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