Coach: Luke McLaughlin
0407 150 020

Assistant Coach: Stewart Denmead
Assistant Coach: David Warwick

Team Manager: Pete Barrett
0411 018 135

Trainer: Richard McCaughey
Trainer: Emma Byrnes

Team Page Editor: James Wolstenholme

Photographer: Merv Louey

The Team

4 Ned Duggan-Gross
5 Vincent Khoo
6 Lucien Ihle
7 Jasper Louey
9 Finlay Wolstenholme
10 Tom Croft
11 Harvey Markovic
12 Ziggy Barrett
13 Eamonn McLaughlin
14 Roman Richardson
15 Josh Anagnostau
16 Gabriel Pintos-Lopez
17 Toby Righetti
18 Max Wills
19 Frankie Wright-Smith
20 Lewis Wilson
21 Ash Denmead
22 Will Nicholls
23 Zack Leitmanis
24 Cormac McCaughey
25 Callum Warwick


Round 9 coach's report - Lions v Macleod Eagles

Sunday 17 June 2018 8:30 am

Alfred Crescent, Fitzroy

Hello all,

Winter well and truly arrived for this week’s game at Alfred Crescent. It was raining cats and dogs as the Lions prepared to take on the Eagles. Players, team helpers and supporters were going to be tested by the wintry conditions, not to mention the parent’s washing machines that would be dealing with the clean-up afterwards.

Harvey and Eamonn were the co-captains and won the toss, kicking with the wind (and rain) to the North Fitzroy end. Our team mantra of ‘’getting to the ball first’’ was going to be more important than ever on a wet day, and we were rewarded for this early with Lucien earning a free kick in front of goal which he converted into his first ever goal for the Lions. Macleod quickly answered with a goal into the wind before Ned kicked truly late in the quarter to give us a slender lead at quarter time.

The team spirit was positive at the quarter-time break, even in the wet and cold conditions, and into the wind in the second quarter the Lions created plenty scoring opportunities by getting the ball moving forward with long direct kicks. Ned again scored a major and Harvey, who was moving well at half forward, quickly added another. Zack also scored, kicking his first goal for the Lions. It was fantastic team effort for the quarter, one of the highlights being a slick chain of handballs involving Callum, Ziggy and Tom on the wing that belied the slippery conditions.

At half-time we retreated to the rooms for some relief from the weather. The cold and wet was starting to bite but the player’s commitment remained strong. After some valiant defeats, the chance of a victory today started to seem real, but as Gabe pointed out in the huddle ‘’we can’t slacken off’’, and in the third quarter the team remained on task. Tom, after showing in the first half he can kick on his right foot as well as his left, added a goal then Ned added to his own tally. These scoring opportunities were being created by some great work in the midfield from Callum, using his size in the ruck and in contests, Ash on the wing kicking long and Toby at half forward creating a marking target.

Gabe and Cormac chased and tackled hard on the backline, and Lewis mopped up in the goal square. As coaches it was rewarding to see the efforts of all our players, especially in slippery conditions, showing they are taking onboard coaching advice and concentrating throughout the game.

As the final quarter started we held a comfortable lead, but the team stuck to the game plan of kicking the ball long. We again scored three goals into the wind as we’d done in the second quarter, and at full time, we’d more than doubled our previous highest score of the year by ending up with 10 goals, AND this time we’d achieved victory, our first for the year, which the boys well and truly revelled in when the siren sounded. They had been building to this for several weeks with their application to development of their footy knowledge and skills. It was a well and truly deserved victory.

In the rooms after the game he team song was sung with plenty of gusto, with the parents joining in the circle. Our new Mascot “Maggie’’ (Fin’s sister) also joined in the festivities. We’re hoping you’re our lucky charm!

In a fantastic overall team effort, any number of players could have been deserving of ‘’Fitzy’’, but there’s only one of him and today Ned was rewarded for applying himself over four quarters and getting the reward for this with his four goals. Our ‘’Lionheart’’ award went to two players who raised their game this week, Callum and Ash. Keep up the good effort!

Thanks again to the parent helpers and supporters for getting behind the team this week. It wasn’t a pleasant day to be outside but I’m sure you all felt proud of how well the team applied themselves in the tough conditions. See you at the next outing, hopefully in nicer weather, of the mighty TEAM 4 LIONS!

Go Roys!

Stewart on behalf of Luke and Dave.

Click here to see all the action from this round in photos.

Round 8 coach's report - Lions v Glen Iris Gladiators

Sunday 3 June 2018 12:00 pm

Ferrie Oval, Kooyong

Hello all,

Team 4 travelled south-east today take on the Glen Iris Gladiators at the very compact ‘’Ferrie Oval’’ in Kooyong. On arrival at the ground any fears parents had of getting a decent coffee south of the river were put to rest with the home team having a real coffee machine and barista on hand. The coaches thought they could also use our runner ‘’Crofty’’ to ferry coffees back to the coach’s box, to which he politely declined.

