Fitzroy’s senior side may be 2-0 for the first time in Premier B, but the big test comes this weekend when they travel to Brighton Beach Oval to play a team sitting atop the ladder with a percentage of over 400!
Old Brighton Grammarians will be a step up in class but so far not much has phased Nick Mitchell’s new team.
The senior coach seemed somewhat of a prophet when he told the pre-game lunch on Saturday to look out for a range of new players, including Nino Lazzaro coming up from the Under 19s for his first game.
Nino certainly made an impressive debut with 5 goals, spearheading Fitzroy’s win over Peninsula in a somewhat fiery encounter.
Nick said the challenge for the coaching group was to balance youth and experience as the talent from the Under 19s and the Colts continued to produce high quality players. The transition is being made easier thanks to the guidance of Michael Pickering, who is playing a development role with the club.
If the best player awards in Round 2 were anything to go by, the mix of youth and experience was executed well during the game, as backman Max Ellis was named best player, followed by Lazzaro and Aiden Burke (pictured above competing for the ball), with the one percenter award. What would have made the coach even happier was the challenge in deciding on the best players – it was certainly an even team performance with an even spread of goal kickers as Fitzroy ran away to a 44 point win.
Needless to say the coach would have been just as impressed with the form of new recruit Mitch Bottomley, who was also playing his first game for Fitzroy Reserves and kicked a cool six goals in his best-on-ground performance. Not bad, coming off an injury. Mitch hails from McLeod and you’d imagine it won’t be long before we see him and his long sleeves in the Seniors.
He was ably supported in the reserves by another new recruit, rated second best on the day, Sam Batterton, who apparently hasn’t played a lot of footy but is a great runner and an elite athlete.
It was also win number one for new Reserves Coach, Richard Willingham, who was blessed with a number of returning senior players in his line up on Saturday against Peninsula, notably Vice Captain Tom Cheshire, Ross Boland (coming back from injury and a cricket premiership for his first run), Max Davies, Jack Dalton, Luke Edwards, Nick Marshall and Matthew Gaite.
Congrats to the Thirds who also start the season 2-0 whilst both Under 19 teams went down on Saturday.
There was more Fitzroy coverage than you could poke a stick at in the Footy Almanac during the week and as always it is great to get the different perspectives. Here are the match reports of King George III, Phil Hill and Rod Oaton.