U14YG Trial Game vs North West Lightning 3rd July 2020

Footy is back!

Great turnout for our U14 Youth Girls team in a trial game invitation with North West Lightning under lights at Pennant Hills on Friday night.

An enthusiastic win for our team playing in our clash uniform for the first time. 
Welcoming our new players, Ashley, Helena, Gracie as well as our returning players.

Thanks to North West Lightning for organising the game.

Junior sport to reopen across NSW

The NSW Government announced this week that junior sport will be allowed to recommence from 1 July.

As a consequence, AFL NSW is now working towards getting the 2020 Community Football and NAB AFL Auskick Season started on the weekend of 17 – 19 July 2020. This will be proceeded with full contact-training and match preparation phase during the NSW school holiday period.

The AFL will provide us with more information next week around the protocols regarding “return to contact training” and “competition play”. More importantly, there will be a lot of work to get through, including season length, fixtures, bylaws and financials.

In the meantime, if you have any issues or questions regarding the club’s policies and procedures, please contact our COVID Safety Officer.

Lane Cove Cats Girls return to training

The year is already looking promising with a strong turn out for our first training session of the year. Girls ranging in ages from 8-9 to 15, hit the paddock in what will a year of fun and excitement. There were plenty of familiar faces from last year, but equally lots of new faces who were thrown a football and instantly made apart of the team.

On Wednesday 18th March there will be a “Come & Try” session, so if you have a family or school friend, who is keen to be involved in a family oriented club playing a great team sport, then encourage them to come down.

Also, we have 2 GWS Giants AFLW players coming to training on this same night at 6pm to help out, answer questions and throw the ball around!

Come try AFL’s new JuniorX

Following on from the successful AFL7s tournament that we have conducted over the past couple of years, the AFL are launching the JuniorX competition for the wider AFL Sydney Junior region.

The series will kick off on the 16th October at Gore Hill Oval and be run as an 8-week competition. At this stage It will consist of only U10 and U12 divisions for both girls and boys.

We fully support this new initiative by the AFL. In fact, we will encourage all our players aged 12 and under to play. For the older age groups (such as U14 and U16), we are still planning to run a series at Blackman Park. This will consist of a 4/5 week series starting in early November. Further details will be released closer to the time.

JuniorX will be run with rules similar to our AFL7s and the senior AFLX series that was conduct last year. This means games will be played on a modified field (usually a rectangle) and played with only 7 players on the field at any one time. More details will be released in coming weeks.

We will help arrange teams to play in this competition. As part of your registration, you will get a full LCC playing kit to use during it. To register your interest, please enter your the details here.

We will circulate more details when releases by the AFL.

Registrations for 2020 now open

While the children are enjoying the off-season, you can get organised early by registering them now for the 2020 season.


For children 8+ years old
Cost: $240 per child
Each player will receive a jumper and shorts. These will need to be returned at the end of the season. Socks can be purchased at any time via our online store.

Please note that the NSW government announced earlier this year that each child would be eliglbe for two ActiveKids vouchers per year. For further details, head to the ActiveKids website.

You also have the option of donating an extra $50 to help fund the purchase of a canteen/club room down on Steve Chisholm Oval. This will help create an even better atmosphere on game day, and make the process so much easier on volunteers.

We are planning to enter teams in the AFL Sydney Juniors (Harbour North) league in 2019 across multiple divisions. This includes youth girls teams in U10, U12, U14 & U16 age groups.

Click here to register for 2020.

All junior registrations before 8 December will also receive a FREE training top. To make use of this offer, go to our website, select your training top and add the coupon code “2020bonus” at checkout. The tops will be delivered with your playing gear at the guernsey presentation day early next year.


5-8 years old
Cost: $190 per child
Each player will receive an Auskick membership pack, jumper, shorts and socks.  Jumper and shorts to be returned at the end of the season.

We have another great season of Auskick planned in 2020. And you will be under the tutelage of some great coaches. In fact, coaches at the Lane Cove Cats have scoped the Auskick Coordinator of the Year (Sydney North) in four of the past six seasons.

Once again, children will allocated to age groups; Team Blue (Older kids, the Cats), Team Red (Swans) and then the little ones Team Orange (Giants).

Click here to register for 2020!  

Remember, all Auskickers get a great footy pack including a backpack, NAB AFL Auskick size 1 football, football pump, personalised door sign (with their club of support), bag tag, football card album and pack of footy cards. You also get a LCC guernsey & shorts (which need to be returned at end of season). Socks can be purchased anytime via our online store.

