With our earliest start to the season and a nip in the air Selwood trekked across to play Forest Lions at their home ground. In a first for the Lane Cove Cats and Team Selwood , Victoria took over the coaching reins and the team responded magnificently. Our leaders Billy H, Xavier and Niki led the way on the field which brought the whole team together.
After a tight first quarter with lots of desire, the next 2 quarters saw the Selwood of old – kicking 7 unanswered goals. These goals where built on hard running, tackling, marking up, positive hand balling and great ball movement. In an act of unselfish play Elin, who could have taken a shot at goal, decided to handball to a team mate ( a Lions player helping out) in a better position to score a goal. This is what we as coaches want to see from everyone and Elin was truly deserving of the courage award this week.
The game provided lots of positives with everyone contributing for 4 quarters, playing with passion and desire – it was a team performance that everyone can be proud.
This week at training we will continue to work on our centre play and manning up when the ball is coming out of attack and defence.
Round 8 proved to be a very physical test for our kids and they stood tall and proud. With the indigenous round being played in the AFL it was a time to remember our principles of RESPECT and our team show that in the way they play each week. We always respect the umpires and officials but this week I have to call out the huge effort of our sole trainee umpire who officiated a very physical and competitive game with a lot of pressure from the sidelines. I take my hat off to any young person willing to put themselves in the umpiring spotlight and face the challenges players, coaches and parents throw them.
It was Sam’s birthday and he started the game as captain but was unfortunately injured early in the game – having already made his mark felt with many touches of the ball and tackles. Every member of our team stepped up and showed a huge amount of commitment and courage when they saw our captain struggle off! Angus had to leave the field at the end of the game with a finger injury after having played a tough game, matching the Mosman physicality. Cooper, James and Lachie defied the size they game away and showed no fear when contesting the ball on the ground and tackling – never backing off. Charles and Jarrod used their height well in defence, wrapping up players in tackles constantly with both of them making multiple tackles in a row to tie the opposition down. Alex and Jaeden kicked us out of trouble on many occasions and are always hungry for the ball and tackle with strength and enthusiasm.
Emma had another great game, positioning herself well in attack and was robbed of a goal when she read the play perfectly to be right in front of goals only to be penalised for holding the ball (when she might have been pushed in the back). Max and Will were constantly in the mix in both attack and defence and showed a lot of stamina keeping up with play the full four quarters. Mac, Daniel and Darcy were as solid as ever with Mac and Darcy making more tackles than I could count and Daniel running and kicking us from defence into attack on numerous occasions.
The difference in the game was probably the players we leant Mosman, especially in the first two quarters. Whilst the scoreboard may not have favoured the Cats it was a good hard hit out and brought many valuable lessons to the players and coaching staff. Our team responded fantastically at quarter time to their coaches’ request to play the ball off the ground and that had a big impact on us winning more ball and we are contesting and passing better in general. We will continue to focus on these areas and keep the players heads up looking for options and support.
Everyone in the Hawkins team are playing great footy and have developed their skills out of sight in such a short time.
It was another lacklustre effort by the boys this weekend. Once again they started the match without any intensity, and were quickly behind eight ball as the Dockers piled on the pressure. We were lucky to be level at quarter time, with a couple of goals from Hynes keeping us in the game. But we simply couldn’t match their effort or pressure and were opened up in the second.
This is usually difficult to turn around during a match; so credit should be given to those boys who dug deep. When we kicked the first goal of the last quarter, we were only 3 points down. Hynes and Ferguson lifted their already high level of intensity & effort to another level, while there was good support from Fish and Russell. However, there were simply too many passengers on this bus, and a late goal from the Dockers snuffed out our revival.
Its clear the boys are failing to prepare properly for each game. This partly rests with the coaching team, and so we will be looking at ways to improving the pre-game preparation. The boys also need to be clear in their minds what is required of them; from coaches, parents and their team-mates. A certain level of intensity and effort is a minimum. And also respect; for your team-mate, the opposition and for how difficult this game is.
As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, you play like you train. So while we want the boys to have fun and be happy, we also expect absolute commitment and focus when we are conducting a training drill.
So it will be back to basics for the boys at training this week. Nothing fancy; just effort.
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