Under 19’s Update | Declan McLaughlin

After a difficult start to the season, the U19s recorded a terrific 40 point victory over Therry Penola last week. We have already seen tremendous improvements in many players in a really short period of time which leaves the entire club feeling very excited for the rest of the season.

Players such as Josh Ferraina, Conor Whiting and Nick Scala as well as many more have given us great consistency through backline, midfield and forward line respectively. Our leaders Jack Galapi, Mitch Cassidy and Logan Parris continue to impress with their commitment both on and off the field. The U19’s are not only impressing within the U19 side though, with U19’s player Lachlan Postans being a regular part of the Senior side since Round 1 and Mitch Cassidy’s great form being rewarded with a call up to the Senior side on the weekend. Knowing the talent within this side, I doubt these will be the only two to have played Senior football by the end of the season.

It also must be noted, the great pathway that the U19 side is creating from junior football to senior football. We have been privileged to have already provided opportunities to outstanding Colts (U17) players such as Andrew Andriopolous, Joseph Brenner and Oscar Strike who have gotten a consistent feel for VAFA football throughout the first few rounds. Several others have also stepped up an all have proved up to the challenge.

This week the U19 Bullants play Brunswick NOBS at Ted Ajani as they look to capture another win and some serious momentum heading into the middle part of the year.

Go Bullants!

Senior Mens Update | Jason Reynolds/Michael Popovski

Seniors:

Round 5 vs Brunswick NOBS

The senior team had shown considerable improvement over the first month of the home and away season, and found themselves with an impressive 3-1 record. This was their best start to a season since the premiership year of 2012. Round 5 was an opportunity to test ourselves against another quality opponent. NOBS were relegated from D1 at the end of 2018, but had hit the ground running on the way to a 3-1 record and three dominant performances in a row.

It was obvious from the outset that NOBS were very fleet-footed side, who transitioned the ball extremely well from their back half. They backed their teammates in to win the ball at stoppages or in general play and pushed hard forward of the footy. There were a number of talls in their forward line that were agile, explosive on the lead, strong above their head, and quality finishers in front of goal. The first half unfortunately didn’t go to plan. Players were regularly drawn towards the ball and/or player and we quickly lost our shape. It enabled NOBS to create loose players and use them to good effect. Players were not quick enough to react after we turned the ball over and NOBS exploited our lack of two-way running (accountability). Our ball movement broke down forward of centre and we were extremely wasteful with our inside F50s. Old habits had crept in and we found ourselves behind at half time.

The second half was a lot more positive. We became more patient with the ball in hand and did not turn the ball over under perceived pressure. There were large periods of the third quarter where we won stoppages, got back to support our defense, and controlled possession. All whilst kicking into a very noticeable breeze. I have been blown away by the resilience of this group. They have been challenged in every game this year and always had the strength of character to fight the game out to the very end. We had the better of NOBS in the last quarter, were able to outscore them, and can take some momentum into the game against Whitefriars next week. There will be a clear emphasis on our midfield-forward connection at training this week. Too many times we kicked long to the narrow side of the ground. It was too predictable for the opposition and meant that they could outnumber in the air. Many of our forwards had worked higher up the ground, but failed to work back in time and be in position to receive the ball inside F50. Instead of moving the ball quickly, we had to slow down far too often, and this gave the NOBS defenders time to get back and set up.

Patrick Moio was an absolute standout on the day. He is such an honest player, who is manic with his pressure, and has shown tremendous balance between offense and defense. He has stepped into a leadership role this year, and at only 19 years of age, shapes to be a key pillar in our team for many years to come. Ashwyn Mohandas presented as a target all day, was physical, brought his teammates into the game and shown great vision and awareness in traffic. Ethan Mainieri returned to form in his role across half-back. He broke the lines with his run, was really efficient with his disposal (especially by foot), and was strong in his one-on-one contests.

While all coaches, players and board members acknowledge that the group has shown significant progress, this game acted as a bit of a reality check. We know what it takes to match it with the top 3 teams in the competition, and will continue to work tirelessly to further bridge the gap. Our best is certainly good enough, but we need to avoid lulls within or between games. Consistency is key to our ongoing improvement.

Jason Reynolds

Reserves:

This year so far has been a little trying at times with us have 45 players going through the Reserves so far. In the power house game we finished  with just  15 fit player on the ground and yet my boys didn’t give up. Things have changed for the better over the last couple of week with 6 new players entering the senior group which gives us the opportunity to have a full bench. New players have come from mates within the existing playing group which tells me we do  care and are wanting to improve and willing to move forward for the remainder of the season .Our determination to play out games is fantastic and it is a credit to the boys.

I believe we can turn this year around let’s get on the track be committed to the Club and each other and let us see what happens

Your loving coach

Poppy xxoo

Womens Update | Harry Urwin

We are now a third of the way through the season and what a rollercoaster it has been. Ups and downs in the first few rounds with it leading to our first win in round four.

Our first two rounds against oakleigh and Emmaus st Leo’s saw us play a lot of good footy and be ahead at 3/4 time in both games. Unfortunately both times we got over run in the final quarter. Whilst it was a tough way to start the season, the fact that we were scoring and leading against good quality sides meant that we knew our first win wasn’t far away.

