Featured Article, General News, Juniors

Juniors Round Up: 2024 Round 1

April 25, 2024

Around the Grounds

With our new Fields still not available, we had 21 of our 23 junior teams playing away games for Round 1. Our U6 Sharks and Dolphins played the first Westside derby match of the Season on Field 3. It was great to see all the excitement and happy faces around the grounds, especially for those kids playing their first game of football!

During the week our U10 Raptors were presented with their Away Jerseys for the Season!

Our Junior DoC, Jo, was out about in Round 1 and said: “What a big day it was with some great football being played & some impressive performances as well. Not all the results went our way however most importantly it was great to see all the players following our #1 Rule of Having Fun”

Also a special thank you to all the Coaches & Managers involved in getting our teams on the park for their first fixture!

U6 Dolphins

Round 1 saw the Under 6 Dolphins play Westside Under 6 Sharks at home. We had a slow start while the team got familiar with the game and with each other. We scored our first goal early on – it may have been in the Sharks goal but those cheers were worth it! 
Sophie got amongst the action early on getting some good kicks in. Joey and Jace had some brilliant runs and almost goals. Luca was always eagerly on the chase or with the ball. Cade had a fantastic game and showed he was here for business. By the second half Abigail and Madeleine were in on the action and confidently attempting to get the ball in our team’s hands. 
A really wholesome first match by the Dolphins and the Sharks with the Sharks taking the win for Round 1. 
Player of the day: Sophie – was super keen to get in amongst it, asking to take all the goal kicks and sidekicks.
Training award: Madeleine – although she found it hard at training, she still gave it a go despite being uncomfortable when separated from the girls.

U6 Sharks

U7 Tigers

The U7 Tigers had a cracker of a game today, with 5 of the players returning from 2023 and one new player having his first ever game.

The boys showed that they had grown in confidence, with lots of passing and calling for the ball. Lots of goals were scored which made the first game even more fun!  Well done Tigers!

U7 Lions

The Lions had their first match as a team, away against the Dayboro Dingoes.  

There was a mixture of nerves and excitement as the match started, but the Lions quickly got into action.  The Dingoes were strong competition, having played together in U6s.  The Lions showed that they are quick learners, meeting the speed of the Dingoes, learning from each other and displaying some great defensive skills.  The Dingoes had plenty of shots for goal, but the Lions did not give up and chased down every opportunity. At half time the score was 3 – 2 to Dayboro.

The second half saw the Lions build in confidence and connect with each other.  There was lots of laughing and players kept going for the ball and giving it a go.  The final score was 6 – 3 to Dayboro, but the Lions definitely felt like they had won too!  

Players of the day awards went to Victor and Emiliano.

U8 Goannas

Team Goanna was excited to start Season 24 with an away game against the Bardon Latrobe Thunderstrikers.

The team played an impressive match, demonstrating great teamwork and endurance, which resulted in a 5-2 victory.

Charlie scored our first goal of the season, and Toby (2), Lachlan H, and Elliott contributed to our win. Elliott and Lachlan H were recognised as Players of the Match for their exceptional skills, determination, and effort.

We’re enthusiastic about the upcoming Season and can’t wait to see what’s in store for us!

U9 Hornets

The Hornets travelled to UQ for their first round clash in the top-tier K2 division, with a very promising start to the season. The individual skills on display of the Hornets were better than UQ, however the Hornets lacked some positional structure, and a bit of toughness on the ball (something to work on at training!).

The Hornets lacked confidence in the first half and were a bit blown away early, and were 3-0 down (would have been twice that if not for the incredible Pierre between the sticks). At halftime, things looked grim.

After the half-time break, the Hornets got back to what we learnt and enjoyed through the week, and for about 10 minutes of the second half they were unplayable. Finding space out wide and holding better shape, largely thanks to Ned’s discipline staying high and wide on the right wing, Pierre organising the defence and Harry dominating through the middle. The Hornets got on the score sheet through a goal which was an exquisite showing of the beautiful football the Hornets are capable of; played out from the back through Paul at right back, lovely pass up the line to Ned, who turned his defender, exploded down the line and pinned Harry in the box with a perfect cross. And Salvi was right in behind Harry as another option too!

Second half was 1-1 and I reckon the Hornets should be well chuffed with how they turned it around. Final score UQ 3 – Hornets 1.

U10 Raptors

The U10 Raptors faced off against Moreton City Excelsior FC U10 Bayern Munich in their much anticipated Round 1 fixture in the K1 division this season. Sporting the new Westside away fluro green jerseys, the Raptors were excited for the match after some solid training sessions over the past month.

It was a comprehensive 7-4 win to the Raptors with some goal highlights below:

U10 Falcons

This week the Falcons were up against UQFC U10 Angels. We started the season with injuries and sickness for a few players. Thankfully we were able to borrow Charlie from U9’s and Billy from U10’s to allow a couple of subs.

The Angels put up a tough fight and the Falcons were under the pump for most of the game. However, we still managed to put away 2 goals by Braxton and Ellis! Great effort by the rest of the boys!

