Leon Cameron joins the Cannons coaching group

GWS GIANTS senior coach Leon Cameron is taking on a new coaching role for Season 2020 – helping out the U14 Division One Canada Bay Cannons youth AFL team.

“It’s just my way of helping out a great local footy club. I know the boys well – they’re great young fellas and a fantastic bunch of parents. I see the parents contributing – running water, helping out the coach. The more volunteers you can get at a local footy club, the better.

“This is just my way of contributing.”

Leon will be helping Cannons parent John Nandlal, who has helped coach a number of teams for the Cannons and Drummoyne Power. While it will be John who will set the team agenda, Leon expects to be at most weekly training sessions and as many games as the GWS draw allows.

“What you want from the kids is a growth mindset – where they grow and learn and listen – and to enjoy it. If people enjoy it, people will play more. And the more people who play AFL – the more people who play any sport – the better.”

“I love the game. It’s the best game in the world in my mind and if I can help any young kids to develop their football then that’s what I am looking forward to the most.”

Cannons Coaching Coordinator Mike Andrews said the club was excited to have Leon join the coaching panel.

“Quality coaching is so important to on-field performance and ultimately player enjoyment, which leads to increased retention,” Andrews said.

“The Cannons already have a strong relationship with GWS, taking part in an innovative coach mentorship program with the GIANTS over the past two seasons.

“The Cameron family has always been generous volunteers – we’ve also seen Leon’s wife Carolyn in a coaching bib in our junior club in past seasons.

“To have a coach of Leon’s experience helping our U14s, as one of the Dads, will be a terrific experience for the boys, particularly at this stage in their junior footy careers,” Andrews said.

Under 14-2 storms into the finals

It was a bizarre weekend in the AFL. On Friday night Giants and the Hawks played in wind, rain and snow. On Saturday a wasteful Kangaroos team kicked only only goal for the game while just down the road the Bulldogs kicked 21 unanswered goals.

It was cold and windy on Sunday at Wagener Oval when the first placed Cannons played the hard charging 2ndplaced Magpies in the final round before finals. At the pointy end of the season coaches want their teams fit and ready but due to school commitments the Cannons would be without the defensive strength of Grechie and the blistering pace from Max. Kip’s skills would be missed due to concussion management and when JA pulled up sore in the warm up, the cold shiver that ran through the coaches was due to more than just the icy wind that was cutting across the oval.

With only 16 fit players, the challenge was simple – every player had to play their role in the team and work together.

It didn’t take long for the Cannons to show why they are ladder leaders with every player demonstrating exactly why this team is where it is. Coops ability to read the play and his perfect timing allowed him to rove the pack and kick the opening goal, followed not long after by a trademark scrubber goal by Jack. As he always does, JB stood tall and took a strong overhead mark giving the Magpies defence plenty of headaches as did Woody who added a great smother to his highlights reel. Texas seemed to relish the captaincy being lively across the half forward line and after a breakout game a few weeks ago, Lachy continues to get better each week. The freezing cold seemed to suit Husky who put in a season best performance taking mark of the week, laying a couple of beautiful shepherds and adding to his ever increasing tally of goals.

The midfield was simply outstanding. The Big Riggers put in another performance that reinforces the view that he is the best ruckman in the competition. Broady carved through the midfield with intensity and ferocity against players literally double his size. Stewy was unstoppable twisting and turning like a wind vane in cyclone and celebrated with a well earned goal late in the game. Generally taller players tend to lack the pace and ground skills of the smaller players but each week  Elliot proves this wrong……he is strong in the air and on the ground and never stops running.  Damo played his usual high possession game but in more of a defensive role where he delighted the coaches by kicking accurately off both sides of his body.

Despite the wind, the defence were impenetrable. Jayden controlled the half back line, and Killa put on a marking display. Cruisey ran the ball seemingly effortlessly out of defence before the mandatory long bomb,  but it was Eathn’s run down tackle right in front of the coaches box that brought the biggest cheer and typified the commitment shown by all the defenders.

