U13 Girls Gold 2022
Coach: Jon Armstrong
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Assistant Coach: Adam Kooloos
Team Manager: Tamara Hodgson
Trainer: Julie Graney
Team Page Editor: Helen Kooloos
Team Photographer: Brigid Tram
3 Evie Goodsir
4 Zosia Hodgson
5 Eve Tram
6 Amelia Derrick
7 Olive Miles
9 Lila Kooloos
10 Bobby James
11 Isla Wolstenholme
12 Zara Ferrante
13 Evie Scott
14 Abuk Jador Ayuel
15 Edie Donovan
16 Rose Lewis
17 Kitty Kelly
18 Matilda Wright
19 Charlotte Hamilton
20 Bella Fittolani
21 Abigail Armstrong
23 Ada Miglic
24 Ella Griffiths
26 Tia Crowe
28 Avie Pearson
Presentation Day - 11 September 2022
Ramsden Street littered with marquees, celebrating the seasons of all Fitzroy teams.
The weekly votes (parents and coaches) had been tallied to produce a Best and Fairest winner and runner up:
– Evie Scott (1st), capping off a remarkable season. Played every game and was also selected to play representative footy for the Yarra Magpies U13Gs squad. A fine return to footy.
– Zara (runner up), for another fine season. Kicked 24 goals and also played representative footy for Yarra Magpies U13Gs.
Other winners were:
– Matilda: Coaches Award. Had not played competitive footy before joining us in Round 4. Matilda improved markedly as the season progressed to be one of our best.
– Charlotte: Best Team Person. Played every game and generally knows the answers to footy questions (history, rules, measurements). Every team should have a Charlotte.
Well done to those girls, and well done to everyone. We’ve built momentum and look forward to season 2023.
Round 16 - Fitzroy vs Balwyn Greythorn - 14 August 2022
Captain Rose led the team on to Ramsden Oval for the final game of our season. The Jets had continued their unbeaten run and we had a number of key players out. But that didn’t stop the girls from putting up a mighty effort that slashed the previous margin and startled the visitors.
The first half was a pressure cooker of fierce tacking and solid defence, from both sides. Edie and Kitty were in everything, Evie G flicked on her afterburner, and Eve and Amelia were reading the play beautifully. Tia frustrated the Jets ruck, winning taps against a girl who is not used to being challenged.
At half time the Jets had 6 behinds on the board: their lowest score at the long break for the season, and their only goalless half to boot. In fact, it was their lowest score in two years. What a sobering thought: our girls played the best half of footy against Balwyn Greythorn in two years.
But the Jets are too good to be denied, and they found the big sticks in the second half. Abigail, Matilda and Evie S repelled numerous opposition entries but it was tough going. Yet even though the opposition gradually built a winning lead, we made sure they would remember the encounter by laying some bone-crunching tackles. Edie, Amelia and Zosia are way stronger than they look.
As happened the previous week, the girls showed massive improvement against a top team just a few weeks later. I wonder what they can achieve in 2023 after a solid pre-season?
Round 15 - Fitzroy vs Canterbury - 7 August 2022
Fitzroy 3.4.22 def by Canterbury 3.8.26
Captain Matilda led the team on to our preferred home ground, Ramsden Oval. Canterbury had completely outplayed us earlier in the season and the girls were keen to turn the tables. What followed was a hard-fought, skilful battle that was a pleasure to watch.
From the first bounce it was clear that we were switched on. Tia was outstanding in the ruck, giving her teammates first use of the ball and the mids responded, on the inside (Lila, Edie) and the outside (Amelia, Eve). Meanwhile, Zara was making her own weather and snapped a trademark goal.
The ball was zinging all over the ground, yet both teams held their structures. This was significant for us, given the number of first year players. To observe girls moving up or holding their position without a visit from the runner indicates they are listening at training. Who knew?
Although the Cobras had more forward play in the 2nd and hit the front, our backline held firm. Good teams are built on good defence, and our backline is looking more settled. This is great news for the forwards, who can position themselves knowing that the ball will head their way at some point.
The 3rd quarter was high octane from both sides. Avie laid some big tackles, Matilda was sweeping across half back like she owned the joint, and Zara chipped in with another goal. At the final huddle both camps were chirping.
Somehow the pressure gauge went up in the last: Canterbury playing for a place in the finals and our girls keen to thwart them. Everybody was tackling, led by Zosia who is turning into a second half specialist. And when Edie stormed out of a pack to kick a superb running goal we were within a few points. Unfortunately, the siren sounded before we could add another.
It was so hard to select the best players on the day. Why? Because a team came to play. That’s T-E-A-M, team.