Player of the match went to Braxton. Final score 6-2 to the Angels. 

U10 Vultures

The U10 Vultures kicked off the season by playing UQFC Purple at Cubberla Creek Reserve.

The boys put in a good effort, but ultimately went down 5-0.

There were two close shots on goal from Owen and some great runs by midfielders Sam P and Jasper.

Good defending by Jackson (two goals foiled) Leo, Archer and Billie.

Ben and Max did a great job in goal despite the 5-0 score. They threw themselves onto the ball and kept out lots of shots on goal. 

Harry and James had a good game too and gave it 100%.

U11 Brumbies

The Brumbies were away this week at UQFC playing in great conditions and just beating the afternoon downpours. It’s a new look squad this year due to the ever-increasing number of girls playing which is awesome to see.

The first half was a tense 0-0 affair with most of the game being played in the opposite half. Our defence held firm and they rarely tested our keeper. The distribution of the ball from defence down the lines was particularly good, feeding our wide players. Amber and Maia executed this particularly well. Risha in her first game ever went very close with a powerful shot from range mid-way through the half.

The 2nd half we were caught off guard early conceding 2 quick goals of which the coach is firmly to blame messing up names and positions and stacking the right side of the field leaving us exposed on the left. We stabilised and created good opportunities at the other end before coming unstuck at the back with some cheeky but legal pressure on our 2nd half keeper Hannah who did an amazing job and pulled off some great saves and quick restarts.

We ultimately went down 0-5, but this group of girls showed a lot of talent and I’m really looking forward to the next game and the Season.

U11 Coyotes

The Coyotes put in a very strong performance for the first game of the season at Mitchelton against the Mambas on Saturday.  The team were impressive with their passing and positional play for most of the first half and took the lead after many great chances via a slick goal from Alex C.  Mitchelton struck back just before half-time to make it 1-1 at the break.

The team regrouped after the break to regain most of the possession and field position with many close chances striking the posts and crossbar.  Finally the lead was regained through a brilliant strike from range that curled into the left post and the back of the net by Alex C to get his brace for the match.  Unfortunately, the Mambas were able to strike back late in the game to make it a 2-all draw in the end. Overall a great performance by the Coyotes for their first game of the season with limited training.  Everyone performed at their best, particularly the first gamers in Simeon through the midfield and Lachlan in defence, as well as Sorata and Edgar who are new to the team this season but both showed they will excel through the season.

U11 Dingoes

The U11 Dingoes had their first game of the season away against Bardon Latrobe U11 Rockets on Saturday. This year the Dingoes welcomed two new players, Theo and Xavier, and new coach, Stephen. The boys were excited for the first game, and warmed up well, with a pep talk from coach Stephen, with instructions to focus on using space, passing and pushing forward as a team.

The game started quickly, with the Dingoes dominating possession from the first touch. Diego had an early shot on goal within the first minute, which just went awry. A shot from Joel followed soon after, but again just missed the mark. The game was played in close quarters to the box for the first 10 minutes and the tenacity of the Dingoes was rewarded with the first goal of the season going to Toby. The parents went wild, but the boys were surprisingly chill! They must have known what was to come, because the next 15 minutes were a goal fest for the Dingoes! Diego, Harlem and Zane all scored in quick succession. After a little rest due to an opposition player injury, a penalty was awarded to Joel, who put the ball away neatly. The half-time score was 5-0 to the Dingoes.

At halftime, coach Stephen spoke about using the whole field and finding space. The second half began with a lot of pressure from the Dingoes, with some great passing and crosses to the box. The Rockets were improved on defence in the box during the second half, and the boys found it harder to get the ball through. Harlem showed his skills with an amazing header that was defended by the keeper, but Noah then took the chance to return the ball and get it past! His celebration was great to watch! Joel soon followed up with a brilliant individual goal, and Noah got a second as well.

Toward the end of the game, the heat looked to take a toll on the Dingoes, and they slowed down, with the Rockets pressing the advantage. Ben made a great save to keep the sheet clean, and the final score was 8-0 to the Dingoes.

The players and parents were all stoked with the brilliant start to the season. Last season’s coach, JP, made a special guest appearance at the game and the boys were all excited to see him afterwards. Stephen and JP spoke with the boys about the way they played together as a team, with praise for the way they made choices with passing during the game. Player of the Day awards went  to Toby, for showing great sportsmanship, and Harlem, for creating opportunities for other players. 

U12 Wallabies

U12 Warriors

First game of the season, 1st time playing together as the Warriors and 1st introduction to the new coach Riku, culminated in a loss for our boys away to Bardon today.

The 8.30am kick-off meant some of them might have had to get out of bed earlier than normal, which could be an excuse for the slow start and losing a goal inside 5 minutes… But relief coach English Jon soon had them looking lively and it wasn’t long before the starting 9 remembered who they are and why they were there.

Benson was happy to pull on the keepers jersey for the 1st half, with Jack, Sam and Connor making up the defence who were all under pressure in the opening exchanges. There were (many) moments of magic throughout the 50 minutes of play and Eli stood out on the left wing as Eddie and Eamon controlled the middle of the park.

