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Warrandyte falters at the first hurdle

THE BLOODS failed to find a win in the first round of the 2018 season but showed promising signs across the board in front of a sizeable home crowd.

photo courtesy of Warrandyte Football Club Facebook page

Under 19s

 The 19s kicked off the 2018 season with a tough loss, fielding an inexperienced side with a number of Under 17s filling in and playing with 16 on the ground.

The game began on an even keel, with Warrandyte trailing by just two goals against a fast-starting Basin side.

The young Bloods were eager for the contest and were silky in various passages of play.

Numbers would be telling in the contest however as the Bears pulled away to hold a five-goal lead at half time.

There were promising signs throughout the quarter, often showing quick hands around the contest and hitting targets around the ground.

Jake Trewella and David Wilson continued to battle it out in the midfield but the full-strength Basin side turned on the afterburners in the last half to run out 10-goal winners. The 19s will be better for the run and with players to return this week, they’ll hope to rebound against Donvale this coming weekend.

Callum Padfield presented well up forward for his two goals while Mackenzie Smead was often a strong option down the line.

 Warrandyte 8.3-51 def by The Basin 17.9-111

 Best: Jake Trewella, Mackenzie Smead, Darcy Poole, David Wilson

Goals: Callum Padfield 2, Darcy Poole, Tyson Sproule-Carrol

 

Reserves

The Reserves blitzed their opponents early, slotting the first four goals of the game in what would be a bruising encounter against a big bodied Basin side.

An experienced Bloods outfit displayed strong clearance work out of the middle and slick ball movement to take the lead within the first minute with Bailey Campbell opening Warrandyte’s account for 2018.

Goals to Sid Phillip-Owen and debutant Brendan Ludbrook saw them skip out to a 16-point lead at the first change.

The Bears eventually came out of hibernation after the break, trimming the margin with three quick goals to start the second term. The experienced heads of Tim Beasley and Mat Munro toiled away in the midfield and Lochlan Ruck converted a crucial set shot on the siren to hold a slender one-point lead.

Overusing the ball would be the Bloods downfall after half time.

New skipper Trent Parker tried hard as did Drew Corke who tried to inject some controlled ball movement off half back.

Ultimately, sloppy skills set the tone for the rest of the game and Basin eventually ran out 32-point victors.

 Warrandyte 7.5-47 def by The Basin 12.7-79

 Best: Sid Phillip-Owen, Tim Beasley, Lochlan Ruck, Mat Munro, Luke Brewis, Drew Corke.

Goals: Trent Parker 2, Sid Phillip-Owen 2, Brendan Ludbrook, Lochlan Ruck, Bailey Campbell

 

Seniors

 The Senior squad were eager to start their season on a positive note and if their first goal was any indicator of their intentions in Division Three, fans could be set for an entertaining year.

The first clearance of the game found its way into the Bloods forward fifty and into the hands of Nikoda Brooking.

Right on fifty and pushed up to the boundary, Brooking converted the difficult chance in front of a strong home crowd and the Seniors were off the mark.

It was a tight tussle in the first quarter as both teams struggled to gain the ascendancy early. New recruit Mitch Buckley was strong early, imposing himself on the contest in tandem with Zach Ballard.

The Bears kicked quick goals however to take a 17-point lead into quarter time.

The Bloods put on a strong performance in the second term as they executed quick passages of play to catch The Basin napping in defence.

Goals to Jordan Powell, Josh Beasley, Michael Cullum and another to Brooking saw a swift turnaround in fortunes and at half-time Anthony McGregor’s men held a one goal advantage.

Max Jaffrey was dealt a cruel blow after he broke his finger in the second quarter.

The promising young player is set for an extended period on the sidelines.

The third quarter was an enthralling one to watch. Lewis Oliver stood tall in defence and Ruckmen Andrew Briffa and Taylor Hayton worked well together.

Brooking continued to find the ball and the goals, adding another to his tally late in the quarter.

Both teams went goal for goal and at the final change it was a one-point game.

With everything to play for leading into the last quarter, McGregor implored his players to banish the demons of 2017 and finish strongly.

Those hopes evaporated when the Bears slammed home seven goals, overrunning the Bloods in the last.

Vice-Captain Michael Cullum scored a late consolation goal but it wasn’t to be on the opening day of Warrandyte’s season, The Basin running out 29-point winners.