If you pay before 9th December 2019, you should receive the Auskick 2020 pack prior to Christmas.

Have you considered umpiring?

While all the focus was on the players over the weekend, boys and girls were also donning the yellow as umpires as the AFL Sydney Junior competition culminated with the grand finals.

Lane Cove Cats had four members trying their hand at officiating in 2019:

  • Samuel Hynes
  • Ryan Hunter
  • Will Schofield
  • Andrew Gillard

Congratulations on Samuel Hynes on his appointment as field umpire for the U11 ground final. On field with him was ex-LCC player Declan Fitzgerald.

They were joined by Ryan Hunter (U13 LCC/NRD JV team), who was goal umpire.

Congratulation boys!

  • Did you know you can save enough money for your first car in ONE YEAR by being an umpire? Or you can blow it all at Luna Park every weekend – your pick!
  • If you are fit and want to get fitter then umpiring is the perfect job. If you’re not fit but want to get fit, we have you covered too! We’re waiting for you!
  • Bring a bunch of your mates down and get paid to hang out or come down on your own and meet heaps of fun people your age. Umpiring is social – see for yourself!
  • Learn valuable skills such as conflict resolution, leadership and teamwork that you can bring with you into any career path.

If you are interested in joining them next year, please get in touch. Just email umpiring@lanecovecats.com. Or visit the AFL umpiring website.

Well done to all LCC junior teams

It was a beautiful morning at Blackman Park on Sunday as we hosted the preliminary finals of the AFL Sydney Junior competition.

Playing on the day were two of our joint venture teams; Lane Cove/North Ryde U11 Menegola team took on the Pittwater Tigers while the Lane Cove/North Ryde U14 team had a classic semi-final against Glebe Newtown.

In two extremely tough contests, both teams unfortunately went down to their opponents. However, we must celebrate the great year that they had.

In fact, that goes for all our junior teams. At Lane Cove, we don’t measure success purely on results. This is community football, where its just as important to enjoy our great game.

And on that basis, I think we succeed. I saw plenty of exhausted but happy faces during the last couple of rounds of footy I attended. And from the reports I received back from others, most can’t wait to return next year.

More importantly , our joint venture teams enable dozens of boys to play footy that may otherwise have been lost to the game

Thank you volunteers

I also want to give a big shout out to the volunteers that helped during the preliminary finals.

Jono Ladmore worked tirelessly on the BBQ all day, helping raise some much need funds for the club.

Jono was ably assisted by Brian Gillard and Greg Byrnes, who both also alternated between scoreboard attendant, ground managers and general roustabouts. Maurice Cohen was once again our trust worthy head ground manager.

Without these guys, the day would not have gone off so smoothly.

Daniel Hynes

Preliminary Finals weekend at Blackman Park

We have been chosen to host three preliminary finals at Blackman Park this weekend.

The day starts with our U11 joint venture team, Lane Cove/North Ryde U11 Menegola team coming up against the Pittwater Tigers. Team Menegola had a magnificent regular season, finishing in second place. They took on a strong Westbrook team in a top of the table semi-final last week. Unfortunately they went down in a tough contest, but because of the ladder position, earned a second chance. They now play Pittwater for a place in the grand final.

One of our other JV teams will also be playing. The Lane Cove/North Ryde U14 team had a classic semi-final against Glebe Newtown. It was a tough contested battle, with no team giving an inch. The boys started the last quarter strongly, with an early goal putting them up 8 points. However, Glebe fought back with goal of their own and it was back to a 2 point margin. With only 20 seconds remaining, an attempt at goal by Gleve missed and the boys got home with a one point win.

Both teams have had a great year and we would encourage everyone to come down and support them.

We could also do with some help managing the BBQ/canteen and helping out with ground management. Please let Daniel Hynes know if you are willing and able

Lane Cove Cats in 2020

The pathway for children in the AFL can be confusing. Community club football has been joined by a variety of school programs.

We are also a growing club, with new and different avenues opening up every year. In 2020, the Lane Cove Cats will continue to expand the number of programs we operate.

Our award winning Auskick program will return bigger and better. In addition to our regularly sessions, we will be looking to develop a girls-only stream to accommodate those children that may be reluctant to mix it up with the boys.

Due to the strong numbers in U8 Auskick, we should see a strong number of teams in the younger junior divisions. However our U11 and U12 age groups are also expected to be strong as well.

