BY DYLAN BOLCH AND MAE JAMES
Round 5 of the South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) 2021 season will highlight the League’s partnership with the AFL Coaches Association’s Tackle Your Feelings program.
Tackle Your Feelings is a mental health training initiative designed for community football clubs that strives to improve the abilities and awareness of mental health by building skills to foster an environment where athletes are supported to effectively manage their emotions.
League Ambassador, St Kilda Football Club AFLW Coach Peta Searle, and Tackle Your Feelings Program Coordinator Nick Walsh will attend Walter Galt Reserve and host a special Q&A session for the U14 Girls following their game.
Here’s the Round 5 SMJFL Preview.
Under 9 Mixed Amber – Brighton Beach U9 Kennedy/Blake vs Cheltenham JFC U9
Sunday, 8:30am, Brighton Beach Oval
A weekend of wet-weather football is forecast and the Brighton Beach Kangaroos and Cheltenham Panthers will have a chance to make the most of the damp conditions.
The Under 9s will be heading into their fifth official game of football this Sunday after making their debuts in Round 1 of the 2021 season.
Spectators will need to remember their raincoats as they head out to watch the Under 9s further improve on their skills and get another game under their belt.
Under 12 Girls Div 1 – SMD U12 Girls vs Ajax Under 12 Girls Comets
Sunday, 9:00am, Gary Smorgon Oval, Oval 9
The SMD and Ajax girls will battle it out in the first game of the day on Gary Smorgan Oval in Round 5.
Ajax is home to the two leading goalkickers for the division, Ruby Page (10 goals) and Micaela Ickowicz (eight goals).
Jessica McDougal from SMD has also been clinical in front of goal having secured six goals so far this season.
These two sides played each other in Round 4 with Ajax winning the game by 35 points.
SMD will be hoping to bounce back in style, this time on their home deck.
Under 14 Girls Div 3 – Waverly Park Hawks U14 Girls vs Hampton Rovers AFC Davis
Sunday, 3:30pm, Columbia Park
The Hawks and the Rovers will meet for the first time this Sunday at Columbia Park.
Young Hawk Piper Stizza spoke to SMJFL media after Round 4 and said she was eagle-eyed looking to the Hawks’ first face-off with Hampton.
The 14-year-old forward said she enjoyed when the games were neck-and-neck.
“[I like when games] have good contests and when they are kind of difficult, but then at the same time, exciting,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to kicking some goals and hopefully getting a win.”
Under 14 Mixed Div 2 – Bentleigh JFC vs Mordialloc Braeside JFC U14 Div 3
Sunday, 10:00am, Bentleigh Reserve
Mordialloc Braeside have been regraded to Division 2 and will face their first challenge when they come up against Bentleigh.
Bentleigh’s track record for the 2021 season stands at 3-1 and will be challenged by the Mustangs in Round 5.
Ricky Theodoropoulos and Serebro Mark have both bagged five goals apiece this season, proving to be key players for Bentleigh in their attack.
Mordi Brae went undefeated in Division 3 and will be looking to continue their solid form into their Division 2 campaign.
Joshua Welsh and Max Weir have been dominant around goals so far this season, with the pair kicking 14 and 11 goals over the first four games respectively.
Mordi Brae pair Cooper Wilcock and Josh White caught up with SMJFL Media earlier in the season to discuss the return of local footy.
“I missed having fun with my mates and kicking goals,” said White.
Wilcock said he enjoyed the environment that Mordi Brae has created for its players.
“Having lots of friends and coaches who support you and give you heaps of opportunities is great,” said Wilcock.
The Mordi Brae environment has been a key factor in allowing the team to thrive, but now they face the challenge of a Bentleigh side who has also started very impressively.
Under 15 Boys Div 4 – St Peters FC U15 Div 4 vs Ormond JFC
Sunday, 11:00am, Centenary Park – Oval 1
Round 5 presents an opportunity for both St Peters and Ormond to secure their first win of the Division 4 competition in 2021.
The clash, which takes place on Centenary Park Oval 1, is sure to be a tough and fierce contest. Damon Hill (St Peters) and Lucas Nenke (Ormond) have been the two teams’ most dangerous in front of goal so far this season.
With rain predicted in the days leading up to the game and on gameday, it looks as though spectators will see some traditional wet and muddy football, further increasing the importance these two stars of tomorrow have.
Under 16 Boys Div 1 – East Malvern JFC (Blue) vs East Sandringham Rovers
Sunday, 12:15pm, Basil Reserve
The East Sandringham Rovers will be looking to continue their undefeated start to the season when they face off against East Malvern in Round 5. Charlie Gaiardo and Ivo Ten Harkel have led the way for East Malvern so far this season kicking five and four goals respectively.
For the Rovers, Will Mcphee said he enjoyed getting back to community football.
“I love all of the community stuff at the Rovers. I know all the boys, so it is a great place to be,” said Mcphee.
Mason Carrigan booted four goals in Round 4 and was amongst the strongest contributors on the ground, also including Lachie Teal for the Rovers.
Mason’s brother, midfielder/defender Kai Carrigan, said he was pleased with the side’s Round 4 performance.
Carrigan said he was already casting an eye on the Rovers’ Round 5 clash, post-game.
“I think we played pretty well, but there’s a lot for us to still work on,” he said.
The clash will determine whether the Rovers’ winning streak will continue, or if East Malvern will hand them their first defeat of 2021.