U15 Rd 13 v Forest, July 28

Cooky for coach! We tipped it – Andrew joins the list of caretaker coaches this year to mastermind a rousing win in their first game in charge.

But, humbly deflecting the mounting campaign to make it a full time appointment, Andrew declared “it was the players who did it”.

Indeed, they did. So, enough about Andrew.

A few weeks after Forest beat them by a significant margin, our Cannons were still stinging and wanted to make amends and did so in magnificent style, showing their character with a massive turnaround to record a stirring seven goal win on Forest’s brand new synthetic surface.

It was built on the one percenters – there were boys putting their body on the line, there were shepherds, there were gang tackles, there was always someone there to help, there were young men supporting each other, running past for the handball, there were powerful leads honoured by precise passes and finished off with strong marking.

Then there was the spectacular – six of the best from Super Sukkar and Fin’s over the shoulder snap on the boundary.

We had every aspect of footy covered, and did it for a full four quarters.

Manfred set the tone early with a big hit in the opening minute and backed up with more of the same seconds later. He again attacked the footy shortly after that, releasing the ball to Archie who sent it to Joey who burned off the defence and set up Alex for a classy goal to open the scoring. It summed up the way they played for the rest of the day.

Fin set up Joey for the first of his six goals late in the first quarter and the favour was returned after the break when Joey roved beautifully off the pack.

Another crumbing goal to Joey and we’d converted a two point deficit at quarter time to a four point lead at the main break. But it was a period of a few minutes in the second quarter that showed the boys’ intent – Manfred held his ground for a gutsy mark, Tommo then laid a crunching tackle, Archie’s shepherd was just as fierce, as was Johnno’s, Tank threw himself into a marking contest and Paddy won a very hard ball. Keep that up and the game was ours.

They did and it was.

We won the match in the premiership quarter with four unanswered goals, three to Joey, all created by the physical intent which continued immediately after halftime. Andrew G and Johnno opened the third quarter with a team tackle, while Mala continued his brilliant season with his hard running at the footy and penetrating passes to leading forwards.

We moved the ball at pace and with great skill, with X’s arrival giving us another dimension and a link man on the wing, while Sam F, Johnno and Andrew repeatedly repelled any Forest venture forward.

We continued to work together and a three-man tackle on our forward flank ended up with Ben M’s first goal and a five goal lead at three quarter time.

With a comfortable lead going into the final quarter, there may have been room for complacency but with a win in sight, the boys were having none of it. As Forest threatened early, Paddy, then Brayden, then Sam, then Tank all threw themselves into the contest with desperate defence to keep them out, send the ball our way through Will and on to Ben who showed why the recruiters chased hard to get him in the mid-season draft with a strong mark and goal to seal the win.

Then Fin placed a very tasty cherry on top of a well iced cake with his goal-of-the-year in front of the exclusive Ladies Stand.

Carpet burns on the boys’ knees were a telling souvenir of a satisfying day’s work.

And to finish off a great day, Geelong smacked the Swans!

CANADA BAY Goals: Joey 6, Fin 2, Ben 2, Alex 1

Round 9 CBC U15s v Forest, June 16

We picked the right week to play on plastic.

As Sydney copped a drenching and grounds were under water, we had the luxury of the ELS Hall synthetic surface, although there were envious looks at the kids trudging off the lower oval covered in mud.

While we love a bit of mud footy, the good surface contributed to a cracking high scoring game of to and fro, but we just ran out of legs in the end.
It allowed the lads to again show their maturing skills – Alex, Nic and Andrew in the air, Archie gobbling up gifts from the opposition ruckman, Joey’s speed and dare, while the boys also showed plenty of grunt and backed each other up when things got physical.

After allowing Forest to skip away with the first few goals, we woke up and took control of the game to kick the next four goals and hold a handy lead.

We’d been threatening for a while until Sam F gathered a Forest clearance on the wall and loaded up to goal from just inside the 50m and put us on the scoreboard.

Tommo was tough in defence with his fierce tackling and rebound and Manfred was taking the game on, with a penetrating run and bounce through the middle to send the ball deep into our forward line.