In the youth division, we will see further expansion in our joint venture with North Ryde. This will result in JV teams in U13 through to U15.

So in the name of simplicity, we’ve tried to summarise it all for our members.


Auskick is the premier AFL program for children new to the sport. It makes learning to play AFL fun, safe and easy for boys and girls. Through weekly coaching sessions they will learn the skills of the game in an exciting, social and safe environment.

Children will learn the fundamental motor skills vital for future physical activity and sport participation as well as learning how to interact with other children as part of a team in small group activities.

Within the Auskick program, we have two main streams.

Auskick 5-8 years

This involves Sunday morning sessions for approximately one hour. It consists of drills that teach the fundamentals of the game in a safe and fun environment. It also involves some internal grid games, using modified rules and no tackling.

Auskick U8’s Non Competitive Games

Around week four of the season, the children aged 8 are invited to participate in the Auskick U8 competition. This is a step up from the internal grid games, with boys and girls playing against other Auskick programs around Sydney.

Its always played on Sunday morning, and has no competition tables or divisionalised or graded team. Its played on a reduced field size separated into zones to avoid congestion and spread opportunity. The rules are modified including no tackling.

School and Community Programs

There are a host of programs tailored to primary school students across the nation. These aim to introduce the game to new children.

These include:

  • Learn AFL Auskick – a development program targeted at students with limited to no knowledge of AFL. The curriculum linked program to specific educational outcomes achieved through practicing the core skills of the game and learning about the Sydney Swans and GWS Giants.
  • Experience AFL Auskick – a development program targeted at students with some understanding of AFL. The curriculum linked program expands on this knowledge via specific skill sessions and modified match play whilst learning about the Sydney Swans and GWS Giants.
  • Sporting Schools Program – the AFL Sporting Schools Program has been developed to facilitate the delivery of AFL in schools. The program provides schools the opportunity to access Australian Sports Commission funding to assist with the delivery of the program.
  • After School Auskick Centre – after school clinics based on participant abilities, run on school grounds, after school by qualified AFL staff.
  • Multicultural/ Indigenous Programs


This involves children aged 9 and above, although in certain circumstances we can have children aged 7 or 8 play in this competition.

Junior Football is the next step for kids who are ready to move on from NAB AFL Auskick or other introductory school and/or community programs. It’s the perfect environment for kids to have fun learning through play, make new friends and create memories that last a lifetime. Rules of matches are modified so children can continue to develop their skills in an enjoyable, safe atmosphere.

At Lane Cove Cats, we have two main programs; mixed juniors and girls. The mixed juniors involves boy ands girls playing in age groups from under 9 up to under 12.

The youth girls program is relatively new. In fact, this year is the first year for the under 10 age group, while the under 12 age groups is in its second year.

These competitions are female specific competitions aimed at introducing new players to AFL and continuing the pathway for females aged 13 to 18 years.

Many girls prefer to play Australian Football in single gender environments, and where possible we recommend girls over age 10 do so. However, should your daughter prefer to play in mixed-gender team or competition they are permitted to do so until age 14.

Youth Football

Tailor made for players of all abilities and aspirations, Youth Football caters to teenage boys and girls aged from 13 to 18. An ideal progression from either NAB AFL Auskick or Junior Football, Youth Football provides children with the opportunity to play in a graded competition within a club environment.

Fun, fast and often skilful, Youth Football is a chance for children to play football with their friends and establish new friendships, with a distinct focus on team building.

At Lane Cove Cats, our youth football program is provided through a joint venture with our neighbouring club, the North Ryde Dockers.

In most sports across Australia, you get a natural decline in participation as children enter high school. This is when study, social activities and part-time work pressures are increasing. Participation drop-out then accelerates through the teenage years. In Sydney we are also facing diminishing available green space and an explosion in Auskick and junior clubs on the North Shore.

Under this strategy, we will have a much better chance of providing a club environment that caters to all age groups and skill sets the school years.

This structure is a common set up across the North Shore and the wider Sydney basin. Willoughby Wildcats have a joint venture with Mosman Swans from the U13 age groups and higher. Drummoyne Power and Concord Giants have also formed the Canada Bays Cannons for U13-U17 age groups.

Player Pathway

Below is a diagram outlining the structure of the club and the pathway for children from Auskick to senior football. We hope this provides some clarity for parents.

