I can vividly remember one of the first games against Hampton Rovers away. It was a miserable afternoon and we didn’t bring our best footy but as was typical of this team, we worked out a way to win. The away change-rooms were small and as I watched the boys from the doorway, arms around each other’s shoulders, readying themselves to belt out ‘Cheers Cheers’, a number of Mum’s rushed past me to get in. Afterwards I asked someone why the rush? ‘These boys haven’t sung the some much during school footy and I wanted to see them sing it!’ From there to Premiers – what a story!
As with any success across sport, work and life, there are so many factors that need to come to together at the right time. What has been so inspirational for me has been watching the evolution of this team and the individuals in it across the year. I can still remember (just!) how apprehensive I was walking into the club as a 17 year old but I also remember how supportive and interested the club was in our young group. We’ve endeavoured to make 2017 no different and that’s down to a lot of people.
We have been blessed with an outstanding group of supporters. Lead brilliantly by their coach, Gavin ‘Cool Daddy’ Powell and Team Manager Boyd ‘Inkman’ Elliott, I don’t think we could have hoped for a better and more effective combination both on game day and throughout the week. A huge thank-you to you both from all the OCGAFC community. Magnificent!
But the group is always more powerful than the individual and across the year so many have contributed I would only do someone an injustice by attempting to list them all here. Special mention though must go toJustine Elliott, Lisa Powell and the dedicated group of parents who were there week in week out. As I said at the Grand Final BBQ post-game, families and communities help shape great people and this group was wonderfully guided.
Premierships are never won by the team that runs out for the Grand Final. A football season is a lengthy challenge and a huge congratulations to each and every player across the whole year who has made this possible. We look forward to welcoming all of you back to the club over the years and hopefully as many of you as possible for 2018.
Hopefully we’ll be seeing many of you at our final club function for 2017 – the Presentation Night this Thursday 28th September. Tickets still available.
We have a few more season reviews to come and I will sign-off before the end of September with a wrap-up and some plans for 2018.
Come on the Wells!Adam Kyriacou
Teams entering Premier C next season
Coming up from Division 1 are St Marys Salesians and PEGS.
Coming down from Premier B are Fitzroy and Peninsula
The muddy and slippery conditions dictated the style of play. It would be a tough, contested game – a game of territory. Play the percentages, move the ball forward at all costs, and limit your mistakes.
Old Camberwell kicked with the slight breeze in the first quarter. As expected, it was an arm wrestle early. Kellan Percy was again dominant in the ruck, with Robbie West and Josh Holding winning plenty of the ball. The boys’ tackling and pressure was outstanding, with Fraser Mascitelli, Mitch McPherson and Harry O’Brien leading the way.
The first goal of the game came when Lachie Powell grabbed a loose ball and was taken high. He kicked accurately from the resultant free kick from 35 metres out. We continued to dominate the quarter, but couldn’t convert, adding a number of behinds. MHSOB had few forays forward, but when they did, our defence was solid. Harrison Lucas showed his class in a potentially dangerous two on two situation, when he attacked the oncoming ball, gathered it cleanly and used his pace to race away and clear the ball long to the wing.
We were able to add a deserved second goal late in the quarter when Harry Veitch was interfered with in a goal square marking contest. He kicked truly, leaving us 16 points up at quarter time.
It was important to start well into the breeze in the second. Lucas Lewit-Mendes and Harrison Lucas were rock solid down back, and Josh Holding continued his strong work around the ball. Old Camberwell looked dangerous when allowed to move the ball quickly into an open forward line. As others fumbled, the class of Powell was evident as he was able to pick –up on the run and fire a handpass out to Lucas who had drifted down from half-back. His sliding goal gave the team enormous confidence. Shortly after Schumann snapped a goal from the goal square when surrounded by three opponents in a further blow to MHSOB’s self belief.
To their credit, MHSOB lifted and continued to work the ball forward, finally posting the first goal. Our boys responded immediately, with Josh Holding kicking long to an open forward line. Powell punched the ball forward and ran onto the ball 50 metres from goal. He took a bounce (why would you do that?), ran in and calmly slotted it home from 20 out, restoring our four goal lead.
MHSOB scored a late goal to keep themselves in the game going into half time.
At half time the coaches emphasised the importance of the first five minutes. Early goals would likely crush the opposition’s resistance. Again the boys came out firing. Will Dalrymple and Dan Straw were instrumental in forcing the ball forward. Declan Hudson-Mollard was engaging their loose defender allowing our other forwards to be one-out with their direct opponents.
Josh Holding kicked forward and Lachie Powell scooped the ball up, evaded two opponents and kicked his third to set the tone. Soon after Jake Purcell booted a long bomb that cleared the pack and rolled through for a crucial goal. We continued to pile on the pressure, with Harry Veitch cleverly centring the ball to Robbie West, who duly converted. When Alex Dalla Riva goaled after marking a Jonathan Tan pass, the lead was out to eight goals. Veitch again finished off with a late goal, and the game was as good as over.
Great credit must go to all defenders who again held MHSOB scoreless for the second time in three quarters.
With a 55 point lead at three quarter time the boys would have been entitled to just go out and enjoy the last quarter. But showing great pride, we set ourselves the challenge of winning the quarter. Lucas Lewit-Mendes, Mitch Fletcher and Jake Purcell held firm in defence, and with Jonathan Tan, Will Dalrympleand Mitch McPherson driving the ball forward a final goal seemed inevitable. And it came when Harry Veitch tackled the MHSOB full back as he tried to play in from a kick in. His goal was our last for the game.
The final siren brought understandable joy to the boys, who had been duly rewarded for an outstanding season. As we talked about after the game, a bond had been formed that would last forever.
The key to our performances during both finals matches was such an even contribution from all players, with everyone contributing at various times. As the old adage goes, a champion team will always beat a team of champions!
Finally, to those boys that played during the year but not on Grand Final day, premierships are won by squads, not just 24 players, so be proud of the contribution you have made.
To all the parents and supporters, and the Club for its unwavering support, a big thanks to you as well. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
Old Camberwell 2.5.17 5.6.36 10.11.71 11.15.81
MHSOB 0.0.00 2.4.16 2.4.16 3.8.26
Goals: Powell 3, Veitch 3, Lucas, Schumann, Purcell, West, Dalla Riva
Best: Lewit-Mendes, Percy, Powell, Holding, Lucas, Mascitelli, Tan, Dalla Riva, Purcell