Frivolity aside, importantly, today’s round coincided with the AFL’s indigenous round. Fitzroy continues to have a long association with indigenous players. The first “known aboriginal” player, Joe Johnson played for the Lions on 1904, and in 1935 Fitzroy’s (Pastor) Doug Nicholls, whom this year’s AFL indigenous round is named after, became Victoria’s first Indigenous state representative.

As for our prospects this week, after a couple of tough games where we’d found scoring difficult, the coaches were hopeful of some scoreboard joy on this smaller ground. Coach Luke thought a more open forward line could help this cause, so the forward structure was altered by moving two of our forwards up the ground to create space in the forward half. Along with this, the big pre-game message for the players was to maintain concentration throughout the game.

Frankie and Finlay were the co-captains this week and we won another toss, electing to kick to the city end of the ground back towards Fitzroy (which seems to be theme with the co-captains). Conditions at the very sociable 12pm start time were perfect –  glorious sunshine and not a breath of wind greeted the players as they ran onto the ground.

The game got underway and the Roys got a little handball happy, with a few missing their target leading to turnovers. But to the boys’ credit they kept this attacking style of play going and put together a great passage of play on the far wing to transition the ball forward with four perfectly executed handballs. Maybe our coaching drills were starting to pay off!

On the small ground the ball was up and down to each end regularly, but great defence from both teams was preventing any goals. The deadlock was broken by a great display of pressure chasing and tackling in our forward line, with Ned getting onto a loose ball in the 30-metre arc and coolly slotting through a goal for the Roys to take an early lead! One-two-three-four, Fitzroy Lions, we’re on the board! Great celebrations ensued, but this seemed to sting the Gladiators into action, and through some excellent foot passing and marking by their players they pegged back a couple of goals by the end of the quarter. They could have had a few more save for Lewis’ defiant efforts on the last line of defence – he was often outnumbered but not outgunned! Roman took his game to a new level by executing an amazing blind-turn late in the quarter. I guess in a contest involving ‘’Lions’’ and ‘’Gladiators’’, a ‘’Roman’’ would have to be involved! (Readers – apologies for this terrible pun, but too good to pass up IMO!!!)

At quarter-time the mood was buoyant in the team huddle. There was some real belief that they were creating an even contest against the Gladiators. Josh came on from the interchange to give Finlay a spell and set about being a tackling machine early in the quarter. The boys kept up their first quarter momentum by holding the ball in our forward zone for most of the quarter and were rewarded for their hard work when Ned kicked to the ‘’hot spot’’ at the top of our goal square for Ziggy to take a great mark then convert from a set shot. Our midfield ‘’talls’’ of Callum, Gabe and Ash were doing a great job in the ruck against much taller opponents and gave Zack, Jasper and Tom first use of the ball through the middle of the ground.

We went into the half-time break with a small deficit on the scoreboard to the Gladiators, reflecting the closeness of the contest. The pre-game message of ‘’concentration ‘’ was reinforced by the coaches, and the player rotations took place to give our midfield a shot in the forward line, our backs to the midfield, and our forwards reversed their roles to play defence in the backline. What didn’t rotate was our Fruit Sponsor’s selection of oranges for the long break – the ‘’tangy’’ flavour remained from previous weeks, but none of the boys complained which shows that along with their footy skills, their palate is expanding.

There is an old saying in football that ‘’tall players don’t get any shorter as the game gets longer’’, and in the third quarter the Gladiators talls started to assert their height with some great marks around the ground and in front of goal. Through this, the game swung away from our ‘’Lionhearted’’ style of pressure and tackling, and onto the Gladiator style of long kicks and marks.

Three quarter-time came with the Gladiators holding a comfortable, but not insurmountable, lead on the scoreboard. The mood was still upbeat in the Roys huddle, and on the small ground the boys felt there was the opportunity to add to our score and give our supporters something to get excited about. We reflected on our round one last-quarter, where the jelly-snakes helped us power on two goals. Today, Coach Luke also swung some unprecedented rotations with the players…I won’t go into detail as to give away the game plan, but as will be revealed, let’s just call it ‘’Coaching Magic’’.