Bardon however clearly had their own objectives and scored a 2nd goal around 12 minutes despite some solid defending by Charlie, and Eamon working hard up front. Riku and English Jon chose to switch out the subs 3 at a time at regular intervals as our newly formed Warriors U12s continued to work each other out, find their place and get their heads in the game.

Lennon and Remi paired up on occasion with Remi dishing out some well-timed passes. Rhys and Dash found themselves as close to the oppositions goal as anyone else, but just couldn’t find their best foot to unleash the missiles that I’ve no doubt would’ve ensued.

Bardon were the better team today and the result was a fair loss, but there was a MASSIVE upgrade visible with all the players from both teams from their previous U11 status and the potential for our boys was on show for us all to see. I can’t wait to watch them come together over the rest of the season.

U13 Div 2 Boys – Round 4

This is the first match report of the season, but the boy’s 6th game. This team has been formed by a combination of the U11 Wolves and U12 Warriors from last season. The U13 age bracket is the first season where there is an official competition with ladders and play offs. Pre-season the boys played 2 grading games, winning both! Beating The Gap 5 – 2 (proposed Div 2) and Virginia United 9 – 1 (proposed Div 4). These results secured our place in division 2.

On to Round 4 – As anyone who played on Sunday would’ve experienced, it was a wet one. We were checking the field status at 6.30am half expecting games to be cancelled, however UQFC decided to go ahead. Driving in, it really started to pour down. For the start of the match the rain abated, but as you will see from the photos there were periods of having rain during play. The playing conditions were tough, the grass on the pitch was thick and there were a few slips and slices at the ball.

The game started with high intensity, some of the UQ players were nearly 6ft tall! It was going to be a physical game. We have been focusing on playing out from the back by using the attacking wingers to create overloads in the build-up play. This worked in parts, when it broke down it was mainly due to stray passes or good counter-pressing from the UQ side. The boys were progressing the ball to the final third quite well but missing that final ball to create solid goal scoring opportunities in the first half. As a result, we had a lot of corners during the match. Dex scored a great header on 9 minutes from a perfectly whipped in cross from Eli. Great to see Dex get on the score sheet, he heads the ball extremely well and throughout the match he was first to the ball with headed clearances from UQ corners.

Things weren’t going all our way, UQ created chances, but the defense held on admirably. James read the plays as usual and Jakub had to make several saves in the first half. The UQ boys were very physical, getting stuck in with their bodies and going hard shoulder to shoulder. This led to high turnover of the ball in the middle of the park and in the central attacking areas, due to their size they were able to reach further than some of the boys are used to getting a boot in and prevent scoring opportunities. Jett and Flynn showed their strength managing to hold onto the ball and making positive runs down the wings. Jonah also put in a solid shift tracking back and providing good cover in the middle of the back. Sam hit the post with a solid attempt from outside the edge of the box.

Half-time 1 – 0 up.

The half-time team chat centered around 2 focus areas, containing pressure (not diving in on tackles) and attempting through balls to break the defensive line. This was an attempt to prevent UQ from quickly progressing their attacks and provide the front players with balls to run onto instead of attempting to win 1 v 1 situations. Jakub came out of goal and was replaced with Jonah. We’re lucky to have 3 naturally left-footed players in the team, Jakub, Jack and Jett. Jakub started in the left back position for the second half.

It was a slow start to the second half by the boys, UQ scored within the opening 3 minutes and had the better of us for the first 10. However, the boys showed good resilience and worked themselves back into the game. Jakub was having a blinder at left back, winning the ball back under pressure nearly all the time and playing great out balls into Jett. Finn, Jack, Sam, Deash, Dex and Theo were all putting in a solid shift in the middle of the park. Jack had picked up the half-time message and was trying to play through balls, Theo was being crafty with his ball control and nearly got a few shots away, Sam was solid as usual, Finn was winning balls against kids twice his size and dribbling past them.

The momentum had shifted and at the 50-minute mark Eli scored from a long-range effort! We were back in front.

It led to a very frantic end to the game as UQ pushed for an equalizer. At one point James and Jakub defended a 4 v 2 counter-attack, we hung on until the 62nd minute when UQ equalized. The boys kept pushing for the winner. Dash was helping advance multiple attacks on the right wing with Flynn, we just couldn’t get the break-through. In the last minute of the game Flynn picked up a through ball and was one on one with the goalkeeper. Unfortunately, a heavy touch at the end meant he had to square the ball back across the box. Finn picked it up and hit the crossbar! So close to the win!!! All in all, a good performance. It was scrappy at times, but that was understandable considering the conditions. Jakub took out Player of the Day considering his great performance in goal and in the second half as left back. He’s been a great addition to the team. In terms of the takeaways for training, counter-pressing, containing the opposition and closing off the passing lanes, as well as attacking combinations in the final third. We will be ecstatic to finally play some home games! Can’t wait for the new fields to open up!

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