Finally, after two long years of interrupted footy we have some normality to the footy season and our Trobers are back doing their thing on-field. Our season kicked off on April 2nd with our Senior Women taking on Oakleigh with a new look side, including nine debutants. We opened the season winning the first quarter but unfortunately were overran by a strong outfit. Fortunately, Round Two saw our women bounce back with a comprehensive eight goal victory off the back of co-captains Teresa D’Angelo being back to her dominant best breaking the lines and Kate Bond kicking four goals. Round Three had us fall agonisingly short of another victory going down by a goal to Power House despite a bag of five from Bondy. Reigning four-time best and fairest winner Kate Bond was a driving force with three best on ground performances and 10 goals to lead the league, placing our women 1-2 and in the race for finals. But it was a common story for our women as the VAFA re-graded after three rounds leaving us going from sitting with the pack to unfairly dropping down the ladder as teams came up to our division keeping their points from dominating the division below.
Despite being on the back foot and coming up against some strong new competition there have been some positive signs for our women. First-year Trober Ineka Hart is proving that she might just challenge Kate Bond for this season’s best and fairest after being named in the best in four of her five games, including two best on ground performances with her ability to be clean with the footy, lay bone crunching tackles and hit the scoreboard.
Despite a few goalless weeks, Amanda Olschyna, Courtney Donoghue, and Jess Rogers have been able to hit the scoreboard. Experienced Trobers Steph Castagnini, Tayla Dando, Jocelyn Yew and Nat Cappelletti have been consistent in helping steady the team. New players Jess Lowry and Courtney Donoghue have been great additions to the ruck, while Eve Conlan has been handy on the wing, and Molly O’Brien and Paige Kenny solid on-ball.
A couple of highlights for our women was the return of assistant coach Kyaa Davis from her ACL injury in Round Seven and Steph Castagnini playing her 50th club game in Round Six. With just six rounds left for our Senior Women’s season they look to build momentum to finish the season strongly, with anything being possible with Jaryd Coghill at the helm.
For our Reserve Men it has been a continuation of their previous seasons as they have bolstered themselves as a top contender once again. It was skipper Jordy O’Brien who started the season red hot with six goals in the opening round to cement himself as the frontrunner in the league goal kicking. It was a matter of two comfortable wins to start the season for Mick Correnti and his boys before a top of the table clash with Albert Park after the Easter Break. Unfortunately, covid claimed Mick which saw Matt Ogle and Josh Rogerson step in as caretaker coaches for the match of the season so far. Down at the final break by two goals our boys dug deep to prevail by 11-points and send the competition a stern warning. Andy Devine produced one the great debuts to footy with a best on ground performance in his first game ever, while Jordy O’Brien continued to kick goals when it mattered. A forfeit from Eley Park and then another comfortable win over St Johns had our boys looking pretty on top of the ladder, but a fast start from Swinburne University in Round Seven had our boys just fall short by two points of a great comeback after trailing by five goals at three quarter time. Darcy Thorn starred with one of the all-time great two’s performances having the ball on a string and kicking three goals.
New Trobers Angus Tickner and James Toomey have been exceptional all season, while Jacob Ellett has taken his game to a new level with a new role off halfback. Damon Guy, Rob Pain, Zac Tunks, Adrian Marulli, Josh Horder, Kane Newby and Dom Tracy have all put in solid twos performances to get the call up to the seniors throughout the year, demonstrating our depth strength in 2022.
With a tricky fixture our Reserve Men are sitting second on the ladder with five wins and just one loss, only trailing Albert Park by 2.5% who sit 5-2 playing an extra game. We take on Box Hill North this weekend as we look to get some reinforcements following the bye and bounce back.
Our Senior Men opened their 2022 campaign and Ricky Nolan’s coaching career with a spectacular win against Masala and match winning performance from gun recruit Riley Keath, but it was Ernie Fan who stole the spotlight in Round One playing its 100th game for the club. Our boys came out firing in Round Two against Box Hill North with an impressive nine goal first quarter, including five in the quarter for Tate Spiteri. But it was reigning best and fairest winner Sam Benetti-Baker who showed he can dominate the game while doing a tagging role. Following the Easter Break we had a comfortable win over Albert Park before absolutely demolishing Eley Park 181-13.
Round Six was our toughest competition of the season as it went down to the wire against St Johns and we were handed our first loss of the season. To back up a tough loss we travelled to St James Park to take on the undefeated Swinburne Uni but it wasn’t the battle expected as our boys completely took the wind out of the Swinny’s sails with an 8-1 goal opening term and never looked back as we ran away 115-point winners in a statement game, including a 10-goal haul from Riley ‘The Wiz’ Alexander.
Riley Keath and Ben Vicary look to be challenging Sam Benetti-Baker for votes in the best and fairest, while Riley Alexander would be on his way to 100 goals in a normal season with 33 goals after six games. Bryce Dowler trails with 22 goals and placed third in the league making them a dangerous forward duo. New Trobers Lachlan Webb, Archie Conboy, Connor McCredden and Liam Walsh have added a spark to the team with their ability to take the game on. Tom Whelan and Robbie Fawcett have been consistent down back, while skipper Andy Castles is coming into his best form in recent weeks. Ernie Fan’s transformation into a pressure forward continues to show success. Nathan Richardson, Jonty Randall and Tyler Costa continue to play their roles every week, while the return of Will Lowry has added polish to the team off halfback. Despite already using 33 players in the seniors this year we have found plenty of depth with some key players still to return in the coming weeks.
Somehow Swinburne University have played eight games straight without a bye and we have had two byes meaning they sit on top at 7-1 with Trobers second at 5-1 with a much healthier percentage (238+). In the driver’s seat this season, we have a few important games to tick off before Past Players, Parents and Supporters Day in Round 12 on 2nd July.
For the upcoming fixture visit our website (click here) and to stay up to date subscribe to our newsletter (sub here). We can’t wait to see the Trober community out in numbers at our Round 10, Round 12 and Round 14 triple headers on Tony Sheehan Oval!