With the momentum our way, we carried on in the second quarter, as Archie won a hard ball in the middle and kicked long to the goal square where Joey crumbed off the pack for the first of his two goals in the term.

Andrew and Sam combined with strength and smarts in defence, while Ozy came into his own on the wing with tackles and shepherds, taking marks and delivering clever kicks to teammates.

Paddy combined a hard ball get with some fancy footwork around the boundary line to set up Alex’s first goal, while Nic started the next in the back pocket. His dash out of defence found Alex who kicked to a pack on the forward flank where Joey again pounced on the crumbs and sped away with a bounce to goal on the run and all of a sudden we were 12 points up.

To Forest’s credit, they hit back with a pair of goals to lead by one point at half time.

It went goal for goal in a ripping third quarter as Andrew and Archie provided the drive and Alex finished off with the class for a pair of goals. AOur Cannons stepped up for each other and kept the margin to two points as the three quarter time siren loomed until Forest snuck a late goal in to take an eight point lead into the final break.

We started the final quarter on top as tough physical stuff from Tommo in defence set up Joey who combined with Paddy and then Finn to centre the ball to X and we were back to within two points.

But again, the momentum swung the other way and Forest clawed their way back on top, taking advantage of having a couple of kids on the bench and just finished off too fresh and with three goals to claim a 19-point win.

The good news is, we have another crack at them in a fortnight.

CANADA BAY 7.10.52 Goals: Alex 3, Joey 2, Sam F 1, Xavier 1
FOREST 10.11.71

Under 15s Round 7 v Moore Park, May 26

Look under F in some dictionaries and you’ll find this definition of footy: “A bunch of mates having fun, working hard together, putting their bodies on the line for each other, sharing with each other, helping each other out, running all day for each other, never giving up, just so they can all achieve the same goal together. And then they burst into song.”

Our boys obviously read the right dictionary, applying that definition perfectly on Sunday as everyone contributed to a gutsy and thrilling one point win against a Moore Park team that beat them by 50 points only the week before.

There was a fair bit of skill involved in the win, but there was also a lot of the physical side Tony has been emphasising so much.

It was Ozy’s run from 20 metres to put on a shepherd, Manfred’s 40m chase which forced a fumble and allowed Johnno to lay a fierce front-on tackle, Andrew’s second and third efforts to bump and tackle, it was Tank’s desperate lunge and punch from behind, Nic’s hip and shoulder, Sam F’s bump which gave Joey room to run, Paddy throwing himself head first into a pack to clear the ball and keep it in our forward line in the dying minutes.

The boys might have kept their cool in those dying minutes, but it was tense on the other side of the boundary as the clock ran down.

After a dominant third quarter in which we kicked three goals to one, we took a seven point lead and a lot of confidence into three-quarter time.

Tenacious X put us further ahead early in the final term when he still managed to get boot to ball while horizontal and mid-air after being scragged and flung to the ground. He ended up on his backside, but the ball ended up through the big sticks and we were 13 points up and, apparently, in control.

But, as Moore Park do, they kept fighting and responded well with a couple of goals to get to within two points and set up an exciting final two minutes. It was desperate stuff as the boys threw themselves at the footy and into packs and tackles. Nic’s brave mark in defence cut off a potential match stealing entry and we took control, ferociously keeping the ball on our forward flank for the final minute or so to claim a great victory.

It was a brilliant all-round team effort, starting in defence with not just the aerial skills of Alex, Johnno and Sam F but the tenacity of Tommo and Andrew who constantly rebounded as the first line of attack.

Fin’s poise on the wing is remarkable, calmly picking the ball up off his toes as opponents bear down on him before he steps around them with ease and sends the ball back our way, while Will creates a contest every time he’s near the footy.

Cooky’s skills and footy smarts just get more impressive each week, highlighted by his clever flick over the back, turn and gather and his combination with Sam W up forward is proving very productive.

Sam’s progress is great to watch and he is becoming our main man up forward, backing up last week’s two goals with another pair this week, with his lethal combination of strong  marking and a rare ability to beat a man or three with a little jink and step.

