With all teams playing away for Round 1 across the Orthodox Easter, we travelled far and wide to spread the good Wellers word. Regrettably Old Ivanhoe Thirds couldn’t join the congregation, forfeiting the game due to lack of numbers. Ben Ebbage and his men are itching to get started and will bag the four points and move on.
As with many away fixtures, results varied and many lessons were learnt. It was a famous win for our Senior Women’s Team, who knocked off the Division 1 Premiers St. Mary’s, that will be long remembered. This team are remarkable in their determination to fight. Just as incredible was over 20 new players pulling on our colours and playing their first game for the Wellers. Congratulations to each and everyone one of them and please come down to GBO for our first home game this Saturday.
Our Men’s Seniors and Reserves came up against a rampaging Williamstown away. We offer no excuses but must acknowledge that with the disbanding of the VFL Reserves league, several suburban VAFA clubs have benefited and Williamstown will be a dominant force in 2018. What matters is that we learn from our experience, continue to develop our brand of football and commit to a strong performance this week. I’ve no doubts we’ll do that.
Apologies for my brevity this week. I’m on a family holiday this week but look forward to the Friday Preview which will include the Volunteer Roster. We need your support this year.
Don’t forget – OCGAFC GALA BALL – Saturday May 26th – book your tickets ASAP and join us.
Tickets and info available here
Come on the Wells.
After a long preseason and some 30 odd training session it was time to put all that hard work into practice. The sun shone brightly and the wind was slight creating just about perfect conditions to start a new year and kick off the season against Williamstown.
We started positively with young forward Lachie Powell booting the first goal of the game and looking lively early in the game. While we stayed with our opponents early we realised it was going to be a tough day ahead given Williamstown’s strong off- season recruiting and talent on every line. They started to dominate in the middle and gain repeat entries into a dynamic forward line. They were swarming us, gaining the ascendancy through big bodies and strong running and we struggled to stop their momentum.
Intense pressure brings mistakes and our skills dropped under the strain allowing Willy to score from turnovers. While our endeavour and spirit never waned, we battled to contained them and the break didn’t help. Already under pressure, our cause wasn’t helped through several injuries to key runners and Willy come out hard kicking 16 goals to 4 and taking control of the contest. It was a lesson in hard running and precision disposal.
As you would expect, our boys were disappointed with the result but we know there’s a long way to go and know we’re a good side who will improve and learn from the game. We promised a more committed effort in the coming weeks and will deliver. Nick Adamson was a shining light up forward with 5 majors well supported by Lachie Powell with 3. Rob Deev was solid down back as always and Nick Latsas strong through the middle.
We’re looking forward to an improved performance against Mentone away this week.
Goal Kickers: N. Adamson 5, L. Powell 3
Best Players: N. Adamson, L. Powell, C. Wilson, S. Bennett, R. Deev, J. Arnold
Women’sPromotion to a higher division and a long off season did nothing to slow down the women of Old Camberwell, as the Senior team recorded an impressive win over St Mary’s Salesian – the reigning premiers from the division above us. Emulating last year’s feats may not come easy, but there was certainly no premiership hangover on display in Round 1 as the Seniors soured St Marys’ 2017 flag unfurling.
The lack of preseason match practice didn’t seem to hamper the Seniors as the attacking intent and defensive stability that was a hallmark of 2017 was evident from the first bounce. The returning midfield trio of Booth, Green and S. Anjou were joined by the silky Fortunato – one of six debutants – and were quick to dominate the clearances. This provided a new look forward line with a constant supply of forward entries. Starting Anderson and E. Defina alongside key forward Robison at half forward proved to be effective. They were difficult to contain and key to our three first-quarter goals.
The pressure continued into the second as we added a further two goals to a single point. Burke, another debutant, came off the bench to provide 2018’s first highlight – a goal in her first game of Senior football. In defence we were equally as stubborn and determined. A completely new full back line of Sam Bangs, C. Wilson and Mcinerney seamlessly replaced last year’s lauded starting premiership trio. Mcinerney, in particular, put in an impressive debut at full back. Anything stopped by the full back line was transitioned quickly through a classy halfback line of S. Defina, Gabi Opray and Elovaris.
The hard work gave us a comfortable halftime lead as the afternoon sun began to heat up. However, any sense of confidence gained from the first half quickly evaporated in the third quarter as St Marys worked their way back into the contest. As could be expected, given the conditions and lack of match practice, our skills dropped off, poor decision making and accountability creeped into our play, and our legs began to tire. St Marys capitalised on this and were relentless in their attack, kicking two goals to close the gap to eight points at the last change.
A sense of frustration was felt on the bench, which was definitely unusual for the coaches. The message in the huddle was to demand more of yourself individually, demand more of your team mates, and of the team as a collective. The first-year excuses should no longer be accepted, it was time to get serious. Impressively, the playing group took this on board and responded positively.
