This past week was a great learning experience for our side – heavily depleted covering the reserves, with injury and college still out – we were able to blood six debutants in the 18s and four in the Reserves. Bringing this many new players in from our bottom age newcomers to the program is really pleasing for our program – exposing over 75% of our squad to U18 football – even before college returns. We were competitive for the entire first half, winning almost every key statistic on the field – however thanks to some clean finishing Sturt led eight goals straight to five goals three at the main break. Unfortunately, after the break, the strain of too many passengers was too much for us to maintain – with the majority of damaging work being done by few. This coupled with some sloppy decisions – conceding to their level/brand – led to us falling away.
One of our captains Sam Duke was comfortably best afield for us – reading the play and chopping off the opposition with 15 marks (7/8 intercepting) as he quelled the brunt of Sturt’s attacks. Bottom agers Corey Jones and Louis Joseph were the most competitive players on the field, both giving their all to continue to attack till the final siren and play our brand where others were happy to concede. Henry Nelligan was pivotal with goals early and still found the ball easily enough. As college ends and we see 60% of our side return into the program full time, we are greeted with a new challenge. With everything to play for – to lock away a finals spot and even a top-two placing – our focus returns to bringing the hardest and most competitive environment possible at training so that we can acclimatise to the pressure and be more than ready for what the rest of the competition has to throw at us. No side has faced us full strength all season and I look forward to seeing how they cope against us at our best playing our brand again.
STURT: 5.0 8.0 12.5 16.9 (105)
NORWOOD: 3.2 5.3 6.3 7.7 (49)
GOALKICKERS: Nelligan 3, Cavallaro, Dickeson, Jones-Bobridge, Warrick
BEST: Sam Duke, Corey Jones, Henry Nelligan, Louis Joseph.