Team Pic

“Inspirational, heartfelt, fully committed and dedicated” were some of the descriptors used by coach Mark after this week’s Round 13 LVSL Under 14 match played against top of the table Monash at Monash Reserve.

Despite being on the receiving end of their biggest defeat this season (an 8-0 score line), the coach had nothing but praise for his undermanned team.  “Not once did the team drop their head or give anything other than 100%” said the coach.  What made the effort even more impressive was the fact that the team played two players short for the vast majority of the match.

On a day more suited to downhill skiing, both teams took to the waterlogged pitch with the mercury topping about 5°C, which when added to the wind chill felt more like -5°C.  Despite the horrific conditions the kids got into the game and were really switched on.

Hardy Kenny played a brilliant first half of the match and alongside Michael Judd and Jacob Holmes gave the Monash midfield plenty to think about.  Hardy was everywhere and his speed and talent meant he was a weapon both in defence and attack.  It was only the onset of hypothermia that stopped Hardy in his tracks and as a result he left the match at half time.

The defensive unit worked extremely hard and were under the pump for the entirety of the match.  The addition of Nic Tammes in the backline added some speed, reliability and good game smarts to the back four.  He played another great game.  His efforts were most impressive especially given the fact he played the entire match with a strained hamstring.

Defenders Flynn George and Aiden Rothmeier both worked manfully on their respective wings.  Flynn didn’t concede an inch all game long and really played an impressive and physical game.  Aidan, as always, gave 100%.  He entertained the frozen but dedicated Trafalgar supporters with his desperation and hilarious mud based trips and spills.  However, the most impressive defensive effort for the day came from Jackson Clerks who managed to get a defensive foot in the way to block dozens of Monash attacking drives into the box.    Jackson may not have had the speed to keep up with the Monash forwards.  However, his reading of the play and excellent touch in the extremely wet conditions made him the most valuable of defenders on the ground.

Strikers Finn Vardon-Phillips and Jack O’Connor worked very hard all day and did their best with relatively minimal supply.  It was a tough day at the office for both boys who played most of the game with no support up front, due to a lack of players.  Haylea porter was an invaluable member of the team.  Her addition to the squad added considerable grunt and determination.  Haylea is a competitor against any opposition and in any weather conditions.  Her skill and versatility make her an asset to any team.

The outstanding player on the day for Trafalgar was Michael Judd.  His work rate was second to none and he was clearly the most dominant player on the pitch.  This was Michael’s most complete game for the club, his associating with which now exceeds 10 years.  He won nearly every contest and wove his way through the Monash midfield time after time.  He generated shots on goal and was only denied via a brilliant save by the Monash keeper.  An inspirational game Michael.

At the other end of the ground Trafalgar striker, come keeper, Darcy Lewis played a great game in the appalling conditions.  His hands were sure and he courageously charged from the goal line to attack the ball 1 v 1.  Darcy made numerous saves and held his nerve on several occasions.  Another inspirational game from a most versatile player.

All up the team were soundly beaten by a stronger Monash unit.  However, the determination, courage and work rate of the Trafalgar kids was second to none.

The only question raised by this match is “Under what conditions is there a duty of care to cancel/postpone a match for the wellbeing of players?”  TVFC had 2 players leave the ground due to hypothermia, with several others from both teams visually suffering and playing under duress.

This week’s BK’s Awards were presented to both Jackson Clerks and Michael Judd.

Categories: General