U17s Div 2 Round 3 v Kellyville

The trip took longer than the game. But at least all those L platers clocked up a few hours.

An awful leg injury to the poor Kellyville lad just before halftime put an end to what was shaping as a terrific contest.

We might have been two points up at the time but we’d let a three goal lead slip as Kellyville lifted their intensity in the second quarter to put the game back on level terms.

Our first quarter though was a potent blend of tough defence and free flowing running footy.

Time and again, the desperate defence led by Mala, Buck and Jacko held Kellyville out and then launched our attacks. 

Paddy was a creative link between defence and attack and won the footy in the clinches as well as outside, while Ellis and Wriggles ran hard through the middle.

We finally broke open the tight contest when Tom uncovered his new Irish manoeuvre as he baffled the opposition, his teammates and even himself when he cunningly faced the wrong way after marking a Kellyville kick in.

With the opposition players all looking in the wrong direction, he quickly pirouetted and lined up for a straight as an arrow booming drop punt to kick the opening goal of the day.

He followed up with a couple of great contests and combined nicely with Manfred who did well in his first game up in Div 2, leading, marking and kicking long.

We started to get well on top and Paddy pulled out his best Dusty fend before his clever kick off the outside of his boot put us two goals up.

That lead quickly became three goals when a Liam handball found Jacko bursting through the middle and the footy ended up with Pat C for a simple shot in the goal square.

Kellyville narrowed the gap late in the first quarter and were close to another goal but were again thwarted by the Cannons defence, this time by repeat efforts from Andrew and Tank.

But they took that momentum into the second quarter and beat us to the footy to kick a couple of goals, while we had several near misses.

With the margin down to a few points, the game was developing into a tight back and forth contest which could have gone either way.

Sadly, the injury struck and a lengthy wait for an ambulance forced us to leave it at that.


CANADA BAY 3.5.23 Goals: Tom, Paddy, Pat



U17s Div 2 Rd 2 v Willoughby/Mosman

Sunshine’s overrated.

Only a waterlogged hard slog in teaming rain, bottomless puddles and a descending gloom can produce a gripping game like that. 

Footy’s a winter sport and every now and then in Sydney we actually get to play in wintry conditions. And they produce, not pretty, but gutsy footy with everybody throwing their bodies into the contest and through the St Luke’s slosh.

It’s easy in those conditions to lose interest but no-one from either side did in an enthralling game that ebbed and flowed with the torrential rain until Willoughby kicked away with some lucky late goals in the dark for a 12 point win.

Mala returned with a bad haircut but great attitude and showed the way from defence as he attacked the footy, putting his head over the ball and into the puddles. 

Covered in mud from the first bounce, Louis and Liam gave us the early edge while Paddy was in and under. Our dominance, however, wasn’t converted on the scoreboard and, after we hit the post and a certain goal to Cam was touched on the line, Willoughby kicked a goal against the run of play to take a lead they never gave up.

But there was never much in it  – Wriggles kicked our opening goal while landing on his backside and Pat converted after good lead up work by Liam and Ellis to keep us in the contest.

And when Jordan slid the first goal of his career home from 50m out early in the third quarter, we were back within three points.

The intensity lifted and we regained the momentum as Jacko and Jake were hard at the footy and Liam kept working in conditions not suited to big men.

But, again, a Willoughby goal against the run of play deflated our hard work and as the rain pelted down and it became harder to see across the field, they got their bodies in front at the contest and skipped away to another handy lead at three quarter time.

With a couple of car headlights and the bright lights of the scoreboard showing the way in the final quarter, we kept slogging away but couldn’t quite match Willoughby’s endeavour despite late goals to Louis and Cam.

Many thanks to our soaked volunteers, especially goal umpire Peter, whose misery of standing in the torrential rain was compounded by his iphone showing him Collingwood getting smacked by West Coast.

Boundary umpire Matt, however, had a far better way of easing his drenched discomfort, with his trusty and well stocked esky sitting on the boundary line waiting for him after the final siren.

CANADA BAY  5.7.37 Goals: Wriggles, Pat, Jordan, Louis, Cam.




u17s Round One v Moore Park, Bat and Ball Oval

It was worth waiting six months for.

Not just a great win, but seeing the boys look after each other and respond when challenged.

