Coach: Courtenay Moxon
0412 839-622

Assistant Coaches:
Michael Tyrrell
Pat Johnston
Nathan Ligris

Team Manager: Emily McKie
[email protected]

Cam McKie
John Kirmos
Chris Geles
Effie Geles

Team Page Editor: Helen Kooloos
[email protected]

Team Photo Loader: Richard Colyer
[email protected]

The Team

Harry Kooloos - 1
Finbar Kennedy - 2
Ned Tyrrell - 3
Seb Wolff - 6
Henry Timothee - 7
Archie Johnston - 8
Roman Moxon - 9
Felix Kneipp - 10
Will Attard - 11
Dylan Colyer - 12
Leeroy Cocco - 13
Pat Cullen - 14
James Geles - 15
Josef Hicks - 16
Noah Atkinson - 17
Chris Oliver - 18
Liam Ukovic - 19
Henry Harrison - 20
Nic Kirmos - 21
Josh Daly - 22
Duncan McKie - 23
Daniel Pako -24
Jack Moston - 25
Sol Hooper - 26

Captain - Ned Tyrell
Vice-Captain - Duncan McKie
Vice-Captain - Henry Timothee
Emerging Leader - Harry Kooloos
Emerging Leader - Jack Moston
Emerging Leader - Felix Kneipp

Round 16, 3:00pm Sunday 14 August 2022

Home at BSO to Kew Bears (KB)

Ins & Outs

The Roys were hit by another bout of cold & flu this weekend with 19 passed fit to play but with many carrying something into the game.

In: None
Out: Henry H, Josef, Josh
Already Out: Liam, Pat

Game Details

KB, kicking with the benefit of a significant wind, put the first on the board within a few minutes of play with a running goal from the top of their 50-m. But the Roys were in the game, executing a specific game plan into the wind that restricted KB of turnover opportunities. The boys moved the ball patiently, hitting up short leads and using both the outer wings and corridors to find the required space. While not kicking a goal in the quarter, their transition play created numerous scoring opportunities and resulted in a few points.

As many often hear, my supportive catch phrase is ‘Backs, stay back!’. They are a formidable defensive unit when they run at the incoming ball, more so than running back towards their goal line chasing the transition ball that has sailed over their heads. This was important on Sunday when the Roys pressed into the wind in the first quarter. The boys performed brilliantly, holding their structure, talking to each other as the play has unfolded and working together to defend and rebound. I won’t mention their names or match up strategies for fear of opposition reconnaissance, but the core four know who they are and they have been admirably supported in recent weeks by a rotating flanker and back pocket. As a result, the Roys only gave up one goal in the quarter and the boys went to the first break content with only a small deficit.

The Roys came out in the second quarter keen to kick a few goals with the wind. KB took similar tactics to those we used in the first term, particularly trying to run the ball forward into the wind. Again our backs repelled their entries, but in the initial stages of the quarter, our mindset was to still go slow and short with the ball, so it felt as though we weren’t being rewarded on the scoreboard for our possession. With a dose of footy IQ from runner Cam half way through the term, the boys started to focus on longer targets and it had immediately result with a transition goal to Roman. Continued forward entries then built pressure on KB’s backline and the Roys were able to slot another through a stoppage goal to Jack. Not giving up a goal, the boys went into half time with a slender lead.

Starting the third term, the Roy’s aim was a repeat of quarter one into the wind. And they did just that and
some! It was repeat defensive dominance by the backs, repeat hard running and transition footy by the mids and repeat creative opportunities by the forwards. It was structure, strategy, team work and effort across the whole ground. Buoyed by the physical contest, Solly was up and about across half forward and took a couple of leading marks but unfortunately couldn’t convert from long range given the wind conditions. Then finally the Roys hurt KB on the scoreboard with a crumbing left foot snap from Henry T. Have I mentioned the backs yet? Well, they kept KB goal-less for another quarter. Going into the final break the Roys held a slender lead but with the benefit of the wind to come.

While the game result didn’t mean much from the view of ladder positions, we know the boys don’t think like that. They think with their egos and wanted this game. The final quarter was played in similar fashion to the second with a few differences; this time the boys kicked longer with the wind from the start and offered our forwards more opportunities. The mids were selfless, setting up a near impenetrable wall knowing the only way the KB could get back into the game was transitioning through them. And have I mentioned the backs yet? Well they didn’t even let KB score this quarter! Another goal to Henry T and then one to Archie
put the game beyond doubt. At the final siren all in Royville were celebrating the end of a successful and enjoyable regular season.

Q1 R 0.3.3 KB 1.4.10
Q2 R 2.5.17 KB 1.6.12
Q3 R 3.7.25 KB 1.9.15
FT R 5.12.42 KB 1.9.15

Plays of the Day

Going with a couple of individual performances for the plays of the day this week. In time stamp order:

Dan has really found his groove in the back half of the season after over-coming early injuries. Dan’s pack mark clunk down the grand-stand wing was an absolute highlight of the day. It turned heads on both teams and probably left someone with a sore head too! Great to see Dan growing in confidence and competing so well both in the air and on the ground.

Chris Oliver or Chris Mew (for those that remember the 80s hawk full back superstar)? Chris has developed into such a reliable full back over the season and is hardly ever beaten in a one-on-one contest. Mid way into the last quarter when the boys were yet to put the game away, a deep ball by KB into their forward line found Chris one-out against his opponent. In danger of getting shoved under the ball, both legally with the hips and illegally with the hands, Chris held firm and reached up to take a telling mark, saving a certain goal had his opponent got the upper hand.

Finally, Archie’s ‘sealer’ late in the last quarter. While just over 3-goals up at the time, Archie’s right foot banana from a loose ball get sealed the win for the Roys. The boys then came from everywhere on the ground, including Chris at FB, to rustle the famed blonde mullet!

From the Hill

The Roys have built an imposing record at Brunswick St Oval this year, winning 6 or 7 played at the ground. The only loss there was the R10 Indigenous Round to Glen Iris that slipped through our grasp. I’m not sure if the U16 cohort play more games at Vic Park, but here’s hoping there is still a few at the mighty BSO.

Win, lose or draw, most think it’s important that the two teams come together after the siren to give the coaches and players the opportunity to thank each other for the game and to simply to get to know one another. The teams play each other many times during the season for club, or even with or against each other for school or representative teams.

Player Availability Update

Players typically make quick recoveries come finals time, shaking off the colds and niggles, so hopefully the Roys go into the week 1 of the finals with close to a full squad. Let’s keep a thought for Pat at this time too.

Josef Health Test for Final 1
Josh Health Test for Final 1
Liam Hand Test for Final 1
Henry H Health TBA
Pat Forearm Season

Round 15, 1:00pm Sunday 7 August 2022

Away at A K Lines Reserve to St. Marys (STM)

Ins & Outs

The Roys went into the game against STM with an equal season high of 22 players, giving the coaches plenty of options to work with across each three lines.

In: Archie
Out: None
Already Out: Liam, Pat

Game Details

The last time we all ventured to A K Lines Reserve most of ustook the safe option of watching the game from inside their car. It was below 10 degrees that day and the wind was so strong that the rain was coming in sideways. Fortunately for all involved, the weather for this clash was a much more comfortable ‘feels-like 15 degrees in the sun’ with little wind. While the ground was in poor condition, we were all hoping that the brighter weather led to brighter prospects.

It was evident early in the first quarter that the boys were willing and able to match STM’s effort and physicality around the ball. While STM kicked the first goal of the game, it was a good sign that it was a hard- fought goal and that the ‘arm wrestle’ continued at the next bounce. The last time the teams met STM dominated the game in both the air and on the ground from start to finish, but this contest looked and felt different. The boys stood accountable at each position and the non-negotiables were being performed. It was no surprise that the scoreboard was tight at quarter time.

It was the second quarter where the Roys made a break on STM. While the intensity and tackling remained, it was the execution of a game plan that got results on the scoreboard. The boys decision making was a highlight. They were unhurried and measured in their disposal. They weren’t kicking long and high to the advantage of STM’s talls, they were moving the footy with short chips, honouring leads into space, using the flanks and wings to stretch and run STM, before coming back into the corridor space and then kicking over CHF and deep inside-50. And if there was a skill error in the transition given the conditions, the boys supported each other in pairs or threes to gain a stoppage or use the boundary line. This impacted STM’s ability to rebound off our turnovers and they found it hard to score. The boys were rewarded with two goals for the quarter but it felt like it could have been more.

The team work continued in the third quarter and the defensive group was a highlight. They were a fluid unit, constantly talking with each other to gain the right match ups. They played tight and accountable, spoiling in the air and tackling on the ground. And while our core lines remained structured, it was the mids, wingers and flankers that blended so well through the lines to offer the backs required support or transition options. It was team work at its best. The boys kept STM goalless for another quarter but couldn’t put them away on the scoreboard. STM are a formidable unit that don’t give you anything that you haven’t earned. The Roys kicked one goal but left a few out there with several behinds and shots falling short from long range.

At the final break the coaches were quick to steel the boys that they had 20 minutes to play, that they’d been in the same situation against STM in R5, up by 3 goals only to get run over. But I don’t think they needed any reminding. That one still stung and they didn’t want this one to sting. The last quarter started with ‘first quarter’ intensity. The Roys knew STM would come at them with the belief they could steam home again. The highlight of this quarter was the composure of the boys. It was tested early when what seemed to be the first goal of the quarter to the Roys was rightfully deemed a touched point. Then followed a few minutes where the footy bounced to the favour of STM and they were being rewarded for being first to the ball. There was a definite momentum shift and STM’s mids were running hard and kicking long to capitalise on it.

This led to two goals to STM and the deficit was dragged back to 11 points with 10-minutes to play. But the boys didn’t panic, they stayed composed, made a few structural changes out on the ground with the help of the coaches and kept playing the way they had played all day. And when STM pressed too hard, similar to Glen Iris the week prior, our forward structure remained in place to be dangerous targets and we were able to score two crucial goals to put the game out of reach.

While one round remains, it’s an awesome achievement that the boys have secured a spot in the finals. The boys have now registered a win against all of the teams in the competition and this should give them a level of confidence going into any game.

Q1 R 1.1.7 STM 1.3.9
Q2 R 3.4.22 STM 1.4.10
Q3 R 4.8.32 STM 1.5.11
FT R 6.10.46 STM 3.8.26

Plays of the Day

Finbar played an outstanding game, displaying all of his known qualities down the ground-stand wing; speed, running both ways, tackling pressure, being a transition option, delivering inside forward-50 etc. But midway through the last quarter when STM had closed to within two goals, Finbar’s overhead mark inside defensive-50 was nothing short of heroic. Going back with the flight of the ball, Finbar leapt with an outstretched left hand and took the mark ‘baseball glove’ style, scooping the ball to his body before falling to the ground behind him.