Round three was our turning point. Unfortunately it was a loss against a very strong Hampton rovers side. Whilst we played good footy again it was time for us to have a good hard look at ourselves and discuss what we wanted out of the rest of the season.

The girls all responded in great fashion at trainings and it lead to a fantastic win against Prahran assumption. Everything fell into place with all girls buying into the structures and game plan we had worked so hard on that week.

The women’s team have flicked the switch, and with it being a very tight competition in 2019 every game counts. As a group we feel extremely confident that we are now moving in the right direction and that there is more wins to come.

Social and Club Events Update

 

6th April | First home game v MHSOB

 

15th June | Players Function

Time – 7.00pm
Venue – Ted Ajani Clubrooms
Theme – When I grow up
Cost – $20 (Pizza and drinks at Bar Prices)
RSVP – Billy Wilson on 0433 066 988

 

20th July | 40th Anniversary 1979 Triple Premiership

Venue – Ball Room, Manningham Club, Bulleen Road, Bulleen
Cost – $120 pp

 

24th August | Last Home Game v

 

24th August | Reverse Raffle Draw

Time – 7.30pm
Venue – Ted Ajani Clubrooms

 

5th October | Presentation Night

Info to come

 

Womens Update | Harry Urwin

The 2019 season started in early November of 2018 for the women’s team. After just missing out on finals in the 2018 season, the girls were all keen to get back on the track with finals being the goal in the season to come.

Improving our base level of fitness was one of the main goals for our pre-Christmas training. The girls were working extremely hard through the heat but fantastic numbers at trainings allowed us to move into improving our fitness through skill drills and game sense training. Year one, the average pre-Christmas training was six players per session, year two averaged 10 players per pre-Christmas session, and this year we have averaged 18 players per session. The level of commitment at this stage of the season from the players fills me with great confidence for the year to come.

So far, we have seen six new players come to the club, and we are also very excited to announce that we have a new assistant coach, Nick Cunningham. Nick has played for multiple senior clubs but comes to us with a sport science background. Having just finished his degree Nick will oversee our strength and conditioning program for the women in 2019.

New coaches, new players and a new level of commitment and effort shown by our players is sure to make 2019 our year.

Harry Urwin

Senior Women’s Coach.

Under 19’s Update | Declan McLaughlin

After being appointed U19’s coach a few months ago, I have been welcomed into the club with open arms. Everyone whether they be a player or a coach can feel the real sense of excitement that currently surrounds the club, a feeling of new beginnings.

Bringing back an U19’s team was never going to be challenge-free but the subcommittee and coaches are really pleased with the progress we have made so far and are extremely excited for the months ahead. We cannot wait to fully attack preseason after the Christmas break and are ready for a (hopefully) successful season to follow.

The club has fully embraced a ‘one-club’ mentality and all the U19’s have been completing preseason training in conjuction with the Senior playing group and in parts also with the Women’s playing group. All U19 players have benefited immensely from this experience. This has also been a brilliant initiative in creating a positive environment, as well as building and strengthening bonds between the U19’s and the rest of the club.”

Cheers,
Declan

Senior Mens Update | Jason Reynolds

Wednesday night (19/12/18) marked the end of our 4 week, pre-Christmas block of training. I have been enormously impressed with the work ethic of the playing group as well as their willingness to improve. To date, there has been a strong emphasis on disposal efficiency, decision making, contested football and defensive transition, fitness, and ‘team first/’one club’ culture. Within the men’s squad, we have had almost 40 players attend training so far. This includes a handful of U/19s and Colts boys, which is fantastic to see! The re-introduction of an U/19’s side is a huge plus for the club and will be a key component in our pursuit on sustainable success. The women’s team has also been well represented and have joined with us for warm-ups/skill drills at the beginning of each training session. I look forward to this arrangement continuing in the new year.

We will play an exciting brand of football in 2019 and aim to be one of the big improvers in the VAFA – Division 2 competition. Whilst finals football has not been experienced over the last few years, it is certainly back on the cards for the upcoming season. With some familiar faces returning to the club (Cherby is a pretty handy recruit!), we will have the ideal balance of experience and youth. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to natural and inspirational leaders. Players like Michael Pace, David Dakin, Leith Wallis, Anthony Lucisano and Hamish Watts have been monumental in driving training standards, lifting the level of professionalism amongst the playing group and inspiring their peers to be better players and people. Billy Wilson, Rob Edsall, and Harry Vogler have given every indication that they will continue their dominant form into 2019. Nick Palumbo, Pat Moio and Anthony De Propertis look set for breakout seasons, and Joey Moio is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to cement a spot in the senior side. These are just a few snapshots of players burning up the track.

Thank you again to Russell Wallis, Tim Merrett and Jade Rawlings (Senior Coaching Selection Panel) for having belief in me and providing me with the opportunity to coach this great club. I have been able to form so many positive relationships in a short period of time, and it already feels like home. To all members of our Bulleen Templestowe community – I wish you a happy and safe Christmas and New Year. Jump on board and enjoy the ride. There are certainly exciting times ahead and I thank you in advance for your ongoing support of our club.

Go Bullants!!!