Right from the bounce it was like the Roys had grown a foot taller and a yard faster. Our rejigged set-up projected the ball forward into our forward line constantly, giving our forwards plenty of chances to score, which they did – Ziggy added to our goal tally with a great shot on the run, and Eamonn showed why he earnt Fitzy in the last game with a great mark (then goal) in the goal square. Despite this scoring flair, our defensive mindset of chasing and tackling remained. From the coach’s box it was hard to pick any player that didn’t lay an effective tackle in the last quarter. It was also encouraging to see our players do the ‘’small things’’, like shepherding and chasing which forced errors by the opposition. In defence our ‘’goalkeeper’’ Lewis kept the Gladiators at bay with some great defending, just as he’d done in the first quarter. It was by far our best quarter of the year on the scoreboard – we’d added three goals, two points to the score and kept the Gladiators to just the one goal.  At the final siren we’d also kicked our highest score of the season in 5.3.33, so well done to the boys – another milestone to better in upcoming games.

So how did we do this? Was it the snakes? Was it the ‘’Coaching Magic’’? It was probably a teeny-tiny bit of each, but ultimately, it’s the players out on the ground who make things happen, and today you made the coaches, parents and supporters extremely proud with how you played the game and how you are improving. Keep up your good efforts, we have just hit the half-way point of the season, you’ve learnt so much already so imagine how much further we can go in the coming games.

Coinciding with Fitzroy’s association with indigenous culture and the AFL’s indigenous round, medals were awarded to a player on both teams who demonstrated ENDURANCE, TENACITY, COURAGE, LOYALTY & PRIDE. Our team 4 player to receive this was Ziggy, number 12. Ziggy had a great game today and along with his individual efforts he was a fantastic team voice in offering encouragement to team mates.

‘’Fitzy’’ was awarded to Lewis. Lewis has made a spot for himself in our defensive line up and today showed he has taken onboard coaching advice with his diligent manning up in the backline.

Thanks again to the parent helpers and supporters for getting to the game to support the boys. Your encouragement helps bring out the best efforts in our team. Enjoy your long weekend break and see you at the next outing of the mighty TEAM 4 LIONS!

Go Roys!

Stewart on behalf of Luke and Dave.

Click here to see all the action from this round in photos.

Round 7 coach's report - Lions v Hawthorn Citizens

Sunday 27 May 2018 10:00 am

Alfred Crescent, Fitzroy

Hello all,

It’s Round 7, and we could forget about winter being around the corner with today’s forecasted sunshine and warm temperature of 20 degrees being spot on as Team 4 hosted Hawthorn at Alfred Crescent.

The team had trained well during at our Monday session this week, our best session of the year, with our continued focus being on getting to the ball first and competing hard. Last week’s game was a tough one on the big oval at Preston, and pre-game we had lost Ned to a hip injury, Frankie to illness, and our newest recruit Vincent managed to get himself concussed in a game of basketball (isn’t basketball supposed to be non-contact?). He joined us in the coach’s box as our guest assistant coach for the day. There was also an injury cloud over Tom who banged his knee last week, but in true Lionhearted spirit he got himself up and ready to play today so we had 18 players take the field.

Gabe and Max were the co-captains, and Hawthorn made the right call at the toss and elected to kick to the North Fitzroy end of the ground. With the latest team chant of ‘’get the ball’’ still ringing in the player’s ears, the game got off to a scrappy start with every possession being hard fought and the umpire letting the play go by not adjudicating many free kicks or ball ups. The Roys were putting into practice their contested skills well, and it wasn’t until late in the quarter that the talented Hawks were able to break free and score. The Lions put together some promising passages of play, in particular Ziggy, Zack and Harvey being able to string a series of passes along the wing in front of the coach’s area, which is a sure way for players to end up in the coach’s report in doing their best work under the coach’s noses!

At the quarter-time break Coach Luke reinforced the game plan of ‘’get to the ball first’’, but he may have said this a little too loudly as it seemed Hawthorn overheard this instruction and did just that, jumping us at the start of the second quarter in adding some quick goals. They executed their passing and marking in a classy way, but there was always the threat of a Lionhearted tackle coming their way, which our boys have been doing each game, so we were able to withhold some of their attacks throughout the rest of the quarter. Max and Will also took a couple of goal-saving marks in the last line of defence.

At half-time the coaches applied the usual rotation of the backs to the midfield, the midfield to the forward line and the forwards to the backline. The half-time oranges again had some extra tang in them according to the food critics within the team, but it didn’t seem to affect the rate of consumption. By the way we attacked the start of the 3rd quarter it could also be our trump card as the boys held the ball in our forward half for the early part of the quarter, with Jasper unlucky not to score a goal with a shot on the run and Fin having a snap for goal smother by a desperate Hawks defender.

