U16 Youth Girls
Last game: Lost to Yarra Junior Football League 2’s by one point.
In their round one clash, SMJFL captain, Georgia Ricardo almost willed her side to victory against the YJFL’s second side but ultimately fell short with a YJFL goal in the dying seconds.
The road ahead isn’t going to get any easier for our Youth Girls, playing in their first interleague competition as this week they take on the YJFL‘s first side.
The YJFL 1’s opened their account in commanding fashion over the Northern Football League with a ten-goal victory and had the ascendency from the first bounce.
It’s not going to be easy but the girls have now played their first game together as a team and looked like they were gelling more and more as their round one encounter went on.
If they had have kicked truly in the first round where they kicked 3.10 then they would likely be going into this match with a win already under their belts. Unfortunately, as they say – back kicking is bad football and they paid the price when the final siren sounded. This week they will need to make the most of their chances against a team that didn’t allow a goal until the final term in their last match.
As a new team it’s difficult to gauge exactly where they are at, but with the continued development of team chemistry hopefully flowing over into their next game and their disciplined style of play they should present a formidable challenge to the YJFL this Saturday.
U15 Division 1
Last round: Defeated South East Juniors by 71 points.
Round one saw the SMJFL lead from the first bounce against the SEJ in a dominant display at Moorleigh Reserve. They had too much power up forward with Isaac Morrisby and Howard Persson kicking six goals between them and proving too much for the SEJ defence, wreaking havoc all game.
Round two promises to be a real challenge as they will face off against the Essendon District Football League, a team who also led at every change in their respective round one clash against the Western Region Football League.
SMJFL coach, Tony Pucella will be hoping for another even performance from his team after the first game where it wouldn’t have been out of place for up to 15 SMJFL players to be named in the bests.
One thing the SMJFL can’t afford to do against a quality outfit like the EDFL is kick as poorly for goal as they did in the second half where they kicked 4.8. They got away with it in round one after building a solid lead, but the EDFL will capitalise and punish you for poor kicking.
“It certainly is a terrific opportunity for the boys to progress further and has created a solid base… For us it’s about winning the next game and giving ourselves the best opportunity to get through to the next round,” said Pucella. “It’s certainly going to be an interesting game, the next one.”
U15 Division 2
Last round: Lost to Yarra Junior Football League by 21 points.
The Division 2 side will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing start to their campaign going down to the YJFL by 21 points.
All game they struggled in front of goal, kicking 2.6 for the match and will be looking for a better return when they take on the Western Region Football League at home on Saturday.
Dae Szydlik will need a bit more help in round two after he toiled hard all game against the WRFL and was named the team’s best player and one of only two goal kickers.
The WRFL also lost their opening game where they were overpowered by a strong EDFL unit to the tune of 48 points.
This is a must win game for both teams looking for a victory in order to get their campaigns back on track.
U14 Division 1
Last round: Defeated South East Juniors by 42 points.
The U14 Division 1 squad will be confident heading into their upcoming encounter against the EDFL after a strong debut at Moorleigh Reserve last weekend.
This week they will be playing away from home against an EDFL squad that will be looking to get to the winner’s circle after they lost their first game against the WRFL by 19 points. The EDFL ended their round one game strongly by winning the last quarter and will look to carry that momentum into this game.
However, the SMJFL boys also got better as the game progressed after a quiet first quarter where they only kicked three points to head into the first break with scores even. The remaining three quarters saw the SMJFL kick 9.10 to the SEJ’s 3.4 to score a comfortable victory fist up.
Austin Bradtke was fantastic for the SMJFL and the EDFL will look to shut down his run and carry which was instrumental in slicing apart the SEJ’s defence.
The SMJFL’s versatility will also prove quite difficult to plan against with coach Steve Walton having the ability to swing key position players from attack to defence and vice versa without sacrificing anything across either line.
U14 Division 2
Last Round: Defeated Yarra Junior Football League by 33 points.
Our SMJFL U14 Division 2 team couldn’t have started their interleague campaign any better as they began proceedings with an unanswered five-goal first half against the YJFL.
They didn’t lose a quarter all game on their way to a 33-point victory in what was a composed performance away from home at Bulleen Park.
Luke Egan picked up the best on ground honours on the night for his stellar game. He did receive a fair bit of help from his teammates, of whom there were a handful who would have been equally as deserving of the medal in what was a real even team game.
They will be lining up against the WRFL side that fell short against the EDFL by 11 points in their round one fixture.
Daly Andrews was the WRFL’s best for his work through the midfield and wing, utilising his run and carry, which is something the SMJFL midfielders will need to be mindful of. Another one to keep an eye on is Connor Moir, — a tall midfielder/ruck who can push forward and kick goals that may cause match up problems.