Round 2 : 14th April : v Killarney     (A)  (5-2 WIN)
With Steve away today this was my first job in charge as assistant coach for this year and I was proud of the boys efforts to get the win. Steve and I had spoken about the first 5 minutes and today the team performed from the start. Bregan had 2 shots on goal, keeping the pressure on forced a mistake from Killarney and we go ahead through an own goal. We then had another great cross to Dylan only to be just denied a goal. When the first subs came on, all 5 of them, they were ready to cover their roles and Blake was straight into it just missing then Garrett had a few good runs down his wing with some great crosses into the area. Our second goal went to Michael, a bounce shot the keeper could not handle and a third goal went to Bregan after a cross from Garrett. So 3-0 half time and I’m happy!

The 2nd half started a little scrappy but some good movement through the backs and across field by Liam and Conner. Killarney’s first goal was an own goal from Jett and their second was a a shot on the corner with Josh just missing it. We got back on top though and our next goal came from some nice play, little Zac beating three players and slotting a nice straight shot. Our fifth goal finished them off and was a lovely passing combo from the two Zachs…. little Zac laying a pass off to Gorto who hit the back of net. Great effort by all although the ref was tough with Alex getting a yellow. I know Alex that saying that’s how he was but you all didn’t let that bother the team and kept playing. Well done boys! Go the Emus!!

Round 1 : 7th April : v Kanwal     (H)  (4-1 WIN)
What a way to start the new season with a solid scoreline against last years Grand Finalists and a team we expect will be up there challenging at the end of the year. With the older players continuing to improve and four new players in the mix to freshen things up, our squad this season is looking the strongest it’s ever been to date. Knowing what we know from last season, the expectations are pretty high that we should be challenging for top two and a result like this is a good way to begin. If we’re completely honest, I think Kanwal may rightly feel it was not a 4-1 game. They had lots of very good possession that we failed to close down quickly enough but on the other hand, while they managed to get to the edge of our box quite well, they did struggle to get any decent shots off. Churchy in goal for us had a fairly comfortable day when we look back on it and didn’t have any major saves to make. In our case, our finishing was top notch and we could have added a couple more to the tally. It wasn’t looking like it was going to be a good day though at the beginning of the game. For the first 6 mins we were totally second best. We were clumsy with the ball and there was no apparent fire in the belly. Kanwal were all over us like a rash as the saying goes. But the reason we love football is that it can change in a split second and all of a sudden a poor back pass from a Kanwal defender only found a lurking Emus debutante Blake up front who turned and kept his composure to knock a lovely pass shot beyond the advancing keeper low into the net. Totally against the run of play but the Wyong coaching staff were very happy to take it!! We then grew into the game, gaining some confidence from the goal and getting on top of proceedings but a short while later fate turned the tables and Kanwal took advantage against the play at of one of the few times we were way too loose at marking and grabbed an equaliser to level. The rest of the first half played out fairly evenly but we did manage to go in to the break 2-1 up when Bregan got on the end of a superb passage of play. The ball was deep in Kanwals half out on our right flank and it came to Liam who just didn’t have an opening to cross it to the centre. So instead he played an intelligent ball back to our right FB Jett who took a touch. looked up and sent a perfect flighted ball over the top of the Bulls defence and straight to the feet of striker Bregan who at the second attempt slotted past the keeper. 

At half time we spoke about how fortunate we were really to be coming in up on the scoreboard and that we had to show more desire if we wanted to finish the job. With 15 mins gone in the second half we were looking at making a change when up popped Bregan with his second for the afternoon and our third. It was a nice placement from well outside the box and at 3-1 we suddenly had a bit of breathing space. Given Kanwal’s inability to beat us last year when they fell behind, maybe there was a little mental perspective came into play from there because although they huffed and puffed they just couldn’t break us down. At the very end they got caught out when we counter attacked with a through ball that found Liam on the right side. He got to the ball, controlled and at the edge of the penalty area unselfishly played a perfect pass square inside to Blake who couldn’t miss and he put away his second for the day, the Emus fourth. 

One of the most pleasing things to come out of the game from a coaching perspective is that it looks like we will again be one of the best defensive teams in the competition. Despite finishing 5th last year, we had the best defence in the league and when Connor and Alex stepped up a gear midway through the second half and were immense in the centre of defence, strongly clearing everything that came their way, it bodes well for the rest of the season. Jarrod, Jett and Spencer were also very strong in their defensive roles and Jarrod was very unlucky not to score after an 80m run with the ball up the right hand side of the field!! Michael, Gorto and Dylan were busy in the middle of the park while Riley, Corey, Garrett and Liam were effective in their duties out wide. As mentioned, we could’ve had a couple more goals with the Jarriod chance being one and Gorto also made a strong run through the middle but their keeper foiled him at the last second. When we consider we managed this result without the input from little Zach who would’ve been a big influence, then we have a lot to smile about! Tough call to give a Man of the Match from our team as everyone played their part and that is exactly what we hope to see for the rest of the season. It’s not about individuals… it’s about the team and as said after the game in the sheds, I think we will have to work on getting the players to know the team song because if they can play like this consistently every week, I have a good feeling we will be singing it quite a bit after games this year!!