Toby, Ziggy and Eamonn were also working well together at the ball ups with their structure, but the Hawks midfield were aware of this and started to rove our taps and win the ball back towards their goals. The Hawks running was also cutting holes in our defence. The coaches were looking for answers to stop their run, one suggested remedy being to tie the weights holding the coach’s marquee down to the Hawks midfield but deemed not to be in the spirit of Under 10’s football so we stuck to the usual game plan. There were some great chasing and tackling efforts with the umpire rewarding Tom and Eamonn with free kicks for their long chases and tackles late in the quarter.

At the start of the final quarter, despite being well behind on the scoreboard the Lions kept persevering in their effort to get to the ball first and making it a tough contest for the Hawks. It was encouraging to see our players take on the game by running with the ball and ripping it from opponents’ hands in packs. Jasper did a fantastic pick up on the run in the midfield and we were unlucky to score our first goal when Roman was mobbed by four Hawks defenders in our attacking goal square – he might have been able to handle three defenders but four was just too much!


So, another hard-fought game came to an end for Team 4. After the final siren, again the opposition coach acknowledged our tackling and team spirit by playing the game out right to the final siren.

The team awards this week went to Eamonn, who earned ‘’Fitzy’’ by giving his best across four quarters of the game and laying some textbook tackles on much larger opponents. Roman received the ‘’Lionheart’’ award for knowing his individual objective and putting it into play throughout the game.

All-in-all a testing game for the boys playing against a classy team who could score regularly, so good on the Roys for battling it out until right to the end and making the Hawks earn the win. Thanks again to the parent helpers and supporters for getting to the game to support the boys. Each week we see new supporters at the games whether it be family friends, grandparents, uncles, aunties or cousins, which I’m sure offers further encouragement to the boys to give their best out on the ground. So keep spreading the word about the mighty TEAM 4 LIONS!

See you all next game.

Go Roys!

Stewart on behalf of Luke and Dave.

Click here to see all the action from this round in photos.

Round 6 coach's report - Lions v Preston Bullants

Sunday 20 May 2018 8:30 am

Preston City Oval, Preston

Words: Coach Stewart
Photographs: Jasper’s dad, Merv

Hello all,

It’s Round 6, and winter is just around the corner, with a cool and grey morning greeting the Team 4 Lions as we travelled to Preston City Oval to play the Preston Bullants. First impressions of the ground on arrival was the size of it – it was massive!  The Oval is the home of Carlton’s VFL team “The Northern Blues’’ so it’s full-sized ground, which our boundary umpire Andy Righetti didn’t seem too impressed with as he’d have to run up and down it for an hour! As Coach Luke preaches to the boys “Footy is a running game”, and that includes boundary umpires to, so today we were going to have to run our legs off. Even the changerooms were enormous and it felt like we’d hit the big time with a proper siren and coach’s box.

We welcomed our newest recruit Vincent Khoo to the team for his first game for the Lions. Lucien and Lewis were the co-captains and made the right call at the toss, electing to kick to the southern end, back towards Fitzroy.

The Bullants were a couple of players short today so in the YJFL’s spirit or participation we rotated two of our players onto their team each quarter to even up the teams, which meant every kid got to play a full four quarters of the game. Gabe and Tom donned the Bullants jumpers first up and promised to ‘’try their best’’ against their usual Roys team mates.

The Bullants made the best of their opportunities in the first quarter and had our backline under pressure with some brisk ball movement and excellent marking around the ground. They were also kicking well for goal and added four straight goals for the quarter.  Zack and Max were mopping up any loose balls in the backline and Josh, Ziggy and Toby put together a fantastic passage of play through the centre of the ground to move the ball into our forward line.

At the quarter-time break Coach Luke reinforced the game plan of ‘’getting to the ball first’’. The Umpire for the day was doing an excellent job of rewarding the player going for the ball, and even through our tackling pressure was excellent again, the player getting to the ball first and making the play was getting more free kicks than the tackler.

The boys took note of this in the second quarter and put much more pressure onto the Bullants by getting to more contests and being vigorous with their attack on the ball. The ‘’bump bags’’ used at training seem to have paid off as well with a couple of players executing their first bumps of the season. We also saw our newbie Vincent take a couple of fantastic marks on the wing.

At half-time the coaches rotated the backs to the midfield, the midfield to the forward line and the forwards to the backline. Will and Frankie joined the Bullants for the quarter, taking over from Cormac and Lewis.

The half-time oranges apparently had some extra tang today which kept the boys alert throughout the third quarter. Our defensive skills picked up as well, including Max taking a couple of excellent marks deep in the backline and Fin wearing his opponent like a glove by not giving him an inch of ground during the quarter. Harvey was picking up plenty of kicks across the backline and the boys gave the new ‘’huddle’’ strategy a go when kicking out from full-back.