I hope there is some photos of the reactions at the final siren as they’ll tell a story of how much the boys
wanted that win and how much team work and effort it required to get it. There were big smiles, cheers,
raised arms, fist pumps, high-fives, bro-hugs and the occasional ‘I’ve got nothing left’ haunch. There were
plenty of fist pumps from the adults too!
From the Hill

Our boundary runner, Ben, has been on the front cover of fitness magazines such as Runner’s World and Men’s Health. Ben’s current project is a 10km fun-run with Josh at the upcoming Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival, straight after having run the half-marathon event earlier that morning. So it was to his absolute surprise (and shock horror) that his right calf blew its own whistle early in the first quarter on Sunday! Whether it was the slippery surface, over training or over aging, Josh is now in the prime position to take honour rights on the upcoming day. Thanks to Will (dad) and Liam for filling in for the remainder of the game.

Player Availability Update

Liam shouldn’t be too far away while Henry H will have to be passed fit to pull on the boots for the last regular game of the season.

Henry H Health Test for R16
Liam Hand Test for R16
Pat Forearm Season

Round 14, 3:00pm Sunday 31 July 2022

Away at T H King to Glen Iris

Ins & Outs

The Roys went into the game against GI with 21 players. A massive thank you to Felix and Roman who returned that day from the state carnival up in Albury. As well as coach Courtenay!
In: Felix, Roman, Solly
Out: Archie
Already Out: Liam, Pat

Game Details

Captain Duncan won the toss and decided the Roys would kick first with the howling gale. Unfortunately for the coaches, the umps bounced the ball close to the outer wing considering there was a mud pit that took up half of the centre square! GI was ferocious at the contest early, laying tackle after tackle and swooping on the loose ball. GI used run and carry to move the ball inside their forward-50 against the wind and looked dangerous with several of their talls playing deep. And with this pressure, they were the first team to hit the scoreboard with a major. Withstanding the initial onslaught, the Roys began to counter with their own tackling intensity. With footy IQ kicking in, the Roys were working out how to play the ground and the wind and started to transition the footy out of defence with short passes, effectively using the flanks, centre strip and wings. The boys were rewarded for their efforts with three goals for the term and took a marginal lead into quarter time.

In the second quarter, it was GI’s turn to benefit from the wind. The Roys backs fell into the trap of pressing
up the ground too hard on a Roys inside-50 entry and, quick as a flash, GI rebounded off half back, kicked long into the space provided and registered the first major of the term. It was even around the stoppage contests but just as GI encountered in the first term, it was difficult to transition the footy from defence once it was locked in there. For the first part of the quarter, the Roys tried kicking long down the wings but, similar to the previous game, this strategy wasn’t working with the opposition midfield well set up behind the ball.

As a result, continued GI forward entries resulted in another two goals to them. However, in the second part of the quarter, with another dose of footy IQ delivered by runner Ligga, the Roys started to kick to shorter targets and then use some run and carry to move the ball into the wind. This resulted with a great team goal close to half time which saw the teams locked together on the scoreboard.

Frozen to the park bench, I didn’t get to the huddle to hear the half time messages being delivered by the coaches and the leaders. Reading how the boys played the quarter, some of the messaging must have been how to enter our forward-50; quickly but with purpose and lowering the eyes to hit leading or positional targets rather than kicking long to a pack contest. Playing this style, the boys had their first for the quarter on the board within a minute and our forwards relished the constant opportunity throughout the quarter to add another three for the term. With the Roys midfield on top, the game was played in our forward half and the boys kept GI goalless for term. This set up a tidy but not insurmountable lead going into the last change.

The boys knew what was at stake and had one final quarter to work together to get the result. They were in position and ready to go while GI were still in their huddle. You could see they were up for the challenge. The quarter started with urgency by both teams; GI to press forward at all costs and the Roys to defend resolutely.

The mids were on top and were smart with their clearances, using hands or short kicks to wide targets to
take both ground and time. Our backs remained planted within their defensive-50 and were supported by our wingers. Structure and strategy were working. GI continued to press and were able to score the first goal, but their urgency was also their demise. With their mids and backs pushing too far forward, it not only clogged their forward line but opened themselves up to counter attack when the Roys were able to work through their defence. GI’s first goal was countered with one of our own. Same with their second. Felix’s run was instrumental. Footy IQ was prevailing and the boys took confidence in that. The boys took more time off the clock by using the boundary line, rushing it through for a point, taking time after marks and chipping it sideways. Three scoring shots into the wind compared to GI’s five with it shows how well the boys played that last quarter.

Q1 R 3.2.20 GI 1.1.7
Q2 R 4.2.26 GI 4.4.28
Q3 R 8.4.52 GI 4.4.28
FT R 10.5.65 GI 7.6.48

(A Few) Play(s) of the Day

First up with the traditional play. The third quarter started with a bang and again Noah was at the centre of it in the ruck contest. This week Noah palmed it to the benefit of Henry T who gathered on a burst, drew defence and then released Finbar with a handball, who was slicing in off a wing. Finbar kept top speed for a further 10m before hitting Roman on a strong lead with a 25m bullet pass. Roman went back and kicked the goal from 25m out on a slight angle. The goal was on the board with the first play of the quarter.

While on Roman kicking goals, he probably thought he’d be ‘resting’ up forward after a big week and a long
car trip that morning, but that wasn’t to be the case and his 6 goals for the match was a super effort and a
season high.

Last but not least, Nic registered his first goal for the season after playing the majority of the year in the
centre or off the half back flank. Nic’s goal was a curling left foot snap from a forward stoppage contest that
flirted with the left goal post. It gave the Roys some breathing space heading into the quarter time break.

From the Hill

Early in the season when blessed by warm sunshine and slight zephyrs, crowds upward of 14,000 were not
uncommon at BSO as revellers sat to watch a game of footy. In circumstances similar to North Melbourne v Gold Coast in Launceston, I think we experienced the lowest crowd number of the year on Sunday with 17 non-officiating attendees, comprised mainly of Roy parents and local dogs. The weather hasn’t been too kind lately. Here’s hoping for the remainder of the season.

Player Availability Update

Archie should get over his sickness and be right for R15 while Liam will have a test on his hand. Pat has had
another operation on his forearm in readiness for preseason but will unfortunately miss the remainder of
the season.

Archie Health Test for R15
Liam Hand Test for R15
Pat Forearm Season

Round 13, 11:00am Sunday 24 July 2022

Home at Vic Park to Beverley Hills

Ins & Outs
The Roys went into the game with a few outs but numbers were lifted to 20 with the help of Alex, James’ brother, from U14-1s. With Coach Courtney away, Coach Michael grabbed the player board and stepped in for the day.

In: None
Out: Felix, Roman, Solly
Already Out: Liam, Pat

Game Details
After defeating Beverley Hills (BH) in round 1, the Roys knew that they were going to come out with a point to prove and start strong. The initial stages of the first quarter were tight as the footy rebounded end to end without score. Midway through the quarter, however, BH settled into a rhythm of quick ball movement with run and carry from stoppages/ loose balls before completing a mid-length target kick. BH were able to create scoreboard pressure and finished the quarter with a few majors.

The second quarter started positively for the Roys who were able to convert two set shots from selfless team play up the ground. It felt like the boys were working back into the game. BH, however, were relentless with their pressure on the ball carrier which too often forced the boys to go wide and long as they tried to transition the ball from defence. Will and Dan did their best to repel BH’s inside-50 entries, but BH were lowering the eyes and making better decisions with the ball. They finished with a three goals in the second half of the quarter to take a reasonable margin into the long break.

The second half was very similar to the first. The coaches continued to develop players through different parts of the ground in the search for a spark, but BH seemed to have all the answers. It wasn’t so much a blitz, more so a strangle. BH made the Roys play a slow, wide, long to contest game that isn’t our typical style or suited to our players’ talents. Then on the rebound, BH cut us open with pace and connection in the space they had created by forcing the Roys wide. It was a well-executed strategy by BH that was evident in the third quarter when they put the game away with five goals, made easier by efficient forward-50 entries.

After the final siren, the coaches and the boys spent time contemplating the difference in performance between round 1 and round 13 against BH. Each game is a discovery of strengths and weakness, what works and what doesn’t, what to tinker with and what to leave as is. Importantly, there are always positives to anchor to and build upon so that the boys are eager to tackle the coming week full of confidence.

Q1 R 0.0.0 BH 2.5.17
Q2 R 2.1.13 BH 5.7.37
Q3 R 2.5.17 BH 10.9.59
FT R 2.7.19 BH 11.14.80

Play of the Day
Play of the day goes to Henry H for his run-down tackle and ‘holding the ball’ in the second quarter. BH had
a clear plan to gain metres by running the ball and HH executed a great tackle from behind. HH’s tackling has
been a standout all season.
From the Hill

Some players are superstitious. Things like no X-box the night before a game, pancakes for breakfast, putting
the left sock on first. I’ve recently discovered that some parents are superstitious too. One parent has recently
been wearing a pair of boots that they noticed coincided with a string of school and Roys wins. Those same
boots were on again on Sunday but unfortunately the luck ran out. I wonder if it was the socks that were
matched with the boots that was the problem?

Player Availability Update
Harry, Noah & Solly will have a test Sunday morning and hope to come up for the late start against Glen Iris.

Felix and Roman are a chance to return from higher duties if their recovery goes well.

Felix Away Test for R14
Harry Leg Test for R14
Noah Health Test for R14
Roman Away Test for R14
Solly Health Test for R14
Liam Hand TBA
Pat Forearm TBA

Round 12, 1:00pm Sunday 17 July 2022

Home at BSO to Camberwell

Ins & Outs

The Roys went into the game with a strong numbers with many boys getting over their niggles during the holiday period and the sleep-ins warding off the winter colds and flu. It was a season record of 22 players!

Apologies to Dan for not mentioning his 50th in round 11. Well done Dan, great achievement across two clubs.

In: Chris, Harry, Henry H, Jack, Josef
Out: None
Already Out: Liam, Pat

Game Details

Amidst a mid-season lull, the boys and the coaches have been searching for ways to reignite their effort and intensity to rekindle both their playing performance and their love of playing the game. There were signs in the last game before the break against Kew Bears on that mud-clogged surface in heavy conditions. They had spoken as a team about their form and had trained hard together through the holiday break. So as the spectators huddled in the stands to avoid the torrential storm that hit the ground 20-minutes from bounce,
the muffled sound of teenage ‘doof’ music filtering up into the stand was seen as a positive sign that the boys
had come to play as a team.

