Coming off a few weeks with no games, the boys came into the Round 16 game a little rusty. With 13 changes from our win the last time we played, there were plenty of new faces in the side ready to show what they were capable of. A real credit to their intent over the break we had every single available Under 16 player playing, as they had all stood out on the track and earned their opportunities over players one or two years their senior. Being the ladder leaders for a reason thus far, we knew what to expect from Glenelg coming into it and were not disappointed by the challenge that came early in the piece – with GFC controlling most of the play through their bigger bodies and solid organisation off the ball.
Despite lacking the control of possession, we are used to, the boys did well to hold the surging opposition at relative bay early in the game – as while we went down by five goals at the first break, we had equally enough entries and chances of our own to post a similar score, if not for inaccuracy on the final kick heading in and when aiming for the goals. Following this initial deficit, we were able to take control for a large portion of the second quarter but again the final execution of our overall ball movement let us down when we came to score.
Ned Carey in his first game back in the junior programs in over two years presented well up forward – showing why his speed, physicality and size are an ominous combination – if only we had used him more effectively. While we stopped the rot in how much we were conceding there was no doubting Glenelg were simply far more drilled in their positioning and they controlled most of the match on the outside, playing really disciplined spacing while our boys got caught ball chasing senselessly. Other than some degenerate character lapses in the fourth quarter by some of our players, we were really pleased with the effort the lads brought through the tough going – never rolling over and competing with team spirit and intent all the way to the end. From an individual point of view, Matthew Dnistriansky played his best defensive game all year (imposing himself in physical contests), Grant Catalano went from strength to strength in only his third game outplaying many players two years his senior, and Will Bowman played another selfless team first game.
This week we once again look to give opportunities to those who are willing to put in the work on the track, as while we have little to play for on the ladder, we are playing for much more important stakes – individual development, team pride and our spots in this program going ahead (seniors and juniors). This week we travel to West Adelaide to face another ladder leader and we are excited at the challenge of redemption, as while we choked the last time we played the Bloods, we are a different side here (in personnel and development phase) and are ready to give it our best crack.
NORWOOD: 0.3 2.5 3.7 6.8 (44)
GLENELG: 5.2 9.6 12.9 17.10 (112)
GOALS: Carey 2, Rahui 2, Dnistriansky, Joseph
BEST: Matthew Dnistriansky, Grant Catalano, Will Bowman, Louis Joseph, Ned Carey, Peter Minervini. Team First Role Players: Will Bowman, Louis Joseph, Ned Carey, Caleb Barton.