The final quarter showed that a pack of Bullants can have quite a sting, enough to knock over a few Lions, as they pulled away from us with some great marking and ball movement, which is something our players can learn from as they develop their skills. Tom copped a ‘sting’ to his knee so had to come off in the last quarter, so ironically in loaning a couple of players to the opposition we ended up one short at the end of the game!

After the final siren, again the opposition acknowledged they were out-tackled by the Roys and we look forward to working hard on our skills and taking on the Bullants later in the season on our smaller home ground at Alfred Crescent.

The team awards this week went to Max, who earned ‘’Fitzy’’ by showing he’s been listening to coaching advice (as well as taking a couple of great marks on the last line of defence), and Ziggy, who picked up the ‘’Lionheart Award’’ for trying his best across all four quarters.

All-in-all a pretty tough day out for all the boys in playing on the big VFL ground, and playing four quarters, so good on them for sticking it out to the end. Thanks again to the parent helpers and supporters for getting up early on a Sunday morning for the away game and supporting your kids sport.

See you all next game.

Go Roys!

Stewart on behalf of Luke and Dave.

Click here to see all the action from this round in photos.

Round 5 coach's report - Lions v Camberwell Sharks


Alfred Crescent, Fitzroy

Words: Coch Stewart
Photographs: Jasper’s dad, Merv

Hello all, with a special call out to all the mums for Mother’s Day!

This week the Team 4 Lions hosted the Camberwell Sharks at home on Mother’s Day.  After all the rain during the week we were expecting a wet and muddy outing, but the ground was in fantastic condition and bathed in glorious sunshine during pre-game warm up.

Our most recent ‘’Fitzy’’ recipient, Josh, fell ill before the game so we were down to one player on the bench for the game. Cormack and Ziggy were the co-captains and made the right call of “tails’’ (tails never fails apparently!) to win the toss and kick to the North Fitzroy end with the wind.

This week was our first game after the grading had been sorted out over the first four rounds. Some of our prior opponents were put up a grade and we were moved down a grade, so we were hopeful of a good showing in a more evenly matched competition. In the rooms, Team Manager Pete pumped out the Fitzroy song as the team ran out and the boys were looking ready to play.

Despite kicking into the wind, Camberwell jumped out of the blocks and had three quick goals on the board before our boys settled and got into the swing of proceedings. Lewis was sticking to his pre-game instructions of being ‘goal-keeper’ by stopping a couple of goals on the last line of defence and Ash made a fantastic shepherd in the middle of the ground to allow Tom to run onto a loose ball. Our team effort again was excellent, dominating parts of the quarter with Ned converting our hard work into a fantastic goal in the final minute to keep the score-line close. The Coach’s box was expecting wild celebrations after the goal, but the boys had their ‘game-faces’ on today and quickly got back to their positions ready to go again.

At the quarter-time break Coach Luke reinforced the game plan of ‘’getting to the ball first’’ and it paid off immediately with some excellent ball movement into our forward line that lead a great goal to Ziggy after copping a free kick for a high tackle, and Tom snatching a fantastic mark in between four Sharks players in the forward pocket, which he converted into a goal after a set shot. We had the momentum with our runner Dave Warwick running as hard as the players in delivering coach’s messages to the boys to keep this going  – if we could award “Fitzy’’ for pure running distance (and of course if parents were eligible) he would have got close!

The Sharks had the wind, but our backline was manning up well with Harvey kicking cleverly out from full back to Roman on a couple of occasions.  A fantastic quarter from the boys, equalling their best score in a quarter this year of two goals.

At half-time the coaches rotated the backs to the midfield, the midfield to the forward line and the forwards to the backline. Toby came off the bench and jumped into the forward line for some fresh legs. Kicking with the wind we created plenty of chances to score, with Tom slotting through his second goal of the game through a shot on the run and Roman unlucky to just miss a goal from the pocket after taking a great mark. The team kept their defensive mindset as well by restricting Camberwell from scoring in the quarter. and at three quarter time the scoreboard reflected the tightness of the contest, with Canterbury just 6 points in front.

During the final quarter the Sharks took their chances with the wind and kicked two quick goals that made it hard for our Lions to peg back the margin despite some good efforts across the ground. Come the final siren we ended up falling just short by those a couple of goals, but there were plenty of positive signs from the game with our Roys equalling our highest goal tally of the year so far with four,and showing they are taking on board the coach’s advice about positioning and structure. Each week it’s encouraging to see the improvement in their application of footy skills.

For the team awards, Jasper’s consistent running efforts in the midfield and backline to get to contests got him ‘’Fitzy’’ for the week, and Zack picked up the ‘’Lionheart Award’’ for giving his best across all four quarters. A shout out to Cormac as well for playing all the game with an injured toe.