Harry led the boys out of the race. It was his big 50th game and family and friends were there to support. Closely following Harry through his banner was Phil Pressure, Ian Intensity, Tom Tackle, T. M. Work and Aaron Accountability. And when the Roys had controlled the play for the first 5-minutes and had two majors on the board, Clarry Confidence came on the ground from the bench.

For the full 80-minutes the boys attacked every contest. They wanted to be first at the ball on each occasion
and when they weren’t, then they were relentless with their defensive pressure and tackling. The Roys defensive game was made easier by each player being accountable for their opponent. It was rare to see a Camberwell player in space taking an uncontested mark.

The coaches commented after the game that the boys played exactly as how they had trained over the holiday break. The boys implemented ‘stoppage’, ‘switch’ and ‘transition’ plays that they had practiced in previous sessions. They switched the ball in the quarters when they had the wind, while they ran the ball when against it. The various plays were built on team work, trust and structure. When the boys saw and felt
the results of implementing these plays, their confidence grew and this became a self-fulfilling feedback loop.

Structure plays a big part in footy and a balanced team is comprised of a mix of players who can play to the
size, strength, speed, agility, craft, leadership etc required of the various positions on the ground. This week
the team welcomed back Jack from injury and his impact across half-forward was immediate. Similarly, Henry H and Josef returned and added speed, agility and defensive pressure both forward and back. Harry returned and added run and creativity down the wing and in the forward half. Chris retuned to command the backline and control the defensive transitions. While the previous week, Dan came back from injury and added size and strength across half back. This shows how important each player is to a balanced and functional team.

It’s no surprise that team’s performance improved as player numbers neared the full complement of the selected squad. So, here’s hoping Liam is able to return before the season end, while just having Pat around lifts the spirits of the boys and is an example to enjoy footy while you’re playing it.
When the final bell rang loud you could certainly see the boys enjoyed the win; it meant something to them after the last away encounter with Camberwell when their intensity was questioned. They ran off the ground together, as they did at half time, with confidence, energy and intent to belt out the club song.

Q1 R 4.2.26 C 0.0.0
Q2 R 6.6.42 C 0.1.1
Q3 R 7.10.52 C 1.3.9
FT R 7.13.55 C 3.4.22

Play of the Day

The Play of the Day this week goes to Noah, Nic, Felix and Roman for their scintillating play just before halftime. After Harry had slotted his second goal late in the quarter, the ump re-started play back in the centre with about a minute left on the clock before half time. Not satisfied yet, Noah palmed the tap to his trademark 10pm slot, Nic, positioned well to take advantage of his left side, roved the tap, burst 10m, then hit-up Felix on a strong lead at the top of the 50m. Felix, realising the time, turned quickly and hit-up Roman on a lead about 25m out on a slight angle. Roman, also realising the time, took all the time in the world to stretch out his hamstrings to ensure his kick was going to the last of the half. As expected, Roman kicked truly and the Roys went into the half time break with a handy 6 goal lead.

From the Hill

With the inclement weather, the spectators took advantage of the beautiful old (Kevin Murray) stand to watch the game from a higher view. The resident 2,489 pigeons weren’t too impressed but had the last laugh leaving their morning breakfast over almost every row of seating. When the Roys kicked a goal or did something spectacular on the ground, the concentrated cheer of the spectators echoed loudly across the ground and no doubt spurred the boys on.

Player Availability Update

A couple of players on higher duties this coming week (congrats again to Felix and Roman), so here’s hoping
Archie, our barrel-chested swing-man, comes up from his foot injury:
Archie Foot Test for R13
Felix Away R13
Roman Away R13
Liam Hand TBA
Pat Forearm TBA

Round 11, 3:00pm Sunday 26 June 2022

Away at Stradbroke Park to Kew Bears

Roving Reporter was Liam and Henry H.

Ins & Outs
Again the Roys went in with a depleted list of 17 players this week and lost Noah after half time. Credit to the boys who played and slogged it up in those conditions for four quarters without bench rotation.

In: None
Out: Chris, Harry, Henry H, Liam
Already Out: Jack, Josef, Pat

Game Details
I think the boys have kicked the first goal of the match in nearly every game. The last four at least before my
memory goes foggy. Again on Sunday, as the boys skidded across the muddied ground in their warm up, yelling the war-cry, ‘switch’, that has (annoyingly) become the new ritual for most teams, they were full of vigour after a strong week on the training track. And before most of the crowd had settled into their vantage positions, Noah won the tap, Felix got the clearance and hit Henry T on a lead across half forward, who kicked long to James and Ned crumbed and kicked the goal. All in about 30 seconds. The boys had the first on the board yet again and there was a spring in their step and loud voices in the air.

Kew Bears (KB) are a formidable team full of state and representative players too. After the Roys won the first encounter earlier in the season, KB wanted to even up the ledger on their home turf. They were just as pumped for the game as we were and weren’t too shaken that we had kicked the first major. They settle well into the game and the arm wrestle began.

General play and transition was made complicated by the mud patch in the centre square. Both teams attempted to switch around the centre and only the brave attempted to drive through it. Boys on both teams found it hard to keep their footing, many slipping when trying to accelerate, decelerate or turn quickly. The wings where were the firmer ground was found and the ball predominantly transitioned up and down them.

Team colours started to disappear during the first quarter, replaced by dark brown. With the low hanging clouds, it was hard to tell who had the ball at times. Given all this, the umpiring was credible considering the difficulty at the contest with numbers and sure-footing, making calls on ‘high’, ‘in the back’, ‘holding’ and ‘play-on’ very difficult to call. Both teams respected the decisions made and played the game in good spirit. Each zone for the Roys was working well.

– The backs (Dan, Josh, Nic, Roman, Seb / Henry T & Will) defended resolutely. They competed both in the air and on the ground, forcing KB wide to the pockets to make it harder to score. They played wet weather football with the right mix of desperation and precision.

– The mids (Duncan, Felix, Finbar, Ned & Nic / Noah) toughed it out all day in the mud. They contested the stoppages and made use of the limited space to present up at the ball when it was transitioned from defence, focused on bringing the ball to ground at least to create another stoppage.

– The forwards (Archie, Dylan, Henry T / Seb, James, Leeroy & Solly) were valiant all day. It wasn’t the day for high-marking big men but they kept at it until the final siren. Their task was made more difficult by the strategy of KB to have 1 to 2 players extra behind the ball to rebound off their half-back and transition quickly on the smaller ground. The extra numbers made it hard for our forwards to both mark and keep the ball inside our forward-50 when it came to ground.

Slowly, KB got the upper hand over the game by a small ‘one-goal’ margin each quarter with two of their key players probably being the difference with their ball gathering ability and use of it in the conditions.

Listening in at the three-quarter time break, our boys were still striving for win and their effort and determination in the final term can only be commended. While not scoring a major, the boys had the same scoring shots as KB and probably led the inside-50 count.

Overall, the boys played extremely well and their improved intent and higher spirit was noticeable from previous weeks. They were only beaten on the scoreboard, not in their effort and willingness to work as a team. This performance should provide them with confidence to finish off the remaining season as they started it.

Q1 R 1.1.7 KB 2.4.16
Q2 R1.2.8 KB 3.6.24
Q3 R 3.2.20 KB 5.8.38
FT R 3.5.23 KB 7.9.51

Player Comments
Pre game, Roman said the Roys must go out and show our brand of footy and to play the Fitzroy way.

At quarter time, James thought the intensity in the forward line was really good, but our midfield pressure must improve.

At half time, Dan thought we had lifted our intensity and pressure across the ground that quarter, but our
forward entries need improvement.

At three-quarter time, Seb said the boys need to keep their heads high and continue to play for each other.
If we keep our intensity up, we should be able to stay in the game and make it a contest to the end.

Post-game, an injured Noah who had seen the second half unfold from the sideline, said the key take away
from the game was effective ball use and using our physicality.

Play of the Day
This week the Play of the Day goes to birthday boy, Leeroy, for his defensive-wall efforts in the third term out on the far flank. Leeroy positioned himself to intercept KB’s rebounds from defence and reloaded the Roys inside-50. This resulted in goals to both Finbar and Roman. Great play, Leeroy.

From the Hill
Sales of Sard Soap spiked on Monday as parents attempted to wash the mud out of their boy’s playing gear.

Several parents put out calls of help after the fourth wash attempt. Plenty of home-made tricks were passed on and even photos were posted of cleaned shorts. But I’m not buying those clean short photos. I reckon they’re shorts from last year that have been dusted off for the camera!

Player Availability Update
Here’s hoping the boys rest up over the holiday break and some are able to return from injury:
Chris Away R12
Harry Away R12
Josef Shoulder Test for R12
Noah Elbow Test for R12
Henry H Concussion TBA
Jack Concussion TBA
Liam Hand TBA
Pat Forearm TBA

Round 10, 1:00pm Sunday 19 June 2022

Home at BSO to Glen Iris

Roving Reporter was Pat.

Ins & Outs
The Roys went in with a bulked-up list of 21 players this week. The long weekend bye helped as there were no outs. Great to see Dan return from his finger injury.
In: Dan, Finbar, Leeroy, Roman
Out: None, that’s a season milestone!
Already Out: Jack, Josef, Pat

Indigenous Round
All of us were extremely fortunate to be apart of Indigenous round this year. The boys had the absolute honour of wearing the Indigenous jumper on the day and weren’t they spectacular! Looking around during the smoking ceremony, the players, families and the community were riveted listening to designer, Emma Bamblett, and Wurundjeri elder, Uncle Bill Nicholson. Emma ‘spoke from the heart’ about the meaning and symbolism of the jumper while Uncle Bill ‘spoke from the head’ in how the community needs to work together to respect both first-nation culture and the country.

A massive thanks to Lucy, Emily and our other volunteers who were involved first hand in organising the playing jumper and the presentation on the day. If you haven’t already, go to the ‘merchandise’ page on the Roy’s website to order an Indigenous Playing Jumper.

Player Comments on Indigenous Round
Great day, loved the ceremony.
Jumpers are amazing.
I liked the smoke ceremony and symbol of walking through it.
Very special day to play.
The day has so much meaning and it was a pleasure to play on the day.
Jumpers are awesome.
It was an honour to play in the jumper.
I loved listening to Emma’s story of the jumper.

Game Details & Highlights
Glen Iris (GI) and the Roys play a similar brand of footy in that both teams like to spread from the contest with pace, use their skill to link up in space and then finding a marking target deep forward. While the Roys have come out on top in two previous encounters this year, you could always see GI’s potential and knew to be wary of their talent and team work.

