Featured Article, General News, Juniors

Juniors Round Up: 2023 Round 18

October 6, 2023

Around the Grounds

Round 18 saw the Season come to an end for our Miniroos U6 to U12s teams, however our U13 Division 3 boys team had the week off for their upcoming home semi final in early October.

A massive thanks to all the team Coaches and Managers for this season! The generous time and constant effort put into training sessions and game day is appreciated by all!

Another big thanks to DoC Greg for all his time put into providing Coaches with guidance and intensive skill-based training sessions for our kids!

Thankyou to all the parents who have volunteered their time to the Club this Season. Whether it be for Arana Leagues Club raffles, Bunnings BBQ fundraisers, game day Canteen roster, field setups & pack aways, and our end-of-season presentation day bake stall & sales – none of this would happen without your help and the Club greatly appreciates your time. We wouldn’t be the Club we are today without your help!


U6 Tigers

The Tigers Round 18 fixture was at home against Dayboro Orange. The Tigers started the match very competitively, challenging for the ball with several good attempts to score. However, this Dayboro side was very strong and found the back of our goal with long kicks that passed our defence line. Otherwise, the Tigers did really well blocking the players from dribbling to our goal.

A great effort by the Tigers in their final match of the season, but unfortunately the Tigers went down 8-1 with Oscar scoring the only goal.

The Player of the Day awards went to Theo and Ryker.

U9 Falcons

The Falcons Round 18 fixture was at home against UQFC White. In the previous encounter with UQFC White, the Falcons went down 5 nil. For this match, the Falcons come out very pumped to show they are a better team and to finish the season on a high. During the match, the Falcons showed some great passing play and great hustle to challenge for the ball. A notable difference from the previous game, the Falcons did not allow the UQFC players to have clear shots on goal. In turn the Falcons had more opportunities on UQFC goals but were unlucky to miss.

The Falcons went down 3-1 in the end with Braxton scoring for the Falcons. But the scoreboard didn’t reflect the true effort of the boys. At the final whistle, the boys showed complete exhaustion on their faces and all were deserving of the Player of the Day awards.

U9 Raptors

The Raptors took on Bardon Black in their final game of the Season. Check out the highlights reel below:


U11 Wallabies

The U11s Westside Wallabies match at home against Newmarket on Saturday was set to deliver the perfect end to their season well before the 8.30am kick-off.

Stirred up and motivated by Coach Brett and Ben, there was undoubtedly a sense of excitement, enthusiasm and exhilaration emanating from a full squad of 12 this morning.  There was also an aura of assurity and confidence that maybe stemmed from a subconscious realisation (would be nice to imagine a conscious reflection from our 10-year-olds) of how far they’ve come this year as individuals and as a team, under a tremendous coaching team and supported by a great group of parents.

The game kicked off with Benson in goals and not much for him to do early on.  The pressure was all on the travelling team with Charlie shouting educated instructions to his teammates in defence and midfield.  Within 5 minutes Charlie found himself near the Newmarket goal and he slotted one into the bottom left corner to make it 1-0 to our boys.

Newmarket never had much fight in them and Grovely were always looking like the sharper and more experienced team. Dash piled on the pressure up front with plenty of support from Rhys who seemed to be in 10 places at once sometimes.  Brett even loaned out Remy and Jack to try and even it up, but still everything seemed to be going the Wallabies way.  It was definitely going Ethan’s way when the ball fell to him just inside the 18-yard box and found his left foot that blasted a shot nearly bursting the net.  Shortly after another beauty of a top left pocket (apparently, that’s what the net corners are called these days) 20-yarder that Beckham would’ve been proud of from Remy.

At 3-0 the Wallabies were looking good.  Remy, Nash, Eddie and Zac were stringing passes together.  Alex was interrupting the attacks on the left with his unique and 100% effective style, and Lysander was winning tackles and getting some timely touches in on the right.

Just before halftime, a corner from Ethan found Nash on the edge of the 6-yard box who put it away nicely to make it 4-0 to the home side.

The 2nd half started AFTER the Wallabies were pinged for trying to field 10 men, but once the numbers were sorted the boys in red were back to the business of winning.

Coach Brett made a few changes at the break that saw Bomber Benson come out of goal and Lysander in, and Jack (McKrack) again pushed up to a forward position.

Zac was in good form and he was creating space and offloading some nice passes on the attack, and once again Eddie’s calm under pressure and ability to get out of tight spots stood out.

The strategic transitions at halftime proved to be another of Coach Brett’s wonder moves.  A breakaway from a corner at our end saw a long ball sent through to Jack who with 2 defenders closing in, sidestepped one and just managed to send the ball goal-bound.  On any other day, any keeper would’ve stopped the effort, but not today.  A fumble over the line saw the Wallabies’ 5th and final for the game and the season and Jacks 1st ever.

