U14 Girls Division 1 2023
Coach: Sam Tram
0413 524 928
Assistant Coach: Jon Armstrong
Team Manager: Tamara Hodgson
Team Manager: Jess Scott
Trainer: Julie Graney
Trainer: Emilia Ruben
Trainer: Doug McClurg
Team Page Editor: Helen Kooloos
Team Photographer: Brigid Tram
#1 Lila Kooloos
#2 Kitty Kelly
#3 Alex Tsanatelis
#4 Zosia Hodgson
#5 Eve Tram
#6 Charlotte Hamilton
#7 Tia Crowe
#8 Sophie Sherlock
#9 Avie Pearson
#10 Bobby James
#11 Bella Fittolani
#12 Rose Lewis
#13 Evie Scott
#15 Edie Donovan
#16 Millie Thomas
#17 Tessa Berryman
#18 Evie Goodsir
#21 Abigail Armstrong
#22 Amelia Derrick
#24 Stella McClurg
#26 Zara Ferrante
#27 Abuk Jador Ayuel
Presentation Day - 17 September 2023
The season closed where it began: at Ramsden Street, when all Fitzroy teams celebrated their achievements in 2023.
Weekly votes (parents and coaches) had been tallied to produce a Best and Fairest winner and runner up:
• Tessa (1st), capping off a remarkable season.
• Sophie (runner up), for a fine season. Also kicked
the most goals (12).
Other winners were:
• Coaches Award (AKA 3rd place): Millie.
• Best Team Person was a tie, between Kitty and Zosia.
Well done to those girls, and well done to everyone. Individual honours don’t exist without the efforts of your teammates.
Round 14 - Fitzroy vs Canterbury - 13 August 2023
Canterbury 7.9.51 def Fitzroy 4.2.26
Captain Lila led the team on to Ramsden for the final game of the season. Neither team could make finals, so instead were vying for 5th place. Ideal conditions prevailed, and we had a bench for the first time in ages.
The first quarter opened with an early goal to Eve, a reply from the Cobras, and then an extended arm wrestle. It was an even contest with fierce tackling from Zosia a highlight. But just when we thought a pattern had been set, Canterbury snuck through a couple of easy goals.
In the second quarter Sophie showed that the pavilion end was the place to be with two terrific goals that brought us right back into it. Tia’s tapping and tackling went up a few notches, Tessa was firing, and Abigail applied the screws to deny them an almost certain goal. It was satisfying to go to the long break with the scores so tight.
Momentum swung again in the third as Canterbury pulled away with a few goals, meaning we had some catching up to do. But our quarter highlight was Evie Scott’s intercept mark at CHB, a screamer in fact. As good as you’ll ever see in a U14 comp.
We hoped to erase the deficit in the final quarter, but that old bogey reared its head again: not converting from numerous forward entries. Zara’s running goal late in the piece was great to watch though.
Season lesson: we’re a good defensive team, but don’t score enough. We simply don’t use our forward entries to advantage. We’ll put that thought in the time capsule – something to laugh about in 12 months’ time.
Goals: Sophie 2, Eve 1, Zara 1
Round 13 - Fitzroy vs Hawthorn Citz - 6 August 2023
Fitzroy 4.8.32 def Hawthorn Citz 3.5.23
Captain Evie Scott led the team on to Ramsden via a joint 50 game banner shared with Lila. Sophie returned from injury, but we were still short-handed (e.g. no Tessa).
The coaches had decided it was time to move the magnets around, mainly on the forward line to break the cycle of unproductive forward entries. A key element was trying Abigail at full forward and rotating other girls through the half forward line. This worked: she soon kicked the first goal of her career, and the forward line was more open.
However, the Citz regrouped in the second quarter, and while Avie was minimising the damage on the goal line, they were moving the ball out of the middle too easily. More mag board action was required at the long break, and it worked.
Hawthorn Citz didn’t score after half time and we got the win. A functioning forward line made all the difference.
Sophie returned from injury and had a monster day, including a couple of goals. Lila had a big day off half-back, and Edie’s second half was terrific. But everyone contributed to a solid win.
Goals: Sophie 2, Abigail 1, Eve 1
Round 12 - Fitzroy vs Balwyn-Greythorn - 30 July 2023
Balwyn-Greythorn 5.9.39 def Fitzroy 1.1.7
Captain Charlotte led the team on to Ramsden. Windy again, and the unbeaten Jets again. Was it Groundhog Day?
With such a long injury list we called on U13 guests Bella Novello and Heidi, who performed very well against the best in the biz.
The Jets had the wind first up and put our defence under enormous pressure. But the girls were defiant, with Avie and Lila spoiling several goals on the line. The scoreline at the break could have been very ugly, but stout defence minimised the damage.
