As we start to hit the pointy end of the season, let us take the opportunity to look at how our Trobers have fared in 2021 so far.
Our Women only have the two regular season games left and unfortunately will fall short of playing finals this season but are looking to finish off the season strong with two winnable games ahead.
With a big influx of new youth our women had 14 debutants across the first month of footy. The opening rounds were a real mixed bag of results: going down by a point, a scoreless game and then a big 50-point win. Captain Kate Bond broke away early with two best-on-ground performances and leading the goal kicking with four goals. It was Kaitlyn Ritchie however that was awarded April Player of the Month for her stellar form at centre-half forward. Round Four saw our women notch up back-to-back wins with a convincing win over cross-town rivals RMIT. New players Annie Atkinson and Amanda Olschyna featured in the best multiple times, while Vanessa Lacock-Smith worked hard in the ruck in her return to footy.
The rest of the women’s season has been very interrupted with lockdown and three bye weeks meaning they have only played four games in nine weeks. That has not stopped our women showing up in numbers on the training track and to club social events. Despite the interruptions and not being able to register another win since starting 2-2, senior coach Jaryd Coghill has been impressed with the girl’s endeavour and development this season as they look to begin a new era at the Club. The backline has been extremely reliable with experienced Trobers Charlotte Croome and Elise Freeman leading the way. New full-forward Hayley Wapper has managed to trouble the scorers with four majors but it’s still Kate Bond that leads with eight goals. Both Natalie Cappelletti and Teresa D’Angelo have continued to build over the weeks after both returning from serious leg injuries in 2019.
All signs are pointing towards an exciting finish to the season with hopefully a win on Family and Friends Day to complete the season. The big pending question will be can Kate Bond take out another senior Best and Fairest and her first Leading Goal Kicker or will she be challenged by Annie Atkinson, Kaitlyn Ritchie or Natalie Cappelletti for the honours this season? Regardless, what a finish to the season we have to look forward too.
Our Reserve Men continued their winning form from the 2019 season with a new look team, including the return of club legends Grant Dowler and Michael Correnti as joint-coaches and star full forward Jordy O’Brien returning to play at the club.
Starting the season 4-0 included many individual standout performances. Harry Thackray had self-proclaimed leather poisoning in the season opener, while Tate Spiteri kicked five majors. Jordy O’Brien destroyed Masala the next week kicking 10 goals but was up staged by Mitch Oliver who managed 11 goals in the same game. While 19 players featured in the best players across the first four games demonstrating plenty of depth. Highlights included Tyler Costa making his senior debut in what was his 50th game milestone and the likes of Robbie Fawcett, Darcy Thorn, Tom Floyd, Nick Delaney, Lachlan Mitchell and Danny Thwaites all getting a call up from our Thirds and making an immediate impact in the 2’s.
As our Senior Men were ravaged by injury it meant many of our Reserve Men got a senior call up which began to test our depth. Much like our Senior Women our Reserve Men have had an interrupted season with two opposition forfeits and the lockdown seeing us enter the league bye with a record of 7-3 after a four-week layoff mid-season. Campbell McKenzie has been running hot featuring in the best every week since returning from lockdown and earning himself the June Player of the Month. Brad Tremellen has also featured in the best multiple times after the break and Captain Josh Hay has been leading the troops well.
Jordy O’Brien has all but secured the Leading Goal Kicker award being 22 goals ahead of spearhead Jaryd Coghill and rugby convert Simon Rathbone. With the end of the Uni holidays approaching, here is hoping our Reserve Men can begin to feed Jordy O’Brien a little more on his quest to kicking 100 goals in a season.
Our Senior Men also began the season 4-0 before coming up against very strong Elsternwick and South Melbourne sides who both recruited well securing some very talented A-grade footballers since 2019. Nonetheless, a 4-0 start, under the new guidance of returning 1999 Premiership Coach Andrew Sutherland, is something the Trobers have not achieved in recent history.
Round One saw a new look team with a good mix of experience and six debutants comfortably notch up a win against Uni-rivals Swinburne. Matt Ogle was giving the mids silver service, while Riley Alexander kicked four on debut and Josh Rogerson snagged three majors in his 50th milestone game. Round Three saw Mitch Oliver return to the senior line-up where he bagged seven majors. Brad Robinson, Sam Benetti- Baker, Josh Rogerson and Ben Vicary all made the most of April Player of the Month Matt Ogle’s ruckwork as our midfield found themselves heavily featuring in the best as we remained undefeated after a month of footy.
The following weeks saw our men outclassed as the injuries began to pile up, including key players Andy Castles, Matt Ogle, Ricky Nolan, Mitch Oliver, Ernie Fan and Zac Tunks experiencing lengthy times on the sidelines. Our Trobers bounced back against 4th placed St Johns with a massive 89-point win before our season was derailed by lockdown and the Uni holidays adding young guns Tom Whelan, Pat Lindsay, Jonty Randall, Riley Alexander, Ben Vicary and Nathan Richardson to the list of players missing as they returned home.
In the absence of Matt Ogle and Mitch Oliver, wingman Andy Castles moved to the ruck and reliable defender Bryce Dowler was moved forward where he kicked a gallant bag of five in a fierce battle against St Johns where they bettered us in our second encounter. Tyler Costa and Harry Baker both found opportunities in the middle each earning a Player of the Month nod.
Sam Benetti-Baker has been continuing his late 2019 form featuring in the best the most times this season, while Ben Vicary, Josh Rogerson, Harry Baker and Tyler Costa featured in the best regularly. Josh Horder has found a new position down forward leading the goal kicking with 20 goals, while Riley Alexander trails with 16 goals for the season.
Both our Reserve Men and Senior Men currently sit 3rd on the ladder going into the back end of the season.
Saturday the 24th of July will be our Family and Friends Day at Tony Sheehan Oval (LTU) where all three teams are at home. Our Major Raffle will also be drawn on the day so purchase your tickets HERE to support the club and we look forward to seeing the Trober community at the footy!
Published by La Trobe University Football Club 12.07.2021