And as a special touch for Mother’s Day, in the rooms afterwards the boys got the mums into middle of the team huddle for a resounding rendition of the team song!

Thanks again to the parent helpers and supporters for getting behind the boys each week.

See you all next game.

Go Roys!

Stewart on behalf of Luke and Dave.

Click here to see all the action from this round in photos.

Round 4 coach's report - Lions v Canterbury Cobras

Fitzroy Lions v Canterbury Cobras
6 May 2018, 10am at Alfred Crescent, Fitzroy

Words: Coach Stewart
Photos: Merv

Greetings Parents and Carers,

This week the Team 4 Lions hosted the Canterbury Cobras at home.  Perfect weather greeted the teams and Alfred Crescent looked a picture in the autumn sunshine.

For the second week in a row we fielded our full list of 20 Roy Boys. Callum and Josh were the co-captains. Instead of a coin toss to determine which team kicked to what end, a game of rock-paper-scissors took place, which Canterbury won and decided to kick with a slight breeze to the playground end.


Whatever the Roys had for breakfast worked because they came out full of vigour and lived up to the ‘’lionheart’’ name by scrapping hard for every possession during the first quarter. The ball remained in our attacking half for most of the quarter, Tom being unlucky to graze the goal post with a kick on the run for goal. Roman, Toby and Eammon were doing good things with the ball when they had it, but the stand out from the Coach’s box was ALL the boys heaping pressure onto Canterbury when they had the ball, and the backline sticking to their mantra of manning up and organising themselves well. It was by far our best quarter of the year to date and with a bit of luck we could have converted our hard work onto the scoreboard a little more.

At the quarter-time break the team were revved up, and they continued to take their pressure and tackling intensity into second quarter. Canterbury were clearly a good outfit with a few of their taller players starting to get on top of the contest, but our tackling efforts persisted. Eamonn’s chase and tackle to save a certain goal, and Max desperately stopping a couple of scoring opportunities for the Cobras on our last line of defence stood out amongst a solid team effort.

Half-time came and the coaches rotated the backs to the midfield, the midfield to the forward line and the forwards to the backline. Ned and Roman came off the bench and both had an impact with their dash of the half back line. Canterbury’s taller players were picking off marks in both halves of the ground, making it hard for our boys to transition the ball forward, but to our player’s credit they stuck to the game plan of getting to the ball first and making the opposition work hard to win possession. The effort was still fantastic with Zac making a couple of desperate smothers on the wing in front of the coach’s box, and Toby clearing the ball off the half backline so regularly that his kicking boot gave way!

At the 3-quarter time break, whilst the snakes were being distributed, our Trainer Richard quickly put his first aid training to use by taping up Toby’s boot with surgical precision. Our boys will be in good hands if they’re ever injured.

During the final quarter the Cobras started to pull away from us. They were moving the ball quickly and putting the pressure on our backline by keeping the ball in their attacking half. Josh was having a great day out in the backline though and pulled off a desperate chase and tackle in the back pocket to save a certain goal. The Cobras forwards were certainly wary of a Fitzroy jumper chasing them after that! Ziggy also added some flair to the final quarter with a run and bounce towards goal that came agonisingly close to posting a goal.

After the final siren the Canterbury coach acknowledged our Boys tenacity and fight right to the end of the game. Canterbury have won all their games, but they reckon they had to fight their hardest to beat the Roys. This week was also umpire appreciation week and our umpire Tess did an outstanding job of keeping the game flowing and rewarding some excellent marking and tackling during the game.

For the team awards, Josh’s efforts in playing the game out right to the final siren in the backline got him ‘’Fitzy’’ for the week, and Toby picked up the ‘’Lionheart Award’’ (Most Courageous Player) for his consistency over the whole game…some of it on just one functioning boot!

So, after four weeks into the season, as coaches we are noticing improvement in the team with their skills, understanding of positioning, and general game sense, so hats off to the boys for listening to us and putting things into practice during the game. Their effort, and an attitude of never giving up is something we haven’t had to teach so if they keep this up we will go a long way!

Thanks again to the parent helpers and supporters for being there to make the game happen for all the boys.

See you all next week.

Go Roys!

Stewart on behalf of Luke and Dave.

Click here to see all the action from the Lions/Cobras match.

Round 3 Match report from Coach Stewart

Fitzroy 10.4  v Brunswick West

Clifton Park West, Brunswick

Greetings Parents and Carers

This week the Team 4 Lions travelled over to Brunswick to take on the Brunswick West Dragons, the parents appreciating the very sociable start time of 11.30am after last weekend’s early kick-off.

