Sport

New coach to give Bloods a fresh start for 2018

AFTER AN entertaining yet challenging 2017 season, the Warrandyte Football Club will head into the summer break with belief that 2018 can bear greater fruit.

Finishing the season in 11th place with three wins, it was decided the senior side needed to take a new direction despite avoiding relegation.

Senior head coach Peter Muscat departed after two seasons at the club, and the Bloods were quick to announce the new man for the job.

Anthony McGregor will be the man to lead Warrandyte into battle for 2018, bringing an impressive portfolio of playing and coaching experience to the position.

McGregor, formally chosen with pick 28 in the draft by Fitzroy, played alongside club greats such as Paul Roos and Alistair Lynch before injuries prevented him from relocating to Brisbane following the famous merger.

Following his playing days, McGregor took the position of head coach at Reservoir, and took a team on the brink of folding into a stable position.

McGregor then coached the Bundoora Football Club reserves, taking them to a grand final, while also assisting in the senior premiership.

With years of experience in the northern football system, McGregor now brings his talents into the EFL, and is excited to take charge.

“I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’ve met Pete Hookey (club president), he’s a fantastic fella and he’s got the club at heart.

“When you have someone at the top who loves it so much, when you’ve got people at the top who do care about the club, once that filters down good things really happen,” McGregor said.

McGregor believes that capitalising on the youth down at the club will be important, and hopes to craft a game plan the youngsters will get behind.

“There’s a great amount of youth, so I think that simplifying the game plan, getting a basic plan we can execute, simplifying rotations et cetera is the way to go.

“Looking from the sideline, I want to get the youngsters to enjoy it a bit more and with that will come success.

“When you start from scratch, to put a win/loss goal on it would be foolish.

“Maybe adding a few bigger bodies will make that turn around quicker, but I think it’s about getting that sense of camaraderie.

“There’s youth on this team who are going to be, hopefully, together for a few years, so the opportunity is there to mould and build a very competitive team,” McGregor said.

On the field, the Bloods played their final game of the season against Scoresby, and while the Seniors fell, the Reserves won a real arm-wrestle to cap off an admirable campaign.

However, the day took on greater significance, as Jake Bentley called time on his Bloods career.

A club stalwart and always a tough competitor, the value of Bentley’s leadership over the past few seasons cannot be underestimated and it’s no doubt he will be sorely missed.

Unfortunately, the senior side were unable to turn the tide after a slow start, remaining goalless to halftime.

Scoresby were able to control the tempo and ran out convincing 47-point winners, 9.15 69 to 3.4 22.

The result left Warrandyte 11th on the EFL ladder on 12 points, ten above East Burwood who finished the season winless.

The Reserves were able to earn a thoroughly deserved win in their season closer, holding off Scoresby to record a 13-point win, 5.7 37 to 3.6 24.

Finishing 6th on the ladder on 32 points after notching eight wins, the reserves were within touching distance of finals and can give themselves a pat on the back after a truly excellent season.

Footballers can now enjoy well deserved rest over the off-season, and gear up for a pre-season which promises much leading into season 2018.

Bullants blast Jets in Grand Final victory

In the U13/3 Netball competition, the Serpell Jets were the clear favourites, coming into the finals with a win/lose record of 10–1, compared to the Warrandyte Bullants 6–5.

However, the Bullants had been the victors in the Jets one and only loss of the season, giving the underdogs some needed confidence in the final.

The Jets started the game like the favourites with a 3–1 first quarter, which was repeated in the second quarter only because the Bullants snuck a goal on the half time siren.

It was looking bleak for Warrandyte Bullants at half time but by three quarter time they had the premiership within reach.

Aggressive defence by Scarlett Preston, a lot of hard work through the centre and around goal and accurate shooting from Amber Gedge saw the Bullants mount a solid third quarter comeback, entering the final quarter trailing 10–8.

Both teams fought with everything they had in the final quarter, setting the large crowd on edge.

The Bullants drew level with 90 seconds to go after a see-sawing nine minutes and with both teams playing so well, it was impossible to tell who would win.

