Sport

Warrandyte at the Australian Open 2018

Joel’s ‘king of the kids’ at the Australian Open

By JOSH HUNTLY

WARRANDYTE Tennis Club coach Joel Compagnino has been kept on his toes during his third year of co-ordinating the ball-boys and girls at the Australian Open, managing over 350 children as the Grand Slam rolls into Melbourne for its 2018 edition.

Joel, who was a ball-boy himself at the 2001 Australian Open, has a total of six years’ experience under his belt working in different roles around the event prior to settling on his current task of assisting in the management of the ball-kids.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” says Joel.

“During the tournament, it’s all about marking them, making sure they stay hydrated and generally supervising them through the event.

“It involves getting on to the court and watching them in action day to day.

“It’s good to be involved with the kids, especially the ones that you know from coaching.

“It’s always good seeing them make friends as well,” Joel told the Diary.

It’s a busy time for the Warrandyte Coach, but he says working with others in the fifty-person management team who are as passionate about tennis and developing the youth of the green-ball game is a plus.

“It’s a really good atmosphere,” he says.

“We’re pretty like-minded and do the same things so it’s good to catch up every year.

“You’re predominantly watching the kids but you also get to watch a bit of tennis as well which is a lot of fun.”

For the ball-boys and girls that participate, the Australian Open will provide memories that last a lifetime and the chance to work with the greats of the game and witness their prowess firsthand is a highlight that won’t soon be forgotten.

“They definitely enjoy the experience,” says Joel.

“They like to rub shoulders with their idols, even just to be involved with the inner-sanctum of the tournament and to see a little of what the public doesn’t see as well as seeing their heroes walk down the corridors.

“I still get goose-bumps watching them, I can only imagine how the kids feel.”

As well as being involved with the kids during the tournament, Joel has a significant role in assessing the ball-kids for the next tournament and he says the criteria to qualify for a spot can be tough, but there’s always a sure-fire place to start.

“Firstly, they’ve got to know a little bit about tennis,” he joked.

“They’ve got to know how to score the game so they know which end the balls need to go.

“They would need to have a good roll and provide good service to the player, and their general speed around the court is important as well.”

The trial period, which occurs in March, is a hectic time for Joel and the other coaches as they attempt to grade 2000 prospects.

There is significant competition for spots as young tennis players from around the area and interstate, and in some cases overseas, vie for a spot amongst the 350 chosen during the June-July selection period.

In the meantime, however, Joel remains the “king of the kids”, overseeing the current generation of the Australian Open ball-boys and ball-girls.

 

 

Warrandyte Tennis Hot Shots all the rage at Australian Open 2018

By CRAIG HASLAM

Once again the Tennis Guru provided a once in a lifetime experience to 40 kids from the Hot Shots tennis programs at Warrandyte Tennis Club (WTC), Warrandyte Primary School and Milgate Primary School.

The kids were demonstrating their amazing tennis skills to the adoring fans (and of course their parents).

The 30 minute demonstration opens up play on the stadiums and the kids are followed on court by the professionals for their Australian Open matches.

Coaches Matt Neil & Angus McLellan represented WTC and helped the kids and parents throughout the morning.

Charlotte Petrella tossed the coin for Dylan Alcott’s match and Max Brogan tossed the coin for the legends featuring Henri Leconte.

The rest of the kids got to make a guard of honour so they could high-five the players as they came on court.

We also had five WTC Hot Shots competing in the inaugural Orange Ball and Green Ball challenge on Australia Day at the Australian Open.

The teams competed against other clubs from around Melbourne on the courts the pros play on. Certainly some amazing tennis action for the kids from WTC.

 

 

Warrandyte strong with the bat and ball

THE WARRANDYTE Cricket Club has had a much-improved November, allowing all squads to increase their standings heading into the final month of the year.

Report from the boundary: 1st XI

The 1st XI have put their first win on the board for the year in Round 5 against Montrose thanks to Ben Taylor, who scored back-to-back half centuries throughout the month, placing himself at the front of the runs sheet for the club.

Taylor, who led the way with 68, was supported well by the Poole brothers, with Brady (3/39) doing damage with the ball, while Darcy (28) assisted with the bat.

Despite a severe middle order collapse by the team, 161 runs was enough for Warrandyte, with Montrose bowled out in the final over to finish four runs short. Round 6 placed Warrandyte in a matchup against a top tier South Croydon, and a rain-affected tie gave Warrandyte the chance to take points off a strong team.

After a shortened day one, Warrandyte knew South Croydon would be declaring early and attempting to bowl them out by 7pm.

Warrandyte, facing a very strong bowling attack looked steady in both the run chase and time management, until some late wickets looked to dash the hopes of a tough draw.

