First hitout of the year

26 March 2012

Saturday March 24 saw St. Bernard's have our first hit out for season 2012 against an opponent.

The football club hosted University Blues for a day of practice matches.

Seventeen quarters of football were played, with the club's under 19(2) and U19 Premier squad having a good hit out against the Uni Blues U19 squad. With approximately ten U18 squad members playing in the U19(2) game, the first three quarters were all about Serge Romano (U18 coach) and Kevin Jones (recently appointed U19(2) coach) having a look at what various members of their squad could do.

The U19 Premier team dominated the tiring U19 side of Uni Blues for two quarters, before coming up against the Uni Blues thirds team for a quarter. Aside form the first few minutes where the boys seemed a little intimidated by the physical size of the Uni Blues senior players, this was probably the best quarter of football played by the 19 Premier squad. We actually started to dictate terms a little towards the latter stages of this quarter. Certainly early indications are that this talented group of players will be very competitive in the highest grade of VAFA U19 football. Coach Peter Wood was very impressed with what he saw, particularly the boys attempts to stick to structures the team has been working on over the pre season.

Seven of the U19 Premier team then played a further 3 quarters against the Uni Blues thirds team, and by all accounts from coach Frank Monaghan, the boys continued to acquit themselves very well. The only disappointing aspect of the day was the "no show" by about half a dozen thirds players. This is particularly frustrating, particularly considering the huge effort by Paul Garth in organising the logistics for such a big day and many volunteers on the day in then hosting such a big day of football. Aside form this little blip, the quality of football again in the remainder of this thirds game was of reasonable quality, and the boys enjoyed a very good hit out.

The main message from the last 8 quarters of football, which saw the reserves side take on perennial A Grade premiers, Uni Blues, and the firsts come up against last year's A Grade first semi finalist, was that we were more then competitive. Coaches Damien Sullivan (reserves) and Chris Tankard (firsts) believe they uncovered some new talent, and saw the continued improvement of the large number of young players we currently have at the club. Results are not the focus of these games. In fact, I do not know what the scores of either game were. What was most impressive about the senior teams efforts was their abilities to execute the coaches game plan and structures under the increased intensity of a quality A Grade opponent.

All in all, the day was deemed a success. We now look forward to next week, when the club hosts Collegians for four games and the U18/U19(2) squads have a hit out against UHS at Arden Street.

Craig Connelly