Sunday’s match was a fantastic show of grit and determination from the girls. Before the game had started the girls were already on the back foot, with eight of our original fourteen, unable to play. However our strong six were prepared and ready to battle alongside 4 other awesome girls from the other U12 sides to form a team. It was always going to be a tough day at the office against the top side in the competition but boy did the girls put up a fight. Right up until the last quarter the girls held an amazing scoring side down to just 3 goals leaving us only 2 goals behind. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the win, but I’m confident we can get them back later down the road.
Let’s start off with the lady of the match, receiving an award from the opposition coach, as well as from me, Caitlyn Barrell (17) brought the house down. She seemed to always have the ball and was always able to elude players with her acceleration, brute force and a great twirling manoeuvre that often left the opposition behind. She ran so hard her cheeks were the same colour as her hair. On Sunday she truly lead by example and stepped up when the team really needed her. Another girl that out did herself today was Anna Smith (13). I think I have one of the toughest teams, but I think I have to say this girl is one of the toughest. After already playing a full game for another Vampires side, she was prepared to give it her all. She contested brutally at each stoppage, quite often getting battered around, in the process. A rough tackle unfortunately sidelined her, but it wasn’t for long. Anna’s relentlessness and determination meant she was out on that field winning the tough balls again, after just 2 minutes on the sideline. Today was all about gutsy effort and I think hers was pretty gutsy.
Goals were few and far between for us today as the ball spent much of the time in our defensive half. However, of course this doesn’t stop superstar goal kicker Jorja Haeata (16). She too had already played a full game of footy before our, where she kicked the only two goals for the day for her team. It seems she is unable to go a game without one, winning the ball at the stoppage and breaking away from players to kick a magnificent running goal in the third quarter. On the other side of the ground there was Heidi O’Donohue (10) who was an absolute rock in defence the whole day. St Peter’s has been an amazing scoring side all season and to keep them to just 3 goals at 3 quarter time was largely because of this girl. She is so disciplined and solid, her footy brain allows her to always be in the right position, which is vital in defence. She played in front of her (wo)man attacking the footy picking it up with clean hands and getting it out of the back line as quickly as she did, meant St Peter’s had restricted opportunities to score. It was sincerely an outstanding effort.
Ella O’Halloran (8) did what she does best, and that is, tackle. There were quite a few taller girls in the oppositions side but that didn’t worry O’Halloran. She brought her crazy, manic tackling pressure that was an integral part of our backline’s success on the weekend. The best thing about her is, her consistent efforts, she goes in a second, third even a fourth time which is exactly what you want to see players do. She not only tackled well but kicked and marked beautifully today which only keeps building on her skills. Jemima Pitts (7) was another girl to take a stellar mark which was the first for that game. It set her up mentally for the rest of the match. She seemed confident and was prepared to tackle hard and just run and run and run. She produced her usual handball greatness continually trying to set up her teammates but also wasn’t afraid of kicking which was awesome to see.
Last but not least the awesome foursome Piper Hallam, Ava Lee, Daisy Moore and Tilly Chesneau were the four girls who filled in for us and helped us field a team. Without the generosity of giving up there time and courage to play with older, bigger girls we wouldn’t have been able to even play a game on Sunday. These girls didn’t just fill in but they really played for us. They were first at the ball, getting hands in on the tackles and even took a few great marks. Wendy, myself and all the girls really appreciate you four playing and helping us out on Sunday.
I look forward to seeing those that can come on Thursday for training. I hope everyone is having an amazing holiday and if not playing footy, thinking about footy (always). I can’t wait to have all the girls back and tackle the rest of the season head on.
From Coach jess