Thereafter it was an even contest. We had our usual trouble with the Ramsden wind, particularly in the final quarter when we simply couldn’t convert.
Goals: Zara 1
Round 11 - Parkside vs Fitzroy - 23 July 2023
Parkside 2.5.17 def Fitzroy 1.1.7
Captain Zara led the team on to Bundoora Park Oval via her 50th game banner. This was a mystery ground for us, and still is – the ground is in an appalling state. But it’s the same for both teams.
This was a grim struggle with no goals kicked after quarter time. Indeed, Parkside’s couple of early snaps proved to be the difference between the two teams. It didn’t help that we were missing so many players. Our #1 mudlark (Sophie) watched the game on crutches, lamenting her cruel fate. Alex (knee) and Amelia (moonboot) also watched on. And with Evie Scott unavailable, the forward line struggled to convert from repeated entries.
Zosia played a blinder and Eve snapped one of her trademark goals.
Goals: Eve 1
Round 10 - Fitzroy vs Camberwell - 16 July 2023
Camberwell 5.9.39 def Fitzroy 3.4.22
Captain Tessa led the team on to Ramsden on yet another windy day. Tia returned, giving Millie a breather after rucking solo for several weeks. It’s great to have a dual ruck combination.
This was an even contest. Evie Scott was proving a handful at CHF, with fierce tackling and a couple of goals. Tessa and Amelia were damaging around the ground, and everyone stuck to their task until the final siren.
But it was the same old story with the Ramsden wind: when kicking with the wind we get bogged down in our forward line, whereas the opposition kicks goals.
Goals: Evie Scott 2, Eve 1
Round 9 - Fitzroy vs Beverley Hills - 25 June 2023
Beverley Hills 6.1.37 def Fitzroy 3.6.24
Captain Millie led the team on to Ramsden via her 50th game banner. Most of those games were with Northcote Cougars, but fortunately she’s one of us now. So good to have two genuine rucks on the list.
Many girls were unavailable, but fortunately some U13s could join us: Bella Novello and Lily Ballard. Both would play important roles against a quality outfit.
Beverley Hills won the toss and didn’t hesitate to kick with the big North wind. But our girls were prepared, with defenders pressing back hard and forwards avoiding big bombs. So it was that short kicks found Millie close to goal and she kicked truly. Intelligent football.
We had the wind in the second, but apart from a Sophie snap just couldn’t convert. Although scores were level at half-time, we could have established a handy lead by then. Zosia’s tackling and Lila’s stout defence were highlights.
The third quarter started like the first, but when Evie Scott went down our structures were suddenly compromised. Evie had come into her own at CHF, causing Beverley Hills all sorts of headaches. But once she left the ground our opponents exploited the confusion and helped themselves to three long goals.
Although we had the wind in the last and Evie returned to the field, forward conversion continued to let us down. Tessa was tackling like a maniac and Bella Novello snapped a late goal, but it was all too late. Maybe we tired, having no bench against a very good team. But one thing’s for sure: Millie’s 50th was a blinder.
Goals: Millie 1, Sophie 1, Bella Novello 1
Round 8 - Park Orchards vs Fitzroy - 18 June 2023
Fitzroy 7.10.52 def Park Orchards 2.7.19
Captain Abigail led the team on to Domeney Oval via her 50th game banner. Like Charlotte, Abs first played in 2018 (U10Gs) and has rarely missed a game since.
The unbeaten Park Orchards was a mystery to us, as we’d never played them before. We had plenty of girls unavailable too, being down to only 14. Fortunately, Bella Novello was able to join us, rushing from her 13Gs game. And Edie returned from the bush for her first game since Round 1 – talk about good timing!
The first half was a terrific contest all over the ground, with the Sharks aerial supremacy negated by our quality groundball. We’ve been working on ‘clean hands’ and it’s starting to pay off. Tessa kicked her first goal in Fitzroy colours, Evie Scott and Bella were proving a handful up forward, and the defenders were holding the line. Unfortunately, we lost Kitty for the day.
Scores were level at half time, but then the game changed. Partly due to some positional moves, with Eve at full forward, Amelia on the wing and Lila as a running half back. They all worked, and complemented Millie’s ruck work, the gut-running of the mids, and Abigail’s master class at full back. Eve goaled, Sophie goaled, Edie ran down opponents, and Zosia and Zara went Shark hunting.
The final quarter was a treat to watch as the girls took charge. We may have had no bench, but ‘big tanks’ make up for it. The open forward line saw goals to Millie (nicely assisted by Charlotte), Sophie and Eve. Nothing wrong with our fitness: they could have played another quarter! Indeed, looking over the season to date, our fourth quarters are often our best.
So, Park Orchards can be beaten, with the secret ingredient being teamwork.
