Under 18 Coaches Report

Round 8 U18 Match Report

West Adelaide 10.7 (67) def. Norwood 9.12 (66)

We ventured to Norwood on the back of a nice win against Sturt the previous week with the aim of putting together consecutive strong performances – something that has been a challenge in recent times.

Whilst the team remained fairly stable from the Sturt match, we were able to welcome back Bailey Fielke and Riley Thilthorpe, as well as Mac Nield to face his old side.

The game began relatively well with our midfield winning the inside battle and moving the ball our way. Quick forward entries were dangerous for us and Dion Brauer found himself on the end of a couple kicking the first two goals of the game. As the first quarter progressed Norwood settled in to the match and we held a narrow 5-point lead at the first change.

The second quarter was disappointing for us. Full credit to Norwood who defended well and got on top across the oval, however we were far too indecisive with our ball movement which meant the game had no speed to it and resulted in too many turnovers. We trailed by 16 points at half-time and needed a spark.

Knowing we needed more run through the midfield we moved Jye Sinderberry on to a wing. This combined with more intent with our defence meant we were at least able to match Norwood for the quarter but still trailed by 18 points at the last change.

We needed to roll the dice in the last quarter and get the ball moving on at all costs. This ultimately means you will get caught on the rebound every now and then – unfortunately it happened just 2 minutes in when Norwood went 24 points up. Our group this year have incredible character and they know their best footy can match it with anyone. Incredibly just 8 minutes later we had kicked 4 goals and the scores were level – largely thanks to Bailey Boughen who slotted 2 quick goals.

The next 15 minutes were a battle. Both teams had their chances but struggled to convert. Norwood managed a goal, and a few points to us left us 5 points down with 1 minute to go. Harri Bailye knew the scenario well and kicked the ball long to Jye Sinderberry who received a free kick for front on contact. Jye again moved it quickly to Luke Heitmann who was dumped after disposal and received a 25-penalty. Luke then kicked it long to a marking contest – with the ball coming off several sets of hands and then a holding the ball decision leaving Beau Nunan with the chance to win the game. Beau was calm and composed as he slotted the match-winner with the last kick of the game.

Whilst we certainly didn’t play overly well in this game for the majority, I was pleased our group showed fight in the last quarter to work their way back in to the game. It would have been easy to roll over and lose this one but our current group have too much character to let that happen.

In unfortunate news, Tom Rundle (knee) and Riley Thilthorpe (ankle) have both suffered serious injuries that will take an extended period of time to recover from. Our best wishes go to them and we will do whatever we can to assist with their recoveries.

Our next game is this Saturday as we head to Unley for the third time this year to face Sturt. We will have some changes to the team from the weekend but I am looking forward to seeing our group continue to develop and grow.

Best: Mac Nield, Saul Morelli, Bailey Chamberlain, Zac Wooldridge, Bailey Boughen, Cooper Gilbert

Goals: Bailey Boughen, Dion Brauer, Beau Nunan (2), Cooper Gilbert, Declan Henty-Smith, Tom Rundle, Harri Bailye (1)

Paul Streatfield

Talent & Development Manager / U18 Coach