Featured Article, General News, Juniors

Juniors Round Up: 2023 Round 15

August 25, 2023

Around the Grounds

The August “Ekka” winds had finally made it to town and it was a brisk morning of football across the South-East with one of the cooler mornings this Season we have had to play football. Westside put together some good results across the age groups, with some teams continuing to dominate in their divisions!

U6 Tigers

The Tigers Round 15 fixture was at home, playing against the Pine Hills Echidnas. A really good match to watch with the play moving back and forth at both ends of the pitch. Oscar started the scoring with a great run past a coupe of players for a nice goal. The Tigers played really well defensively with a notable save by Asher to cut across the goal to clear a shot from what would have been an easy goal for Pine Hills. Max S continued the scoring with a couple of goals but had a handful more attempts on goal that were unlucky. Likewise Theo had several shots on goal but was unlucky hitting the upright a couple of times. Similarly, Asher, Ryker and Max H were very close to score with the ball reaching the goal line on their attempts but not going over.

A really well played match by the Tigers however Pine Hills returned serve each time the Tigers scored to end the match 3-all. The Player of the Day awards this week went to Max H and Ryker.

U7 Geckos

The Geckos played the Samford Bulls last weekend, who were tough opposition. The Geckos were able to score first but the Bulls were well organised and leveraged their strengths to get back in the game shortly after.

After a very close first half that ended with the Bulls 2-1 up, they came out strong in the second half. After a few quick goals from the Bulls, the Geckos worked hard to stay in the game.

Whilst the Bulls ultimately scored more goals, it was pleasing to see our players passing and then moving to a position to receive the ball again.

Player of the Day awards went to Jackson and Seth for their great efforts.

U9 Falcons

The Falcons Round 15 fixture was away, playing against Newmarket Cyclones. A couple of the Falcons players wanted to have a shot at goalkeeping this week with Ned in goal for the first half then replaced by Braxton in the second half.

The Falcons played well this week to compete for the ball with great kicks and passing attempts. However, offensively it was a challenge to mount any structured attack. Last week the Falcons shutout the opposition, this week they got a taste of their own medicine going down 2 nil.

The Player of the Day awards this week went to Ben and Woody.

U9 Vultures

The Vultures were home to Toowong missing only James to sickness.

Toowong started well, running into a strong wind, forcing Ellis to make a number of saves. Henry, Edgar, Theo, Eli, and Leo all defended well, and it was a very well worked run by Toowong down the wing pulling defenders wide then crossing to an unmarked forward who slotted past Ellis.  An uncharacteristic error at the back left the goal open for Toowong’s second goal. Meanwhile Fletcher didn’t have many chances up front, as we spent most of the half defending against some quality attack.

2-0 to Toowong at half-time.

Second half Archer was injured, reducing the bench, but Archie, Theo, Ellis, & Likit started to run the ball more and cause trouble. Ellis & Archie both with excellent opportunities. But it was Theo again with a left foot goal! Ellis setup Likit who forced a great save. Westside won plenty of corners, and Leo placed them all nicely in the box, but none found the net.

Toowong managed a breakaway goal, and a very fortunate chip which the wind seemed to carry just over Edgars head for a 4-1 win to Toowong.

Our boys entertained again, creating chances, taking their shots, and making their supporters proud.

The Player of the Day award this week went to Ellis – a couple of nice saves in goal, excellent running with the ball up front, a nice setup pass to Likit, and great sportsmanship encouraging his upset goalkeeper from the sidelines.

U9 Raptors

The Raptors took on UQFC Maroon at home this week for Mika’s birthday. Check out the highlights below:

U10 Brumbies

U11 Wolves

This week saw the reverse away fixture against the Taringa Rovers. In the first fixture at home the Wolves came away with an impressive 4 – 0 victory. On that day we were also missing some key players and required fill-ins, we were hoping for big things from this one! It was also the first recorded game using the Veo camera. Collectively we had reviewed the footage some weeks ago and the boys revisited the footage prior to the game. Chasing down 50 goals for the season, with 36 goals so far, we went into the game with an attacking mindset. In particular the right and left back players were encouraged to move up when progressing the ball down their respective wings. The game was played on a smaller pitch than at Westside and the wind was noticeable for the afternoon kick off.

The Taringa side were at a significantly higher level than that of the prior game, they started with a lot of intensity and were moving the ball around effectively in parts. They had one striker in particular with great pace that was causing us issues throughout the game. The Wolves were holding their own, but it was a little scrappy in the first half. Initially we started with a 3 – 3 – 2 formation, with the view of having 6 supporting the attack in possession. This proved to be a little bullish, the defense was absorbing a lot of pressure on the counterattack. Credit to James and Landon for holding strong under a lot of pressure.
During general play the team was pressing well. However, in training we haven’t been focusing as much on pressing from goal kicks in recent weeks and it showed in the first half. Taringa had too much space to work with and it was causing us problems. Despite this, we were winning corners and then some magic happened. Teo and Eli have been mastering the in-swinging corners and they were excellent in this game. Right into the box, heading toward goal, it was giving Taringa nightmares in defense. We scored 2 goals from corners in the first half! Finn scored a header from Eli’s delivery and Noah scored a header from Teo’s delivery. Wasn’t expecting that!

2 – 0 half-time.