Goals: Eve 2, Sophie 2, Tessa 1, Evie Scott 1, Millie 1
Round 7 - Balwyn-Greythorn vs Fitzroy - 4 June 2023
Balwyn-Greythorn 7.10.52 def Fitzroy 0.4.4
Captain Zara led the team on to Gordon Barnard Reserve for another bout with the undefeated Jets. Talk about a yardstick: every team wonders how to defeat the undefeated. Or even get within five goals of them.
We have a simple plan: do your best and have fun out there. You can’t ask for more than that.
Both sides were down to 15 players, so no bench to worry about. Millie to half back is a default position against the Jets, and she excelled (again). Avie did well at full back and ensured that easy goals were hard to come by – despite the brilliance of their forward entries. Stacking the backline matters against the Jets, as their goal assists are more impressive than their goals.
The game was lost in the second and third quarters, with the Jets able to keep the scoreboard ticking over whereas we found it difficult to convert. Partly due to inexperience, whereby too many players get sucked into the contest. Not Lila though – she continued her fine season, showing poise and positioning throughout.
The final quarter was a cracker. We easily won the inside 50s but kicked behinds instead of goals. Some improvement though, given that it’s the Jets, a team at the height of its powers. We’re closing the gap.
Round 6 - Fitzroy vs Parkside - 28 May 2023
Fitzroy 6.11.47 def Parkside 4.7.31
Captain Tessa led the team on to Ramsden via her 50th game banner. Most of those games were with Brunswick Dragons, where she learnt her craft. We’re so glad she decided to cross the Sydney Road ‘ditch’.
A good thing about staying in the same division is familiarity with other clubs. Parkside for example – we know them well and can make suitable adjustments. So it was that we rejigged the spine: Avie to full back, Abigail to centre half back, Millie to centre half forward and Evie Scott to full forward. All these moves paid off. Ah, stability!
The first quarter was a blitz: we kicked five goals, shared by Zara, Evie S and Sophie. There was no wind to speak of, nor sun. Simply a Fitzroy clinic, and we hope to see many more. The lessons of previous weeks had been heeded, with our mids on fire and our forwards clicking.
Like all good teams Parkside regrouped at the break and lifted all over the ground. Suddenly our defence was under pressure but held up valiantly. Alex saved a couple of goals on the line before having to leave at half time. Efficient.
The third quarter settled into an even contest all over the ground. Tia and the mids were going in hard, and the defence held up well with Avie’s marking and Charlotte’s tackling prominent. And down forward Stella was playing her best game to date. Sophie snapped a wonderful goal, but Parkside whittled our lead down to only ten points.
The final quarter was another of those lock-the-ball-in-our-forward-line affairs. Six behinds to ziltch was not a true reflection of our dominance, but at least we got the win. It had been a month since the girls had belted out the song, and knocking off Parkside shows that we’re on the rise.
Tessa was a deserved winner of the Joe Johnson medal. A stellar performance in her 50th.
Goals: Zara 2, Evie Scott 2, Sophie 2
Round 5 - Camberwell vs Fitzroy - 21 May 2023
Camberwell 6.9.45 def Fitzroy 1.2.8
Captain Charlotte led a depleted team on to Lynden Park. Illness and injury had hit us hard, but that happens. Other players step up and we carry on. Such as Rose, who played a thoughtful game, a team game.
Unfortunately, we let the Sharks snap some easy goals in the first quarter before we switched on. Sure, it was an early start, but the same goes for both teams. Then Kitty came to life and goaled – the start of a big game from her.
In the second we did not exploit our repeated forward entries. The opposition defence held firm, but we could have penetrated if we’d had our kicking boots on. A pattern was now established: getting plenty of touches, with fierce tackling and pressure all over the ground. But ordinary disposal let the Sharks in and they would score.
Special mention for Tessa, Millie, Lila and Zara who gave everything they had with no prospect of a rest. Also, to Avie who took care of business at full back, including some booming kick ins.
The injury list will shrink, we’ll iron out a few wrinkles, and come out firing next week.
Goals: Kitty 1
Round 4 - Fitzroy vs Beverley Hills - 14 May 2023
Beverley Hills 8.4.52 def Fitzroy 4.8.32
Captain Sophie led the team on to Ramsden, where the weather had turned it on for a glorious Mother’s Day. With several girls missing it was fortunate that Bella (13Gs) was available.
We opened brightly and had established a good lead at the first change. But BH quickly turned the tables in the second, and the pattern was established with almost all goals kicked at the city end. So we needed to take our chances in the third. BH are a powerful team: drop your intensity and they’ll cruel you on the scoreboard.