Match Report Gala Day #2: U10 Hawkins Sunday 18th August 2019

The second of our gala days for U10s was held at Frank Gray Oval Curl Curl. It was a full day of U10s with all the North Beaches and North City teams meeting in three pools. Unfortunately for Team Hawkins, we’d drawn Pool A and a centre-bounce of 8am. The field setup was on three very large ovals, with no marked zones, and we knew the boys would be extra tired after five, albeit shortened, games. Team Hawkins, as team #3 in the pool, also drew the short straw in changing fields, and found ourselves moving for all but one change, while other teams remained stationary. Grumble.

The team (and Assistant Coach Mic) were happy to see Coach Roger take a break from coaching the AFLW Giants to coach the Cats. Tom Bredenhann had caught the family flu or something, and despite not being fit enough to take the field insisted on attending the day to cheer his teammates on, and assist his Dad with goal umpiring. With twelve players ready and raring to go, the team and staff hurriedly ran through a warm-up before Coaches address. The game focus was on pressuring your opponent, working together, and kicking the ball downfield, this last point emphasised due to the size of the fields.

First game was against Pittwater Tigers Rioli, who we’d never faced before. Noah won the toss and captained a solid start. Jacob delighted his teammates by gathering a ball that fell out the back of a contest and confidently kicking it through the big ones. The Cats dominated play in the first half, though there were a few nervous moments in the second in defence. Angus went down injured after a contest, but he dusted himself off and got back into it. The Tigers could only manage a solitary behind. A quick post-game debrief about bunching up too close to the kicker, and it was onto the second game. One game, one win.

The next was against, wait, didn’t we just play these guys? No, it was Pittwater Tigers Dusty, who had beaten us in the first game of the season. Coach rotated players to give some respite and change the mix. Harvey won the toss and captained strongly. Angus showed no adverse signs from his injury the previous game and kicked two goals, the last, the sealer, in the final minutes to break a deadlocked score. Two games, two wins.

The third game was against our dreaded bogey side, the Manly Mustangs, who’d humiliated us twice during the season. “But not on my watch,” said Captain Shane, and that was the set up for a hard-fought contest in which both sides scored one goal apiece. Team Hawkins’ goal was a final minute, tough, angled set shot from Noah after a free kick, and his team celebrated accordingly. There was a lot of rough-and-tumble about this game, thankfully no white-line fever, and Team Hawkins were happy with the result. A little bit of humour too, when Felix forgot he’d been rotated forward and kicked in the wrong direction, but the midfield recovered and Felix genuinely relished the tougher game and played well. Three games, two wins, one draw.

Coach Roger gave an urgent address about not sniping within the team, reminding the players that they were playing for each other, and not to let tiredness and frustration get the better of ourselves. A quick jelly baby injection was given before heading onto game four. This was against Willoughby Wildcats Gold, who had thumped us the previous week. The boys’ blood was up though, and it was an emphatic response from the Cats, captained by Ryan. Last week, the Cats did not bother the scorer, this week, the position was reversed. Ryan led from the front in this one, insisting on staying on after a nasty head clash that saw the other player leave the field. This inspired his team on. Recent international recruit Lewis missed a golden opportunity in an open goal kicking it into the post, but redeemed himself in the second half, kicking his first career goal. The score would’ve been far higher had we kicked straight. Four games, three wins, one draw.

The last was against Mosman Swans Red, who we’d not faced before. Captained by Zak, the Cats kicked ahead through Harvey and were never led, Lewis kicking his second of the day and a handful of behinds from the other forwards. Team Hawkins never looked like losing this one. Five games, four wins, one draw.

The results said it all, the boys performed superbly and were clear winners on the day. Most importantly, they were able to take instruction on the fly and respond. Just as important was the quality of instruction they were receiving from Coach Roger, whose keen insight was able to zero in on exactly the aspect of play that needed correction and then concisely get that point across to the boys. He also gave a cracking post-game/-season address to players and parents — he certainly has picked up some oratory skills from his son. He reiterated that it was working together and remaining a strong solid team that won us the day. He thanked Mic Lumley for his coaching and training assistance, Chris Brendenhann for brilliant Team Management, Michiel Tops for standing in for Chris when needed, and parents for transporting the boys and encouraging them in their sport. All players, parents, and siblings joined in for a final rousing, and might I say tuneful, rendition of the team song.

The final event left on Team Hawkins calendar is the Presentation Day on 8 September at the Diddy. All are looking forward to this.