Fitzroy Under 9-S: We have our jumpers!

Hey Under 9-S,

We’ve had a terrific start to the season. There are two reports this week. One from coach Keli ‘Yabby’ Symons and the other one from John Harms. Leave your comment at the end if you like.


from John Harms

Last Sunday the mighty Fitzroy Under 9S footy team played a practice match against Ivanhoe JFC at Ford Park.

Everyone gathered for the jumper presentation.

Our coach Keli, made a wonderful speech. You might think it was just to hand over a footy jumper but, as Keli said, that footy jumper means a lot. You are part of a truly great football club. Footy has been played at Fitzroy, at Brunswick Street Oval, since 1884. That’s a long time ago. Fitzroy has produced so many fantastic footballers (who have also been terrific people) who have worn your number.

Number 1 was worn by Kevin Murray late in his career in the 1960s, and also by Paul Roos during the 1990s. Paul Roos now coaches Melbourne. Kevin Murray won the Brownlow Medal and is a legend of the club. So when Seb Donnellan pulls on the Number 1 jumper he becomes connected to all those players who have worn Number 1, and to all players, men and women, who have ever worn a footy jumper (with any number on it) for Fitzroy.

I am sure Seb will be able to tell us something special about the Donnellan family and Fitzroy when he writes his match report for Round 1. (More on that in an email from our team manager Courtenay).

So, like Keli and the other other parents, I offer my congratulations to you on receiving your jumper. I know you will all wear it with pride and respect as Keli said. And we’ll have a season we’ll remember forever.


From Keli ‘Yabby’ Symons:

Our Fitzroy Under 9S team played a practice match against Ivanhoe JFC last Sunday morning at Ford Park in Ivanhoe. It was a lovely autumn morning, although a little bit cloudy, but at least it wasn’t rainy and cold.

It was great to see the big smiles from all our players as they were presented with their footy jumpers.

The game was very even until half time with no goals scored for either team. Leeroy was bombing it long from the midfield with no luck.

In the second half, the midfielders were on fire. There was one very good passage of play early where we strung together four handballs in a row. I thought I was watching the Sydney Swans. Then we kicked thee footy into defence -forgetting we had swapped ends! Funny! But that’s a lesson we needed to learn. Luckily Ollie was rock solid in defence and took the steadying mark.

Leeroy was in the forward line so after several more long bombs he managed a couple of goals. He combined well with Frankie to form the twin towers forward line. Frankie showed signs of on-field leadership. He wisely encouraged Leeroy to share the ball around, as little Josh managed to shake his opponent and sneak back to the goals, only to watch the ball fly wildly over his head.

The ball was in our forward line most of the time, mainly due to Seb and Roman being well and truly off the chain in the mid-field and out of their zone. This helped the opposition to find a big hole in our mid zone and they got the ball in fast to their forward line. There was not much our defenders could do, but they were very good at staying on their opponent. There was no way that Olive was going to lose touch with her opponent. Olive is tenacious.

On Monday at training we talked about the things we did well were. We looked like a footy team: socks up, mouthguard in, correct shorts on. We were nice and vocal: lots of talking and calling for the ball, spreading out in forward, and picking up our opponent in defence, and encouraging each other. This is really important.

We have learned a lot from this game. We have to be careful not to over-celebrate victory (you will have to check with the kids for the score). We have to shake hands with our opponents, stay in our zones and keep our feet.

It was a really good start to our season and we are all looking forward to our Round 1 match at home this Sunday (April 17).

About John Harms

John Harms is a writer, broadcaster, publisher, historian, speaker and teacher. He loves stories.


  1. Fantastic read! Great initiative.
    Looking forward to the next!

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