Nikoda Brooking was named Warrandyte’s best for his three-goal performance.

Warrandyte 10.4-64 def by The Basin 14.9-93

Best: Nikoda Brooking, Josh Beasley, Lewis Oliver, Andrew Briffa, Scott Ternes, Toby Versteegen

Goals: Nikoda Brooking 3, Michael Cullum 2, Josh Beasley 2, Jordan Powell, Mitch Buckley, Luke Dunn

 

Warrandyte plays Donvale at Donvale Reserve on April 14.

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.

Tough shakedown for Bloods at Chirnside Park

THE Warrandyte Bloods fell in both fixtures in their 2017 season opener, losing to a chipper Chirnside Park outfit at Kimberley Reserve on the weekend.

Both Warrandyte teams were handicapped with injuries, with several players failing to pass their midweek fitness test.

Before play commenced one minute’s silence was observed, in memory of former Chirnside Park player Brian Pedler who died October 2016.

Drew Hollingsworth, father of Reserves player Jake Hollingsworth, was also remembered.

First on the field were the Reserves: they put in a nifty defensive performance to ensure the game remained an arm-wrestle, but inaccurate goal kicking and a difficult breeze allowed Chirnside to take the spoils.

Andre Balemian kicked the first goal of the campaign for the Warrandyte Reserves and the Bloods defence looked steadfast, with Bryce Leeanarts and Drew Corke applying terrific pressure in the back half.

Chirnside made better use of the wind in the second quarter, holding Warrandyte scoreless while tacking on 18 points themselves.

Throughout the second half, returnee Daniel Large looked lively, booting a major and providing a spark down the left-hand side of the ground.

Unfortunately, while the Bloods defence was relatively strong throughout, the forwards struggled to create opportunities.

The Reserves welcome back past favourite Daniel Large, whose performance this weekend was arguably best afield for the Bloods.

Chirnside Park Reserves: 5.10.40

Warrandyte Reserves: 3.9.27

For the Seniors, windy conditions and the Bloods lack of familiarity within a new look outfit played into Chirnside Park’s hands; the Seniors were defeated comfortably after a strong first quarter.

Much like the Reserves, they started the game kicking with the breeze and hit the ground running.

Jason Fitzgerald got the Bloods revved up with an early goal, and new-recruit Ryan Tester looked comfortable off the half back line.

Former Colts player Jake Trewella was exhilarating in his Senior debut and the Bloods rattled off four majors in the first term to lead by 19 points at the first change.

Sadly, this only seemed to kick Chirnside into gear, who were far more dangerous with the breeze.

The backline began to show a few cracks, and Chirnside Park’s big forwards started to assert their dominance.

The home side slammed on nine goals for the quarter to put Warrandyte in disarray, and the Bloods were never able to recover.

Jake Bentley put in a solid shift and Tom Naughtin played a commanding role in defence, but Chirnside never looked like relinquishing control, running out a 74-point winners.

Chirnside Park Seniors: 17.17.119

Warrandyte Seniors: 7.3.45

Warrandyte will now turn their attention towards the first home game of the season after the Easter break on April 22, the first of a series of “themed” home games that will take place over the season.

“Community Day” will promote and acknowledge the support of local businesses, sponsors, and supporters, who will be encouraged to attend.

Complementing this is a ceremony for the opening of the Bendigo Bank Gym.

Under 15’s bag flag

Warrandyte Junior Football Club experienced an emotional day at Victoria Park in Kew last month with one out of two teams tasting victory in their respective Grand Finals.

The U15s side put on a masterclass to defeat Macleod comfortably by 44 points, but the U14s were left heart- broken after falling to Banyule by a solitary point in the final minute.

A hefty crowd of red and white were present to watch the young Bloods go into battle, kicked off by the Under 14s side.

Warrandyte got off to the best possible start, kicking a goal within 10 seconds of the first bounce. Slightly scrappy play ensued from then on, but the Bloods were able to hold steady and take a seven-point lead into the first change.

Banyule was sharper throughout the second term, but the Bloods found some spark with a high mark and goal to star player Chase Wallace. Brady Poole kicked a much needed steadier right before half- time to keep Warrandyte close, trailing by just a point.

