Today the Tigers U12’s were at home, pitted against Kenmore, who had dropped down a division, from div 2 to div 3. Obviously being good enough to get themselves into division 2 at the start of the year we knew that it would be a good test for our boys to see how they matched up.
After a solid performance against Aspley the week before our focus at training was too continue to have our boys back playing with confidence in both themselves and their teammates and to continue to move the ball quickly.
Unfortunately the old adage “you play the way you train “was evident in our boys at the start of Today’s game. We had been a bit lazy and not switched on at our Wednesday training and also that was noticeable in our pre game warm up. The coaching staff impressed upon the boys before the game the need to keep concentration and play the game rather than spectate it. And also we encouraged them to start the game strongly and not get caught playing catch up.
Our first quarter was disappointing for the fact we did get caught spectating and also got behind, not only in general play, but on the scoreboard. They were a side with quite a few boys a lot bigger than some of our side but that doesn’t mean you go less hard at the football, and the fact was we were playing with 2 extra players as they were playing with no interchange which meant we should have been able to outrun our opposition.
Today we looked by far the slower team for most of the first half which itself is disappointing considering I would consider our boys to be the fittest in the competition. We all know however, no matter how fit you are you will always look slower if you are led to the football by your opponent or if you panic with the football and make bad decisions that result in the football being turned over in areas of the ground that put your defense under constant pressure. That is how it was for our first half today.
Half time gave us the chance to regroup and once again our boys showed that they do have the desire and the will to fight games out and not roll over. Our third quarter was a great example of how this team can play if they have confidence to move the ball quickly and trust the teammates around them to be there for them. We took control of the opposition players who were causing us the most trouble and began to have the confidence to take the game on in the third quarter and through sheer hard work got ourselves back into the contest.
The coaching staff could sense that we would finish full of running and that our opposition looked quite tired but again some decision making errors caused turnovers which resulted in Kenmore getting the first goal of the last quarter rather than us, helping them to steady and deflating our players quite noticeably.
One quarter of football is never going to be enough to win you a game but I would still like to acknowledge the games of some of our players. After threatening for the last few weeks, and teasing us with some small pieces of play, Jack Roney today put together four quarters of excellent forward play, looking at all times our most likely to kick goals. It bought back memories of his fantastic finals series last year and is something we hope continues on this year again!!
Of course all the usual suspects played at the level we continue to expect from them. I speak, of course, about Ryan, Declan, Lachlan, Brodie, Connor and Curtis and while we should expect the games we get from these guys, the challenge to everyone else is to bring themselves up to that level as well. And it is not just about skill level it is also about the desire to want the football, to go and find it and win it for our team whether it is them that gets their hands on it or if they sacrifice themselves so their teammates win the ball.
Well done again boys!! Someone who is also beginning to take great strides this year is Billy Bryant who from a slow start is beginning to turn into a valuable utility with the ability to take contested marks and provide a contest for us at both ends of the ground.
Another game we need to learn from boys and then put behind us. This week we will find our form of earlier in the season!!!!!