We started well with an attacking brand of footy & kicked 5 goals in the first whilst conceding 3 & took a 14 point lead into quarter time. The next 2 quarters were a bit more defensive, both teams struggled to score with South kicking 2 goals 6 pts to our 4 goals 5 pts and we took a 25 point lead into three quarter time. South really put some speed on their ball movement in that last quarter & we defended grimly & were in front with just 90 seconds to go but a good South goal in the final minute took the game from our grasp. We were disappointed to lose but not disappointed in the effort we gave.
Jonte Hunter-Price continued his good form up forward with 4 goals, Oscar Pearce was a very good defender with 8 intercept marks, Declan Slattery in just his second game played well in our defence with some strong marking, Noah Angove was lively on his wing and always threatening, Callum Fairall was one of our good midfielders and found a bit of the footy along with Bailey Arthur and Elex Day was another defender who was strong. Cohen Ziersch did some good work in our forward line for his 2 goals and Jaydn Haley also kicked 2 goals.
As it is my last match report I would like to say thanks to all the coaches, medical and support staff, the players and their families for their support and commitment to our Under 18 program. Whilst the team results were varied we did see some significant improvement in the second half of the season winning 6 of our last 11 games after starting the year losing our first 7. There were quite a number of challenges through the year but the boys were absolutely resolute and never made any excuses – I am confident they will draw enormous benefit out of their experiences this year as they continue on their footy careers.
We played 51 players this year including 3 Under 16s. Eight players played Reserves (19yo Jonte Hunter-Price, Under 18s Adam D’Aloia Blake Hansen & Mattaes Phillipou, and Under 17s Callum Fairall , Jedd Thomson, Pat Weckert & Brody Mair) with Pat Weckert also making his League debut this week. Adam Mattaes, Blake and Nathan Barkla all played for the South Australian Under 18 team in the NAB Championships and Adam was voted SA’s MVP. Nathan Barkla being a member of the Port Adelaide FC Next Generation Academy also played the last 3 league games for Port Adelaide Magpies.
So I think you can see from this detail whilst team success was a bit more elusive, the focus on developing our players continued.
Thanks also to senior coaches led by Jade Sheedy and I would like to wish our Reserves Coach Brad Graham and our Under 16s coach Darren Hams and all their coaches the very best of luck as they commence their finals campaigns.
Thanks also to our sponsors, members and supporters for their continued faith in our program and support for the boys – it is much appreciated.