As with previous games, the Roys hit the scoreboard first after winning early stoppages, finding leading forwards by foot and then kicking accurately. But then GI did similar to even up the contest. GI’s pace was on show through the midfield and their ability to transition the ball quickly into their forward line meant our backs needed to be on guard and stay tight to their opponent.

Better weather conditions than previous games suited both teams and made for an enjoyable encounter where skills were on display, particularly in aerial contests and transitional switches. It was such an even contest all day that it was only in periods that either team would gain an ascendancy, only then for the other team to peg it back with momentum of their own.

It was another game where many players got to experience different parts of the ground. Duncan was flying for high marks on one wing, while Finbar was using blistering pace down another. Archie, Josh and Solly spent some quality minutes defending down back. Nic got to use his agility on ball and Dylan and Henry H played forward pressure roles. The team welcomed Dan back form a hand injury and he able to clunk a few marks up forward and hit the scoreboard.

When the commentator in the stand called time on the day’s play, GI had the scoreboard edge in the arm wrestle and took home the four points. It was a well-deserved win by GI who were a little cleaner with their ball over the day. While the boys were disheartened at first, the result was put into perspective with the day closed out with a brief history of Joe Johnson, the first VFL Indigenous player who played for Fitzroy in 1904. It was a reflective way to end the way and a big thank you to GI for actively participating in the day with us.

FT R 9.6.60 GI 10.8.68

Play of the Year
The boys playing in the Indigenous jumper and all of us having the opportunity to listen to Emma Bamblett and Uncle Bill Nicholson during the smoking ceremony has to be play of the year!

Congratulations to Henry T for being award the Roys 2022 Joe Johnson medal by Glen Iris. The player qualities for the medal were endurance, tenacity, courage, loyalty and pride. I think we can all agree that the boys from both teams played with these qualities during the game.

From the Hill
While the boys ‘didn’t get the chocolates’ on the day, they at least got chocolate cupcakes post game to celebrate the recent birthdays of both Courtenay and Roman. Happy birthday from the team.

With the game being shown live by GameFace on YJFL, one would have forgiven our resident photographer, Richard, for taking the day off! But no, there he was, capturing the moments of the day in still life. We look forward to the photos later in the week.

Player Availability Update

Last game before the school holidays get into full swing:
Josef Shoulder Test for R11
Felix Kneipp Ribs Test for R11
Harry Away R11
Chris Away R12
Jack Concussion
TBA Pat Wrist

Round 9, 1:00pm Sunday 5 June 2022

Away at A K Lines Reserve to St. Mary’s
Roving Reporter was Roman.

Ins & Outs
The Roys went in with 17 players with the usual revolving door of illness and injury. The boys should again
be commended for their resilience in playing with no rotations and learning to carrying niggles and sniffles
through games.

In: Duncan, Josh, Henry H, Ned
Out: Josef, Leeroy, Roman
Already Out: Dan, Finbar, Jack, Pat

Sunday’s game was the 9th for the season, which is equal to the number of games the boys played last year
if my memory serves me correctly! Hope you’re enjoying your season boys and you have another 7 club
games to come plus the chance of making finals. Thanks to the coaches and volunteers making it all happen.

Game Details
The Roys kicked the first major of the day but St. Mary’s (STM) strangled the contest after that. STM have a
great mix of strength and speed and they should be commended to sticking to their game plan across all four
quarters in those weather conditions.

The boys were able to generate plenty of high half-forward inside-50 entries when we kicked with the benefit
of the cross-wind in the first and third terms, but STM repelled well off their half-back with both high-marking
talent and extra numbers. STM were able to transition the ball out of their defence with quick movement
and long kicking that gave their forwards some open space to hit the scoreboard. On reflection, when using
this strategy, STM were able to kick more goals against the cross-wind than with it.

Then when against the cross-wind, the Roys competed very well around the stoppages and made a real arm
wrestle of it. It was good to see our strength at the stoppage contests and boundary throw-ins this game as
this was a key standout for STM the last time the boys played them earlier in the season. Our backs were
ever desperate with plenty of tackles, smothers, spoils and contested marks and never gave much away.
While the boys tried their hearts out the whole game, they couldn’t get any scoreboard reward for their
efforts and went down to a committed STM side.

Q1 R 1.2.8 STM 3.0.18
Q2 R 1.2.8 STM 6.2.38
Q3 R 1.4.10 STM 8.4.52
Q4 R 1.5.11 STM 9.9.63

Player Comments
Pre-game, Henry T wanted the team to play smart with the wind, be physical and compete with strength at
the contest.
At quarter time, Noah thought we needed more numbers around the stoppage contests.

At half time, Liam though the Roys were setting up well defensively and creating a good wall across the mid.
Liam also thought the boys needed to be more accountable to their opponent and man up and this would
help the team kick more goals.

At three quarter time, Duncan said the plan was to win the last quarter by increasing the tackle rate, giving
it their all and backing themselves in.
At full time, Dylan said the team wasn’t happy with how they had played today, particularly being dominated
physically by STM who played with more intent and hunger.

The boys should be commended on the effort and intensity they played the last quarter. After a tough first
three quarters it would have been understandable if the last was a blow out but the boys kept their heads
high and competed to the very end. No doubt that will give them confidence heading into the next match
after the long-weekend break.

Great to see Henry H return to the team this week. Henry H is our pressure barometer and his pressure and
effort around groundball contests, histackling intensity and team work were on display in the wet and windy

With the scoreboard not looking favourable, it can be easy for any sportsperson to go through the motions
until the final siren sounds. But I thought the boys’ leadership and talk out on the ground was a real highlight.
I saw a few examples where STM had kicked a goal or had advanced ground with a few chains of possession
and our boys spoke calmly with each other, working out what went wrong and then working out a plan for
next time.

Play of the Day
Noah’s mullet. How good. Looked freshly cut that Sunday morning. Clearly aero-dynamic to help him with his
ruck craft and no doubt he jumped a few centimetres higher.

From the Hill
How was the cold weather and the wind? Enough said. Most watch the old-fashioned way; in the car from
the boundary line. Great to hear the car horn toot after a goal being kicked. Pity STM kicked more goals.
Ben (Josh’s dad), our ultra-marathon runner come boundary-umpire, normally needs to ice his calves after
chasing the boys up and down the sidelines for 80-minutes. But not last Sunday. The ice pack was needed for
the right shoulder after heaving 126 boundary throw-ins into a gale force wind!

Player Availability Update
No game this long weekend will help the boys rest up and recover:
Finbar H&S Protocols Test for R10
Josef Shoulder Test for R10
Leeroy H&S Protocols Test for R10
Roman Ankle Test for R10
Jack Concussion TBA
Dan Finger TBA
Pat Wrist TBA

Round 6, 1pm Sunday 15 May 2022

Home at Brunswick St. Oval (BSO) to Kew Bears (KB)

Roving Reporter was Jack Moston.

Ins & Outs
The Roys went in with 21 players which allowed for bench rotations.

In: Josef Hicks, Roman Moxon, Liam Ukovic
Out: Jack Moston
Already Out: Noah Atkinson, Pat Cullen

Jack caught up with Solly before the bounce to hear how coach Courtenay wanted the Roys to start against Kew Bears (KB). Solly said, “We need to start with intensity across the ground. Particularly, high pressure in the forward line to keep it locked in. And we need to create a lot of space to play our brand of footy”.

Quarter 1: Serious Competition

Like the Roys, KB are a serious team. There is strength all over the park and there are no weak links. Every contest was hard fought from the bounce. The Roys kicked with a howling North-Westerly favouring the park end, but the wind made it difficult for the boys to execute their ‘precision passing’ brand of footy. Stoppages were tight, making it harder to spread from the clearances with time to ‘lower the eyes’ and spot up a forward that had made space. Deep forwards Leeroy and James adapted early to the conditions and took a few marks from entries that carried long. The Roys kicked three goals for the quarter but, more impressively, KB were
able to do similar into the wind, running well through the middle and linking up by hand. Ominously, KB took a slender lead heading into the quarter time break.

Jack spoke to Josh at quarter time to hear his thoughts on the first quarter. Josh said, “We started well with
our pressure and use of space at BSO, but then it dropped in the second half of the quarter. We need to lift
our intensity. Also, our forwards weren’t tight and there were a few occasions where KB came out of defence
too easily”.

Quarter time score: Roys 3.1.19 to KB 3.3.21

Quarter 2: Wayward

The waywardness of KB in second quarter kept the Roys in the game. KB had nine scoring shots but only kicked two goals from them. There were countless inside-50s to KB that the backs had to defend and our pressure was partly responsible for their inaccuracy. Our mids toiled into the wind, playing slow and wide to maintain possession. The forwards were able to generate a few scoring attempts, highlighted by Dan clunking a mark inside-50 and converting for his first goal of the season. This was a crucial goal into the wind that kept the boys in the hunt at half time.

In a masterstroke, the coaches took the boys into the rooms for the half time break to refocus and reset for the second half to come. The boys emerged from the break with a spring in their step and a promise of what was to come.

Jack caught up with Josef at half time to hear his thoughts on what the team was doing well and what it could improve on. Josef thought, “Our kick outs and kicking down the line was working. However, our discipline and pressure acts need to lift”.

Half time score: Roys 4.3.27 to KB 5.10.40

Quarter 3: The Difference

Having been outscored in both quarters, the boys knew a massive third quarter was required to re-take the
lead and establish a break sizeable enough to defend in the last. Duncan went into the ruck and Roman came
on and went to full forward. These two rotations had immediate effect. It gave the Roys momentum out of
the mid and another forward target to defend. Using local knowledge of the wind, the boys attacked either
grand-stand side or direct through the corridor, allowing our forwards to take set-shots with the breeze at
their backs.

In all, the boys kicked 5 goals for the quarter and while conceding a late goal, won the quarter by 23-points.
It was the only quarter the Roys won (-2, -11, +23, -6). Remarkably, KB scored more into the wind (29-points
including 4 goals) than with it (26-points including 3 goals)! It’s a balancing act kicking with the wind; keeping
a deeper defensive structure versus pushing higher into the back half of the mid.

Jack spoke with Ned at three-quarter time, asking Ned if the boys still had run in their legs for the last quarter
into the wind. Ned said, “Yes we do, we have lot’s more run to come. We’re going to run it right out”.

Three quarter time score: Roys 9.4.58 to KB 6.12.48

Quarter 4: Team Defence

The captain didn’t want another fade out like St. Mary’s. Ned’s message to the team that he believed each
of them had the energy and the determination to run, pressure and defend in the last quarter instilled
confidence in the boys. While most parents were nervous, the players were calm. They looked calm and
switched on and they played that way from the bounce.
The forward flankers helped the mids around the stoppages and the deeper forwards led wide to restrict
quick rebounds from any turnover. While the mids had a defensive mindset at the stoppages, they also
pressed to attack where they could, keeping KB’s defenders from crowding. And the backs, well, where do
you start. I looked up and saw Harris Andrews(Chris), Tom Stewart (Seb), Brayden Maynard (Nic), Adam Saad
(Ned), Tom Jonas (Solly) and Jake Lever (Will & Archie) on the park. All-Australian material and that’s how
they defended.