Goals: Zara 2, Edie 1
Round 14 - Beverley Hills vs Fitzroy - 31 July 2022
Beverley Hills 9.8.62 def Fitzroy 0.2.2
Captain Avie led the team on to Doncaster Reserve where a strong northerly blew across the ground. We wore the white clash guernseys for the first time, being the away team against the (other) Lions outfit.
The 1 st quarter was a dour struggle all over the ground. Our girls held the opposition to one goal with the wind through close checking and fierce tackling. Unfortunately, we weren’t
able to exploit the wind in the 2 nd , and this pattern was repeated in the second half, whereby we couldn’t use the wind to our advantage.
Amelia was clinical in the first half, whether finding space or plugging holes. Our youngest player has a wise head on her shoulders. Then Evie S came to life after half time with a
series of bone crunching tackles that reverberated around the neighbourhood.
But the entire team was switched on, tackling, shepherding and being first to the ball. While it’s true that we often turned the ball over, this is due to a combination of inexperience and deliberately trying players in new positions. We’re experimenting now with next season in mind.
In summary, the scoreboard did not reflect the contest.
Round 13 - Balwyn Greythorn vs Fitzroy - 24 July 2022
Balwyn Greythorn 15.13.103 def Fitzroy 0.0.0
Captain Isla led the players on to Balwyn Park against the top team. The Jets are formidable, boasting rep players on every line and are undefeated for two years.
They have the #1 ruck in the competition and a true full forward. But our rucks acquitted themselves well against the former while Avie broke even with the latter. Indeed, Tia shone in the ruck and around the ground, in just her second game. This is great for the team, as we now have a genuine first ruck, which frees up other talls for key position roles.
Despite the scoreboard, there was no denying the effort, with 12 tackles laid in a single quarter. Kitty put the squeeze on those Jets, with Bella, Evie S and others joining in. Meanwhile, Edie seemed to be at the bottom of every pack, fearless as always, while Isla and Bobby rebounded nicely off half back.
While the final scoreline was unattractive, the post-match handshakes showed that we’re no smaller than the Jets. So we stack up physically, but need to get more games under our
Round 12 - Parkside vs Fitzroy - 17 July 2022
Parkside 7.11.53 def Fitzroy 1.3.9
Captain Eve led the team on to Pitcher Park after the school holiday break. Tia and Bella were welcomed aboard for their first games, and Isla returned to the team after long term injury. The windy conditions clearly favoured one end.
Parkside’s midfield is their biggest asset, and several of our girls were given assignments to curtail its effectiveness. Things panned out beautifully in the first, with our tackle pressure all over the ground frustrating their quality Mids. Matilda was winning the ruck, Amelia’s positioning radar was working nicely, and Abuk was getting to the ball more than ever. The only goal of the term was a delight to watch: Abigail to Eve to Zara = goal.
The opposition had the wind in the second and gradually worked out how to exploit it. We had plenty of the ball, led by Lila, Evie S and Evie G, but our kicking let us down. There’s an art to kicking with or against the wind – maybe we should lobby the Bureau for a windy Thursday evening at training. Tia’s first foray in the ruck showed glimpses of what’s to come.
Our intensity dropped after half time and Parkside was able to score against the wind. Once the pressure drops Gold division teams can get their A game going, and so it was with Parkside. But there are so many break out games to come from our first season players.
A special shout out to Zosia, who at times took on several opposition players and denied them easy passage. Well done, Zosia.
Goals: Zara 1
Round 11 - Fitzroy vs Ashburton - 26 June 2022
Fitzroy 2.3.15 def by Ashburton 5.8.38
Captain Kitty led the team on to a boggy Olney Oval. With many girls away we were joined by guests Bella, Harper and Heidi. Ashburton won comfortably in Round 6, and we were
keen to atone. What followed was a spirited match that remained close until the dying stages.
Our tackling intensity was off the charts, with Avie, Amelia, Kitty, Evie, Zara and Zosia all getting physical. Abigail and Avie defended bravely, ably supported by Amelia who showed
how quickly she has learned to read the play deep in defence.
Matilda was winning the ruck duels, but we struggled to win the clearances. With so many key midfielders absent we struggled to cover the opposition mids. Zara was given a ‘run
with’ role in the 3 rd quarter and did well on Ashburton’s best runner, but it was not sustainable in the 4 th quarter. A useful experiment though.
When Bella goaled early in the final quarter, we were within a few points and looked a chance. However, they kicked a few late ones – the same pattern as last week. We’ll work on
that at training.
Win or lose, hit the ooze. That would be the post-match mud diving.
Goals: Zara 1, Bella 1
Round 10 - Fitzroy vs Parkside - 19 June 2022
Fitzroy 4.3.27 def by Parkside 8.5.53
Captain Ella led the team on to Ramsden Oval for the first time. Olive was playing her first match, and Ada had belatedly rejoined Fitzroy. We wondered whether the width of
Ramsden would prove challenging, but no, it was a great game to watch.
