Posted in Front Page News

by Nick Crook

The South Metro Junior Football League Under 14 Division 1 representative side had a convincing win against the South East Juniors, running out 42-point victors in slick conditions at Moorleigh Reserve on Wednesday night.

The contest didn’t start the way SMJFL would have hoped as they went goalless in the opening term, failing to convert any of their forward thrusts into majors. However, they were fortunate that the SEJ didn’t make them pay for their inaccuracy as they also struggled to capitalise in front of the big sticks with both teams going into the first break all square at three points apiece.

It didn’t take long for the boys to adapt to the slippery conditions as they began to assert their dominance with two goals in the first few minutes of the second quarter. As soon as they kicked their second goal they didn’t look back for the rest of the game.

The slow start wasn’t unexpected from SMJFL coach, Steve Walton, who predicted that the team playing their first competitive match as a unit would take a while to get going.

“The first quarter was a slow start, which I expected through things like nerves and adjusting to the tempo of the high quality game,” he said.

“After the first quarter they did everything that I’d asked of them over the past 10 weeks.”

Walton believes that his charges learned a lot from the hit out. but maintains that he learned more. The coach discovered just how versatile many of his players are with their ability to play multiple positions on the ground. He is careful not to pigeonhole players into the positions they play in their club games and keen to test out their versatility in order to challenge his group.

“Players like Sammy Stynes, Austin Bradtke, Cade Logan – I moved them around a bit and discovered they could play all parts of the ground,” he said.

Bradtke and Nick DeBruin in particular were impressive with their ability to play a key position at both ends of the ground. However, the strength of the SMJFL side was in its evenness across all lines with no weak links in the chain.

The even team performance allowed the SMJFL to move the ball beautifully all game with their quick ball movement, which was a by-product of the instruction from their coach to move the ball swiftly by foot.

The SMJFL defenders did a terrific job down back, almost maintaining a clean sheet and not allowing the SEJ to kick their first goal until there were five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Plenty of friends and family turned up to support the boys, something that didn’t go unnoticed by the coach.

“We really appreciate the parents’ commitment over the past 10 weeks as they’ve given up their time just as much as the boys have,” he said.

“Also the Sandringham Dragons are fantastic with their ongoing support of our program.”

It was a promising performance from the SMJFL as they didn’t lose a single quarter on route to a comfortable 42-point win. The next game will be against the Essendon District Football League at Goonawarra Reserve on Saturday the 7th of June.


SOUTH METRO JFL:              0.3 3.6 6.9 9.13 (67)

SOUTH EAST JUNIORS:         0.3 0.3 1.5 3.7 (25)


Goal Kickers: N. Stamatis 2, T. Brimble , J. Woodward , W. Kennedy , J. Patrick , H. Houlahan , N. De Bruin , S. Stynes 

Best Players: T. Brimble, B. Smith, S. Forbes, C. Logan, S. Stynes, A. Bradtke


Goal Kickers: J. Bergman 2, C. Allport 

Best Players: M. Riordan, J. Milivojevic, R. Boland, L. Vaughan, T. Taualii, C. Ramac