The other halftime change magnified Benson’s contribution and his outfield skills were on show – just unfortunate not to capitalise with a goal from several runs down the left.

Newmarket showed up and played with pride and sportsmanship and it was nice to see them being rewarded with 2 goals in the 2nd half to end the game 5-2 to the Wallabies.

A fitting end to a successful season on so many levels for the U11 team. Rhys was the receiver of the Player of the Day award this week for his smart play, work effort and distribution.  Well done Rhys.

U11 Wolves

The final game of a long season and pre-season. The Wolves fell just short last week, having conceded a late goal from a penalty kick against Bardon. The Gap had beaten the Wolves earlier in the season 3 – 1 at their place. We conceded a couple of sloppy goals on that day, one from a corner and one from a mix up at the back. Plus, the pitch at the Gap is tiny as well as the goals, the Wolves struggled to adjust on the day. Memorably, Teo booted one shot into the adjacent car park! For this game we had no subs, Jack being out with illness.

Some of the Wolves were very sluggish out of the blocks, 4 of the boys coming from a sleepover the night before for Teo’s 11th Birthday. We also had an intense game on the full-size pitch with the U12s on Thursday night, not sure that helped prepare for the game but it was a great way to end the season’s training. It was tough going early on, although pretty even, both teams were creating chances. Landon made an exceptional save early doors, diving to his left to prevent the ball from going top bins. James was saving us at the back reading the plays very well.

The Gap scored toward the back end of the first half with a lucky no-look volley from near halfway that just crept in under the bar. Landon had no chance as he was correctly positioned off his goal line given where the ball was struck from. The Gap got a second before half time when a player wasn’t picked up and closed down quick enough at the end of the box. At this point there was concern from the sideline that the Gap could run away with it.

During the half-time break the boys were reminded how quickly things can turn around, with it being possible to score in 10s from end to end as they have done before. A couple of technical points around moving to the ball and scanning to be aware of the space around them when receiving. Even though some of them were clearly tired, they were encouraged to make sure they left everything on the pitch and the tanks were empty to see out the last game of the season.

The second half they started strongly, but unfortunately The Gap found the back of the net from a counterattack. To be fair it was a great through ball to their striker who positioned himself very well, took the ball in his stride and finished it off. So 3 – 0 down.

Teo, despite being tired, was having a great game. In the second half, Eli, who was also struggling a fair bit through the match, was moved to the left wing and Finn put into the centre. Eli made some exceptional runs down the left wing, playing balls in with his left foot at times. He can strike the ball really well with both feet now. Finn, Noah, Alex and Teo were combining well, moving the ball around, using the channels and keeping some decent possession. Alex and Teo in particular have been linking up well with short corners on the right wing, Eli has been hitting some awesome inswingers for the left. We nearly scored from some of the plays.

It turned out to be Teo’s day, he bagged 2 goals late on, both great strikes. It made the end of the match very interesting; The Gap were all at sea and the Wolves had a second wind. The boys pushed super hard, but The Gap managed to hold on with a few time-wasting plays. If only we had 5 more minutes, I think we could have done them.
For next season the boys were instructed that they can only party on Friday nights if coach Jon is invited and can bring beers J. All in all, a great season, 9 wins 9 losses, 43 goals and positive goal difference of +5. Five wins out of the last eight, 7 of the losses with only a couple of goals in it.

A few closing notes on the boys…

Landon, we’re so lucky to have him. He’s a great goalkeeper and it makes a huge difference to the games. He can make great saves and knows when to apply pressure. Thanks to Rob and Alyssa for providing additional coaching for him during the season. Towards the end of the season, we have been most impressed with the improvement of his long goal kicks, consistently finding the targets and making it beyond halfway when required. This will give us many tactical opportunities next season to mix up plays from the back.

Maxi and Sam have done extremely well playing at this higher level. Sam’s first season playing football! Sam’s literally been thrown to the Wolves! I can’t believe he’s managed it and done so well. Maxi and Sam’s containing play, tackling and striking of the ball has come on significantly in the second half of the season. Maxi has really been a surprise package, 50 / 50 as to whether he would play this season, he has applied himself excellently in games and is getting the hang of defending as a unit. James, what can you say, great speed, football IQ and vision. Anyone who has watched the games knows how impressive he is. As these boys continue to develop their passing ability and awareness, we’re going to have some even more exciting football to watch next season.

Noah has been an animal in the CDM role, he is up there with the best in the league in terms of his tackling and ability to apply pressure. In recent weeks he has gotten on the score sheet and is learning to head the ball well and control the natural power he has. You can count on Noah to fight until the last second, unbelievable energy and commitment toward the team. Alex, who has been a rock for the team for many years, progressed from a CB role a few seasons ago into the CAM role. He is able to execute great turns with the ball coming to him at pace, has a really high football IQ, you can count on him to make great passes and through balls when called upon and is no slouch on the tackling front either. Probably the first to really understand off the ball movement in the attack phase. A silent achiever on the pitch.