The Bullants hit the front with 30 seconds left in the game but the Jets still had a chance to level the scores as they took the ball to the centre restart.

When the Bullants forced the turn over with only seconds left, their last goal proved to be the winner.

As the siren sounded, there were cheers and tears for both sides with the Warrandyte Bullants winning 14–13.

The winning team (Photo: SCOTT PODMORE)

Warrandyte ace their way to two premierships

THE WARRANDYTE Tennis Club get to hang two new premiership flags from their rafters after their open Section Five and Section Six teams won their grand finals last Friday night.

The Section Five side defeated Yan Yean Red 42 games to 22 and the Section Six team defeated Wattle Glen 35 games to 28, to win their respective finals in the Diamond Valley Tennis Association’s autumn season.

Both teams were forced to work hard early, they were neck-and-neck with their opponents when rain forced play to stop midway through the matchups.

The break turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Warrandyte, once play resumed both their teams came out firing and stormed home to victory.

Alistair Tudor, one of Warrandyte’s coaches and the Friday night Junior Convenor said it was great to see the dedication and hard work the players put in throughout the season pay off.

“[I’m] happy for both teams, given that both teams missed out on making their finals last season, it gives them great reward to be able to win both their finals this season.

“For Section Six who were on top of the ladder for the majority of the season it was great to close the season the same way whilst Section Five finishing third on the ladder and managed to knock off the second place team in the semis to progress to the grand final and take the flag,” he said.

Warrandyte’s Section Two and Section Three teams also qualified for the finals this season but were eliminated in the semis after losing to Plenty and Norris Bank respectively.

Even though not all of the teams finished the season as premiers, Coach Tudor believes it is still a huge positive for the club to have all four of their sides makes the finals.

“I think it’s great for tennis in Warrandyte,” he said.

He went on to reflect on the boost to the club’s reputation a result like this has.

“Anytime the club can have success it does great boosting the profile of the club within Warrandyte as well as the surrounding areas,” he said.

He also wanted to thank some special people who played an important role in the teams’ and club’s success. “In reality I couldn’t do my role without the support of the parents.

They are the vital part that makes sure players get to matches and [they] greatly assist me in making sure the competition runs smoothly,” he said.

The teams won’t have to wait long to take back to the court with the next season kicking off on July 21.

Congratulations to Section Six players: Callum Bowers, Hamish McLellan, Nick Davenport, Owen Kelly and Mitch Miskowiec-Robb and to Section Five players: Nicholas Tso, Matthew Quick, Daniel Mizzi(on the ground), Raymond Chen and Chris Milburn-Clark (not pictured) on a great season.

 

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Warrandyte women line up with Sheagles

WOMEN’s FOOTY is a big hit in Warrandyte and although the Bloods may not have a team in the Victoria Amateur Football Association (VAFA) Women’s Premier division, Warrandyte locals are making a big impact with four of our girls playing for the Marcellin Sheagles.

Nat and Zoe Macdonald, Lexie Hipwell and Taylor Padfield, all friends who have grown up together, made the decision to play women’s football this season and have reaped the rewards.

The Diary met with the girls, and Lexie told the Diary how the four of them ended up playing footy.

“My intent was never actually to play footy — I mean I wanted to, but Dad was a bit worried, and I didn’t want to do it by myself.

“But Nat got me into it,” she said.

Nat acted as somewhat of a ringleader for the group, and Marcellin can be thankful that she did.

In Lexie, the Sheagles gained athleticism, a strong presence in the ruck and long kicking ability.

Zoe’s strengths lie in the backline, with a good ability to mark and win the ball at ground level, while Nat acts as a speedster in the middle and excels at clearing packs.

“My friend Maggie was asking me to come down and play for the Marcellin Seniors, she said that it was a new team with some good quality and that in the first year we might struggle a bit so that I would play 80 minutes.

“But the team actually turned out alright and we’ve gone on from there,” Nat said.

The Sheagles first grabbed attention after competing in the in VAFA’s Lightning Cup back in April.

