Airport West 15.11-101 def Hadfield 0.0-0
A well-deserved first up win was the reward for an excellent pre season. This week’s captains were Zak Doyle and Luke Scicchitano; Zak earnt the honour by showing true leadership at training and continued to do so out on the ground; leading by example, taking the game on at every opportunity and kicking two terrific goals. Luke, in his 50th game, was super impressive; you can call me Bill Murray ‘cause it felt like Groundhog Day watching Luke break out of the middle and deliver the ball to our forwards, time and time again (and kicking a major of his own).
Many of Luke’s centre breaks were set up by the precision tap work of Isaac Cullen. Isaac also kicked a great goal; getting his hands up to spoil a certain Hadfield mark, taking possession through a strong second effort, breaking through the pack and kicking long and true.
Flynn Gentile played with skill and grace, reading the play like a pro and winning the ball through both clever positioning and hard work. For one of his two goals, I thought I was at the 1977 VFL Grand Final watching Phil Manassa run the length – however I couldn’t have been because Manassa only had 4 bounces! He also demonstrated great teamwork when passing to Luke for a certain goal when he could have chosen to take the shot himself from further out.
Ryan Martin was a ball magnet and his clean hands allowed him to put space between himself and his opponent, driving the ball forward with his sweeping left foot and kicking truly for two goals.
It was extremely pleasing to see 10 individual goal kickers, demonstrating the team mentality that this group is developing.
Up forward, there was none better than Carlos Intrepido. There were plenty of forward 50 entries thanks to our midfielders, and Carlos was all over them, having 7 shots at goal for a 3-goal return. Rounding out the goalkickers were Tommy Macumber, Marcus Kanavas, Thomas Borg and Dante Munoz.
Tommy was terrific no matter what position he was in, looking dangerous up forward, creating play in the middle and repelling opposition attacks when in defence. Not to be outdone, younger brother Ty Macumber won plenty of the footy by imposing himself on the play, playing above his stature by demanding the ball.
If we were handing out awards for bravery, without question this week’s award would go to Marcus. All players were asked at three quarter time to position themselves under the footy; Marcus did just that in the last quarter and after taking a solid mark, copped a wayward opposition elbow to the head for his trouble. There’s no doubt it hurt; but there were no tears, no complaining (both would have been justified) – just a few moments to compose himself and back on his feet to finish out the quarter in style. Inspirational stuff.
Special mention goes out to first gamers Dylan Fsadni and Peter Taxidis, who both took the game on and showed plenty of potential.
Well done boys for a strong start to what looks to be a fun and exciting season of footy – first game down, the jumpers are washed and hanging out to dry, ready to go for next week (Thanks Caroline!).