Damo was a classy addition and he’s welcome to back up from the u14s any time.

And it wasn’t just the kids who worked together and helped each other out. Thanks to all the parents who volunteered for duty and ensured the whole match day ran smoothly. Thankfully, the grown-ups didn’t burst into song at the end.


CANADA BAY 5.5.35 Goals: Sam 2, Cooky 1, Alex 1, Xavier 1


Under 15 Round 6

U15 Canada By Cannons v Moore Park

Round 6

It was one of those classic days when the scoreboard didn’t reflect the effort.

Right from the opening bounce, the boys were switched on and it was fast, frenetic and skilful footy from both sides with some mature skills on display.

We got off to a flying start when Sam W showed some of those mature skills with a strong mark and goal after Tank, Paddy and Mala hustled to get the ball out of the centre. Cooky swooped on the footy with a one handed pick up and his clever left foot found Sam who went back to convert as if he’s been playing the game all his life to put us a goal up inside the first minute!

Sam continued to take marks and also showed his skills low down with a neat gather off the ground, a step to turn the defenders inside out and another goal from 40m out.

Will was also taking strong marks, while Mala was running hard and combining brilliantly with Tank who just ran and rucked tirelessly all day.

Tommo, Johnno and Sam F were tough in defence, attacking the footy and tackling the man, Finn was a clever linkman in the middle and Alex was classy at either end of the ground.

X kicked the goal of the day in the third term with a beautiful drop punt on the run from the 50m arc which bounced through an open goalsquare.

His supreme finish came at the end of a classy passage of play through the middle starting with Sam F in defence through Paddy and onto Delps who gave the hands to X on the run.

It was a great example of how we controlled the ball for periods and looked good when we moved the ball quickly. But we were also effective at managing the tempo, with one passage taking the footy from the back pocket to the forward pocket via seven marks in a row.

We were always in the contest and never overwhelmed by a good Moore Park team with some very handy players.

But we just allowed them to have a few too many loose men on too many occasions which cost us most of their goals. Midfielders need to remember they’re defenders as well as attacking players and need to follow their men.

Thanks to the revised fixture, we don’t have to wait too long to have another crack at them – next week in fact.


CANADA BAY 4.3.27 Goals: Sam W 2, Xavier 1, Delps 1

MOORE PARK 12.5.77

Canada Bay u15s v Penshurst, May 12

Our boys clearly love their mums. Whenever it comes to Mother’s Day, they always deliver. Flowers? Chocolates? No, something far better.

It wasn’t quite the exciting miracle of a few years ago but the boys still served up a treat for mum with their first win of the year.

It ended up a comfortable 26-point margin, but we had to work hard for it after Penshurst clawed their way back into the game to get to within three points late in the tense third quarter.

As he did all day, Joey took the game by the scruff of the neck as we headed toward three quarter time to kick a great goal and give us some breathing space. A very late long goal to Alex, with a little bit of siren luck, extended that lead to 15 points and gave us the momentum going into the final term.

And we took that momentum and ran with it to finish well on top. Appropriately, Joey kicked the sealer when he beat a couple of defenders with pace and strength and then combined with Archie to set up X who nonchalantly took a bounce as he strolled into an open goal.

We put the icing on the Mother’s Day cake when Cooky and Will teamed up through the middle to set up Sam W who kicked his first goal with a classy finish.

It bookended the match perfectly after we looked classy and clean when racing to a three goal lead in the opening term as Mala ran and delivered out of the centre and Cooky just loves his new life near the goals, kicking a pair of rippers. But the game quickly changed complexion as Penshurst all of a sudden took it up to us and fought hard to lock us into a tough battle in the middle two quarters.

Repeated defensive efforts from Sam W and Andrew, Alex and Johnno in the air, forward pressure from X, Archie’s steel and Tank’s ruckwork kept us in it as Penshurst continued to threaten and edge closer on the scoreboard.

The boys knuckled down and withstood the pressure to ultimately regain control of the match to notch up a deserved first win of the season.

