U14-1 Gold 2021
Coach: Courtenay Moxon
0412 839 622
Assistant Coach: Adam Kooloos
Team Manager: Richard Colyer
COVID Officer: Yuri Kozzatz
COVID Officer: Lou Scally
Team Page Editor: Clare Barry/Steve Marmo
William Attard - 17
Spencer Blamey - 8
Leeroy Cocco - 13
Dylan Colyer - 12
Joshua Daly - 22
Sebastian Donnellan - 1
Matthew English - 21
Sol Hooper - 26
Rocket Hope - 19
Archie Johnston - 15
Felix Kneipp - 10
Harry Kooloos - 5
Angus Kossatz - 18
Freddy Marmo - 2
Duncan McKie - 23
Jack Moston - 24
Roman Moxon - 9
Henry Nelson - 11
Henry Timothee - 7
Ned Tyrell - 14
James Vagias - 16
Round 2 - April 25 - 2021
There’s not a footy team in the nation that doesn’t benefit from a little Anzac inspiration, and on Sunday Coach Courtenay was brimming with rousing pre-match lines for our boys.
Given a lack of soldiers with three on the bench they were to play narrow footy and have each other’s back, leave no teammate outnumbered, and put on a bit of run and dare.
And so they did, in a mighty effort that wavered only as the ranks of our walking wounded swelled beyond recovery late in the piece.
But first our 18 boys lined up in an all-white clash strip against a sympathetically reduced Beverley Hills squad for the Last Post and a minute’s silence, then into the fray.
Five minutes passed before any score was posted, both teams sparring between the 50-metre arcs and setting the scene for a torrid battle between two very evenly matched sides.
It don’t take long for the spirit of Gallipoli to reveal itself with a head-on charge to the ball by Ned Tyrell, an early highlight. Shortly after Freddy marked and passed to Seb then a busy James who delivered to Jack whose set shot sailed through from 40 and the Roys were away.
But the fight was quickly resumed when their No. 9 – who in size and abilities resembled our own midfield bull No. 9 Roman – scored a beautiful goal on the run to bring things back to level. That was quickly followed by a defensive screamer from Will.
While it seemed light years since the last full season the young fellas had played, the obvious leap in both the boys’ abilities and the standard of their game were apparent. After a highly entertaining, tough and evenly matched first quarter the home team led 2.4 – 16 to our lads’ one straight kick.
But it was in the second that injuries began to pick off our doughty lads. For the next 30 minutes – the entire second quarter and first half of the third – the match truly resembled a final. Both Beverley Hills and our defence stood bravely, trading blows between the arcs, their efforts reflected by half-time’s level scores.
To that point some of our players Josh, Ned, Will, Harry, Felix, Roman and Duncan showed our reliance on defence, up against what is purported to be a premiership fancy.
While they bravely stood tall against class opposition, it became increasingly obvious that our lack of personnel was beginning to show. Game-ending injuries reducing us to 14 fit players at three-quarter time meant overcoming the deficit of 28 points would call for a monumental effort in the last.
It was always going to be too hard. “Heads up” was the coaches’ rallying call at that break. And at about the moment a resurgent MCG clocked the world’s biggest sporting crowd since March 2020, Courtenay reminded the boys just how much we’d all missed out on last year.
Heads were indeed raised in the last quarter. While Beverley Hills constantly bombarded their forward line (possibly in search of a percentage boost against a stricken opponent), the Roys backline bravely repelled wave after wave of attacks and, incredibly, split the quarter 2.2 apiece, ultimately going down by 28 points. But showing a level of commitment and bravery synonymous with the timeless theme of the day.
All in all, with the exception of the last half of the third quarter the boys managed to keep the scores level for 70 of their playing minutes.
Coach Courtenay was “proud and happy” with his charges’ performance. “You gave it your all … you had the courage to keep running when you were sore, the courage to play new positions, the courage not to drop your head, the courage to forget the scoreboard and just make the ball No. 1.”
Now “well entrenched” in Gold division, we await their next encounter.
Round 3 - May 2 - 2021
I should have learnt the lesson the night before.