Whatever was said at halftime to the Warrandyte forwards obviously had effect, because the Bloods rattled off two quick re goals right after the long break to regain control of the game.

Wallace continued to put on a show and Warrandyte looked in the box seat with a 15-point lead going into the final term.

What followed was one of the most frantic quarters of football of the season.

Banyule hit back to draw the margin to within a goal with just six minutes to play, before eventually wrestling the lead back with just three minutes on the clock. Warrandyte was unable to muster a clearcut chance and despite playing a terrific game fell agonizingly close, losing 9.8.62 to 10.3.63.

Thankfully for Bloods fans, the Under 15s side was able to record a terrific victory in their Grand Final to bring home silverware for the club.

Jack Boyd was the star of the show kicking five goals to lead the attack. Boyd was ably supported by Leo Garrick in the middle, while Lachie O’Reilly and Sam Martini were defensively sound and hard at it when it counted.

Most impressive was the professionalism and brilliant mental performance from the outfit, keeping their cool throughout in the 12.11.83 to 6.3.39 victory.

“We trained well, we kept our emotions in check, we didn’t get ahead of ourselves. We had some assistance from the Colts during the week, we understood how they (Macleod) play and we executed perfectly,” coach Eugene Hansen told the Diary. The Bloods broke Macleod down by the 15-minute mark of the rst term and from then on continued to put in a full four-quarter performance. All players were contributors, some kicked flashy goals, while others performed crucial one percenters to ensure Warrandyte was out on top when the siren sounded.

“Everyone had an equal opportunity and everyone contributed, and some of the boys probably played 15-20 percent above their usual level. Typical of that was probably Thomas Mckenzie who kicked a goal up forward, he’s not renowned for kicking goals and the celebration after that was amazing,” Hansen said.

Equally as impressive was the turnout from the Warrandyte faithful to support both sides, with Hansen noting a historical significance to the crowd that others may have missed.

“It was fantastic to see life members from the footy club there, I think around 30 years ago I was involved with winning a flag at the same age group and maybe eight or nine of that premiership side came down to watch,” Hansen said.

For both sides, making the final alone was a tremendous achievement and it seems Warrandyte Football Club has some stars in the making over the coming years.

Bloods fall in thriller

WARRANDYTE suffered an upset one-point loss to Kilsyth at Pinks Reserve on the weekend, in one of the most captivating games of the Eastern Football League Division 4 season.

Despite holding a slender lead into the final change, Kilsyth surged late in a frantic last quarter to topple the Bloods, who
were without key player Arthur Lamaris. Warrandyte was the victim of a couple of questionable umpiring decisions late in the final term, which shifted momentum and allowed Kilsyth to see the game out.

The loss means Warrandyte holds top position on the ladder over Forest Hill only by percentage, with both sides recording 10 wins and two losses so far this season.

Both sides started slowly out of the blocks in icy conditions and shots on goal were at a premium. A lack of talk in the middle between Warrandyte players was evident, as poor communication resulted in turnovers and errors as the Bloods tried to break the lines.

Poor kicking for goal cost the Bloods dearly in the opening term, registering four behinds after kicking their opener.

Warrandyte was playing the game in their half of the ground, but star Kilsyth forward Jay Sherlock kicked true after a strong constested mark to give the home team a three-point lead going into the first change.

The second term began much in the same vein as the first. Luke Dunn managed to boot an early goal to give the Bloods the lead back, but again Kilsyth respond- ed.

A lack of presence at ground level in the forward line for Warrandyte meant Kilsyth was able to mop up when the ball hit the deck and rebound effectively before the Bloods could set up.

Another classy Sherlock goal at the end of the term gave Kilsyth a nine-point lead at half-time.

Often known as the premiership quarter, Warrandyte showed
an increased level of desire at the beginning of the third term. Chad Gauci, who had the ball on a string throughout the first half, kicked a terrific goal to start the Bloods surge.

Suddenly, Warrandyte’s tall for- ward line was firing on all cylinders and three quick goals to Lee Evans had the Bloods fans in full voice approaching the final term.

The six-goal period saw Warrandyte start the fourth quarter with a 17-point lead. What followed was a terrific display in running end-to-end football, with both sides using the corridor at breakneck speed. Kilsyth kicked the opening major to cut the lead down to 10, but Luke Dunn replied just seconds later for Warrandyte.