And watching new players make such an impression in their first game.

Welcome to footy Liam, Ellis and Jordan.

From the first ruck contest when Liam followed up his own knock and dished it off to Ellis who dashed through the middle, to Jordan’s defensive work, it was clear we had found some lads who would fit in perfectly.

Liam’s dominance in the ruck and Ellis’ dash set us up with several early chances and while we gave up the first goal to Moore Park, we quickly claimed the momentum.

As it was throughout the game, the senior players stood up and got us back in the contest, captain Jacko combining with his deputy Cam and Louis to claim control.

And when it occasionally became feisty, everyone was in to back each other up.

We finally took the lead when Alex converted from a contested mark late in the first quarter and we were never headed again.

We opened brightly in the second term with Paddy’s second and third efforts setting up the second of Alex’s five goals, while Liam and Ellis continued to combine and then Wriggles set the game alight with his blistering pace.

He’d beat defenders with sheer speed but still had enough control to deliver the ball sweetly and set up a couple of third quarter goals for Louis on his raking left foot.

Buck was strong at the back, repeatedly taking intercept marks.

As they always do, Moore Park kept going and after seemingly being in complete control at two goals up, we were only two points ahead at three quarter time.
So we again called on the leaders to lead. And they did.

With no-one on the bench and with a couple of players carrying injuries, there was a danger we could be overrun on a warm day, but the lads showed plenty of character in a high scoring final quarter.

Jacko and Cam were strong in tight and put us on top after the break.

When Louis lined up for a set shot from the wrong boundary for a left footer, Mala on the bench spotted Alex lurking in the shadows and predicted his next move. Steve Johnson would have been proud as Alex demanded the handball off Louis and then delivered as he curled in the goal from wide out to give us some breathing space early in the final term.

His fifth shortly after extended what appeared to be a match winning lead until Moore Park rallied yet again. Anton kicked a much needed settler and then Paddy twisted and turned and kicked a goal over his shoulder to seal the 12 point win.

The boys have built a good bond over their resumed pre-season Sunday sessions and that spirit was obvious during and after the game and augurs well for a positive season.

CANADA BAY 9.7.61 Goals: Alex 5, Louis 2, Anton, Paddy

Round One – u17s Div 3 Mongrel Ducks v Pittwater

A new team takes the field

The Mongrel Ducks stepped into the unknown at Jubilee Oval on Sunday and ended their day knowing that this joint venture will be a success.

Eight Canada Bay boys teamed up with eight from Glebe/Newtown and under the excellent guidance of coaches Matt and Jack, they gelled together instantly, shared the footy with each other and even reunited with old primary school friends.

And they showed a lot of heart. With no-one on the bench against a fully stocked Pittwater outfit, they went into the final term only a couple of goals down but ran out of legs to lose by close to five goals.

The scoreboard was no reflection on their effort and, with more time together, they’ll only get better.

Matt says he was very impressed with the boys’ attitude and ability to work together so quickly.

Manfred will go down in trivia quizzes as the Ducks’ first goalkicker for 2020 when he played as a speedy lead up target in the first half. But he was a lot more than that, going into the ruck in the second half and holding his own against some much bigger opponents. “Manfred showed exceptional leadership, with multiple efforts at the contest,” Matt said.

Will put his hand up to start in the ruck and despite his lack of experience there, won plenty of hitouts against three opponents and then crumbed an excellent goal when shifted forward in the second half.

Matt described Tommo as a “very useful rover who went in for the hard ball in the contest. Excellent option and use of the football under pressure and around the ground. Went forward when needed a breather and remained effective in applying forward pressure.”

Fin worked his way into the game in the second half and took multiple intercept marks, including a typically brave effort going back with the flight of the ball, while his tackling was also rewarded with free kicks. “Fin used the football well and stood up when needed most,” Matt said.
Brayden read the play well on the half back line with a couple of intercept marks and a solid kick to targets down the line, while Matt was impressed with first gamers Luis and Nick.

“Luis found great position throughout the game taking marks when the ball came to him and then kicking to a good spot. And Nick was handy as an outside runner on the wing and off the back flank. Worked well in the back pocket beating his man or applying pressure.”