The Cannons finish the season three wins clear at the top of the table. After back to back grand final losses there is a hunger evident and they have demonstrated they are skilful, determined and committed. Strange things happen can happen in football but if these boys retain their attitude and work ethic, it will the rest of the competition that will be blown away!

Round One: Cannons v Dockers U14-2

Canada Bay Cannons vs North Ryde Dockers

ELS Hall, Sunday 7 April, Round One

Match report by Stephen 

For many of the Cannons U14s summer sport has only just finished and several players taking the field in Div 2 at North Ryde hadn’t even played a trial game this year. Coach Brian was concerned that with a rain interrupted pre-season and a number of experienced players away for the first round, the team would be underdone.

Arriving at the ground the unseasonally hot temperature on the artificial surface at Ryde presented another concern – that the players would get baked!

There were certainly a few cobwebs early in the game as passes fell short and marks slipped through fingers. The first quarter was a tight contest as the Cannons struggled to find their rhythm. It took until after the quarter time break for the centre combination of Damo and The Big Riggers, ably assisted by new recruit Elliot, to gain the ascendancy. With Stewy and Broady coming in off the wings the forward entries were plentiful. Tall options in Woody and JB worked perfectly with Husky and Texas while another new recruit, Daniel added flare and pace in front of goals.

The defence wasoutstanding for the entire game significantly limiting the Dockers opportunities at goal. Cruisey, Eathn, Killa and Jayden worked like a well oiled machine regularly turning defence into attack. The backs were at their frugal best not conceding a single point for 30 minutes of football.

It was new and refreshing to see junior player Damien step up and help out (thanks Damien) but it was equally enjoyable to the familiar sights: Grechy dropping his trademark bone crunching shepherds and JK on a full speed run and bounce (maybe one too many 😉 before slotting through goals.

Overall it was an all round exceptional team effort. Special mention to Woody and Damien who backed up from earlier games and to first gamers Daniel and Elliot – who enjoyed the traditional drenching in the post game song.

The surface at North Ryde may be artificial, but the effort, commitment and endeavour showed by each of the Canada Bay Cannons was most certainly genuine. With a bench of only one, there were plenty of hot and flushed faces at the end of the game, but those faces sported massive smiles. Early concerns about the boys being underdone were systematically disproved with four quarters of quality footy. It’s true, when the final siren sounded, the Cannons looked cooked…..but cooked to perfection!


Under 14s Rd 15 Canada Bay v Heathcote


It came down to the last kick of the season and no, it wasn’t a flukey mid air hack. It was Cooky’s superior footy brain and quick thinking that produced the goal of the year and another thrilling draw.

With a 13-point three-quarter time deficit to haul in and an Arctic wind at our back, we attacked and attacked in the final term but Heathcote’s defence held firm.

The margin had been whittled down to six points with less than a minute to go and time was running out until a chaos ball bounced, bobbled and ricocheted off the legs and arms and bodies of the crowd of players in front of goal. The more it bounced, the more the clock ran down.

“The ball was sort of bouncing and wobbling in front of me but their biggest guy was running at me, I was going to get smashed, so I didn’t have time to pick it up,” Cooky says.

“So I just kicked it. I double kicked it actually, the second kick got it over everyone’s heads.”

As the ball rose in the air, the wind caught it and the crowd held its breath.

Cooky’s precise aim at the right hand goal post proved perfect, the ball swung with the breeze and flew straight through the middle to lock the scores together.

The siren blew before the ball had time to get back to the middle and we’d finished the season with a thrilling draw that felt like a win against yet another much bigger team.

Good signs were there from the start when our tough defence and pressure restricted Heathcote to two goals in the first quarter, while Ben kicked one against the wind.

Will, Delps, Andrew and Liam were desperate in defence and Tank was strong in the ruck, while Mala swept across the half back line all day and his penetrating run was a constant first line of attack. He combined in the middle with Archie who drove the ball to Fin and then to Hugh whose clever hands found Ben for a classic team goal into the stiff breeze. A brilliant Manfred smother almost set up another goal but even though they went into quarter time 10 points down, the boys had their tails up.