However, 14-year-old Brady Poole would heroically face 57 deliveries and survived the entire final over with Warrandyte nine wickets down to earn the draw, and give Warrandyte what could be a golden four points come the end of the year.

Round 4: Warrandyte 127 (Taylor 52) def. by South Croydon 8/206 (Killey 4/25).

Round 5: Warrandyte 161 (Taylor 68) def. Montrose 157 (B Poole 3/39).

Round 6: Warrandyte 9/139 (Williams 50) drew with South Croydon 6/230 (White 3/36, Killey 3/79).

Report from the boundary: 2nd XI

The 2nd XI had an entertaining November, but unfortunately were unable to take a win from the three games.

Blooding some exciting youth in the team, including Bailey Bowyer, Ben Jackson and Chris Rakuscek, the team have been very competitive in all games, but unable to scrape together their second win for the season.

In their Round 5 game, Warrandyte would fall just 30 runs short despite a strong 62 by Lloyd Williams, a knock that would see him promoted to the 1st XI in coming weeks.

Ben Jackson’s trio of wickets earlier in the game also put the Bloods right into it.

In Round 6, Warrandyte had an almighty batting collapse until tail-ender Steve Lockie would top score and put on 30 odd with Steve Rock to give Warrandyte a total of 75 to defend with the ball.

Despite the small total, the impossible looked alive when South Croydon fell to be 5/50, until the total was eventually surpassed.

Round 4: Warrandyte 8/109 (S Bowyer 26, Lee 25) def. by South Croydon 3/113 (Lee 2/22).

Round 5: Warrandyte 172 (Williams 62) def. by Heathmont Baptists 8/204 (B Jackson 3/39).

Round 6: Warrandyte 75 def. by South Croydon 8/110 (Jackson 3/32)

Report from the boundary: 3rd XI

The 3rd XI sits just outside the top four in the Don Smith Shield, a respectable effort in such a competitive grade.

Warrandyte have put together a good couple of wins thanks to some reliable batting by captain Cameron Day and all-rounder Brandon Stafford, both really clicking with the bat and ball.

Having played away all season, it wasn’t until Round 6 that Warrandyte would play their first game at their new home at Warrandyte High School, and would fall just short of a very strong total posted by Scoresby.

Round 4: Warrandyte 8/141 (Day 44, Stafford 30) def. Scoresby 2/148.

Round 5: Warrandyte 8/228 (Day 93) def. Montrose 8/218 (Ison 3/48).

Round 6: Warrandyte 200 (Haworth 73) def. by Scoresby 268 (Huntly 4/81, Reardon 3/76).

Report from the boundary: 4th XI

The 4th XI sit third, with three wins and two losses for the season, but have a game up their sleeve as they head into December.

Skipper Nathan Croft has ensured they took points in November against St Andrews, helped by veteran all rounder Mick Spence, and a couple of forfeits by Scoresby.

Round 4: Warrandyte def. Scoresby via forfeit.

Round 5: St Andrews 88 (Spence 3/7) def. by Warrandyte 3/101 (Spence 28n.o.).

Round 6: Warrandyte def. Scoresby via forfeit.

Report from the boundary: 5th XI

The 5th XI are just two points shy of the top of the table in the John Macmillan Shield, benefiting from the leadership of their new co-captains.

Playing a mixture of seniors and juniors, the mixed format of cricket has become a real treat to watch.

Chris Jackson ensured the team would win their Round 4 game, with Drew El Moussali supporting well with the ball.

In their Round 6 game, Warrandyte dominated Ainslie Park, with Chris Jackson starting the party with the bat, before Sean Dixon put the opposition to sleep, monstering 100 off eleven overs to ensure the game would be Warrandyte’s (see below).

Round 4: Warrandyte 7/221 (C Jackson 52n.o., Molyneux 52n.o.) def. Ainslie Park 136 (C Jackson 4/23, El Moussali 2/6).

Round 5: Warrandyte 7/230 (Bansal 55n.o., Trayford 49n.o.) def. by Wantirna 242 (C Lawson 3/17, El Moussalli 3/20).

Round 6: Warrandyte 6/282 (C Jackson 53, S Dixon 100n.o.) def. Ainslie Park 9/266 (Hanson 3/9).

Report from the boundary: 6th XI

Bill Stubbs has his 6th XI working well together, sitting atop the ladder at the end of November.

Due to some kinks in the fixture, Warrandyte faced Bayswater Park three times in a row, with Warrandyte winning all games.

Despite the same opposition, Warrandyte were consistent and versatile through all three ties, with different batters and bowlers ensuring the side stayed perfect for the month.

Round 4: Warrandyte 4/127 (Dixon 34) def. Bayswater Park 122 (A Ramsdale 4/16).

Round 5: Warrandyte 5/145 (G Warren 51n.o.) def. Bayswater Park 5th XI 9/108 (Rees 3/20).