However, Kilsyth’s big names stood up when it counted. Sherlock and Ben Mullett began to win the footy in dangerous areas and Mullett put through a big goal to give Kilsyth a seven-point lead just minutes from time.

Warrandyte scrambled one through late to bring the deficit to just one point, but the siren sounded to deny the Bloods victory. The final score: 13.5.83 to 12.10 82.

The defeat ends a run of three consecutive victories for the Bloods, including a 120-point crushing of Surrey Park and wins over Ferntree Gully and Glen Waverley. Ashley Froud was particularly dominant, booting 19 majors in the three games to cement his place on top of the goalkicking table.

With six games left of the regular season, the Bloods are in prime position to secure a top two position heading into finals and with key players Luke Dunn and Lee Evans returning to fitness and key onballer Lamaris to come back, the side will only get stronger.

The Reserves have also continued their good form, defeating Kilsyth in a scrappy affair. Dominant 100-plus point victories against Surrey Park and Glen Waverley book-ended a convincing victory over Ferntree Gully.

Gareth Hitchman’s goalkicking has been spectacular in recent weeks, backing up an 11-goal performance against Surrey Park with eight majors against Ferntree Gully.

Hitchman now has 60 goals for the year in just 11 games and a couple more large hauls could bring the century within reach.

Sitting second on the ladder with 11 wins behind the unbeaten Forest Hill, the Reserves will aim to chase down the division leaders throughout the back half of the season.

The Under 19s have moved into third place on the ladder after
a routine win against Kilsyth, restricting their opposition to just one goal. A close loss to Surrey Park and a defeat at the hands of Ferntree Gully saw the U19s slipping slightly, but a big win over Forest Hill steadied the ship ahead of the Kilsyth fixture.

The Bloods face off against Forest Hill away this week, in a big clash which could decide who tops the EFL ladder come the end of the season.

Bloods on the rampage

THE Warrandyte Bloods got their season off to the best possible start, crushing a hapless Glen Waverley Hawks side at Central Reserve in the season opener.

New sharp shooter Ashley Froud spearheaded the side, kicking eight majors to lead Warrandyte to a 101-point victory.

The Bloods led at every change and restricted Glen Waverley to just two goals for the match, conceding only six points through the first two quarters. After a forgettable first half, Warrandyte raced into action in the third quarter and finished strongly, booting nine goals in the last period to run away deserving winners.

On a perfect day for football both sides were rusty out of the gates and unable to move the ball efficiently to their respective forwards. It was youngster Scott Ternes who would eventually boot the Blood’s first, with a thumping kick from 50 metres out.

Another major quickly followed, this time scored by last season’s centurion goal kicker Luke Dunn. On the back of these goals, Warrandyte led by 16 points at the first change, despite distributing the ball inefficiently.

It was no easier going in the second quarter, with both sides struggling to play their best football. Warrandyte’s play broke down far too often in the middle of the park and clangers slowed any momentum. Excellent play through the centre by hard running Chris Tout and the ever-steady Tim Hookey ensured that Warrandyte led 6.2 to 0.6 at the half.

Fresh off the halftime break, Warrandyte never looked back and put the game to bed midway through the third quarter. Although Glen Waverley finally managed to hit the scoreboard, Warrandyte ran all over what looked a tired opposition and booted goals late in the term to end any chance of a revival. Young Tout continued to impress in his first seniors game and other debutant Chad Gauci began to leave his fingerprints on the result. Froud also looked strong, presenting himself as a genuine forward target.

The fourth quarter became a Froud fest, as the speedster put through major after major, ending the game with eight to his name. The Bloods moved the ball through the middle of the park with nonchalant ease and put the Hawks to the sword to win 19.8 122 to 2.9 21.

The Reserves and Under 19s ensured that Warrandyte was undefeated as a club on the day. Sean Bowers’ 12 goals for the Under 19s side was a particular highlight in a demolition 196-point win, 30.22 to 1.0.

Meanwhile, the Reserves won in an arm wrestle that only broke open in the fourth quarter. A five goal bag from Gareth Hitchman ensured a 26-point victory, 9.11 to 6.3.

The Bloods face Ferntree Gully at Warrandyte Reserve this weekend with early weather forecasts suggesting it could be a beautiful day for footy. A big crowd is tipped.