Rounds 1 & 2 Match Reports

Dear fellow Bull Ants,

Before I was a coach and after I was a player I was a fan, I’ll always be a fan. And as a fan and after the adrenaline of round 2 had subsided on Saturday night I could not help but indulge in logging onto the VAFA web site and bask in the match report. 25.17.167. Voglis 8, Cherbakof 6, Lucisano 4, Tourogianis 4. All great Bull Ant names , all great Bull Ant people, 650 senior games and 11 premierships between them. As a fan you just want the lads to be having a crack and enjoying their football, addingly it’s even better when the place we love is up and about, it makes you feel good inside , and the scoreline represents that and I enjoyed basking in that as a fan.
As the coach and caretaker at this early stage in preceding’s there is no focus on the scoreline. We’ve touched on it a bit, what a healthy score line and conversion looks like but at the moment it’s all about how we go about it, it’s about loving the game and the challenge, it’s about learning and growing, I don’t have the answers or a golden plan, it’s about all of us discovering them together. There are no expectations, but there is pride , allot of pride in how we go about it.

Ted Kelly, he was a ripper ! I thoroughly enjoyed our banter. Thinking about him takes me back to the very first Bull Ant Anzac Day tribute in 2005. Our back pocket Oliver Hill had a standout game that embodied the ANZAC spirit and he won the Ted Kelly medal. It was truly a honour for him and we call him ANZAC Hill to this day.

Round 1 was a arm wrestle against St Leos and we had a gutsy win in difficult windy conditions at Burwood. It was a bitter sweet win with our Captain, our spiritual leader Micheal Pace that lives and breathes the club going down with a shoulder injury and is out of action for the next 3 months. He went down in the 3rd when the game was in the balance, he was keeping us in the game. And the lads responded and rallied and honoured him with the win.

We have 2 vice captains , 2 great Bull Ants. Playing in his 150th senior game , the 19th Bull Ant to do so Anthony Lucisano was Captain for the day on Saturday and lead the troops with true relentless spirit. Playing half forward he was a work horse and continually put his body on the line and set the standard with 8 bacon and eggs (tackles) 27 possessions and 4 sausage rolls and was a most deserving winner of the Ted Kelly medal.

Playing Hawthorn Amateurs for the first ever time and after a touching and inspiring story about the ANZACs in Tobruk from our strength and conditioning coach and Army Corporal Adam ‘Tails’ Taylor the lads came out firing with Kristian ‘sticky mits’ Cherbakof grabbing everything and working beautifully and creating magic with his deep forward partner in crime Pete ‘The Clutch’ Voglis. It was a delight to watch.

With Rusty and Robo on the boundary line working the rotations beautifully and working our prized runner Rocket over time in the process, with Pete Satori on the clip board, Tullsy and myself took the vantage point on top of the interchange bench. And looking through some binoculars it felt like I was out there with the lads. Our intent and focus was fantastic, we were having a crack, when Hawthorn got it they used it efficiently and score most times on entry. That’s footy and thats how it goes sometimes but more importantly we’d set the foundations for a good day.

We tighten a couple of screws at quarter time and we revelled on the open spaces of our TAJ playing eye catching instinctive fast footy. Bettiol and Bruce giving plenty of grunt in the ruck, following up their work with bumps , tackles and smothers. Dominate quarters from Lucisano, Burridge, Wilson , McLaughlin, Dakin, Cowell and Edsall really set up the game for us. Brodie taking a ripper of a mark that he initially punched was one of many highlights for the quarter.

It always warms my heart when a Bull Ant returns to the nest, we’re all about backing and supporting what ever each of us want to do, and with that we the club will always always be here and will always welcome a return. We are the peoples club for the people. That’s the Bull Ant way, once a Bull Ant always a Bull Ant.

So I’m delighted to say that we’ve had 6 senior debutants over the first 2 weeks. John Sprigett has joined our club from Nth Ringwood, Our Reserves Captain Anthony Poci, and 4 players from our under 19’s and Junior ranks that have after a few years off have returned to the club. Ashwyn Mohandas, Rob Branciatianso, Tyler Aguis and Aaron Tribuzio. All of these guys have gone and done their thing and it’s truly awesome to see them back at the club.

We’re encouraging our players to play to their strengths and to be mindful and use and choose one of the options on offer that their gut instinct says yes too, to ‘hit the dance floor’ we’ve called it, to take the game on.
The raw talent that is Aaron Tribuzio did that in spades in the 3rd quarter and it was thrilling to watch him use his pace and run with the ball.
Chance Burridge in his first game for the year played tough, hard and desperate football his big brother Kaine would have been proud of. In a forward midfield role he was a standout performer in the second half and was amongst the votes for the Ted Kelly medal.

Our backline lead by our Deputy Vice Captain Leith Wallis and Mathew Palexas stood up strong again and showed fantastic composure and polish under pressure.

All in all it was a impressive 4 quarter effort of playing ball with 22 contributors having a crack.

And a beautiful moment with both our Vice Captains and stand in Captain’s Luca for his 150th senior and Rob for his 150th club game being chair off the TAJ at the end of the game

 

Reserves

With Jumma firing up the troops the atmosphere in the rooms before the game was electric. I had goosebumps and wanted to throw on a jumper and run out with lads myself. Dave Hinxman in his first game for the club was a terrier on the wing and fellow first gamer Jack March was putting his body on the line in the ruck. And it was great to see Jimmy Dedes back out there coming back from a long term injury. Joseph Paolucci in his first game for the year was on fire early with a couple of first quarter goals. After a massive preseason Leon Dimopoulos wreaked havoc across the half forward line and finished the day with a bag of 5. He was superbly supported by Tonelli, Considine and Verga who went hard all day and won the Ted Kelly medal. The standout down back was the strength of Kristian Mattizzo. Moio and Mohandas also caught my eye.

All in all I was really impressed how the boys bounced back, they weren’t switched on in round 1 but they brought it Saturday and it was great to see!

 

Lady Ants

It’s was a Super Saturday at the TAJ with the Lady Ants kicking off proceedings at 930. My first impression was that they have great team spirit, a strong feeling of they’re all in it together and let’s just have a go! And I can’t think of any better foundations than those. There were some real gutsy and tough passages of play and Raffi Jones was apart of many of them and was awarded the Ted Kelly medal.

Was lovely to see so many Bull Ants at the game, old and new faces, the vibrance in rooms afterwards was awesome and it was very touching with Sue and Paul Kelly presenting the Ted Kelly medal on behave of their father.

On behalf of the teams , win, loss or draw, we’re looking forward to having a crack this week and seeing you at the game

It’s great to be a Bull Ant,
Chivsy