Despite not being able to turn St Marys’ momentum, we held strong, as we so often did last year, and ground out what was an extremely satisfying win given the circumstances. Across the ground, everyone contributed. Our depth is pleasing, with returning players such asEdwards, Mohamed, Soph Bangs, Harper and Sloane all demonstrating what a year of experience offers. While all our Senior debutants mentioned above, plus Brazzale, Smith and Sallows put in fantastic performances and should be proud of their efforts. We expect these girls, along with the 20-odd new faces who played in the Reserves or who were unavailable, to develop quickly and push for Senior selection over the course of the season.
It was a fitting result, which demonstrates the potential of this group, as well as what is required to take the next step in what will be a much more competitive division. We should demand more of ourselves in 2018, but have belief that we have earned our position and should rightly command the respect of the rest of the division. Having knocked off the reigning premiers, we will now be the hunted. Thanks to all supporters and helpers who came on Saturday, it was fantastic as always.
On a side note, congratulations to our Senior leadership group for 2018. We have reappointed Steph Defina as captain, Maggie Wilson and Lou Anderson as deputies, as well as adding Sam Anjou.
Goal Kickers: L. Anderson 3, R. Green, I. Burke
Best Players: L. Anderson, D. Booth, A. Robison, R. Green, E. Defina, S. Defina
Our boys enjoyed an early season trip across the Yarra to journey to the Fearon Reserve, nestled along the Williamstown bay beach area. With the sun shining bright, & a smart “deck” & most importantly … no wind, the boys were up for a contest against the CYs.
Whilst not wishing to make too many excuses they ran out onto the ground, looking big, strong and fit! We observed that they were playing past senior premiership players, so we knew we were up for a challenge. With the addition of a number of last years Under 19s players joining the team, Mike Schuman, Will Dalrymple, Rob West, along with a couple of quality recruits (Jimmy Wilson, Ruck, Nick Benson, Defender, Matt Vogel, midfielder returning from overseas, Alex Bongiorno returning from overseas and Ben Williams), we hit the ground running with a established team who had finished last season strongly to play finals.
Ultimately, whilst the team showed great endeavour on the day, the systems and structures talked about failed to come into play regularly enough and we found ourselves consistently playing the ball forward to their defensive “plus one”, which was frustrating to say the least & this enabled the CYs to build their offensive forays from across half back. At half time we went into the long break 34 points in arrears.
To the side’s great credit, the boys fought out the second half far more in keeping with everyone’s expectations and players such as Scotty Kaiser up forward started to get their hands on the footy & look dangerous around goal. He kicked 2 in the back half from 5 attempts, perhaps highlighting a missed pre-season, however his cat like movements in the forward half were much welcomed by the rest of the team.
Better Players on the day were midfielders Tom & Matt Vogel, Sammy Boyce, Jon Huntsman, Will Dalrymple & Jimmy Wilson, who consistently gave us first use out of the middle, in the Ruck.
A positive to finish was the fact that we outscored Willy after half time, albeit by 2 points. The team is ready to take the next steps!
Goal Kickers: S. Kaiser 2, T. Stone, S. Boyce, M. Schumann, J. Huntsman
Best Players: T. Vogel, S. Boyce, J. Huntsman, M. Vogel, W. Dalrymple, J. Wilson
Boyd Elliot / Tim Killworth
Men’s Reserves Coaches
It was a great moment for the club, when on Saturday, we fielded a Women’s Reserves Team for the first time. With the majority of players playing their first game of football against one of the top women’s clubs in the VAFA, there was a great sense of anticipation and superb support as team mates, friends and family came down to cheers on the Wells.
The team went out with a focus on winning as many contests for the day and enjoying the experience. Whilst the scoreboard was one sided and not the result that we would have liked, it definitely didn’t reflect the intensity and effort of the team all day. From the first bounce the team tackled and were great in close around the ball ups. Despite the great contested work, St Mary’s managed to kick out to a 4 goal lead at quarter time.
In the second and third quarters we continued to work hard around the contest and began to get more touches around the ground as we looked to be first to the ball. We started to hold our marks and gain confidence, getting more touches and gelling with each other. Our backline were relentless in there endeavours as they worked hard to stop their opponents however St Mary’s still managed to kick away on the scoreboard.
The last quarter saw us start to get the ball in to our forward line more often as we worked hard to run and get front position. Despite not finishing off a goal we hit the scoreboard and showed continued improvement throughout. With every player getting their hands on the football and showing great spirit. Our midfield ran hard all day and with a number of run down tackles were desperate to work hard defensively. As our forward line locked the ball in to give ourselves opportunities to score.
All the players should be proud of their endeavour and the spirit in which we played – in particular the last quarter where we were competitive and with a game under the belt, we will look to respond this week with our first goal and reverse the scoreboard.
A huge thanks to all those that helped out on Saturday – it was a great to see the support for the team.
Best Players: E. Fisher, E. Kaehne, G. Kaehne, S. Dunwell, L. Chesney, M. Richards
Women’s Reserves Coach
Received a forfeit from Old Ivanhoe. We still welcome more players to sign up!
You can sign up here: FootyWeb
Or contact Ben for more info:
0418 123 419
For next weeks’ game vs Old Geelong at Como, be sure to heed the parking restrictions as the council love to hand out infringements.