Coaches Report Round 1 Cardiff Hawks v Newcastle City blues

First Grade Coaches Report

On a sizzling autumns day we played host to our arch rivals Newcastle City at our very own magnificent lush green Hillsborough Oval (The Hawks Nest). It’s always entertaining to see the City boy’s role up and the look on their faces when they see the old Hawks Nest and the realization of what it’s going to feel like when they get driven into the hard Hillsborough surface. What a great way to start the season.

Making his debut to 1st grade was one of our Junior players Jake Ireland. Jake had a great pre-season and showed to the coaching staff that he was ready for the challenge of senior footy and with Jake’s father’s emotional jumper presentation in the sheds before the game, prepared Jake set and ready for a big debut.

Although we didn’t start great, leaking an easy goal in the first few minutes, we made a quick recovery and kicked the next three goals thanks to the Andrew Walker’s brilliance. Andrew was playing a forward role and absolutely proved that he is one of our best utilities at the club.

Heading into the second quarter by only a small margin we kept things much the same and really tried to apply as much pressure around the contest as possible. This was our best quarter for the day. After watching the game on Bar TV you can see how far we have come even from last year the way we link up and control the tempo of the game.

Leading by 4 goals after Captain Simon O’Brien kicked his second goal we went into the halftime break thinking how well we were going…..

Reality hit pretty quick smart, with City kicking the first 5 goals all within the first ten minutes of the third quarter. But, to our true desire to compete and win the game we held the City goal wave off and Josh Murphy kicked a much important goal to bring the margin back to a kick.

In the last, this is where Cardiff AFC love the contest and rise to the challenge. Young gun Lachlan Price was outstanding. Kicked two and set up another couple. We kicked the first three goals giving us some breathing space only to have City Blues like any good side come back at us again. With only a few points the difference, Captain Simon O’Brien finished with a goal in the last kick of the day giving us a 15 point win.

Down back was controlled by the long and waiting injury free Nick Thomlinson. Nick was silky with his ball movement and combined with Liam Gibson playing  spare in defence caused many issues for Newcastle City.

Through the guts was a great duel with both midfields having control at different stages of the game. Simon O’Brien, Bryce Graetz were the main contributors with Bryce racking up many clearances and inside 50s, this was arguably Bryce’s best game for the club. Simon kicked three goals which

was also very impressive.  Trent Thompson started the year like he left last season, on fire. Trent would have to be one of the hardest match ups

in the league and is in super condition ready for his 2018 AFL campaign.

Up forward, Andrew Walker and Josh Murphy showed massive presence and connected beautifully up forward. Jack Lennon was named best on

ground on Bar TV and was outstanding. Jack has had a good break on the off season but has come back, fit and stronger than ever. Jack played many roles up forward and is one of our future leaders at Cardiff.


Final Score

Cardiff 14.9 – 93

City 11.12- 78

Best, S O’Brien, A Walker, L Gibson, T Thompson, N Thomlinson, L Price

Goals kickers, S Obrien 3, J Murphy 3, L Price 2, J Lennon, T Yensch, A Walker, L Borrows, M DeLeur, C Spoor.

Jesmond Fruit Barn Coaches Award

– Nick Thomlinson

Players Player, draw- O’Brien & L Price.



Its been a very strong pre season for the birds in so many ways. We welcomed many new players to the group and they all gelled really well.

A special welcome back to Abbey after her season ending injury in round one last year. She had a great game and showed no signs of any demons from her injuries.

So it was time to play our first game together, and for most, their first game of footy ever. And what better way to start than a home game against City. In hot conditions it was going to be a real test of character against a far more experienced side. The girls started really well with one of our new rucks, Tayla Grazules giving our mids an even share of the ball. Mollie, Allie and Bri ,another debutant, were hungry and aggressive and matched up well in the early exchanges. A bit of a speed advantage to City saw them win a few clearances and go inside 50 a bit more than us, however, our defence held up with Faith clearing the ball well and Sam K and Nicola Breward competing hard. Our half back line were superb, Nicloa Walker, Ellise another first gamer, and Shez working hard all day.


It was a great learning curve for the girls and as we learn to be more defensive at the stoppages and make more use of our inside fifties we will close the gap on the better sides. It was a great hit out for us and our effort, tackling and pressure on the ball carrier will become a feature of our game moving forward. Picking a best on ground in a performance like this is not easy. And I cant name every player in every report but I thought on a day all about debuts that our captain led from the front. Well done Shez.

For the Jesmond Fruit Barn Coaches Award I couldnt go past Nicola Walker and the players voted Abbey Cooksley as their Players Player back at The Duke.


Cooky and Yowie

City 10 14 74.    Cardiff 1 1 7




Welcome to Season 2018 to all old and new faces.

After a quality pre-season and limited practice matches, it was good to get out onto the park to take on arch rivals Newcastle City. New/returning players for the Hawks included Dean Dekort, Tim Cameron, Cayle Beveridge, Kyie Haley, Tom Gordon, Izaac Hughes, Adam Perkovic and Matt Campbell.

After a slow start we went into the half time break trailing 2.1-13 to 7.12-54. The fitness and speed of City combined with the heat of the day, proved to be challenging for the boys during the first half. Miles and Tom were impressive across the backs and middle, shutting down their quick players from getting easy ball. Tackling pressure was also great throughout the day.

The 3rd and 4th quarters were cut short due an injury to a City player. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get up on the day, going down 4.1-25 to 15.16-106. Entries into our forward 50 were too few and saw 3 goals between the Ryan brothers and 1 to Erich.

First gamer,  Izaac Hughes impressed through the midfield with his speed and hardness at the ball and was the winner of the Jesmond Fruit Barn Coaches Award while Tom Gordan took out the Player’s Player back at The Duke for his efforts across half back and in the middle.

I am looking forward to the season ahead and know with some more commitment to training we will have some great results.



Cardiff Hawks – 2.1  |    2.1  |    3.1    |  4.1 -25

Newcastle City –  4.8  |  7.12  | 13.15  |15.16 – 106

Goal Kickers

  1. Ryan 2, M.Erich, J. Ryan