Round 5 CoE Report
Our Under 16 side finished off their season with a terrific win against Sturt at Unley. Our boys had the better of the first half gaining an upper hand through their great work around the contest to create forward entries and scoring opportunities. Their finishing left a little to be desired however and could’ve taken a much bigger lead than the 17 points they had at half time had they made the most of their chances. This left Sturt in the contest and they closed the gap before taking a lead of 9 points in to the last quarter. Down at 3 quarter-time and acknowledging this would be their last quarter of football together, our boys showed there is promise for the future taking advantage of a slight breeze to ram home 8.3 to 0.1 in a dominant finish, running out 41 point winners. Captain Jason Westley starred yet again with 31 hard fought possessions and a goal, whilst Bailey Chamberlain (17 possessions, 3 goals) and Mack Pederick (16 possessions, 2 goals) were busy. Zac Wooldridge used his skilful left foot with great effect coming out of half-back and Lachie Stoddard was creative up forward with 4 goals.
From here a number of our strong performing U16’s will continue on and progress to remain in the U18 program for the year as they push for selection at the next level. The remainder will return to their local clubs to continue their football development.
Our Under 18 side was forced to make seven changes from the previous week as they felt the effects of the commencement of the college football season. This afforded some opportunities to some lads who had bided their time through the start of the season. This seemed to have an unsettling effect on the group as a sluggish start found us lucky to be only 10 points down at the first change. A rev up at quarter-time from Terry Hutton had the boys click in to gear for the second quarter as they produced their best football for the day, winning contested ball and outscoring Sturt into the wind to be in touch at a goal down at half time. The third quarter was an arm wrestle and the ability to take our chances kept us in touch at three-quarter time facing a seven point deficit. However, the task proved too difficult in the last quarter as Sturt overpowered our group and ran away to a 29 point victory. The game again highlighted to the group the importance of the ability to win the contested ball, a point stressed to the players by the coaching staff after the game. This is certainly the focus for the group for this week at training. Josh Smithson, U18 State squad representative, continued his strong form with 23 possessions and a goal as he provided a strong target up forward and winning many one-on-one battles. Patrick Fairlie also continued his great start to the year with another solid display in the middle, racking up 26 possessions, 11 marks and 6 tackles. Elliot Dunkin’s ball use off half-back was another highlight and Sam Boots made the most of his first opportunity for the year with 17 possessions and two goals showing clean hands in the contest.
From here our U18’s have a week off to refresh before tackling the unbeaten, ladder-leaders the Eagles in what will be a great challenge for the group.