It was a superb team effort to restrict KB to two scoring shots for the term with that wind. While the Roys
attacked early in the quarter to only register a minor, KB kicked one to reduce the margin to within a kick,
I’m guessing around the 8-minute mark. Excuse me for not keeping time. Time was both a blur and painful.
Then, for the next 10-minutes, the boys defended resolutely and kept KB scoreless. You name a defensive
act and it was showcased; smothers, tackles, chases, blocks, spoils, intercept marks, defensive marks, chip
kicks, chip kicks backwards, kicking it down the line, taking the full 30 seconds, taking it over the boundary
line, ruck taps at feet, locking it in the tackle etc. There were countless of these acts in the last 10-minutes
and it took the whole team to commit to each other to get the result they wanted.

Jack spoke to Finbar post game to get his summary on how the boys played today. Finbar said, “The first half
was not our best footy. But we turned things around in the second half, starting with improving our pressure
and intensity. Our discipline improved and we played our brand of selfless footy”.

Final Score: Roys 9.5.59 to KB 7.13.55

Plays of the Day
In previous plays of the day we’ve seen linking team efforts but for this week we’ve gone for an individual effort that got the whole ground rocking.

In the third term with momentum the Roy’s way, Ned crumbed a tap from Duncan and burst through the
centre. Sensing his own Clayton Oliver moment, Ned’s pace took him to the forward-50 within an instant
before letting fly with a raking drop punt from the screws of his boots that cleared the open goal line. A ripper
goal that put the Roys two goals up late in the third term.
From the Hill

The phone at Lucy’s (Roman) salon was ringing hot on Monday with several of the RHWOF needing a
manicure after living every moment of the tight last quarter.

It was a day of emotions for Seb and the Wolff family given that Seb transferred to the Roys from Kew Comets
this year. Showing his class and character, Seb played this game as he’d done with all previous Roys games
and didn’t get caught up in any banter.

Player Availability Update

Unfortunately, Dan goes onto the injury list this week with a sore finger in the third quarter being confirmed
as a fracture later Sunday evening.

Every Roys Player Hyperthermia (so cool in the 4th quarter) Test for R7

Every Roys Parent Heart Palpitations Test for R7

Noah Atkinson H&S Protocols Test for R7

Jack Moston Concussion Test for R7

Dan Pako Finger TBA

Pat Cullen Wrist Second Half of Season

Round 5, 1pm Sunday 8 May 2022

Home at Victoria Park to St. Marys

Roving Reporter was Roman Moxon.

Ins & Outs
It was another week with a few changes. Dan was doubtful but passed a pre-game fitness test to take his place in the side, so the Roys went in with 19 players.
In: Harry Kooloos
Out: Noah Atkinson, Roman Moxon, Liam Ukovic
Already Out: Pat Cullen, Josef Hicks


Roman caught up with Henry T before the bounce to hear coach Courtenay’s key message for the team. Henry T said, “We need to apply a lot of pressure from the start, like we did against Beverley Hills. St Marys (STM) are a tall, big-bodied team, so we need to get the ball to the ground”.

Quarter 1: Two Bucks Locking Horns

The Roys started the match as coach Courtenay asked; by applying pressure around the stoppage and loose ball contests. But that’s exactly what STM did too! And so the contest was laid out before us. It had all the markings of a tough and contested game from the opening minutes.
STM play a different game style to the Roys. Equally effective at the stoppage, STM like to burst from the contest and kick long, like real long, like Dustin Martin long, to the next marking option. Whereas the Roys like to break from the stoppage, using hands and run before hitting up leading targets with short to medium length kicks.

We saw both game styles have periods of dominance in the first quarter. Chris, Will and Duncan held some ripping long-range marks across our half back while Leeroy, Dylan and Nic worked hard to mop up contested spoils. The Roys had their transition game going off half back and capitalised on central forward entries, scoring 4 goals for the quarter. But STM were hanging tough and their mids were scoring or creating scoring opportunities with their bursts across half forward. Both mids were being stretched defensively.
Roman spoke to Nic at quarter time to hear his thoughts on the first quarter. Nic said, “Good first quarter by our mids. Great pressure around the ball by all of the team. We should look for the ‘switch’ more”.

Quarter time score: Roys 4.1.25 to STM 3.2.20

Quarter 2: Even Contest

The second term was similar to the first. Both teams were playing their own style well, but neither team could break away from the other on the scoreboard. The Roys scored first in the quarter from trademark possession ball movement, then STM scored from their ‘long entry and forward pressure’ style. Led by Solly in the ruck, our mids of Felix, Ned and Seb and wingers Finbar and Josh were playing team-first footy and provided the forwards with conversion opportunities. But the STM mids were just as damaging the other way. It was definitely a balance in the midfield of when to push forward and attack, or when to hold back and defend.
When the siren sounded for half time, both the Roys and STM had kicked three for the term and the Roys led by a single straight kick.

Roman caught up with Seb at half time to hear his thoughts on what the team was doing well and what it could improve on. Seb thought, “The boys are going well. Lots of forward-50 entries. We’re kicking straight and presenting well. But we need to improve our centre clearances. We can do this by playing man-to man and staying on our opponent when we don’t have the ball”.

Half time score: Roys 7.5.47 to STM 6.5.41

Quarter 3: Roys Get a Margin

The third quarter was a terrific team effort from the boys, keeping STM to a solitary point while kicking two majors and opening up a 19-point margin at the break. Our defence remained solid, competing for everything in the air as well as on the ground and rebounding with composure. Our mids kept up the battle with pace in their legs and endeavour in their pressure. And our forwards were working harder than theirs, providing a spark to break the game open. Talls in James, Dan and Archie provided a deep target, Jack and Henry T led up at the ball and Harry often found space on the outer flank.
In hindsight, maybe we needed to capitalise more on the scoreboard than four scoring shots. I think this shows that in this comp, against these teams and quality players, you have to be at your best to impact each contest you compete in. I’m sure opposition coaches speak the same message about the Roys too. As spectators, we are the fortunate ones who get to stand back and watch the high standard being produced.
Roman spoke with Dylan at three-quarter time, asking Dylan how the boys were going physically given the large ground and lack of bench rotations. Dylan said, “Yes, it’s tough without bench rotations today. It’s a big ground and our style is to run all day”.

Three quarter time score: Roys 9.7.61 to STM 6.6.42

Quarter 4: Ran Out of Petrol

Something that requires a significant shout-out is that to three-quarter time of Sunday’s match, the boys had won all 19 quarters they had played this year. To me, this shows the consistency of effort the boys had put in each week, each quarter. But unfortunately this stat was going to end and the 19-lead at the last break wasn’t enough of a margin.
To STM’s credit, they started the last term with the belief that if they kept squeezing, their game style would come over the top of the Roys. Our midfield boys started to tire and STM sensed the falter and went harder. The strength of some of the STM boys was particularly noticeable in the last term. Our backs, led by Chris and Henry H, kept fighting the fight, but the momentum proved too hard to stop with multiple inside-50 entries and even a goal from outside-50.

Overall, it was a fantastic game played by both teams and while our boys were disappointed to lose, I’m sure they’re already working out how to change the result in the next encounter.

Roman spoke to James post game to get his summary on how the boys played today. James said, “We started well and I thought our first three quarters were amazing. We just ran out of energy in the last quarter and got finished off by a very good side”.

Final Score: Roys 9.10.64 to STM 11.9.75

Plays of the Day

Going greedy again with two plays of the day.
The first play of the day goes to Jack and George (Solly’s dad and YJFL’s own David Rodan equivalent). This yarn could end up being bigger than Malcolm Blight’s. Jack had a set shot on goal about 50-m out in the third term. Kicking to the Bob Rose stand-end and into the teeth of stiff West-South-Westerly breeze, Jack let go a 52-m monster drop-punt that cleared the out-stretched hands of the STM defenders. Before George could balance up and signal the goal, the STM supporter base in the stand were already telling him in colourful language that it only required one arm. Well played George in keeping your cool.

I always try to call out a play with the most team connections that results in a goal. We stand apart from the competition on our end-to-end precision ball movement. This week it was late second term. The play started off the back of the grandstand wing when Finbar gathered a contested ground ball and found Ned by foot on centre wing. Ned in turn kicked and found Josh boundary line in front of our forward flank. Josh looked inboard and kicked to Jack who was making space across our 50-mark arc. Quick hands from Jack linked up a running Felix who, in trademark style, fired a left-foot bullet into the out-stretched hands of a leading Henry T. A successful conversion from Henry T put the Roys a goal up going into the half-time break.

From the Hill
Mark (Will) and Will (Chris) were assigned ground-manager duties on Sunday. The two undertook extensive repairs with limited resources to get the ground up to a safe playing standard for the boys. So impressed with the quality of their work, Mark and Will have decided to set up their own
landscaping business.
Passers-by would have been forgiven to casting their minds back 37-years to 1985 when the Roys and the Pies played in a Vic Park local derby (the Roys played home games at Vic Park in 1985-86). Not only was the footy on show of equal quality, but the noise coming from the STM fan-base in the Bob Rose stand was of equal ferocity. Sensing an imbalance, the RHWOF who were positioned in the Coventry Pavilion increased their positive praise decibels, as did this writer and a few other Roys parents situated in the cheap-seats in the southern outer terrace.

Mother’s Day

R5 was Mother’s Day round and the boys certainly made their mums proud with their effort and intent throughout a strong and competitive game. While the boys didn’t win on the scoreboard, the way they handled the defeat with respect and composure was a win in their athlete development.

Player Availability Update
Unfortunately, it seems as though the team will experience a few injuries and niggles each week. We can only hope they’re light and short-term.

Every Roys Player General Soreness

Test for R6 Every Roys Parent General Hoarseness

Test for R6
Noah Atkinson Knee

Test for R6
Josef Hicks H&S Protocols

Test for R6
Roman Moxon Hamstring

Test for R6
Liam Ukovic Rib

Test for R6
Jack Moston Concussion

Pat Cullen Wrist
Second Half of Season

Round 4, 1pm Sunday 1 May 2022

Home at Brunswick St. Oval (BSO) to Glen Iris

Roving Reporter was Harry Kooloos.