Paddy was getting in and under and shot out a handball early in the second term to Blake who stepped his way through the defence to pass to Brayden to find Delps who had moved down forward and kicked the first of his two goals for the quarter.

Tommo and Ozy were running hard, attacking the footy and providing good options in midfield.

A slick one-two combination between Liam and Mala in defence delivered the footy into the middle where Fin, Cooky and Manfred combined again and although a behind wasn’t quite the reward the passage deserved, it turned into a seven point play when Paddy intercepted the kick-in and goaled from the boundary to put us in front.

Minutes later, Fin was again the crucial linkman after a brave Manfred mark in defence set up Ben’s second goal. Delps converted a longe range effort and we were nine points up at half time.
Johnno was playing a vital shut down role as we had to hold on in the third quarter as Heathcote ran hard and piled on three goals, but a lot of behinds and a few out on the full kept us in the game.

X was becoming a dangerous option up forward in the last term but as much as we attacked, the Heathcote defence did well to keep us out until Archie’s great snap over his shoulder got us to within a goal.

Heathcote threatened a couple of times in the frenetic final minutes but strong marks to Liam and Andrew in defence kept them out.

The tension was broken amid the chaos when Cooky’s brainwave found the only way through and we’d snatched our second draw for the year.

But the response from the boys was as good as a win and reflected a tight bunch who, even though there were some tough times, enjoyed the season together.

CANADA BAY 7.3.45 Goals: Ben M 2, Alex 2, Paddy, Archie, Cooky.

Round 12 CBC Under 14s v Forest, July 22

Canada Bay Cannons v Forest Lions

Round 12, Drummoyne Oval

Match report by Paul

The song has never been sung with such gusto. The Drummoyne grandstand shook and the light towers wobbled as the kids belted out the anthem in the rooms after a long, long wait.

The enthusiasm in the song matched their effort all day as every single player contributed to a mighty win. It might have been a chilly seven degrees as we gathered just after dawn but, even without a coffee cart, the crowd’s cockles were quickly warmed by watching their kids go in hard from the outset and lead all day.

Our previous two games at Drummoyne have brought us a draw and a one point loss, so we knew a win would come if we kept persevering and sticking at it. The fact we had the closest thing we’ve had all season to a full team also helped and proved what we’re capable of when we have nearly everyone on deck.

Manfred’s rich run of form since donning the magic headgear continued with his best game of the year as he repeatedly stuck his now protected head into packs and came out with the ball before putting his hefty boot into it.

Ozy also had his best game of the season, constantly applying forward pressure and always providing a contest. He came so close a couple of times to being rewarded with a goal.

Was it just a coincidence that our first win for the year was also Thea’s first game of the year? Surely not. We certainly missed her and the return of her run and creativity, not to mention her chatter, gave us a great boost.

Alex was dominant at both ends of the ground, proving himself a natural defender with repeated marks at full stretch and clearing kicks saving the day. And when sent to his old familiar territory up forward he continued marking everything that came his way and slotted a lazy three goals.

Versatility has become crucial – our usual reliable fullback Cooky has also proven himself to be a straight shooting goal kicker with a pair of majors, including the sealer in the final quarter.

The signs were good from the start with Sam controlling the midfield with his clean hands and penetrating left boot, delivering a pin point pass to a strong leading Ben M who converted the set shot to open the scoring. Thea was immediately busy in the forward line and was straight into the swing of things after her injury lay-off.

Our early ascendancy continued when Joey took the game by the scruff of the neck, grabbed the footy, tucked it under his arm and beat three defenders on a searing run, which ended with a booming goal. He repeated the dose throughout the day – taking on and beating defenders with penetrating runs which gave us great momentum.

Brayden, Will, Andrew and Alex in defence held Forest out, while Blake and Fin were crucial linkmen on the wings and Tomas was strong in the contest as we took a seven point lead into quarter time.