It was an entertaining arm wrestle until well into the 4 th quarter when they snapped a few easy goals – a lapse of concentration that we need to work on. Slowing games down by
controlling the ball, that’s what we need to learn.
Zara had another good day at the office, kicking all our goals. Olive showed promise up forward with her tackling, and Bobby down back with her marking. Eve put on a tackling
clinic, Avie was ‘killing the ball’ in the teeth of their goals, and Kitty got her whirling dervish routine working at last. Matilda’s ruck display after half time was something special, so much so that the Parkside coach did not hesitate to award her the Joe Johnson medal.
A couple of the Parkside runners did the damage. We play them again soon and will tweak our game plan accordingly. They’re the ideal yardstick team for us.
Special mention to Rose, who put her hand up to deliver the Indigenous Round presentation speech. She handled it with aplomb, thus helping the audience focus on the five attributes:
Endurance, Tenacity, Courage, Loyalty and Pride.
Goals: Zara 4
Round 9 - Fitzroy vs Camberwell - 5 June 2022
Fitzroy 0.1.1 def by Camberwell 9.14.68
Captain Lila led the team on to Olney Oval, against the unbeaten Camberwell. Bobby was playing her first match, and Harper and Bella were our special guests again. This meant we
had a bench for the first time.
The strong northerly had a pronounced effect on the game. When Camberwell had the wind, our defenders were under extreme pressure, but managed to ‘kill the ball’ repeatedly.
Abigail and Avie displayed great patience when kicking in, which happened repeatedly on the day. Unfortunately, when it was our turn to kick with the wind, we weren’t able to hurt
them on the scoreboard. Lesson noted.
Our fierce tackling was a highlight. All the girls were throwing themselves in to the contest, chasing, tackling and even running them down. Another highlight was Matilda having a go in the ruck – an experiment that paid off.
Round 8 - 29 May 2022
A bye. Boring.
Round 7 - Surrey Park vs Fitzroy - 22 May 2022
Fitzroy 3.6.24 def Surrey Park 3.1.19
Captain Zara led the team on to Surrey Park in bright sunshine. Rose was playing her first match, and Harper and Bella were our special guests, which meant we had 16 on the ground for the first time. Still no bench, but it was nice to see the full 4-6-4 configuration in action.
Surrey Park came up with us to Gold Division, and we continued our friendly rivalry from 2021. They’re a tall team, but we had more leg speed, which counts for plenty on such a large oval. We peppered the goal mouth in the first quarter, but inaccuracy let us down. Then Lila and Eve found the big sticks in the second and we went to the long break in a good position.
The third quarter opened brightly for us, with Edie tackling fiercely and Bella running riot up forward. She kicked a goal to establish a handy lead and we thought we had the game in our keeping. But then Evie S came off injured and we were forced to improvise with Ella or Bella in the ruck. We’d lost our edge up forward, and Surrey knew it.
The intensity lifted in the final quarter, as the match descended into an arm wrestle. Charlotte and Harper showed great discipline in the pockets, as we locked the ball in our forward line and the opposition flooded. But when Surrey managed to extricate the ball and goaled there was less than a kick in it. Then it was back to gridlock at our end. But Avie had the sense to remain at full back, while Matilda stood alone in the centre circle. So, when the ball spat out and Surrey players surged forward, Matilda simply rebounded. The siren went: cool heads had prevailed. Exciting stuff.
A bye next week – a chance to recharge the batteries before tackling the second half of the season.
Goals: Lila 1, Eve 1, Bella 1
Round 6 - Ashburton vs Fitzroy - 15 May 2022
Fitzroy 1.0.6 def by Ashburton 7.5.47
Captain Zosia led the team on to Burwood Reserve on a windy day. Ashburton is another top shelf Gold team, but this time we brought our pressure game and a decent contest
resulted. The scoreboard flattered the Redbacks thanks to a few lapses of concentration on our part. We’ll address that at training.
Edie returned in tackle happy form. Amelia was busy throughout, including some boundary tap work. Kitty roamed widely, tackling and rucking like a free spirit. Evie G in the midfield used her speed to good effect. And the defence was solid throughout.
We look forward to playing them again, although those rude urchins on the boundary line can take a hike.
Goals: Zara 1
Round 5 Fitzroy vs Canterbury - 8 May 2022
Fitzroy 0.0.0 def by Canterbury 17.12.114
Captain Abuk led the team on to Olney Oval for our first taste of Gold Division. The rapid rise
from Green (2021) to Gold was a big achievement but now means we play top shelf teams
every week. This is a daunting prospect, and Canterbury proved to be a formidable
It took a while to get used to the pace, and they jumped us on the scoreboard. Early injuries to Evie S and guest Mila left us without much tall timber, leaving Kitty and Matilda to take on the ruck duties. Although under siege, our defence battled it out to the end, with Avie and Abigail working the key posts in tandem, while Amelia’s development as a running halfback really caught the eye. Special mention for Matilda, whose 2 nd and 3 rd efforts in only her
second game lifted our spirits.