Despite going in with low expectations, the Sheagles managed to win their four games, before advancing to the Grand Final and taking the tournament.

“There’s 40 new teams that have come in this year, and this was a chance to expose the girls to matches because they didn’t want the girls to come out underdone for the season.

“We played St Mary’s in the final and we just got it done,” Zoe said.

Results in the Lightning Cup and performances in grading games have placed the side in VAFA’s Premier Division, and though the girls thought they might be out of their depth, the reality has been anything but.

“Our first Premier game was against Brunswick, and everyone thought we would get done by 60 points.

“It was a wet game, we went out and we weren’t too confident, but we kicked the first and went from there,” Nat said.

The Sheagles currently sit in 3rd position on the ladder, only percentage below the two teams above.

“We’ve actually been really good, we even won our game in round three by 60 points.

“I think we were all a bit worried because everyone was talking up Premier, but we’ve been playing well,” Lexie said.

Playing in Premier division has further advantages for the Warrandyte women, with scouts and coaches keeping a close eye on the games.

“There’s some great players in the Premier division and there were even scouts at the Lightning Cup, so its definitely a platform for the AFLW.

“Each game we are improving, not just working on skills but also on tactics, so we are only going to get better,” Zoe said.

Coach Tom Stafford and Assistant Coach Luke Boyd are certainly in luck with their Warrandyte contingent, who have without doubt played a major role in the Sheagles rapid rise.

Templestowe win the tussle

Templestowe won over Warrandyte in the annual STOP. One Punch Can Kill cup, with both Reserve and Senior outfits winning comprehensively.

STOP. One Punch Can Kill, an organization founded in 2013 by Caterina Politi after the tragic death of her son, David Cassai (a member of both the Warrandyte and Templestowe communities), is dedicated to teaching others the dangers of violence.

Both Warrandyte and Templestowe football clubs have been avid supporters of the cause, and changed the name of the Yarra Cup Challenge match to the STOP. One Punch Can Kill Cup in 2016 to further lend their hand to the organization.

Reserves

The Reserves struggled early in the game, kicking just the one major in the opening quarter.

Zac Ratcliffe continued his good form, constantly attacking the ball, but Warrandyte couldn’t manage to create clear-cut forward chances.

However, Warrandyte’s defence held firm, managing to restrict Templestowe well throughout the first half, and holding the margin to just 19 points at the major break.

Unfortunately, Josh Huntly sustained a broken arm in the second quarter, an injury that will see him spend a significant amount of time on the sideline.

The Bloods started the third term with great purpose, peppering the goals and generally running over Templestowe.

Sadly, Warrandyte would rue missed opportunities in front of goal to bring the game within reach, and despite only trailing by 16 points at three quarter time, fell by over eight goals at the final siren 3.7 25 to 12.5 77.

Seniors

The Senior side mirrored the Reserves early in the game, finishing the first quarter without recording a score while Templestowe piled on five goals.

In the second term Warrandyte managed to click into gear, with young star David Wilson kicking two terrific majors to ignite the Bloods.

Former Templestowe player Michael Cullum also managed to get one on the board as Warrandyte continued the charge, outscoring Templestowe for the quarter to trail by 29 points at the half.

Throughout the second half, emotion began to get the better of a few players out on the park, but both sides settled down to continue a decent second half of footy.

The Bloods, in particular Cullum, Troy Ratcliffe and Wilson, fought bravely throughout the third and fourth term, with Cullum adding another major.

Sadly, the Bloods were unable to make any real inroads on the margin, with Templestowe continuing to pick apart the defence to score when necessary.

When the final siren sounded, the Bloods trailed by 42 points, 7.10 52 to 14.10 94.

The Bloods face off against fierce rivals Ringwood in their next fixture – again at Warrandyte Reserve – and will look to secure a vital victory.

Despite a less than ideal result, the club can take away that STOP. One Punch Can Kill’s message about the dangers one punch can do was delivered.

Photo sourced from Warrandyte Football Club Facebook page