Ben M’s early goal after the break extended the lead but the rest of the quarter was tight, with two goals apiece. But it was no fluke how our brace of goals were created. Paddy attacked the ball in the middle, sent it forward and Fin cleverly gathered and goaled. Minutes later, Manfred attacked the ball in the middle and won a free kick, dished off the handball to a running Mala who bombed long where Alex took a strong contested mark and kicked his first of the day to extend our lead to 14 points at halftime.

That win was in sight!

We dominated the premiership quarter with three unanswered goals and stretched the lead to 30 points as Johnno was racking up possessions, Ozy continued his pressure and contest, Manfred kept winning the footy and X was making his presence felt. Ben’s beautiful ruckwork was giving us first use and set up a team goal with a controlled tap straight to Joey who handballed to Alex with an open goal in front of him.

Two late goals to Forest, though, caused some concern as they bridged the gap to 18 points at three quarter time, allowing dark thoughts of the draw and one-point loss to haunt any pessimists among the crowd.

The challenge was on, but our kids weren’t to be denied this time. They knew they had to stay hard at the footy to notch that elusive win.

Tank and Paddy combined in the middle to win the clearances and set up Cooky’s goal early in the final term to restore a comfortable buffer. Alex was back in defence where he and Will were taking desperate marks as was Ben at the other end of the ground, while Archie made sure no Lion was going to get past him in the middle. The pressure was on and with a win on the line, the Cannons responded.

We dominated possession in the final term, kept Forest scoreless and the win the kids have deserved for a long time finally arrived. And, with a little help, they remembered the words to the song.

CANADA BAY 9.8.62 Goals: Alex 3, Ben C 2, Ben M 2, Joe 1, Finlay 1.
FOREST 6.1.37


Sing it loud and proud, U14 Cannons. You played so well today.Couldn't be prouder of our U14-2 team breaking their 2018 drought. First win of the year against Forest Lions - and what a great game it was. Cannons 9.8.62 defeated Forest 6.1.37.Bravo kids.Video via Simon

Posted by Canada Bay Cannons Football Club on Sunday, 22 July 2018

Under 14s: Rd 10

Canada Bay Cannons U14 v Willoughby Mosman

Round 10, Drummoyne Oval

Match report by Paul, photo by Kylie. See Facebook for the complete gallery.

We’re obviously enjoying our occasional games back at Drummoyne, but the boys are sure making it hard on the crowd’s nerves. A draw and now a one point loss have had us on the edge of our seats, up on our toes and proud of the boys’ efforts.

That elusive win is within reach – keep playing four quarters and keep helping each other out and it will come.

After going into the final quarter two points behind we were quickly 14 down when the Swans kicked a couple of early goals. But we weren’t out. We kept up the pressure and kept fighting for the footy.

Relentless forward pressure at each contest eventually popped the ball out to Cooky who eluded a few would be tacklers, threw the ball onto his trusty left boot and his long range snap rolled in to put us within eight points.

Moments later, Ben M took a typical strong mark on the 50m line, dished out a handball to a running Mala who stepped around the defence and finished it off with a classic midfielder’s goal to set us up for a thrilling final few minutes – again.

The crowd lifted when another long range shot headed toward goal only to be just touched on the line and it was down to one point. The Swans managed to get the ball forward and camped there for a while, with our defenders scrambling and fighting to keep them out. Then, with 30 seconds left, we had one last ditch hope as the ball was hacked forward into plenty of space toward our goal. It was all up to the unpredicatble bounce of the Sherrin. And the Sherrin won.

The game started with plenty of good signs – Finn’s big tackles, Ben’s strong lead and Hugh’s sharp pass. Paddy steered home a set shot from the boundary after an intercept mark from a kick in, while Alex was strong at his new home in defence and we were eight points up at quarter time.

Brayden was taking marks in defence to celebrate his 150th game, as was Cooky, while Ozy’s shepherd showed the way and Manfred continues his bullocking good form.