Ins & Outs
It was a relatively stable week for team changes with Harry out with a foot injury and Will back from H&S
In: Will Attard
Out: Harry Kooloos
Already Out: Pat Cullen, Josef Hicks

Harry was undergoing a pre-game fitness test, so I caught up with Will before the bounce to hear coach
Courtenay’s key message for the team. Will said, “The coaches want us to come out and tackle and apply a
lot of defensive pressure like we did against Beverley Hills in round 1. Our defence needs to be right on their
opponent, with an arm across them and forcing them wide”.

Quarter 1: Fast Start

The boys were switched on from the first bounce. We’d been a little slow to find our rhythm the previous
two weeks, but there was a sense of urgency this week up against a formidable Glen Iris (GI) opposition. Led
by Noah getting over the top in the ruck, our mids led by Seb used our pacy wingers and flankers out wide in
Finbar, Josh and Henry H, stretching GI before centring to leading forwards of Archie, Jack and Roman, with
the latter two goaling mid-way inside our forward-50. There were many passages of team-oriented footy;
talking, first options, blocks, overlap run, honouring leading targets, creating space, using space etc. The boys
knew GI was on the back foot and they kept pressing. Every element seemed in control. When James took a
couple of contested marks deep forward and goaled, the scoreboard had suddenly ticked over into handy
first quarter lead into a slight but unusual NW breeze.
Harry spoke to Solly at quarter time to hear his thoughts on the first quarter. Solly said, “Good first quarter.
Our kicking was good hitting targets and we held our marks. Need more second efforts”.

Quarter time score: Roys 4.2.26 to Glen Iris 1.1.7

Quarter 2: Phenomenal Team Footy

The boys have been playing some ripping footy if 1.1.7 was the highest first quarter score against them for
the year. This showed the quality of the opposition and that another similar quarter to the first was going to
be necessary to put a margin on the scoreboard. And what we saw was simply amazing. Without question it
was the best quarter of footy by our boys this year. You name a stat and it was in our favour. There were too
many connected plays to name them all. The crowd swelled to a couple of thousand as travellers thought
watching our lads was better footy than heading into Marvel to watch the Pies v Suns. Can’t blame them.
Roman was putting on a clinic, Solly was hitting ruck contests like Shane Mumford, Nic was accumulating in
the mid, Duncan goaled from outside 50 and Josh and Felix finished off team plays that started backward of

We’ve now seen the standard the boys can play to. That level can’t be expected every quarter, every week
against quality opposition, especially as the boys learn different roles across the ground. But no doubt it gives
the boys and the coaches something to strive for as they train and prepare for each match.

Harry caught up with Duncan at half time to hear his thoughts on what the team was doing well and what it
could improve on. Duncan thought, “Our overlap and switch kicking was working well, but we need to centre
our kicks and lower the eyes to lead up targets”.

Half time score: Roys 10.4.64 to Glen Iris 1.2.8

Quarter 3: Rebound Footy

GI are the reigning premiers for a reason and they set about showing us why in the third term. To their credit,
they came out with a want to play better and to play it on their terms. This started by winning more
stoppages, or when they didn’t, by rebounding off their defensive-50 from our turnovers. GI were simply
electric off turnovers. They spread with such speed and intent and now our boys were the ones doing the
chasing. As with last year, we saw GI’s drive starting from the half back. In the first half, our use of hands, hitups or overlap run meant we often kicked over this line, or dragged it wide. But now their pressure on the
ball, as well as up the ground, meant we were kicking to more contests across our CHF line / their CHB line.
Let’s remember this ‘Venus Flytrap’ for our next encounter.
With GI pressing more inside-50s, it was time for our backs to stand up. Chris, Dan and Will defended deep,
Duncan floated for the intercept and Henry T and Leeroy swept and rebounded off the flanks. The backs held
up well against the pressure and weathered the momentum shift. While we outscored GI in the quarter, it
was the first time in 14 quarters that the opposition had more scoring shots than us in a quarter. A credit to
the heat the GI brought.

Harry spoke with Dan at three-quarter time, asking Dan what was the coach’s message to the team in the
huddle? Dan said, “The message was to play hard, to lift our tackle rate and 1-percenters and to improve on
that third-quarter”.

Three quarter time score: Roys 13.4.82 to Glen Iris 3.4.22

Quarter 4: Arm Wrestle

Come the fourth term, forget the scoreboard, it was still game on. Both teams wanted to win the quarter.
The Roys wanted to exert their dominance and GI wanted to plant a seed for our next encounter. GI started
as they finished the third; with the first goal. That’s when Captain Ned said enough. Ned found his run and
willed his team mates to come with him. Obviously Felix did, he never needs an invitation. It wasn’t the best
team footy like we saw in the second quarter, but different scenarios require different strategies. This half
was more of an arm wrestle and the boys wanted to finish ‘over the top’ with weighted pressure. Again, our
backs were desperate. Try telling Liam, Will, Chris and Nic that letting a goal through so late in the game is of
little consequence. They played until that final siren. And when it came, 5 shots to 2 our way vindicated the
boys efforts for the term.

Harry spoke to Noah post game to get his summary on how the boys played today. Noah said, “Overall, we
bought intensity and our pressure was strong. Our ball movement under pressure was good”.

Final Score: Roys 16.6.102 to Glen Iris 4.5.29

Plays of the Day
Two plays of the day this week highlighting the two different halves played.

The first play highlights the Roys signature end to end ball movement with hard-ball gets, precision passing,
lead up marks, overlap run, communication and selflessness that leads to a goal. On this occasion in the
second term, Seb gathered across half back on the grand-stand side and found Felix leading into space on
backward-wing, Felix in turn found Dylan in space on centre wing, Dylan then found Roman on a searching
lead and he gathered across half forward, dishing a quick handball to Henry T running past, Henry T ran
inside-50, drawing a man to release another overlap runner in Josh, who received, steadied and kicked truly
from 35m for an awesome team goal.

The second play highlights the defensive intent needed in the second half. In the last term, GI had a stoppage
about 20m out. They won the contested clearance and their player took a quick snap on goal. Chris was
positioned for safety in our defensive goal square and it took his best Gigi Buffon to achieve an airborne
smother and save a sure goal.
From the Hill

Talk to the players, the coaches, the parents, the grandparents, the boot-studder, the pasta-maker, the
picnic-ers on the hill and even the seagulls on the roof, everyone is enjoying their footy this year. I don’t
reckon it’s about the win loss, it’s about the boys playing footy with their mates and the community around
them that makes that happen. So, with membership of the RHWOF skyrocketing, a catch-up at a local
establishment was called and held post game on Sunday. Attendees have remained very tight lipped but a
few ripper photos have been posted. Well done to the boys for bringing us together.

Player Availability Update
There were a few little niggles to come out of the game. Hopefully, the majority of the boys will be right for
the coming game. It’s worth noting that school sport returns this Saturday. It’s now double fingers-crossed!

Henry Harrison Thumb Test for R5
Josef Hicks H&S Protocols Test for R5
Harry Kooloos Foot Test for R5
Roman Moxon Hamstring Test for R5
Henry Timothee Hand Test for R5
Liam Ukovic Rib Test for R5
Pat Cullen Wrist Second Half of Season

Round 3, 3pm Sunday 24 April 2022

Home at Brunswick St. Oval (BSO) to Richmond

Roving Reporter was Pat Cullen.

Ins & Outs
There were plenty of insfor round 3 with many boys returning from injury, holidays and protocols. There was
one big out, however, with Pat being injured at training. A big thanks to Pat for taking on the ‘roving reporter’
role and getting amongst the boys and having a laugh so quickly after his injury.

In: Dylan Colyer, James Geles, Archie Johnson, Nic Kirmos, Felix Kneipp, Daniel Pako, Seb Wolff

Out: Pat Cullen, Josef Hicks
Already Out: Will Attard

Pre-Game: ANZAC Day Round
A big call out to the league, the club, the parents and the players who, on such a glorious autumn afternoon,
put into perspective how fortunate our lives are with an ANZAC day remembrance ceremony.

Pat caught up with Finbar before the bounce to hear the coach’s key pre-game message. Finbar said, “The
boys need to show respect to our opponent today and to try and keep the ball locked in our forward half”.
For Finbar personally, the coaches wanted him to “Push up the ground offering a lead and to turn back and
crumb across half-forward”.

Quarter 1: The Flood

Richmond (R) wanted to stop the running game style of the Roys at all costs and immediately had players
behind the ball from the get-go. This made for a ‘clogged’ game where R’s mids pushed into our forward line
and R’s forwards pushed into the mid. With such a game plan, R was unlikely to score but, at the same time,
made it difficult for the Roys to either.
Ned called for our boys to maintain our structure and we did so. The mids were doing their best to pick out
a forward target, requiring pin-point passes as the forwards were up against close to half of the R team. On
weight of inside-50 entries, the boys were able to kick 5 for the term with a couple to Jack while Josh got his
first of the season.

Pat spoke to Archie at quarter time to hear his thoughts on the first quarter. Archie said, “That was a lazy
first quarter and we need to improve our performance, particularly we need to lay more tackles”.

Quarter time score: Roys 5.4.34 to R 0.0.0

Quarter 2: Fundamentals

The coaches gave the boys a ‘gentle’ reminder in the quarter time huddle not to drop off on the
fundamentals. Effort, second efforts and tackles were in focus. While we controlled the ball most of the time,
Coach Courtenay still wanted to see that intense pressure the boys had delivered the first two rounds.
Further, the coaches were asking the boys to work through R’s flooding game plan. Instead of re-entering
our forward-50 through the same flank as it came out, to move the ball laterally, switching it across the
midfield and outer wing before entering our forward-50 and into more space. The boys got this right a few
times with Duncan doing this well. Henry T (HT) got on the end of a few and converted truly while Liam got
his first for the season.

Pat caught up with Josh at half time to hear his thoughts on what the team was doing well and what it could
improve on. Josh thought, “We can improve on tackling and second efforts, but thought we had very good
ball movement and lowered our eyes to hit targets”.

Half time score: Roys 9.10.64 to R 0.0.0

Quarter 3: It’s Still Raining

The boys continue to be developed across all positions on the ground. In the third quarter, we had players
like Harry, Chris and Leeroy down back, Jack and Nic in the midfield and Dylan, Henry H (HH) and Dan up
forward. Again, the flooding style of R made it difficult for the boys learn and prosper in new positions, but
they should be commended for the persistence and willingness to learn. No doubt, we’ll see the benefit of
this development as the weeks progress.
The boys toiled away for the quarter, registering 14-shots on goal with 5 majors. R remained scoreless and
their inside-50 count remained in single digits. Noah continued his form in the ruck and gave our mids, like
Felix, first use who was exceptional by foot. The major highlight for the quarter was Seb kicking his first for
the match and for the year from a set shot about 35m out. All the boys ‘got around’ him to celebrate his goal
in his milestone match. Photographer Richard will have a few pics of that no doubt.