During the week we welcomed our newest recruit Finlay into the team and for the first time this season we fielded our full list of 20 Roy Boys. The enthusiasm amongst the group was high after our good showing last week at home. Pre-game preparation was done out on the ground, including the unveiling of our team goal celebration, the ‘’Floss’’, which we hoped would get a good run during the game.

During the preparation the weather was looking like it could go either way with some wind and intermittent drizzle about.  The wind was blowing to the northern end of the ground, which also appeared to be slightly downhill from the centre, so there was a definite advantage to that end. Our captains for the day, Roman and Ash, were right onto this and made the right call of ‘’heads’’ at the toss, electing to kick with the wind in the first quarter.

Right from the first bounce it was clear the Dragons were a well-drilled and highly skilled team. Leading up to the game the coaching group had been given a hint from Ziggy that the Dragons were a good outfit, and they lived up to this reputation. The Roy Boys had their work cut out with our backline under the pump and our midfield scrambling to get numbers back to help them. There were some excellent efforts to repel the Dragon’s attacks on goal, with Ash’s tackling and Tom’s long clearing kicks standing out for the quarter.

The Quarter time siren rang and despite being behind on the scoreboard the boys were still confident of doing well. Lucien and Gabe came on from the bench to add some fresh legs and the team attacked the ball early on to create several opportunities with Ziggy was finding plenty of the ball. On one forward foray, Eamonn took an excellent mark in the left forward pocket, then steadied himself on the set shot to slot through an excellent goal from a 45-degree angle. There was “Flossing” aplenty afterwards: the forwards, the mids, the backs, the interchange…even some parents had a Floss.

Kicking with the wind, the Dragons had plenty of opportunities to score but missed several goals due to the tackling pressure of the Lions. Our backs were also doing well in kicking out to the defensive side of the ground and making the Dragons fight hard for any score.

Half-time came just as the wind and drizzle stopped. The coaches rotated the backs to the midfield, the midfield to the forward line and the forwards to the backline. At the start of the 3rdquarter Callum (in the ruck) and Tom (roving) combined well for some clearances out of the midfield, but with the wind stopped we lost our scoring-end advantage and found it much tougher to keep the Dragons from scoring at their end. Our ‘new’ backline quickly adapted to their roles though with Jasper desperately saving several scores on the last line of defence and Roman dashing off the half back line and pumping a magnificent torpedo into our forward half. And who could forget Frankie’s ‘’gut-busting’’ smother in the goal square to stop a Dragon goal (lucky we had a later start to the game or he could have lost his breakfast!)

By 3-quarter time our boys were looking tired, but once again the arrival of the snakes pepped them up for one more effort in the last quarter. The Dragons must have had the same 3-quarter time diet though as they kept up the pressure on our backline during the fourth quarter. It took some great defensive efforts to save goals, with Cormac smashing into a pack to grab the ball out then clear it with a kick one of the highlights.

So, to wrap up, whilst we were beaten on the scoreboard, the Roy Boys certainly earnt the respect of the Dragons by never giving up and making them earn every score. Tom Croft’s excellent efforts in the backline and midfield were rewarded by receiving the Coach’s award and taking care of Fitzy for the week, and Cormac picked up the Lionheart Award (Most Courageous Player) for throwing himself into many tackles and pack contests during the game.

Thanks again to the parent helpers and supporters for being there to make the game happen for all the boys.

See you all next week.

Go Roys!

And long live the ‘’Floss”’

Stewart on behalf of Luke and Dave.

See the full gallery of Merv Louey’s pics from the game by clicking here.

Round 2 Match Report from Coach Luke

Hi Roys parents and carers,

Well, round 2 is done and dusted.  The boys had a great game at our home ground at Alfred Crescent Oval. Conditions could only be described as perfect; not a breath of wind, warm and light cloud with a wink of sun peeking through.  The captains for the day were Jasper and Will.  

We formed up for the Anzac Day formalities and paid our respects to servicemen and women in a nice low key ceremony.

It was clear from the first bounce that this was going to be another tough assignment as the boys were outsized and also out helmeted (apart from Cormac).  

Surrey Park were moving the ball slickly and quickly set up a couple of goals.  Tom and Zack in the midfield were driving the ball forward and our backs were pushing forward led by Harvey and Roman.  

The Roy boys were not to be denied and applied great team pressure through great chasing and tackling to ensure that our first goal (kicked this week by Ziggy) was in the first quarter.

In the second quarter the boys scored 2 goals 2 points; their highest quarter score so far and really started to look like an effective team with the defence manning up and the midfield pushing back to help.  

Team play and encouragement stood out this quarter with lots of voices and assistance to teammates in accordance with the spirit of Anzac Day.  

Will and Toby were getting plenty of the ball and our forwards were looking dangerous, in fact so dangerous we managed two goals, one to Eamonn from a set shot with a great assist from Ziggy and the other a great piece of play from Ned.