We let them in for a couple of goals in the second quarter but hit back in the third when Frazer did the heavy work in close to get the ball to Hugh who stepped, turned and sold some candy before slotting a ripper goal to bring us back into the contest and set up the exciting final term.

It’s great to have Tank and Archie back after their long term injuries. Tank’s been solid in the ruck and in defence and Archie’s crunching tackles and clearing kicks have been crucial.
With five games to go, let’s play 20 quarters of footy and that win will come!

CANADA BAY 4.3 27 Goals: Paddy, Hugh, Ben C, Nic.

U14: Round 8 Match Report

Canada Bay Cannons U14-2  v Bangor Tigers

Round 8, Drummoyne Oval

Match report by Paul; pics via Michelle

It was halfway through the third quarter, the game was tense, Bangor had the footy, with four players streaming into their forward line all alone. A goal looked inevitable. But this week’s Cannons had other plans. Intense, team oriented and relentless pressure swarmed in and shut the Tigers down. Will, Johnno, Tommo, Cooky, Liam ran and ran to get to their opponnents and make contests, kept throwing themselves into tackles and smothers and fought for the footy. Each took their turn and when it was their turn again, they did it again. They all wanted the same thing and worked together to make it happen. What should have been a certain goal ended up in a turnover and our ball. 

It was only around 30 seconds, but it was half a minute which summed up our best game of the year. Effort, everyone wanted to be a part of it, everyone believed in themselves and each other, worked together and reaped the benefit. 

It was a shame to have drawn, especially when we were in such a strong position to win. But, as Coach Tony said, there was nothing but positives from the day.

Compare it to the last time we played Bangor when they beat us by 12 goals and we had a very slack attitude from the start. This time, the attitude in the warm up was brilliant, you could sense the kids wanted to have a crack. It was amazing to see the preparation and attitude and the benefit of getting there early and having a good positive warm up.

From the outset, the Cannons were firing. It was a cracking game, going goal for goal with the lead changing hands at least eight times in the first half.

Alex was a revelation in defence and found his natural home, using his skills to take intercept marks and cut off Bangor entries, while his penetrating kicks hit teammates up forward. He was even tackling!

Mala’s run and energy was infectious and he set up the first goal when he roved the pack, took the opposition on and spotted Liam with a clever short pass. Liam then went back and duly slotted the set shot.  Mala kicked his own goal a few minutes later after Alex rebounded from defence and a slick combination with Johnno and Ben M swept the footy downfield.

Hugh continues his good form and was again a target up forward, taking marks and finding teammates with clever kicks, Sam was racking up possessions in the middle, Andrew was taking strong marks, Will and Brayden were strong in defence, Fin and Blake were great linkmen on the wings.

Goals to Alex and Ben M – both from intercept marks – in the second term kept the deficit to two points at half time.

Then Ben took the game by the scruff of the neck in the third term. The quarter started with Manfred’s courageous mark when he held his ground in the middle as a pack bore down on him and Paddy had worked his way into the game and was winning his usual hard ball. But the premiership quarter was Ben’s quarter. He took big marks everywhere and kicked three big goals – one from a set shot, one when he roved off a pack and one when he played on after taking a strong mark at centre half forward. 

We went into three quarter time with a 17-point lead and a win was in sight. To Bangor’s credit, they defended stoutly as we pressured the goals early in the final quarter but could only manage a few points.

Bangor kept the pressure up and the tension in the crowd rose as they clawed their way back into the game bit by bit. They eventually kicked a goal to lock the scores with 60 seconds left and we were in for a frantic final minute. We hung on in that mad scramble as the ball bounced either way and we ended up with a fantastic outcome from a brilliant day’s footy.

It can be a turning point for the season – the boys showed what they’re capable of when they come into a game with the right attitude. They all wanted it and it was oh so close. Keep up this attitude and it’ll come.


Goals: Ben M 4, Alex, Nic, Liam.

BANGOR 7.6.48