Fitzroy Football Club: Great football, Great community, Great culture.



By Guy Gorilla

I arrived in time for the start of the Reserves in our first serious hit out for the year against Banyule at Lines Reserve Watsonia. A howling northerly, the prospect of searing temperatures, and opposition who were premiers in Division 2 of the Northern League last year greeted Roys players, staff and supporters alike on March 18.

There was a lot to like about the performance of the Ressies in their game. Clear signs of a worthwhile pre season with a solid fitness base, team-based patterns of play, and a large contingent of players with One’s experience overwhelmed the Banyule outfit. There was a core of 6–8 players in particular who will press for senior selection. It was also great to see last season’s Senior Assistant Coach Matt Larkin giving coach Bernie Carter a hand on the sidelines.

A group of about 26 Royboys faced Banyule in the main game. The wind made scoring difficult at one end, and Banyule was perhaps a goal up at half time. With a stronger, taller big-man department, I reckoned our game style would be more direct. Recruit Chas Roberts did most of the ruck work, combining well with Jack Mackay. Versatile Luke Baker also returns, with Bill Clayton, Jock Green, Jack Hart, and Darcy Lowrie providing taller options at both ends. Max Ellis keeps on keeping on in defence.

The second half showed great promise. The midfield trio of Ted Clayton, Donovan Toohey and Jack Wotherspoon now have plenty of company. Charlie Faubel played a vigorous second half, strong running combined with a heavy hitting torso added more grunt and run. In the end, I estimated a 6 goal victory – there was no sign of a scoreboard nor anyone working it. No big deal, it’s just the first inter-club practice.

Coach Luke Mahoney did his maths after the game: 26 players used in the main game, half a dozen missing, and another 6–8 pressing from the Twos. It will make selection tough, as it should.

Next hit out is against nemesis A Grade side Uni Blacks on Sunday 26 March. Details of venue and time will be revealed later this week.

Guy Gorilla.

By the way, thanks to cousin Garry last week for his coverage of our first hit out. He’s a big fellah, with a stylish sense of penmanship.

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