Another first gamer, Tom Ryan, made an instant impact with his speed, physicality and massive boot. “Thomas has blistering speed which he used to his advantage to get to the contest first,” Matt said. “Very physically imposing on the opposition and make a great effort. Switched the midfield to give others a break, Thomas’ physical presence helped create more stoppages.”

So it was a really encouraging effort first up and if the boys keep at it, they’ll have a good season. Thanks to our friends from Glebe for managing the team and ensuring all went smoothly.


Looking after our juniors

You know we’re in safe hands as a footy code when you have a story like this to pass on about the generosity of our young coaches and his players.

Shout out to Coach Lachie Bennetts from the Canada Bay Cannons U17 team, who has also put up his hand to coach the U17 Representative team this year.

For those that don’t know Lachie, he is a young guy who played as a junior with Drummoyne Power, graduating to senior footy in 2014. He’s played with both Balmain Tigers and Sydney University and has coached for the Cannons for the past few years.

Trials for the U17 rep team were held recently at St Luke’s – at the same time as the regular U11 training session for our junior Club, Concord Giants.

The U17 boys taking part in the trial – some of them Cannons but many from other City clubs – dedicated some of their session to one-on-one skills training with the U11 Giants kids, followed by a short scratch match.

Lachie and squad, you’ll never know how much it meant to those kids! Many of them are new to AFL, and they’ve had a pretty rough start to the season – they’ve got giant hearts and give it their all, but have yet to record a win.

You really lifted their spirits and showed them what to aim for… thanks guys!

AFL veteran Craig Lambert joins Cannons coaching group

What an investment of talent in junior AFL coaching! The Canada Bay Cannons is excited to announce the appointment of Richmond and Brisbane Lions veteran Craig Lambert to the coaching group at the Club.

Lambert, who has joined the U17 coaching team, will be working closely with former on-field opponent Tony Malakellis, who is the coach of the Cannons U15s.

Lambert played 123 games for Richmond between 1988 and 1993 when he went to the Brisbane Bears (49 games) and Brisbane Lions (47 games).

Lambert won the Jack Dyer Medal for Richmond’s Best and Fairest in 1991 and the Bears’ Best and Fairest in 1994. He was named in the All Australian team in 1996. A tough, brave player, he was known for his pinpoint handballing, even under immense pressure from opponents, constantly providing opportunities for teammates.

Malakellis recalls first coming across Lambert on the footy field when the pair were both playing U19s. Lambert was playing for the Tigers, while Malakellis was with Geelong. Malakellis went on to play 14 games for Geelong in the AFL, before moving to the Sydney Swans for a season. He moved to South Australia in 1994 and played 70 games for Port Adelaide, which included back to back premierships in 1994 and 1995. In 1994, he was runner up in South Australia’s Magarey Medal.

Malakellis has coached youth footy with Canada Bay Cannons for the past four years and was previously involved in coaching with one of the Cannons’ junior clubs, Concord Giants.

Before moving to Brisbane, Lambert had three sons associated with either the Cannons or Drummoyne Power, the other Cannons’ junior club. He assisted with coaching duties for the premiership winning U17 side in 2015. His youngest son, Bodey, will play in the U17 side this year.

Cannons Coaching Coordinator Mike Andrews said Lambert will be backed by Lachlan Bennetts-Inkster – a young coach who has come up through the ranks of the junior club – and fitness expert at the Cannons, Matt Parker. The U17 squad will work in close collaboration with Malakallis and his U15 team.

Andrews said the Cannons recognised the importance of quality coaching to on-field performance and player retention and recruitment. Last year, the Cannons took part in an innovative coach mentorship program with the GWS Giants.

“Our Coach the Coach program with GWS, which will continue this year, is a truly unique program that allows our coaches to be trained in coaching techniques by the best in the business.

“We believe that by developing strong ties with GWS Giants and exposing our coaches to coach mentoring at this level, it can’t help but filter through to the on-field performance of the boys and girls who play AFL with the Canada Bay Cannons.

“We’re really excited to welcome Craig and his family back to the fold at the Canada Bay Cannons.

“We are looking to take our quality of coaching to the next level, believing this will impact on the players’ skill and enjoyment of the game,” Andrews said.


Cannon U17-3: Round 5 Photo Gallery