At quarter time of the Swans v Geelong match my Bloods were staring down the barrel of a percentage-destroying evening at the hands of a rampaging Cats outfit, trailing 42-14, and I was more interested in the McLaren Vale grenache than the Buddy and Rampe-less Bloods.
Oh ye of little faith.
It’s history now that the Swans changed the entire complexion of the match at the beginning of the second quarter, slowly ground away at the lead until ultimately pipping the Cats by two points in a thriller.
Fifteen hours later and 15 minutes into the first quarter, an equally rampaging Parkside outfit had four goals on the board playing beautiful flowing footy against what appeared an undermanned, underweight and overwhelmed Fitzroy and things looked grim indeed.
But was it really that bad…?
Northcote’s Pitcher Park had put on a pitch-perfect autumn afternoon – warm sunshine, golden leaves, babies, dogs, Nanas, croissants at the kiosk, and floating over it all the charcoal waft of Greek Easter barbecues.
There were guests on the field – under-13s players Alessio, Charlie and Jules – along with Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy and Richmond triple premiership defender Nick Vlaustin as goal umpires, and an AFL ump officiating as YJFL celebrated AFL Community Umpiring Week.
Injury woes had us still several players down, and a flurry of negotiations with the opposition lifted our numbers from an initial 16 to 18-a-side. Parkside, playing up from Brown division after two strong wins, had a bench of six to call on.
Now back to that 15-minute mark when the ever-bustling Roman and the promoted U13 Alessio put a dent in Parkside’s lead and despite a whirlwind beginning the Devils led by just 12 points at quarter time.
Q1: 4.2-26 to 2.2-14
Was there a slight change in momentum? Your scribe didn’t think so, the McLaren Vale grenache obviously hindering a proper perspective on things. But the Roys’ coaches saw it and urged them in the break to “show them how Fitzroy really do play”.
The shift carried over into the second, the Roys peppering the goals unsuccessfully, before Ned won a well-earned free from a tackle and converted truly, followed quickly by Roman’s second and so just 10 minutes in the lads were back on almost even terms. But Parkside are a good team for a number of reasons (not least having four players in the YJFL rep team) and they again slipped up another gear with some high-class footy to draw away with the next two goals before Alessio scored and then Ned again, this time aided by a fantastic Rocket shepherd, dobbed one from the boundary from 40, to finish the quarter 29 to their 40.
Q2: 6.4-40 to 4.5-29
Jack’s half-time Mars Bars upped the energy for the “premiership quarter” as the Roys took it away. Josh kicked true at the six-minute mark, then a manoeuvre that started with Dylan and Will in the back line saw Roman snap from the pocket and put us three points ahead. Leeroy marked, got it to Felix who waltzed through doing the Pendlebury and in slow motion put us 11 points in front. It was a show of utter dominance as the Roys put on 25 points to Parkside’s zero. According to Leeroy: “Best quarter ever.”
Q3: 6.4-40 to 7.12-54
Despite early successive goals from Felix and Roman in the last, the score was back to a nerve-racking 14-point difference with 10 minutes to go. Players were diving in from everywhere when the ball finally came out to Roman who put it beyond doubt, locking in a lead of 20 points. Before it was all over, Felix put boot to ball at the boundary line to seal a fantastic dribble goal. And at the 15-minute mark Ned slapped the icing on the cake, clocking us over to 87, finishing with a final score of…
Q4: 8.5-53 to 12.15-87
In the post-game wrap-up Parkside’s coach generously acknowledged his team’s underestimation of Fitzroy. And in reflecting on the epic game Coach Courtenay couldn’t be happier.
“They ground out that win. What brought us down initially was we weren’t accountable but we became accountable.
“We just had the courage to dig deep again, the courage to run with no bench, the mindset to forget about fatigue and just make the ball the No. 1 priority and support each other.
“In one way this is so much better than winning by 10 or 15 goals because we came from behind, we didn’t drop our heads, we rose to the challenge and we played the type of football we want to play.”
A lot of AFL coaches talk about “Saints/Blues/Dogs footy” and often it’s a desperate call from a coach to lift his not-so-great team.