Oranges were consumed at halftime and Ash limbered up to come off the bench after suffering a slight strain in the warm-up. Positions were rotated at halftime and the boys took up their new roles with new instructions.  

The defence and mids really tightened up in the third quarter and the result was that Surrey Park only managed 3 shots at goal to our 5 shots. Jasper broke through for his first goal and we really could have had a few more but for a bit of luck. We were only just outscored 10 points to 13.

The magic snakes came out again at 3/4 time and we were in dire need as the boys started to run out of legs in the last quarter. The defence was under enormous pressure as Surrey Park moved the ball in numbers down the ground. Max and Lucien, Cormac and Callum all teamed up well to try to stem the Surrey Park tide but, in the end, we were overwhelmed, scoring 2 points to their 2 goals 6 points.

There were some great highlights in the last quarter with some fantastic team play bringing the ball out of the back line and down the wing, finding targets with our kicks.

So, we did not win the game but we had a lot of fun.  The focus on fun and flair this week was for goal celebrations. We had four goals so we needed to a bit of celebrating, but I reckon we can raise the bar for next week and get some really funky moves happening post goal. 

Harvey took home the inaugural Fitzy award.  Hope he has a fun week with Harvey! And Lucien took home the Lionhearted Award – well done to both boys.

For the statisticians amongst you (anyone know Stan from Stradbroke Island?) our opposition this week scored the same score as our opposition from last week, but we more than doubled our score.  Good signs! 

Thanks again to the parent helper team and TM Pete and especially those who were there at 7.30am to set up.  

That’s all from me.
Go Roys!

View the complete gallery of all the great photos Merv (Jasper’s dad) took on the day here.

2018 U10-4 Black Round One

Welcome everyone, to the first season of Fitzroy Junior Football Club’s first Under 10 Team 4!

“Day of the snakes”
Words: Pete Barrett
Images: Merv Louey and Dave Warwick

It was on a cold, wet day at Stradbroke Park in Kew East that the Under 10 Team Four boys ran out for the first time as one. The first of four grading matches to start the season, their opposition was the Kew Rovers.

Before the game, there was much excitement in the rooms as Coach Luke and assistants Stew and Dave took the players through their warm-up stretches and pre-game drills.

But really, no one was sure what was going to happen.

The Rovers were one player short so we evened up the numbers and Lewis took the bench in the first quarter. The siren sounded and it was on. All the early play was with the Rovers and our back line was placed under enormous pressure. The Rovers scored early and it became a trend that lasted throughout the rest of the quarter. Fitzroy struggled to get the ball into their forward 50.

At quarter time the coaches took the boys under their wing and reinforced some of the things they had been training at Alfred Crescent. Eamonn took over on the bench and the second quarter was off and running. Fitzroy started improving in kicking and marking but it was all Kew.

By half-time this new team, the Fitzroy Fours, were still yet to score. Jasper’s mum, Janet, conspired with the team manager and, in an unorthodox move, dished out oranges (fruit is usually reserved for three-quarter time); Toby, who had sustained a knock, took over on the bench.

Then, during the third quarter, again, it was all the Rovers in terms of scoring but the Lion spirit was strong – our boys simply wouldn’t give up.

At the final break the Lions were still yet to register a solitary point. Coach Luke’s address at the three-quarter-time huddle was simple, yet, it turned out, effective. “I only want you to try and do one thing this quarter: try and score. Anything. A point, a goal, it doesn’t matter. That is your goal.” Meanwhile, Janet gave each of the boys a two-snake allocation – another unorthodox move when convention says this kind of confectionary is a thing for after the match.

The Day of the Snakes had arrived.

The Lions took to the rain-soaked ground in that last quarter like a different team. Handballs hit their mark, tackles were held and kicking with the wind, the ball sailed again and again into our forward line. Eammon took the honours of scoring Fitzroy Four’s first ever points – six of them, in the form of a goal – after marking on a tight angle.

A great cheer went up around the ground and on-field celebrations were conducted with remarkable flair – even some of the opposition celebrated.

But the Lions weren’t done yet. Another goal and a point lifted spirits, while our strong defence kept the Rovers’ sharp-shooters unable to score another major.

The siren sounded for the end of the match and it felt like the Lions had won. First score, first game and a great future. Well done players, coaches, volunteers and officials.

Was it coach Luke’s inspirational third quarter words that turned around the team’s fortunes? Or was it the pack of $5 Allens snakes (on special at Woolies) supplied at three-quarter-time? Perhaps we’ll never know. But we’ll always remember.

Thanks to Merv, Dave and Ben for taking photos on the day. You can find their work by clicking here.

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