With Summer looking like it was never going to end, the Fitzroy Under 10-S team gathered for their first run of the season.
Lots of hearty greetings were followed by the jumper presentation where Coach Yabby asked the players whether in a moment of good faith, “Does anyone want a different number this year?”
Those more familiar with the dictum regarding the establishment of royal commissions sucked in the air. Inevitably hands rose. But no insurmountable issues emerged.
Having just joined the squad, four players received their first Roys jumper: Leila, Elias, Marlo and Karl.
Life moves on and that has taken Jack to the country where one of those Gippsland towns will enjoy his resolute defending, Josh has been lured over to rugby (the code of his heritage), and Luke has decided to spend more time with his family.
The team ran out and took their positions. They looked like ants on the huge Ford Park – one of the first times we’ve played on a ground the size of the electorate of Kennedy.
Immediately the Roys’ spirit and endeavour were evident. Frankie assumed the heavy work of rucking and trucking about the ground; Gus attacked the footy like he always does and roosted some bombs; Henry was his dynamic self in attack and defence; Johnny had some presence especially when he was in the forward line; Olive was making space on the wing; Theo threw himself in early which won the buffalo-voice encouragement of Chad from the sidelines (we’d been waiting for that all Summer); Matty mopped up a few times and went on some typical dashes; Seb was buzzing about waiting for an assassination opportunity; Ollie was looking for the footy and getting it with those neat hands; Meg found the footy a few times and handled a couple of pressure situations really well; a plasterless Dylan banged the Sherrin onto that left foot; Leroy was a kick behind the play and read the footy and was looking to create whenever he had it; Roman showed glimpses of his 2016 form with some beautiful marks and wheels and kicks to position; Paddy put himself into the fray especially locking the ball in up forward; Finn looked like he’d done a lot of work over the summer as he contested really strongly, outbustling his opponent on occasions; Jasper got himself into the play from the flank; and Joe was looking more Peter Hudson-ish by the minute. The new players all made a contribution: Marlo is a real competitor; Leila has height and strength; Karl soon got used to the pace and was getting to the fall of the ball; and Elias looked like he could take a mark in the square.
Everyone tried their hearts out. The huge ground was tricky, especially for young players coming off a season where zones were strictly enforced. We will get used to the freedom very quickly.
All in all it was really good to wipe off the cobwebs and get back into it.
No doubt everyone is looking forward to the first fixture against the Beverly Hills FC away up the freeway.
Match: Beverly Hills N Versus Fitzroy 3 (U 10 -3 ) (Away Match)
Date: Sunday April 23rd
Time: 10:00am – 11:30 am (please arrive to the Ground no later than 9:20 am in lieu of ANZAC Round proceedings before the Match)
Venue: Doncaster Reserve (cne Doncaster Rd and Leeds st, Doncaster – Map Reference: K1 47
Qtrs: (4 x 15 mins)