoxically tripping over his own feet not long after! Ewan
perfected the Heimlich manoeuvre on a few opponents, who promptly coughed
up the pill. Elijah embarked on some loping runs down the corridor. Lewis
sailed a goal through against the breeze from the boundary in the closest
we'll get to an Under 9s video review.
Afterwards the team linked arms in our rooms to sing the song.
Unfortunately gallant spiritual leader Charlie was missing with an injury.
I can report that the team sang “with much gusto” and for those a little
unfamiliar with the words they will no doubt get plenty more practice in
coming rounds as the Colts march ever onwards. “For it's a Hi Hi He, Port
Melbourne Colt are We!”
Special and sincere thanks this week to all the umpires, in particular Adam
Match Report Round 5 Sunday May 13th
Port Colts U9 v Cheltenham Panthers (Green)
Date: 13th May 2018
Venue: Le Page Park, Cheltenham
Mother’s Day Round and every heart beat true for the red and the blue, as well as for all mothers in attendance. Thanks mums.
Our two very fine assistant coaches got the boys in the mood with some criss-cross handball warm-ups. Big shout out to Doug and Darren this week for their football teachings, enthusiasm and wise counsel to the head coach. Much appreciated gentlemen.
A cracking close match ensued with long kicking, high marking, tackling, and doggedness in trying to grab that elusive bouncing red cherry. Luke McMaster sparkled early with some great touches off half-back. Eddy, channelling Dangerwoodblett, was having a solid impact at ground level and also with his clearance kicks. Harry Jones really impressed with his positioning, and got many valuable possessions in those fields of gold on the wide expanses of Le Page Park. It’s a space race out there, and if you can find it, like Jonesy often did, there are kicks and marks aplenty.
Some highlights from the second half were Elijah’s intercept backline marking, Johno’s famous silky clean hands, Ewan’s dancing feet, and co-captain Ozkar’s contesting grunt in packs. Goalkickers this week were set-shot maestro Woody, the mercurial Billy Burnett and super-sub “The Kobra” Turner.
A healthy rivalry is developing with the Panthers. They have some skilled players. I would like to publically apologise to their talented unshorn No. 1 for referring to him as a “her” the whole game - confusion for their spectators and our players too no doubt. Should have gone to Specsavers coach?
We are starting to see some genuine football swagger from our seasoned Under 9 professionals. They all truly look like they belong. You can see it in their general footy demeanour on and off the field. It is thrilling to see them take the next step, believing and having a “red hot go”. In our team everyone is important and should feel comfortable developing at their pace. An exciting future awaits these footballers. Watch this space. But don’t miss next week’s game either.
Match Report Round 4 Sunday May 6th
Port Colts U9 v Prahran
Date: 6th May 2018
Venue: Como Park, South Yarra
This week the boys played at the beautiful natural amphitheatre of Como Park in warming sunshine on a dewy field.
Prahran started well and had a few quick goals on the sheet before the sleep was even out of our eyes. Thenceforth the game became one of attrition, with the two blues continually setting up a wall of defenders in each zone, stopping our natural “run-and-gun” game style. The opposition’s tackling and harassing was first rate, as was that of the Colts. Consequently it was a dour and testing struggle early.
Footy can be like that sometimes, even at the top level, and the team message must always be to persevere. There were some really important contributors in this phase of the game: Jonesy’s all-round defence, Freddie’s thrusting runs, Liam’s sharing of the ball in the midfield, Cohen’s smart long kicks from the last line. Elijah laid a team-affirming tackle. Billy, Ewan, Bryson and Johno were making their presence felt. Albert tried to sell the candy after a mark, but spilled the candy for someone else to gobble up!
By halfway through the last quarter it looked like the match would roll on to a predictable finish. Not so!
Koby “The Kobra” Turner came off the bench into the forward zone at the six minute mark. All of a sudden the fuse seemed to be lit. Space was found. Players were running about with wild abandon and passes were hitting targets! Will Bacon, playing on from a mark, kicked our first major. Elijah followed soon after with a magnificent long high bomb. Dare to dream supporters? Surely not!?
Meanwhile General Finley K-C was ably managing the defence. Ozkar was playing his best game yet, and the glimmer twins of Lordy and Charlie were buzzing around like bees to honey.
With the game truly in the balance Josh “Woody” Woodhouse marked about twenty out from our goal. With all the pressure that such a moment entails on his young shoulders, the captain coolly went back and slotted it through.
At the final siren the exuberance amongst the players was indisputable. They yelled and whooped, running around like they’d each drunk a gallon of red cordial! It was a come-from-the-clouds finish. The lesson is, I guess just like in life, “Stick at it”.
Match Report Round 3 Sunday April 29th
Port Colts U9 v Hampton Rovers
Date: 29th April 2018
Venue: Woodruff Oval, Murphy’s Reserve
Today we faced the highly fancied the Rovers, rumoured to be the benchmark team of the Under 9 Red competition. As an anxious coach I found myself quoting Napoleonic military strategies in the rooms pre-game just to give the troops some extra gunpowder in the musket. Mon dieu! Coaching can make you delusional sometimes.
Hampton did indeed start well, rapidly banging on some early goals. But it wasn’t quite the 1812 Overture just yet. Our young heroes, the Port Colts, steadied and worked hard at the basics. Tackle pressure, run with the footy, kick long down the line, hunger for the ball: it was starting to come together. Skipper Declan played another prodigiously hard and tough game, starting in the midfield. Liam layed a power tackle to the ensuing crowd cries of “Baaalll!” and got just desserts. Mitch: a pirouette out of traffic on the wing. Lordy fomented four fantastic forays forward. Then Koby broke our drought with a characteristic Colts galloping goal. Elijah “the Iceman” Frost curled through an absolute ripper from the pocket. Game on, Hampton.