Pat spoke with Henry H (HH) at three-quarter time to ask how the boys were best using the dimensions of
BSO. HH said, “We are using the length of the ground to our advantage by kicking long and transitioning the
ball quickly with fast and efficient handballs”.

Three quarter time score: Roys 14.19.103 to R 0.0.0

Quarter 4: The Dam Wall Breaks

We could all see at the start of the last quarter that the boys weren’t done yet. They had ‘un-used’ run in
their legs and had the hunger to play their brand, on their terms, on their turf for the last quarter. Solly hit
the ruck contests with force enabling our runners like Finbar, Ned and HT to move the ball quickly into our
forward-50 before R could set up. This gave Chris and James, who kicked his third in the term, space to move
and lead up forward and it wasn’t long into the quarter before the goals came and kept coming until the final

Archie got his first for the game and the year, Roman kept presenting and converting and Seb got the ‘cream
on his cake’ with 3 goals for the term. All up, it was 9 goals and 3 points for the quarter. The boys had come
up against a different game plan this week and learnt how to conquer it over the course of the match.
A big thanks to the back 6 of Liam, Nic, Dylan, HH, Duncan and Jack for keeping the seagulls off the grass. It
seemed that all boys spent time down back at one stage of the game. By maintaining structure in the back
half, this allowed for more space across the rest of the ground, including the ability to ‘switch’ the ball when

Pat spoke to Ned post game to get his summary on how the boys played today. Ned said, “I think we played
well in the second half, lifting after an early spray from the coaches. We played an amazing last quarter,
increasing our tackles up to 15. Overall, I think it was a good effort and bring on next week”.

Final Score: Roys 23.22.160 to R 1.0.6

Play of the Day

Triple play of the day goes to Seb. Firstly, on celebrating 100 games and sharing the moment with his grand-
parents from England as he ran through the banner. Secondly, a terrific linking play down the outer-wing in the third quarter ended up with Seb marking inside 50, slotting his first goal and then being instantly mobbed
by all his teammates. And finally for Seb, his Gatorade shower as the boys sang the Roys song post-match.

From the Hill
Similar to a cat following the sun around the various windows of the house, the RHWOF were seen moving
around the BSO boundary line, seeking out every ray of sunshine before it dropped below the tram-line
terraces, knowing that this week could be the last week of such experience.

Player Availability Update
Unfortunately, Harry came off in the third quarter with a foot injury he’s been carrying since preseason. Great
to see Felix get through his first game back from injury; playing a half with no rust at all.

Will Attard H&S Protocols Test for R4
Harry Kooloos Foot TBA
Pat Cullen Wrist Second Half of Season

Round 2, 1pm Sunday 10 April 2022

Away at Bulleen Park Oval 3 to Bulleen Templestowe

Roving Reporters were Archie Johnson & Charlie Robbins (U14 superstar)

Ins & Outs

There were plenty of ins and outs heading into the game against Bulleen Templestowe (BT). Injury, holidays and H&S Protocols were the contributing factors. The Roys took 16 players into the game and most of us were surprised to find that was more than the opposition. Playing 15 v 15, the boys were in for a tough afternoon with the temperature in the mid-20s.

In: Henry Harrison, Finbar Kennedy, Liam Ukovic
Out: Will Attard, James Geles, Nic Kirmos, Felix Kneipp (wrist), Seb Wolfe
Already Out: Dylan Colyer, Archie Johnson, Daniel Pako

Pre-Game: Back It Up

With our ‘roving reporters’ busy with pre-game statistics described by them as more complicated than a maths class, I caught up with Coach Courtenay before the bounce to understand the key message he wanted to give the boys before they ran out of the shade and into the sun. “Don’t be complacent today. Focus and treat today’s game with no premeditated thoughts on the opposition. Attack the game with the same level of intensity and effort as the previous week”.

Quarter 1: Then the Runner Came Out

BT started the contest with a competitive spirit, putting pressure on our midfield. It was carbon-copy from the pressure our boys put on Beverley Hills the previous week. Who gave them the tape of our game? While Roman, Ned and Josh were on top at the clearances, BT’s pressure, sometimes perceived, led to a hurriedness in our game. Rather than lowering eyes, we ‘dumped’ our entries into forward 50, making it difficult for the marking forwards of Solly, Jack and Pat. Then, as reward for their effort, BT goaled from a rebound off their defensive 50 and they were on the scoreboard before the Roys.

Then the runner came out. About 5-minutes in, Nathan ran out onto the ground to deliver a message that was plainly written across his face before he had even spoken a word. It wasn’t delivered to a player. It wasn’t delivered to a zone. It was delivered to a team. Immediately, a shift was noticeable. A few positional rotations were made and there was a change in their focus and decision making. While winning the contested ball hadn’t been an issue, now the boys were controlled when using it; listening to voices, using chains of handball, using the space and then lowering eyes to leading forwards. Henry T’s (H’s) composure in the mid was influential.

Once making better decisions, the goals came. George, who’d waited so long to wave the flags, ended the quarter with sore shoulders as the boys put through six for the term. It doesn’t matter who kicks them as it takes a team to set them up but mention must go to Roman who seems to always open our account and, to Jack, who took his own footy out of his back pocket and kicked 4 goals in what seemed as many minutes. Clearances from Ned, H and Duncan gave Jack shots on goal while a great link from our defensive 50 through Liam, Finbar and Duncan gave Jack another. Solly was rewarded for his half forward efforts adding the last and the boys went looking for the shade with a solid quarter time lead.

Archie caught up with Josef at quarter time to hear his thoughts on the first quarter. Josef said, “Our pressure and intensity can lift. We were better in the second half of that quarter when we lowered our eyes”.

Quarter time score: Roys 6.2.38 to BH 1.0.6
Quarter 2: Versatility

In no disrespect to BT, the magnets were thrown up in the air and the starting positions for the second quarter resembled nothing of the first. Chris, Liam, Finbar, Noah and Leeroy went forward while Jack, Duncan, Ned, Harry and Josh went back. Solly rucked to Roman, H, Josef and Henry H (HH) while Pat enjoyed 5-mins of extra Gatorade time before going inter-changing and going forward.

Even with all those changes, the boys didn’t miss a beat and started off where they left off. The backs rebounded in waves when needed, the midfield was again dominant and the forwards had plenty of opportunities. The chain of ball movement was impressive. Chris was outstanding using his voice on long leads, Liam, Finbar and Leeroy added forward pressure and Noah seemed to rise higher than the goal posts on a few occasions.

Showing great versality across all zones, the Roys put through five goals for the quarter with Chris, Finbar and Noah kicking their first goal for the year while Pat kicked his first for the club!

I caught up with Chris at half time to hear his thoughts on what the team was doing well and what it could improve on. Chris thought, “We transitioned the ball well into our forward line and our aerial contests were good. I reckon we can still improve our intensity and our second efforts”.

Half time score: Roys 11.4.70 to BH 2.2.14

Quarter 3: A Different Type of Game This Week

HH was in the stands against Beverley Hills and missed out on the tackle feast that it was. It was no surprise that he came out against BT and wanted to make up for lost time, leading the tackle count. But it was a different game this week. The boys won the clearances and loose ball, meaning they had the ball and were the ones being hunted by the tackler. And with effective decision making and great skill execution, it did seem as though the Roys had it in their hands more often than not. With this, the stats will most likely say that our pressure and tackling count was down from the previous week.

So, it was a different type of game and a different set of skills that was on display. Given 15 v 15, there was more space to run, carry and to lead into. Whether class, fitness, lower player numbers or a combination thereof, the ball carrier was afforded extra time to assess his options. With time and space, it was ‘best option’ today, not so much ‘first option’ like the previous week in a higher pressure and contested game against Beverley Hills. This led to many long chains of ball movement and plenty of one-twos that were a joy to watch. These lads are U15 and you’d pay money to go watch them.

Again, the boys experienced development opportunities across the ground this quarter. Liam found himself rucking a few boundary line throw ins, Jack had a dynamic spurt in the midfield, Leeroy rebounded from down back and H was on the end of some pin-point delivery from Roman, Pat and Josef to kick 3 goals early. Again, the goals flowed from team effort rather than individual effort. And again, as with the previous quarter, there were more boys hitting the scoreboard for the first time this year with HH, Duncan and Harry slotting one each.

Charlie caught up with Leeroy at three-quarter time to ask how the boys were feeling physically given the heat and low player numbers. Leeroy said, “We are sharing the ball around well and running well. Our rotations have helped us”.

Three quarter time score: Roys 18.8.116 to BH 2.4.16

Quarter 4: Perspective

Staring down a 100-point deficit, BT clearly wanted to stay under that barrier and showed courage and spirit to start the last quarter as they did the first. BT threw everything they had at the contest and the first part of the quarter was a real arm wrestle. Instead of pausing to think which they’d eat first, the Humpy Dumpty or Big-Eared Rabbit, our back five of Josef, Josh, HH, Liam and Duncan were suddenly under pressure and knew they had one last quarter to play out before resting over the Easter break. Josh took a few important intercept marks across half back and Josef hunted the ground ball, repelling BT’s forward entries.

Our boys are clearly enjoying their footy and the team that they have formed in 2022. On game day, they speak to each other respectfully, they listen to each other, they work for each other and they celebrate together. Pleasingly, celebrations haven’t been over the top where one could have made excuses had they have been; against an historical benchmark in Beverley Hills and a 100-point win. The boys have enjoyed their wins, but more so, it looks like they’re enjoying their footy and this team with their mates.

With the game beyond all doubt early in the quarter, BT #30 courageously attempted an aerial contest and was involved in a sickening collision with his team mate, suffering breaks to both his nose and lower leg. The game was stopped after the collision. Surely, this act puts into perspective the courage, commitment and resolve these boys bring to game day each week and they deserve every praise afforded to them for this.

Charlie spoke to Liam post game to get his summary on how the boys played today. Liam thought, “The boys played well as a team. It was a solid first quarter, we lifted even more in the second and then carried this attitude into the third and early part of the last. It was a very good win”.

Final Score: Roys 19.9.123 to BH 2.6.18

Play of the Day

Late in the third term, BT had a deep forward 50 entry and looked poised to score. In desperation, Liam got airborne to smother the BT goal attempt and managed to get a finger on it with a behind being registered. Chris, thinking quickly, played on from the behind and found Leeroy who’d made space on the back flank on the coaches-box side. Leeroy turned inboard and found H, back of the centre square. Playing on, H kicked long to Harry who marked high off a long lead, front of the centre square. Landing like a cat, Harry swivelled and spotted up Roman unmarked about 35m out, directly in front. In true team-first play, Roman hand-balled over the top of the mark to Harry who’d ran on forward and Harry straightened to kick an incredible team-first goal that started with self-less defensive effort by Liam.

