This week Team Menzel decided to work on the one skill that has been a bit lacking so far this season – the handball. David got the kids doing some handball drills before today’s match, and the kids would have benefited from doing the skills drills at Auskick last Sunday. We really focussed on the handball during the team talk and kids got the message loud and clear. In our match against the Mosman Swans this morning, the kids used the handball to excellent effect to get their team mates more involved and maintain more possession. David and I were very proud of how the kids made a concerted effort to incorporate this key skill into their play and they reaped the benefits. And of course, we saw some breathtaking marks, exciting goals and excellent sportsmanship from both teams throughout the match. As coaches and parents, we can be very pleased with how the under 8s are developing as a team.
We all get a well earned rest next weekend because there’s no U8s game or Auskick during the June long weekend. We are back at Blackman Park at 7:45 am on Sunday 18 June for a home game against the Balgowlah Suns.
This week saw our Under11s team play the most physical game of our season so far, with a few lessons leant throughout the game. We started slowly again and were really thrown off our game by some off the ball niggle and heavy pushing and shoving in the contests. When we got caught up in the emotion and distraction of it all we fell behind on the scoreboard and started looking for excuses. There were no surprises that when we focused on playing footy and worked together as a team we clawed back our score deficit and swung the momentum our way. Refocused, confident and playing our style of footy we kept the opposition to 3 points in the second half, whilst we kicked away to a 7 goal lead. I’ve seen professional teams collapse when faced with the same challenge our kids faced – a remarkable mental achievement for such young players!
I think everyone would have noticed the brilliant hand passing and decision making our players employed to keep control of the ball against spirited defence. These are things we have been practising at training and to see it effectively employed in a game is just magic! Football skills and life lessons in tenacity and team work are one thing, but we can’t forget the main aim of playing footy is to have fun. No matter how well we play, or how successful we are in the competition, if our players aren’t having fun, then we are not really succeeding. Please make sure our players, our kids, know they have every right put their hand up if they believe there is anything we (and especially I) can do to help them enjoy playing footy. They can talk to me, e-mail me or get their parents to do the same with any feedback or suggestions they have.
As a reward for the way the team has been playing and specifically for a great training session last week it is “players choice” at training next week where the players get to dictate what we will do on Thursday night. I can’t wait!
Remember, there is no training this week so I expect our team to be doing some fitness work and kicking/marking at home!
Another fantastic team turn out for Sunday’s game, where we had 2 substitute players and had to actually make use of the Runner this week to relay messages to the team and arrange swaps for players coming off.
Many thanks to Lucas (Izzy’s dad) for his runnner duties, setting the precedent and fitness levels required by our next happy parent volunteer?
Also thanks to Mark (Ducky’s dad) assisted by Matt and the other parents to get the goal posts and field prepared ready in plenty of time before the game.
Thanks also to Merran for managing and organising week in week out and to other helpful parents who volunteer for goal umpire, other duties and much appreciated vocal support of our team. We are becoming a well oiled machine.
For the game this week our focus was on playing in our zones ( forwards, backs, mids), and marking the opposition players. We are also starting to find players who have strength in certain zones.
As well as a cheering send off from our U11 Boys team, we started the game faster than in previous weeks and held the score low.
Some key turning points for the game was the first goal scored by Izzy which lifted the team, and the combination of Lily S with Izzy in the forwards.
Emma and Annabelle helped provide numerous clearances, evading tackles and kicking to our forwards.
Our new player Isabelle ( our third Isabelle, after Izzy and Isso), played with enthusiasm, and took possession of the ball in the second half in her only her first game.
Our key defenders and centres for this game in Lily D, The 3 x Chars, Olive, Lexi, Ducky, Caitie and the Izzys timed it in moments to pass the ball into space and find players from our team to mark and take the ball forward which impressed me, as that is what our game focus was. It is this area we can continue to develop and improve in future games, and score more goals and behinds.
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