Round 6: Warrandyte 4/297 (T Jackson 101, J Stubbs 49) def. Bayswater Park 78 (B Stubbs 4/25, J Weatherley 3/4).

Blistering century

LOCAL Warrandyte cricketer Sean Dixon has made waves with an astounding knock, that will remain in the minds of fans and spectators for years to come.

Dixon, who has most recently been playing for the clubs veterans team in the Over 40’s squad, made his mark in the Seniors division as well, with a scorching 100 not out off just 39 balls.

The century, recorded against Ainslie Park in a 5th XI fixture on November 18, powered the club through to an impressive victory.

Dixon’s knock at Griff Hunt Reserve is even more remarkable when analysed; he had 14 dot balls, effectively meaning he made the 100 off just 25 deliveries.

Dixon arrived at the crease in the 17th over and was retired by the 28th, after hitting nine sixes and ten fours for his innings.

Students bowled over by veteran cricketers

Every year, members of the Over 60s Warrandyte cricket team volunteer their time at the two local primary schools to teach students some batting, bowling and fielding skills.

This year, Steve Pascoe, Barry Johnson, John Smith, Norm Darnfield and Ray Baird coached students in the Foundation, Grade 1 and Grade 2 classes at Warrandyte Primary School with a series of Milo cricket drills.

“The veteran cricketers are really entertaining and very enthusiastic about their sport,” said PE teacher Sally Freemantle.

“The students always love it when they visit — it’s a very popular event at school every year,” she said. Steve Pascoe has been involved as a player at Warrandyte Cricket Club since 1976.

He and his team of veterans also run the Milo cricket program at the club, and they’re always on the lookout for new recruits during their school visits. “Milo Cricket is a great initiative,” Ms. Freemantle added.

“It’s a terrific opportunity for children to learn basic ball skills and it’s a gentle introduction to a team sport. “Getting children involved in sports, especially team sports, is so important.

“There are some very important life skills to be learnt by being part of a sporting team, as well as the health and fitness benefits,” she said.

This year the Milo IN2CRICKET program begins at WCC on Friday November 3 at 6pm and is open to boys and girls aged 5–8. Sessions run for up to an hour, using plastic bats and rubber balls.

The program is also designed to be inclusive of children with disabilities. It runs every week through until March, except for the Christmas break.

Venom claim women’s basketball premiership flag

WARRANDYTE Venom’s Youth League One Women’s team crowned a terrific season in early September, winning the Grand Final over three thrilling games.

The Venom women defeated Coburg by five points at the Warrandyte Sports Complex in game three to take home the flag, giving co-captains Casey Taylor and Ellie Lock a fitting send off in their final games for the side.

Warrandyte went into the finals series on top of the ladder, after dropping just two games for the season, and had a week off heading into the Grand Final series, played as a best of three.

However, the week off may have done Warrandyte a disservice according to young gun Maddi Taylor, as Coburg were able to seize their chance, defeating them by 11 points.

“We’d beaten Coburg quite easily in both games during the season, and because we went straight to the grand final we had a week off.

“They didn’t, so they had a bit of momentum heading into that first finals game, and that caught us off guard a bit,” Taylor said.

In game two, Venom were a different force, and squared the ledger at 1–1 after a nine point win. Ellie Locke led the way with 22 points and six assists, aided by Maddi Taylor who scored 18 points, and Simone Caruana, who notched 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

In the all-important deciding game, Warrandyte were too strong throughout the contest, surviving a final quarter scare to run out deserving 78–73 winners.

“We had the lead the whole game and we played really well, in the last quarter they came back a little bit, but we kept our composure and sealed the win in the end.

“I think Coburg actually finished fourth so they did really well to come out and have a crack like they did,” Taylor said.

Locke, Taylor and Caruana were again influential, along with Isabel Feller.

Locke threatened to triple double with ten points, seven assists and six rebounds, while Caruana continued her form on the glass, with 14 points and eight more boards.

Taylor and Feller took it upon themselves to carry the scoring load, dropping 17 points each to bolster the offence. Spearheaded by coach Angela Heigh, Warrandyte’s achievement and ultimate success owes a lot to hard work and a lengthy pre-season.

“Our pre-season started in October last year to try and prepare.

“We did a lot of training, won a pre-season tournament and it’s been a good season just from there,” Taylor said.

No season is complete without an awards night, and Warrandyte were the toast of the town on September 23, at the Big V Awards ceremony at Etihad Stadium.

Simone Caruana and Ellie Locke received a prestigious all-star starting five position, while Caruana was also crowned the league’s best defensive player.

All of the Venom players were invited on stage to accept the trophy, capping off a terrific campaign.

Preparation now begins for participation in the State Championship Women’s league, after promotion was earned in the 2017 season, while Warrandyte Basketball will hold their AGM on October 31.

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.