Finn, who was out for periods at the start of the season due to family commitments, really hit his stride in the back half. He already had natural pace and a great ability to find the right spaces, he’s really developed his dribbling at pace and first touch. There’s been multiple assists by him from the left-wing where he has threaded the needle, great stuff. After missing a few chances earlier in the season, we won’t forget his first goal, an awesome first touch and buried into the bottom corner. As his striking of the ball improves, he will be tough to stop next season. Jack probably had the most difficult season out of anyone, with persistent growing problems with his heels. In recent weeks, after receiving treatment, it’s been great to see him come back to his old self. His ball control is second to none, he’s played a vital role all over the pitch, at left back, CDM or LW. Recently he played a perfectly weighted through ball into space for Eli leading to a goal. He’s good at using that big noggin of his as well to head the ball. I reckon Jack’s going to have a great season next year.

Dexter, who unfortunately missed a few games at the end, had a great season. Historically one of the strikers and goal scorers, Dex has more recently moved into RB and RW positions, where he has provided multiple assists. There is no one better on the team than Dex at holding onto the ball, then creating some space to get a cross or pass into a dangerous area. His ability to clear balls from corners is also exceptional.
Then comes the final front 2 players, Eli and Teo. These boys, at the expense of many a neighbours’ and parents’ sanity, have been smashing the balls in their respective back yards for months. It really showed this season, as their dribbling and striking the ball skills have gone to another level. Eli with 26 and Teo with 10 goals for the season. Eli’s pace with the ball is electric at times and Teo’s ball skills have drawn attention from other coaches during the season. Teo towards the end of the season has played some awesome killer passes and crosses, he is starting to understand how to move the ball around and maintain possession as well. Eli, when he gets his head up, can execute pretty much any pass or strike with both feet. In the off season, we’ll get him looking up a bit more whilst dribbling, and work on decision making around when to look to maintain possession and when to run at the defence, he’ll be deadly next season. For Teo, if he works as running at pace into space, he will also be nearly unstoppable at times.

Thanks for all the support from the Club, parents and kids. Let’s go Westside, keep playing, keep dreaming!

U12 Gliders

The final round this season saw the U12 Gliders facing The Gap Santorini. With Isla and goalkeeper, Blair both unable to make this match, we were in need of a little extra help in the defence department.

Fortunately, the U13s Phoenix girls were more than happy to help out and, unlike last week, we found ourselves spoilt for substitutes with Amber, Kate, Josie and Naomi by our side. Katie Bianco started off in goals and, just for something different, Acting Coach Joachim put Elvie as striker, kicking off the game.

It was great to have Amber back with the Gliders for this last game and both Amber and Naomi were adroit in moving the ball down the wings with speed. The Gap could sense something had changed and were pressing hard but Alex was brilliant in defence as was Charlotte with the power of both girls’ kicks this season having improved dramatically.

When The Gap did get a shot at goal, Katie was quick to block it. Unfortunately there was no time to get back in position and their next attempt immediately after snuck past and into the net. Twenty minutes into the game and the same thing happened agained, with an amazing save by Kate, who had taken over as keeper, followed by a lucky goal for The Gap.

Half time and it was time to regroup. The Gliders were doing an impressive job of getting the ball up the field, and had been close to scoring on a number of occassions, but still had a tendency to crowd one another. Defence were instructed to run up and meet the opposition and the midfield to hang back. The girls were reminded to focus on managing their own behaviours and to ignore any behaviour beyond their control. Sophia and Nina were making sure The Gap had no opportunity to dominate the midfield and at this stage the match was far from over and was looking to be one of our most competitive games yet.

The second half saw Kate continue as goalkeeper, freeing Katie to play forward and make the spectacular long runs at goal she is becoming known for. A spontaneous rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” from Gliders on the sideline spurred the girls forward and Freya ,Naomi and KB were cooperating brilliantly passing the ball between them in the forward line.

Scarlett was finessing the midfield with some well timed turns and Tabitha was the epitome of a team player in defence, making neat passes from the wing and sending the ball back up the line.

When asked about KB’s goal, the Gliders’ only goal this game, onlooker Sam (U11 Wolves) described it as, “A soft, concentrated touch into the left corner of the net, which left the goalkeeper wondering what had happened”. That’ll do! The Gliders lost 2-1 in the end but morale was bouyant. The girls joined the team as individuals, but have come together as a team, supporting each other, respecting the skill sets required for each other’s positions, and strengthening their bond.

Thank you Gliders for putting in the hard work, week after week, at training and at games, for getting us out of the house on Saturdays, giving us something to cheer for and for making us proud. Have a rest up and we’ll see you next season!


U12 Warriors


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