This week in football...
Posted: 24 Mar 13:00
24-03-2012 – STATE KNOCKOUT CUP R2
Shepparton (Div 1 Men)
Our first competitive game for the year after a long pre season was against Shepparton Devils in Shepparton. It was great to get all the guys together on the bus for a road trip and to chat and relax.
We expected the game to be physical, and we weren’t disappointed, but we were prepared for it. It wasn’t physical as in dirty tackles, but in upper body strength and pushing which we can’t do in our league. The referee was from Melbourne and controlled game well.
We started the game as any team does after a premiership... slowly. This must be what they call a premiership hangover. We seemed to be going through the motions with neither side creating many chances. We went 1 up when Mill put the ball in from a long range free kick, but Shepp scored 2 min later via an unmarked header. The game then started to get quicker and tougher. Shepp had 3 outstanding players which we were having trouble shutting down, but we managed to score through some rare Brett Delphin brilliance where he controlled ball, turned 2 defenders and smashed ball into corner of net. But once again, Shepp scored straight away, not once, but twice to lead 3-2 at half time.
We really needed the half time break where it was time to wake up and realise why we came here... to win. A few structural changes and some more motivation and we went out to play.
We looked sharp, strong and dangerous, exactly what I have come to expect from the boys when they are down. Wasn’t long and and it was 3 all via Jazz, then 4-3 via Jazz again with Shepp now pressing hard just opened up the game right to us. Dan and Nikola held tight in defence and only allowed 1 shot for the half, Cuz and Mason controlled midfield and we had space and runners all over the park. Nackers scored, followed by Snaka and Novak opened up his WDFC scoring account. A great win, and a great day to measure ourselves against a semi-professional team. A huge thanks to Carlo Villani for driving the bus and getting us home safely... thanks Carlo.
23-03-2012 – WODONGA CITY COUNCIL, ‘CELEBRATING DIVERSITY’ EVENT
Fri 23rd March, Willow Park
As part of Council celebrations for Cultural Diversity Week, Wodonga Diamonds provided an afternoon of soccer skills and games for children of all ages and abilities at Willow Park in Wodonga. The kids had a fantastic time with our senior crew who did an outstanding job of catering for the wide variety of participants in wet and windy weather. Thanks to Dan, Daniel, Sheepy, Mason, Ben, Meredith and Alyson Byrnes for running the activities. Also thanks to Nick Mesec for being on site to set up the blow up soccer pitch although unfortunately weather conditions were unsuitable.
18-03-2012 – YOOGALI 9-a-side WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT
Sat/Sun 17-18th March, Griffith (U16G Rep squad)
As part of the AWFA U16 girls rep squad, 5 Diamonds players competed in the annual Yoogali 9-a-side Womens Tournament in Griffith (WDFC players: Meredith Quick, Antoinette Morrison, Grace Gill, Holly Eckert and Zoe Pitts; Coach: Tony Cigana).
AWFA U16 Girls were crowned Yoogali 9 a side champions on the weekend in Griffith. With wins against Wests 5-0, Yoogali FC 7-0, Leeton 5-0 and Yoogali SC 2-0 we met Griffith league champions Yoogali soccer club in the final. It was a classic match with a lot of physical presence which is something the girls weren't accustomed to but rose to the challenge and our superior fitness won in the end. With chances to both sides the girls finished in style to win 2 nil with goals to Melrose Lucy Smith and Boomers Gracie Rowland. Played in front of Matilda's coach Tom Sermanni the girls put on a display as they worked together as a team with excellent passing and movement of the ball.
Coach Tony Cigana said it was a great team effort not only in the final but throughout the round robin games as well. Our decision making was a highlight and we stuck to a game plan. Diamonds shot stopper Meredith Quick was outstanding as not only pulled off some stunning saves but kept a clean sheet throughout the tournament. Other outstanding performances were Melrose duo Lucy Smith and Alex Davies with Albury United Claire Young and Diamonds young guns Antoinette Morrison and Grace Gill.
The highlight of the weekend was two training sessions with Matilda's coach Tom Sermanni who gave a lot of advice and guidance and was impressed with the quality of skills our girls possessed. Boomers Gracie Rowland took home the golden boot for top goal scorer and also received an invitation from Tom Sermanni to trial for W League team Canberra United. Cigana said the tournament was about exposure for the girls in front of the national coach and was proud of how they acquit themselves. It was a great preseason tournament as it sets us up nicely for our two main objectives the Riverina and Vic Country Championships in May and June.