The second half started well. Luke took a strong chesty on the wing. Then he gained some negative yardage, with a towering kick-the wrong way! Oh well. Ardi was willing his way into contest after contest, then cannoned the ball through the goals from a scrappy melee. Lewis took a thumping pack mark at half forward sandwiched between two Rovers, then got pinged when playing on. Other notables were Leo, Finley, Ozkar, Will, Freddie and Charlie. Great endeavour boys.
But for students of the game, it was the Woody show that inspired teammates and lifted supporters’ hearts. It started with a Bontempelli-like over the shoulder look away handball, then there was the bone crunching tackle on a much bigger opponent, along with numerous possessions under extreme heat. Clever and gutsy stuff.
Fans occasionally sipped on some champagne football (or should that be sparkling white wine), when the Colts were able to link up and move the ball down the ground with splendid teamwork.
Hampton proved to be the better team on the day. Skillful, daring and resourceful, they deserve praise for their game. Their coach did say that we were the best team they’ve met this year. We’ll take that.
So for us it was no Waterloo after all. We marshall the troops again, lick our wounds, and look ahead to Prahran next week with a grin rather than a groan. Allez les Poulains!
Match Report Round 2 Sunday April 22nd
Port Colts U9 v Ajax
Date: 22th April 2018
Venue: Woodruff Oval, Murphy’s Reserve, Cheltenham
Round 2, and Captain Will reminded the team (heeding Aretha Franklin) to RESPECT: both the umpires and opposition players. Great pre-game sentiments skipper!
It was a brisk start by both teams in bright sunshine. Freddie immediately showed courage trying to break through the lines. And Leo was threatening, grabbing the ball strongly in heavy traffic. Ewan and Mitch, two great tacklers for their size, were getting amongst the action too. The Colts looked motivated but Ajax were also tackling well and managed to nab the early scoring. Some of their outside run occasionally made us look flat footed, although Woody showed some creamy skills by sidestepping two opponents on the wing. Billy flashed in and out, and Finley displayed great poise with ball in hand in the back half. By half-time, despite honest toil by the locals you’d have to say that Ajax were on top.
In the third quarter the Colts flicked the switch. The inside grunt and dash of Ardi, and long kicking of Lewis in the midfield meant the ball was pinballing time and again into our forward line. Declan screwed a lovely Cyril–like outside-of-the-foot left punt through for our first major. Then only minutes later, after Eddy lifted an Ajax player off the ground like a caber, Declan robbed him of the ball and calmly slotted another one. Lordy showed off his footy smarts, cleverly popping through a goal. And Charlie too rounded off a great goal scoring quarter by the red and blue.
There were some fine efforts by our boys in the last quarter. Bryson held his ground and bravely earnt a free for in the back, then drove it forward. Ozcar was getting into great positions and is obviously thinking about his game. Albert kicked a goal for us, but Ajax were opening up the play a little and streaming the ball forward into spaces. Cohen held the last line of defence magnificently with some great marking and long kicking. What a great experience under pressure!
At the denouncement it was they that had “got the chocolates”
It had been a terrific game played in the right way, with good spirit and behavior from both sides.
With a full complement of 24 players there were many interchanges this week and I thank the boys for their co-operation in getting on and off the ground. Also many thanks to all the parents who helped on the day.
Match Report Round 1 Sunday April 15th
Port Colts U9 v Cheltenham Green
Venue: Le Page Park, Cheltenham
What a fine welcome back to footy it was! The weather gods got the memo, turning on wind and lashings of rain. The perilous Panthers at home seemed a stern first up test in more ways than one. Footy was back.
After a mindful warm up in the rooms, and Captain McMaster’s succinct words of encouragement, 21 Colts players trotted out into the inhospitable field of play. As a coach I was immediately pleased to see our “secret” game plan being followed, as well as players managing to keep their feet and take safe chest marks in the wet environment.
We managed to kick a few goals early and defend well when needed. We were getting some good drive from Charlie and Jonesy, and Johno was sure-handed in the wet. Mitch and Luke looked really switched on with their attack at the ball, providing a good contest.
Lewis had a few long range shots on goal, spraying some in the wind, and then managing to get a couple through. Albert slotted a beauty in general play. Elijah’s superb long range bomb from way out unfortunately couldn’t be counted. It was kicked from the mid-zone!
In the second half the concentration levels did not waiver. Will really came into his own with some flying runs from the backline. Daring to even bounce in the slippery conditions, he continually drove the ball forward with penetrating kicks to open the game up to our advantage. His two goals were icing on the cake. Declan too became a ball magnet and showed us what a strong left foot he has. Woody was clever at reading the play at both ends, also adding himself to the goal tally. Eddy really introduced himself as a spearhead, and kicked his first major for the club late in the last quarter. Congratulations to him!
Special mention must be made to our players lent to the opposition at various times: Ozkar, Liam, Eddy, Freddie, Billy and Leo. They tried their hardest for both teams, so well done boys.
Playing as a team, supporting and encouraging each other, and enjoying “getting amongst it” in games and at training is what it’s all about. The U9s have this enthusiasm in spades, and it’s showing in their play. It was a great start. Two home games are coming up. Go Colts