There was plenty to talk about during the half-time break. The formation was reverted back to 3 – 2 – 3 and the whiteboard was pulled out to remind the boys how to press goal kicks, to move as a team to cut off the passing lanes and force an error. Teo was pushed back onto the right wing and Noah pushed back into the CDM role which he excels at. Jack was rotating LW and LB with Finn and Maxi respectively. It was one of those days where the ref had left his whistle at home and the boys were being pushed off the ball a fair bit, Eli in particular took a nasty knock earlier on which didn’t help proceedings. The boys were encouraged to use their body more to maintain and regain possession. We were lucky not to concede in the first half!

The second half started much better, the boys executed the press much better from the goal kicks. Eli got on the board pretty early on, yes from a pressing move following a goal kick. Their defence was closed down quickly and they panicked, putting the ball into Noah who chipped the ball into Eli who slotted it home, 3 – 0. From then on it forced Taringa to play long, which they didn’t have much success with either for the rest of the game.

It wasn’t plain sailing at all for the Wolves in the second half, it was still very competitive. The team has definitely struggled on the smaller pitches this season. Taringa missed an open goal and had 3 or 4 solid chances. If it wasn’t for James at CB, it would’ve been a different score line.

The Wolves held on for a 3 – 0 win, the last away game for the season. The footballing gods were definitely shining on us this day! Player of the Day awards went to James and Finn. Certainly, a couple of areas that need to be revisited in training prior to next week’s game. 3 games to go and 11 goals required to meet the target. Let’s go Wolves.

U11 Wallabies

With head coach Brett AWOL, 2IC coach Ben stepped up to manage a far from full strength U11 Westside Wallabies team today against Samford Rangers.

Bang on midday, the home team wearing blue (reminiscent of their more famous namesake SPL side) kicked off against the familiar red of our Wallabies lads. We’ve probably all been wondering where the westerly winds that normally accompany the Ekka have been this week but the teams and supporters felt it today!

The home team started the match with the wind behind them and it took both teams a few kicks to appreciate what they were up against in terms of the conditions and the opposition.
The 1st half saw a few long-range shots go over the bar from Remy in the midfield. Lysander battled well up front as he enjoyed his usual half game on the main dance floor and helped the Wallabies to pile on pressure against the home team. It was end to end action that saw Eddie the midfield maestro dominating his space with great support from Zac.

Unfortunately, it was the Rangers who found the net 1st with a 16th minute looping shot over Charlie’s head as he was caught off his line. Not to be disheartened the Wallabies fought on with Ethan having several great attempts in the face of the unwavering wind before the half time whistle went.

After oranges and a World Cup worthy pep talk from coach Ben the boys were pumped up for the 2nd half with the advantage of the wind behind them on the attack. It only took Dash 3 minutes to find the net through a crowded penalty area following a wayward shot from Jack to make it a goal apiece. The Wallabies kicked up a gear then with a lot of great runs made and a thundering 30 yard shot from Rhys (who also provided some great defensive cover throughout the 50 minutes) that unfortunately hit the woodwork instead of the string.

Coach Ben continued to rotate his men strategically to keep them optimal to the end. None with more impact than returning Charlie to the red back from the goalkeepers pink shirt where once again in his natural habitat he side footed the Wallabies 2nd with pin point accuracy into the bottom right corner.

Not long after Eddie’s consistency was rewarded with a well taken right footer that must’ve left the Wallabies thinking it was all over. The Rangers were not finished yet though and it was Alex and his customary dogged determination in defence that foiled the home sides forwards on too many occasions for me to count. 2-up with only a few minutes on the clock the midfield were tiring (a likely result of screen time taking precedence over conditioning these days) but Dash wasn’t done either and with clear sight of the target he pulled the trigger from the edge of the box and fired home number 4 for the travelling team.

The wind made it a challenging game for all the players and todays standouts Eddie and Dash were rewarded with the Player of the Daw awards, while the rest of the team, support crew and travelling supporters I’m sure went home happy with the 1-4 away win!

U12 Gliders

This week the Gliders faced the Virginia United Diamonds on home turf. There was a lot of expectation around this game as the Gliders had had a very close game last time.

Due to a number of players being away for various reasons the Gliders were supported by a few U13 players to ensure they could field a full team.

After testing each other for the first 5 minutes the Gliders scored the first goal from a brilliant play by our offense with KB securely placing the ball in the Diamonds goal. This looked possible to be the Gliders first win and the team played their hearts out. The lack of Isla in our defensive line up and Sophia absent from the midfield meant Charlotte, Scarlett and Alex had their work cut out for them and the Diamonds equalised.

The Gliders fought to maintain the ball as much as possible on the Diamonds half and successfully secured the second goal from yet another strong play by KB stealing the ball after a Diamond goal kick. Unfortunately, the hole in our centre became more apparent and by half time the Diamonds were leading 3-2.

Second half was rough from the Gliders, possession was difficult. The Diamonds ran the ball down the middle time and time again. Blair, having found her confidence despite the pressure did her best to keep the score down, but towards the middle of the second half the Gliders were down 5-2.

After a few substitutions to keep our players playing at their best, Freya took the ball for a run up the left wing seeking to cross to KB and Katie, but as the Diamonds were keeping our strikers busy Freya placed a beautiful cross into the upper left corner of the goal to reduce the lead to 5-3 at full time.

Player of the Day awards went to KB and Freya.

U12 Warriors

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