Although we were a bit shell-shocked, it was a golden learning experience.
Round 4 - Templestowe vs Fitzroy - 1 May 2022
Fitzroy 8.11.59 def Templestowe 1.1.7
Captain Evie Goodsir led the team on to Templestowe Reserve. Matilda was playing her first match, and Mila was a special guest. And then there was Avie, another welcome returnee from the 2019 squad. All three played fine games too. Matilda’s fingertip marking adds another dimension to the team while Avie’s physical strength makes life difficult for the opposition.
Eight goals from eight different players – how’s that for sharing the ball around? The more avenues to goal we can engineer the better.
The girls built a winning lead on some powerful tackling, quick ball movement, accurate handball and determination. When you look at the photo gallery you see Zosia, Lila and Zara gritting their teeth as they attack the ball, alongside grace and flair from Eve, Edie and Matilda. And then there’s Evie: both of them. Evie G used her Stawell Gift speed to great effect, while Evie S broke the game open every time she went near the ball, selling candy along the way.
Speaking of candy, so good to see real oranges and watermelon appear at half time. Thanks Evie G and family.
Goals: Lila 1, Zara 1, Avie 1, Mila 1, Evie G 1, Evie S 1, Ella 1, Eve 1.
Round 3 - Bulleen Templestowe vs Fitzroy - 24 April 2022
Fitzroy 3.3.21 def by Bulleen Templestowe 10.7.67
Captain Abigail led the team on to Bulleen Oval for the ANZAC Day match. Kitty and Zosia were welcomed back from injury. Seeing Kitty back to her exuberant self was a wonderful thing.
A quality opponent was indeed waiting for us, and they taught us a lesson or two.
After two weeks of boredom at full back, Abigail was in the trenches doing what she does best: tackling, harassing, and glaring at opponents. The foot soldier imagery can be extended to Edie, who revealed a bash and crash side of her game that surprised many.
Overall though we were caught flat-footed, a legacy of being too strong for previous opponents. But gradually the girls adjusted to the pressure, and the last quarter became an arm-wrestle. This is a sign of fitness: the Bullants had a full bench, but we don’t have a bench at all.
Plenty of lessons to work on at training.
Goals: Zara 1, Edie 1, Eve 1.
Round 2 - Fitzroy vs Brunswick - 10 April 2022
Fitzroy 28.8.176 def Brunswick 0.0.0
Captain Edie led the team on to Olney Oval, which was flint hard thanks to the recent warm weather. Lily and Tessa were our special guests.
The match was dedicated to Isla, who would be out of action for weeks. So “win it for Isla” was the cry – and they sure did. It rained goals, with everybody joining the party. Lila ran riot; Evie S ran riot; Eve ran riot; and Zara kicked a lazy 10. The Fitzroy party really took off in the second, with Abuk and Charlotte snapping three goals apiece.
In the fourth, we threw the magnets around, experimenting with girls in unlikely positions. This was important for the coaches because tough opposition was just around the corner.
Goals: Zara 10, Eve 4, Charlotte 3, Abuk 3, Evie Scott 3, Amelia 2, Lila 1, Edie 1, Lily 1.
Round 1 - Fitzroy vs Northcote - 3 April 2022
Fitzroy 11.12.78 def Northcote 2.0.12
Captain Evie Scott led the team on to Olney Oval for the season opener. She last played in 2019, as did Edie, but from the word go it was clear that both girls had been working on their skills somewhere. Abuk was playing her first match, and Mila was a special guest.
Although the girls dominated proceedings, we suffered heavy casualties along the way. By quarter time Isla was nursing an elbow, and by half time Kitty was in the pavilion awaiting an ambulance. Mila was unwell and left at the long break while other girls soldiered on after seeing the Trainer. Yet they kept the scoreboard ticking over.
On the field, Evie S was a revelation in the ruck; Zara and Ella established terrific rapport up forward; and Lila and Eve could have been treated for leather poisoning.
Although visibly upset by Kitty’s plight the girls resolved to “win it for Kitty”, and the energy levels rose further in the final quarter. They danced away to a resounding victory, having indeed won it for Kitty. And that’s when the season’s theme emerged: more than just footy, it was Heart & Soul footy. You give everything you’ve got, and then you give some more.
Goals: Zara 3, Lila 2, Kitty 1, Mila 1, Evie Scott 1, Edie 1, Ella 1, Amelia 1.