But when it comes to these lads, the last two performances prove that to talk of Royboys footy talks to bravery, an unwillingness to stop, a belief in their comrades and coaches, and possibly the most important of all – camaraderie.
Faced with a substantial injury list and against stellar opposition, the ability of these boys to put heads down and bums up has been a joy to watch and stands them in great stead for the coming season.
They all should be proud to be a part of this team.
Round 4 - May 9 - 2021
Boy, footy can be a tough game some days.
It had started oh so beautifully…
On a sunshiney autumn Melbourne morning – and Mother’s Day to boot – there was no more fitting venue for mum’s Roy Boys than coming home to the mothership of the legendary Brunswick Street Oval.
Home to then VFL Fitzroy Football Club from 1884 to 1966 – (oh for them to be still known as the Gorillas!) – it’s also where many of our lads had their first taste of club sport at Auskick and Milo Cricket, and played junior seasons for both codes.
Freddy’s Grandad John was in attendance, remembering a hard-won premiership fought on the hallowed turf 52 years ago when he played for Brunswick along with little brother Ray. Grandad and Uncle Ray might have kicked 7 points between them that day, but it was enough to grind out their second consecutive flag.
Back then the ground was enclosed, the narrow weatherboard structure at the southwest corner housing the gate for visiting members when it was home to the (renamed) Lions.
The only enclosures now are gentle hillocks on three sides, topped with low-slung copper-leafed trees which on Sunday sheltered supporting mums, nanas, siblings, uncles, cousins, dogs, friends – at least one Roys family stretched to four generations.
With injuries still taking their toll on pure numbers, Spike Hope joined brother Rocket and Henry Harrison up from U14 Greens as we fielded a squad of 19 for one on the bench, or a number we might describe as bloody luxury in this most attritional start to the season. Our opposition was a fully stocked shiver (it’s the collective noun) of rangy Camberwell Sharks, fresh off a thumping the week before and resilient as.
It was a game of four quarters, and with your scribes distracted by visiting family and a premium bacon-and-egg roll rocking lettuce and tomato, the truncated version goes something like this:
The first quarter saw the Roys kicking with the wind to the eastern end, and unfurled with a nicely spaced run of goals from Freddy, Felix, Jack, Leeroy and Felix again. At quarter time we were a comfortable three goals up and coach Courtenay urged the boys to adopt a one-on-one mentality, staying on their direct opponent, and to do it all again.
Q1: 5.1-31 to 2.1-13
The second quarter began with a spectacular rundown tackle by Roman whose resultant ball-burster free kick sailed beyond the waiting pack and through to a waiting Ned who put us over 5 goals in front. But this is a tough comp and Camberwell weren’t done, kicking the next two to keep themselves well in it. It’s what good sides do. Then a most welcome returnee for the Roys in Jack showed the form he displayed before injuring his back, taking a strong mark and dobbing the Roys’ 9th snag from the flank. So we went to the long break…
Q2: 7.5-47 to 3.3-21
Remembering last week’s stellar third quarter, the coach’s words rang in the boys’ ears as they ran back on: “This is the quarter where you put the foot down on the pedal.” And so they did, stretching the margin to 31 points with a banana from Dylan, a flurry of three goals from a now rampaging Jack, and one from the ever-dangerous Leeroy. Our Roys had led from the outset, by an ever-growing margin, and yet…
Q3: 12.6-78 to 7.5-47
In this contest the last quarter was all Camberwell’s. Within minutes they had put four goals on the board, bringing them within seven points. A final effort from Felix added six points to our tally, some comfort, but the Sharks were on a roll. One more kick and with six minutes to go the game was 13.6 apiece. An unreal goal from the boundary put them over the line.
Q4: 13.6-84 to 14.6-90
Sometimes you can get away with bad footy, and as we all know, bad kicking is bad football – and come away with a flag. And on other days you can play terrific footy all day, play with trademark toughness, have some of your best players deliver their best games, get out to a comfortable five-goal lead at three-quarter time and yet…
As our coach pointed out, it cuts both ways.