Match Report Round 7: Narkle U8 vs Willoughby Wildcats Black U8 Sunday 30th June 2019

We were missing a few superstars at the weekend for various reasons however there seemed to be a marked improvement in all plays – communication, skill development, positioning on the field all being obvious points of improvement. It’s getting harder week to week to pick the best players because everyone is improving so rapidly.  We had to put the SOS out to the Auskickers and the Club for a few extras, who were excellent for us – Thank you Callum Davies and Jagger Mortimer and their respective parents for the support. On the field there was some flexibility in the way the umpire was applying the rules not to mention the ball (my 3 year old knows the difference between a one and a two!), however our players were focused and determined enough for this not to unsettle them.

As the game went on we seemed to workout better ways out of defense and set up the play better through the middle.

Our “rookies” drafted in, to cover our absentees, sick and wounded, were superb. Callum did a great job early in the middle getting involved and getting used to the fast paced game while Jagger was breathtaking. He was solid in defense early but brought the complete game, listening to team instructions, kicking to team mates and running with the ball. At times he was the last man standing stopping the Wildcats run and then setting up forward attacks. I will be fully supporting the AFL midseason draft and player swap arrangements for next year. 

Ed was solid all day but his last quarter was one of total domination. He looked as comfortable in front of goals as a labrador in front of an open fire on a cold July evening. He was happy to kick long to goal or from marks play his team mates into the game with precision handpassing and deft touches. Willoughby had no answers and I think the AFL might be calling for his B sample given his improvement in that last few weeks.

The late charge from us in this game was in no uncertain terms due to Marcus Kiley, Jagger Mortimer, Jack Phillips and Evan Bertocchi who all combined well to make sure we won centre clearances but also to stop the ball leaking from the Wildcats defense and ensuring it went back into our attacking zone with interest!

Jack Phillips, our captain for the day was consistently consistent taking some excellent defensive marks and made the most of his time in the middle dominating possession and working with his team mates and accurately passing to our key forwards.

Marcus was determined to slot a few goals. Had a heap of possession in the centre in the last quarter and made sure he kept his team mates involved with plenty of handball and in and under possession.  He gave the opposition plenty of lip also, they definitely knew he was around and certainly was not going to go quietly – as has been the same with his season – got better as the game went longer.

Ethan Chamberlain had clean hands all day and similarly clean heals throughout the day.  There was a small don’t argue he saved for the middle of the ground but his highlight reel for the day was definitely his 3rd quarter goal – goal of the day….definitely! – From a tight angle in the pocket, he snap truly for full points and the look on his face was priceless!

Max had a great game getting involved early, frustrating the opposition and forcing the turnover and using his voice.  Maddy was excellent as ever, dangerous in front of goals always looking to handpass and run, gave her all in many defensive plays with repeat efforts needed to stop a strong forward line for the opposition.

Jordan kept us in the game when he went forward early, stopping the opposition from setting up attacks from behind half back and always keeping pressure on the ball carrier.  Evan was great. Whether he was the first line of defense or last line in attack. In midfield he was attacking and looked solid all day doing the team things. Well done Evan.

We now have a few weeks off until after school holidays, so please enjoy your sleep ins!  See you in a few weeks on the 21st July when we are back home at Blackman Park against the Bombers!

Go Team!

Damien