From the Hill

A member of the RHWOF, placed in the shade but within ear shot of the opposition coaching crew, overhead one coach muttering “what has number 3 eaten for breakfast, or is he on steroids?” On investigation, it has been confirmed that breakfast was a bowl of nutri-grain, two bananas and a couple of pythons. Not to mention a preseason of competitive swimming and personal training from Emma at Progress Coaching!

Player Availability Update

In context, the best news of the day for the Roys was getting through the game with no injuries, particularly in that heat with the low player numbers.

Will Attard Holidays Available for R3
James Geles Holidays Available for R3
Nic Kirmos Holidays Available for R3
Seb Wolfe Holidays Available for R3
Dylan Colyer H&S Protocols Test for R3
Archie Johnson Ankle Test for R3
Daniel Pako Hip Flexor 2 Weeks, test for R3
Felix Kneipp Wrist 3 Weeks, test for R4

Round 1, 1pm Sunday 3 April 2022

U15.1 Match Summary

Home at Victoria Park to Beverley Hills

Roving Reporter was Archie Johnson

Pre-Game: Preparation
I think preparation for the game against Beverley Hills (BH) started Saturday night at the team BBQ at the
Fitzroy Bowlo. While captain Ned was confident the Roy boys would perform, he led a calmness across the
group to which the team followed. You wouldn’t have thought they were up against the all-conquering BH
the next day. My take was Ned believed the team were ready; they’d bonded well and had put in a massive
pre-season effort. It looked as though the team, including some 11 changes, took Ned’s cue and also believed.
The pre-game warm up gave further insight into the boy’s preparation; they warmed up with intent and
encouragement, they ran the drills independently, they were looking for a bag to hit, they were switched on.
Without starting with the finish, coach Courtney summed it up quite simply in his post-match debrief, “You
get nothing in life for free, you have to work for it, you have to put in all the effort before you get the reward”.
In hindsight, looking back at the pre-game build up, it is now clear that the boys had done a lot of hard work
to be ready for round 1.

Quarter 1: Intensity
Our ‘roving reporter’, Archie, caught up with Felix before the first bounce to get an insight on how the team
wanted to start. Felix said, “For the first quarter we have to dominate out of the midfield, have good team
spirit and play team football by backing the jumper”.
BH started well winning the first few stoppage contests but each time were met with immediate defensive
pressure and fierce tackling intent by the boys. Clearly, all the mids were on the same page as Felix in that
the midfield battle was crucial to win early. The tackling and second and third efforts were at such an
intensity, coach Courtenay thought it’d measure close to 200 on the AFL Pressure Gauge.
With this pressure, the Roys mids of Roman, Felix and Ned started to beat BH to the loose ball, leading to a
few forward entries. But while Solly, Jack, Pat and Henry presented well, they found it difficult to mark the
new, hard, damp and un-kicked-in Sherrin. Ball on ground, the forwards worked hard to keep it locked in, a
key focus area for improvement for the team from last year. This forward line pressure allowed the mids to
set up structurally across the ground and then the defence behind them. With that structure in place, it was
only a matter of time before the Roys hit the scoreboard, first Jack with an unlucky poster and then majors
from Roman with a booming punt from 45m and then Solly converting after from a strong mark 20m out in
Archie caught up with Harry at quarter time to hear his thoughts on the first quarter. Harry said, “We
displayed strong pressure when we were in out-numbered contests and we kept the ball in our half of the
ground with forward pressure and good structure behind the ball”.

Quarter time score: Roys 2.3.15 to BH 0.1.1

Quarter 2: Momentum
The second quarter started off as the first finished with no lapse in the intensity from the boys. Working as a
team, the boys were able to build their collective pressure acts into real momentum. Noah led the way with
his ruck domination and a chain of play from a stoppage from Noah to Roman, to Josh, to Henry to James led
to James’ first goal for the club and a nice little 20pt lead. It was great to see all the boys ‘get around’ James
for his first goal.
Down back, the six were working just as hard. Joseph saved a certain goal with a smother inside defensive
50, Nic was using his pace to run down opponents, Seb and Duncan controlled the air and Chris and Will set
up beautifully for both BH’s errant forward entries and our rebound out of defensive 50. Then out on the
wings, Josh and Harry were using their speed to link up the defensive rebounds into the midfielders. Both
showed tremendous courage at times to chase, tackle and compete with bigger bodies.
With our structures and leadership working well across every line, the scoring came easier. After James’ goal,
we had another one to Roman, a clever handball receive from a Solly mark, then two to Felix in succession;
the first a trade-mark snap and the second is described later in the Play of the Day.
In a statement of how well the boys had played the first half, it wasn’t until after the half time siren that BH
kicked their first goal from a contested mark inside their forward 50. It was only their third scoring shot for
the half!
Archie caught up with Roman at half time to hear his thoughts on what the team was doing well and what it
could improve on. Roman thought, “Our pressure on the opposition was huge, but the play out of the backline
needs slow down, taking more control instead of rushing”.

Half time score: Roys 6.3.39 to BH 1.2.8

Quarter 3: Absorbing the Heat
After the first half, even the spectating pigeons on the roof knew BH would come out and give it everything
they had to try and claw back into the game. And they did. BH hit the stoppages hard and used their pace to
break away from the contest and had repeat forward 50 entries. But the Roys back six stood firm and
absorbed the heat. Will, Seb and Duncan were the first line of defence across half back and repelled many
shallow entries with telling marks. Nic, Josef and Chris were there to support if it went deeper, sweeping up
the crumbs and releasing to wingers Josh and Harry. In a sign of their resilience, it wasn’t until about the 7-
minute mark that BH finally got their second major to be four goals adrift. But before BH’s belief could catch
fire, Noah won the centre hit out and Roman delivered a forward ball for Henry to run onto and he snapped
truly for the best reply within 30-seconds.
After that 10-minute onslaught, the Roys slowly worked their way back on top at the contest, led by Leeroy,
Ned and Felix who demanded the team lift the pressure gauge once again, leading by example with plenty of
talk, run-down tackles, smothers and getting the ball out of play. And didn’t the Roy crowd acknowledge their
efforts. At CHF, Pat was coming into his own and took a few good grabs and brought many others to his feet,
helping lock the ball in our forward line. The boys kicked a few points, but to finish of the quarter with four
scoring shots to two, showed the resilience of the team to absorb a momentum change and then to wrest
back control.
Archie caught up with Leeroy at three-quarter time to get his comments on that last quarter. Leeroy said,
“We have to keep putting pressure on the ball at the contest, lowering our eyes and looking for players and
going the first option”.

Three quarter time score: Roys 7.6.48 to BH 2.3.15

Quarter 4: Control
Learning from the third quarter, the last quarter was all about control; controlling the stoppages, spending
time with the ball and controlling the pace of the game. And to Leeroy’s three-quarter time comments, the
boys lowered their eyes and chipped it around. Perfect example was Seb’s inside 50 to Jack then onto Leeroy
for a well-deserved goal.
Noah seemed to grow throughout the game and dominated each ruck contest by the end, palming with ease
to Henry, Seb and Ned who set up forward entries to Pat, Jack and James with Roman putting the cream on
top with two final term goals from great forward half pressure to run out 53-point winners.
It was only when half the team seemed to simultaneously cramp at once about 5-minutes from full-time did
we all remember that the boys played the entire match without any bench rotations.
No doubt for Archie, his best interview was catching up with Jack after the final siren and a victory for the
Roys. Jack thought, “The Roys speed of play, running with the ball and link-ups from leads put constant
pressure on BH. Out of the backline, our execution of skills and movement into the forward 50 was good.
Plus, our second and third efforts at the contest”.

Final Score: Roys 10.9.69 to BH 2.4.16

Play of the Day
While there were many feats of individual brilliance and plays with two-way connections, the play of the day
this week included a chain of seven team mates, possibly more when considering others who may have
blocked, shepherd or used their voice to contribute.
Late in the second term, BH ran through the centre and kicked long into our back line. Set up superbly, both
Nic and Joseph spoiled the BH marking attempt. Duncan crumbed the spoil on our defensive 50, turned and
spotted up Chris with a 20m left foot chip. Chris marked lace-out at the back of the outer wing and similarly
chipped to Harry now in space on centre wing. Harry marked and, sensing the overlap space with his
opponent caught in between, spun immediately and played on, assessing his forward options as he ran. Henry
watching this chain unfold from inside our 50 forward, had already taken off, leading into space and
presenting Harry with an option wide on our outer forward 50, sliding in to complete the mark. Realising
Henry was too far out to score, Felix, who had been running through the mid as this chain was linking,
presented Henry with a centring option about 35m out and his lead was honoured. After a few calming
breaths, Felix measured up the 45-degree angle and, starting the ball left goal post, let his natural arch and
the prevailing southerly bring the ball back through the goals. It was a brilliant team goal that put the Roys
six goals up late in the second term.

From the Hill
Several members of the RHWOF, taking advantage of the layered standing room of the Vic Park ground,
strategically positioned themselves in ear shot of the BH coaching dug-out. Not to gain footy intel, but to
propel their voices in constant cheer at the efforts of the boys as they competed up and down the wing,
ensuring the coaches understood that our boys were on top.
We all felt for George, Solly’s dad, on Sunday. George is one of the best goal umpires the Roys have in their
fraternity and had spent all week trying to obtain a ‘Working With Children Check’ in readiness to wave the
flags. But George turned up Sunday all loose and limbered only to find his services weren’t required as Statler
and Waldorf, the two Vic Park resident goal umpires, had been assigned goal-umpiring duties. While the pair
were late out at half-time, my sources tell me George had nothing to do with it. Here’s hoping we don’t have
back-to-back fixtures at Vic Park.

Player Availability Update
Unfortunately, Felix suffered a buckle fracture of the wrist on Sunday in the last quarter. Felix had run BH off
their legs, controlled the corridor so efficiently and kicked two. As with our other injured players, we all feel
Felix’s disappointment with him and hope for a speedy recovery. As both players and parents understand, if
you want to know how much playing footy with your mates means, go try talk to one of the boys post-match
after their injury. Let’s be mindful of including the injured boys in all aspects of club life and game day.

Liam Ukovic H&S Protocols Test
Dylan Colyer H&S Protocols Test
Henry Harrison Wrist Test
Finbar Kennedy Foot Test
Archie Johnson Ankle 1 Week
Daniel Pako Hip Flexor 2-3 Weeks
Felix Kneipp Wrist To Be Assessed

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