Joey looked ominous before the game as he put dents into the punching bag in the changerooms and took that aggression onto the field, ending up with three goals, one hanger, many more bounces, kilometres ran and crunching tackles laid in his best game yet in the orange, teal, grey, black and white.

Sam W and Will continue to improve and are great additions to the team and received a crash course in the song after the game. They’ll be much better singers this week!


CANADA BAY 8.6.54 Goals: Joey 3, Cooky 2, Alex 1, Xavier 1, Sam W 1


Cannons U15 v Glebe/Newtown

Canada Bay Cannons Under 15 v Glebe/Newtown

Round One, St Luke’s Oval, Sunday 7 April

Straw hats, sunscreen and an esky full of ice aren’t what you’d normally pack for a game of footy. But this is Sydney and it is April.

It wasn’t the sun at St Luke’s which left the boys with a red glow in their cheeks, though. It was the gutsy effort to fight their way back into the contest and nearly steal the game after a slow start.

It was efforts like Mala’s run and chase down the members wing; like Joey’s 60m dash in the other direction down the same flank; like Finny’s gutsy mark running with the flight of the ball in the middle; like Cooky’s strong mark in the goal square: like Johnno and Nic’s gang tackle in defence; and like Sam W and Will’s fantastic first games for the Cannons.

It was a turnaround full of character and maturity to get to within six points late in the game after Glebe/Newtown kicked the first four goals inside 10 minutes and looked like they’d run away to a massive win.

But the Cannons shut them down and then pulled themselves back into the game.

Brayden cut them off in defence, Alex was taking control in the goal square, then Joey took them on with his fierce dash which ended with Mala kicking our first goal just before quarter time and we were back in the game.

With confidence rising, we lifted all over the ground and struck early in the second quarter when Paddy earned a free kick with a trademark tackle, played on quickly and kicked to Cooky who goaled.

The energy levels lifted another notch and we were by now well on top as everyone played their part. Sam F and Tommo were relentless, Johnno was taking marks, Andrew was strong at centre half back and Tank was tireless in the ruck and around the ground.

Finny worked his way into the game and, after his courageous mark in the centre square, he also played on quickly and with great awareness kicked long over the pack to allow Joey to run into an open goal.

We kept them scoreless in the second term and, with a couple of goals of our own, were all of a sudden only eight points down at halftime.

Glebe managed to wriggle loose from the third quarter arm wrestle and kicked a couple of late goals while we missed a few chances, leaving us four goals down at three quarter time.

But that didn’t deter the spirited Cannons.

They came out firing with a bit of a breeze behind them in the last quarter and it was clear they believed in themselves and each other. Cooky returned the favour and set Paddy up for the first goal of the term and then X latched onto Joe’s clever tap over the pack for an inspiring team goal.

As the game tightened up again, the Cannons’ intensity continued to rise and there were efforts everywhere, epitomised by Tank’s run and tackle and Sam F saving the day on the goal line. 

Alex was brought upfield and started controlling the game while X was becoming a  dominant force in the forward line and his booming centring kick from the boundary found Cooky who took a strong contested mark in the goal square and converted.

With pure guts and heart and a degree of skill, we were only six points down with five minutes to go and the momentum was all our way.

But with no-one on the bench all day, the effort in the heat took its toll and we ran out of puff in those final minutes as Glebe found some fresh legs and ran over the top of the exhausted Cannons with three late goals to give the scoreboard a deceptive look.

Despite the loss, it was a really positive start to the season. Not losing heart after a slow start and then fighting back to nearly beat a team that was in Division One last year showed great maturity and belief.

Everyone contributed and everyone had their moment when it counted.

With just a little more finesse, perhaps a bit more nous in marking contests and some extra fitness, anything could have happened.

But things look encouraging for 2019.

And the effort didn’t just come from the players – thanks to Michael running just short of 7km on the boundary on his debut outing for the club, to Matt and Manfred for their water-running feats and of course to Andrew and Brian for stepping in for Tony.


Goals: Cooky 2, Xavier, Paddy, Nic, Joe