The 2017 LVSL Under 16 Boys season has come to an end with Traralgon Olympians defeating Fortuna 60, 8-1 in yesterday’s grand final. However, in order to make it to the grand final Olympian’s had to defeat Trafalgar Victory in their preliminary final.
The preliminary final between Victory and Olympians was originally scheduled for Saturday the 16th of September. However, due to wet pitches the match was played the following Wednesday under lights at Traralgon City.
Trafalgar played one of their best games for the season. Whilst Olympians went on to win the match convincingly 6-1, the boys in red and white did themselves and their club proud. The lads defended as if their lives depended upon it, both Lachy Smith and Monte Rahama were amazing and gave their opponents absolutely nothing. Logan Winter also played an amazing game in defence for the first quarter of the match. His run and carry out of the backline was a highlight of the first half of the match.
Despite the team’s very best to deny Olympian’s scoring opportunity, the skill and speed of their strikers could not be overstated. Trying to stop this team from scoring is like trying to block a tsunami. By half time the Olympians team had a commanding 4-0 lead and were in control of the game.
To the credit of the Trafalgar team, the boys never gave up and this was symbolised by the work rate and determination of midfielder Kai Kondo. Despite being the least experienced of the Trafalgar team, Kai gave 100% and pressured the Traralgon players from start to stop, a really impressive effort.
The other three bottom aged players in Jacob Holmes, Nic Tammes and Michael Judd worked extremely hard and made significant contributions for their team. All three boys have improved immensely and all three have adapted well to the speed and strength of the Under 16 competition.
Nic has a far greater work rate than he did at the start of the season and his touch and ball skill shave improved greatly. In fact it was a great run and ball from Nic that set up Toby Budd to score in the second half. Jacob has been one of the team’s most consistent players, his control on the ball and player aversion is exceptional and thoroughly entertained all at our club. Whilst Michael has developed his left foot to the point he can pin point a firm 30m pass on either foot. His touch has improved and he reads the play as well as anyone on the team.
Toby Budd had a good game and an impressive season also. He played in bursts and challenged his opponents consistently. Toby has the ability to cover an extra 5 m in one or two extra strides. Hamish Brace provided good service in the midfield. His season has been one of gradual improvement. He finishes the season with greater strength on the ball to match his beautiful touch and passing.
The two back wingers played serviceable matches and both worked extremely hard in this preliminary final shutting down the speedy Olympian wingers. Lachy Burke had a great season at right back and was one of the team’s most consistent and reliable defenders. Whilst Michael Wallace gave 100% and crashed his way through many opposition strikers.
One of the best seasons was had by Josh Porter. Josh improved every week and finished the season with a great deal of confidence and self-belief. His attack on the ball was inspirational and put the fear of God into his direct opposition. He played a great game against Olympians and made every tackle and every challenge count.
The final man on the pitch, but by no means the last, was Josh Rothmeier. Josh is our fearless goal keeper. Some of his saves in the second half from close range had to be seen to be believed. He too gives 100% every Saturday afternoon and gives his heart and soul for his team.
The end result for the preliminary was a 6-1 defeat. However, the boys played out a much improved 2-1 second half, an effort they should feel extremely proud of.
It was a great season for the 2017 TVFC Under 16 Boys. The team made it to the semi-final stage of the final series and in doing so went as far as the TVF Senior Women (the best results for the entire club). The boys had to deal with injury and player departure and showed great grit and determination to do their best. There was considerable development and much growth in this group, both as a squad and individually.
To the magnificent parents who were so supportive of their sons and team as a whole, I give my heartfelt thanks. This group of parents all took their turn on the duty roster and also supported myself as coach. Thank you to Michael Burke also for his excellent management of the team. A special mention to Joi Rothmeier for the energy and buzz he brings to the group. Easily the most enthusiastic member of the team.
To those whom played their final junior aged game for Trafalgar on Wednesday I say a hug thanks. All at the club hope to see you back playing at the senior age of the competition next year. Stay tuned for a pre-season social kick once a week later in the year.
To those bottom aged players, I strongly encourage you to recruit some friends to come and form a new team in 2018.
Thanks all for a great season. Enjoy the soccer free break and I hope to see you all back at the Victory once again in season 2018.
BK’s Award: Kai Kondo
Jump & Climb Award: Josh Rothmeier