After the first six rounds of the 2019 season, it’s time we take a closer look at how our four La Trobe University Football Club sides are travelling. The club has predominantly settled into its new facilities after hosting five out of the six rounds.
There has been a couple of early-season divisional changes for our women’s and under 19 men’s sides. The 19’s have moved into Division four from division three, while the women’s side moved from Premier B to Division One, after the reserves team folded due to unsustainable numbers. Division one is the highest possible division for standalone teams.
Round One we held our Family and Friends Day, which featured a quintuple header at the opening of our new Tony Sheehan Oval. The day was a huge success and we appreciate the huge number of spectators that turned up to support our teams. Next big day is our round nine quadruple header for Sponsors Day.
Our Women began round one with the Reserve Women having an amazing come from behind win to register our only victory for the women’s this year.
Despite the scoreboard not necessarily going our way in other games, full back Brittany Bordignon has been a shining light for the seniors. She has been in career best form down back and had cemented herself as an early contender for the B&F.
Round four was the first Division One game for the ladies after being relocated. The match was a thrilling contest which saw the girls in it until the final minutes. Unfortunately, a five-goal breeze in the opposition’s favour and some temperamental weather saw them fall short by ten points. The performance highlighted the competitiveness they will bring to their new division and we eagerly await their future results after a couple of close loses in Division One.
Other notable players of the season so far include Ros Melican and Steph Casta who have been good through the midfield, while new recruits Sarah Watts and Grace Alsop have frequently been included in the best players. Returning from injury Steph Velona, has added some much-needed composure from the wing which earns her the April Women’s Player of the Month honours.
Our U19 Men had a tough start to the season after being placed in the wrong division for the first three matches. Since then they have been super competitive despite their lack of available numbers, which has regularly led to them playing without a bench.
In round four the unders challenged top side Peninsula and were trailing by just nine points at three quarter time. Unfortunately, some of their star players in Calvin Ross, Will Luhrs and Will Humphreys had to leave early to go play seniors. The Trobers just fell short of their first win, finishing the game with only 16 players on the field in a game that demonstrated their potential to be a force in Division Four.
Round five involved another close encounter, this time against St Kevin’s. The returns of Calvin Ross and Will Luhrs were key inclusions, however five big outs in Paddy McCormack (Seniors), Brad Tremellen (Reserves), Will Holmes, Liam Whitbourne and Thomas Floyd once again left the boys undermanned with only 19 players, falling just short once again.
Although there haven’t been any wins for the under 19s so far, seven members of the side in Bailey Zimmerman, Will Humphreys, Calvin Ross, Will Luhrs, Paddy McCormack, Darcy Thorn and Will Holmes have already tasted senior action. This will no doubt be invaluable for them and the under 19s as they look to make their move up the ladder.
Players of note include skippers Brad Tremellen and Richy Dell who continue to lead by example, while Ed Fleming, Thomas Floyd, Jacob Ellett, Lachlan Mitchell and Nathan Richardson have also shown a lot. Ethan Bowman has hit the scoreboard on numerous occasions and Tate Tregea-Copeland has been pivotal in defence. The fact that 18 individual players have been named in the best this year shows just how much depth the 19s have. If the boys stick together and continue to work hard it is inevitable that the first win is just around the corner.
Our Reserve Men began with a narrow round one loss before going on a three-game winning streak, under the expert guidance of rookie coaches Squeak and Laz. They presently sit fourth on the ladder.
The reserves have enjoyed the luxury of returning senior players Sam Benetti-Baker and Billy Higgins in rounds one, two and four. Both the boys saw an enormous amount of the ball and as a result are believed to have suffered a severe bout of leather poisoning.
Women’s Senior Coach Jaryd Coghill has made the most of his two appearances, kicking small bags of four and three.
Club stalwarts in Mark O’Brien, Sam Condon and Will Lowry have made their returns, while skipper Alex Hodgson and second-year player Jackson Ferguson have been influential in the team’s early success. Recruits Ryan Wills, Brendan Plowman and Lachlan Galvin have been promising additions to the side.
Our Senior Men had big round one win kicked off their campaign in style. Seven multiple goalkickers formed part of a great team performance, which was a fitting way to christen the new oval.
The following rounds featured some tough battles where the side was hampered by slow starts. Unfortunately, the boys consistently left too little time to bridge the gap and get the win.
In round five the slow starts were put to bed, as the side came out firing early against the undefeated Eley Park, eventually cruising home to a comfortable victory. Two wins and three close losses places the ones just outside the top four on percentage.
Last season’s VAFA Division Three, Team of the Year ruckman Matt Ogle has been phenomenal so far with the midfield brigade benefitting from his dominance. In the middle 2018 B&F winner Tom Mooney has relished the presence of some new midfield depth, with the additions of Jade Russell, Callum Randell, Bailey Zimmerman and Ricky Nolan.
Young guns Joel McCarten and Lachlan Tunbridge have thrived in new roles this season, while the returning Lachie Cooke has been an electric presence down forward.
With plenty of footy to come in the year the Trober teams look to build off the positives within the opening rounds of this 2019 season.
Published by Matthew Hughes 19.05.2019