It was busy between the arcs. Tia dominated the ruck (again), Sophie and Tessa were racking up hard-fought possessions, and Eve showed that she’s more than an outside player these days. The more girls able to play in the ‘cauldron’ the better.
We’re settling girls into positions now – the days of mag board mazurka are over. Millie and Amelia at half back appeals, and Evie Scott at CHF has enormous potential. We can see a spine emerging, which works for the whole team, and helps the less experienced girls develop their footy IQ.
It was no surprise that we dominated the forward entries in the third, and although Sophie and Evie Scott snapped truly, our conversion was ordinary. BH made us pay in the last by kicking a few quick ones at the scoring end, despite some stoic defence from Abigail and co. We need to work on our goal kicking yips.
But we don’t need to work on resilience. Trainer Emilia and the medic were kept busy dealing with a stream of injuries: Zara seemed gone for the day (then came back on), same goes for Kitty and Tessa. Neither Evie G nor Sophie was permitted to return but stayed upbeat. Our girls are made of tough stuff.
Looking forward to meeting BH again.
Goals: Sophie 2, Evie Scott 2
Round 3 - Fitzroy vs Balwyn Greythorn - 7 May 2023
Parkside 7.6.48 def Fitzroy 1.2.8
Captain Zara led the team on to Ramsden against the reigning champs, the Jets. It was windy of course, but it’s our wind. We train with it, we whiteboard it, and whatever else you do with wind.
The set up was perfect for the tough and exciting game that unfolded: 15 v 15 with no bench, rep players on every line, and some of our girls about to deliver break out games. Tia for example, was playing just her seventh game (three of them being against the Jets) and rucking the house down against a top shelf opponent. And then the surprise packet up forward, Bella, who somehow managed to materialise wherever the ball went. Also in her seventh game, Bella seems to have located a portal at Ramsden Street.
It looks like we’ve got a Gang of Four in the middle now: Tessa, Sophie, Zara and Lila. That’s a good number for confusing the opposition and managing fatigue. It also produced some wonderful passages of play with Tia winning the hit out and a chain of handballs moving the ball into the forward line. Now we need to work on our forward craft, as conversion from multiple entries is letting us down on the scoreboard.
Special mention for Amelia and Millie at half back. A contrast in styles: Amelia with her deft timing unnerving the Jets, while Millie swoops in from any direction like a flying carpet. Settling the defence is a priority: dour full backs plus colourful half backs could be the right formula.
We’re getting closer to the Jets, and the scoreboard was not a true reflection of a spirited contest. They’re the benchmark, but that can change.
Goals: Zara 1
Round 2 - Parkside vs Fitzroy - 30 April 2023
Parkside 3.4.22 def Fitzroy 0.5.5
Captain Charlotte led the team on to Pitcher Park, by leaping through her 50th game banner. Charlotte first played in 2018 (U10Gs) and has hardly missed a game since. She’s the first of many 50 gamers this season so the crepe paper is going to get a decent work out.
This was also Millie’s first game since transferring across, while Stella last played in 2021.
Parkside is another old rival with a winning record against us, typically in hard fought contests. And while the scoreboard suggested more of the same, this time the script was different. Parkside snapped three early goals, then a goalless arm-wrestle followed. Come the last quarter the ball was living in our forward 50 but we couldn’t find the big sticks – same as last week. They flooded our forward line – something we’re not used to – and we kicked behinds when we needed goals.
Tessa and Sophie put on a clinic (again), while Zara, Eve and Lila tried hard to drag us over the line. Zosia continued her sparkling early season form, combining well with Abigail, Avie and Amelia in defence. When Tia went down injured, Millie took over the ruck duties and quelled the Parkside giants. She’s lion-hearted, our Millie. Ditto for Tessa, Sophie and Alex.
We didn’t win, but we had our chances. Time to work on structures up forward and down back. Time to bring out the white board.
Round 1 - Fitzroy vs Ashburton - 23 April 2023
Fitzroy 9.15.69 def Ashburton 0.3.3
Captain Sophie led the team on to Ramsden Street Oval for the season opener. Sophie, Tessa and Alex had joined us over the summer, bringing plenty of experience with them. Invaluable experience that showed when Sophie, Tessa and Zara put on a ball movement clinic.
We’ve been on the losing end of some good battles with the Redbacks in the past, but not anymore. As the game wore on, we gained the ascendancy, until the last quarter when the ball lived in our forward line.
Kitty was a revelation at full forward, Tia owned the ruck, Evie Scott is developing a super boot, and Zosia is reading the play better than ever. We could have won by a country mile, but our 4th quarter goal kicking let us down. Happens in AFL/AFLW though, right?
A great ANZAC Day win – something else that Zosia read well on the day.
Goals: Kitty 3, Evie Scott 2, Zara 2, Sophie 1, Bella 1.