Brodie Grant has played hard for Jeparit Rainbow once again in 2016
Brodie Grant has played hard for Jeparit Rainbow once again in 2016

The Horsham District League has reached the half way point in its season. This week The Argus will have a brief look at each football team and how they are travelling after the first eight games.

Seniors:
With the Club recruiting well over the summer expectations were high for the Senior team. In the first half of the season these have been met with only one loss and many comprehensive wins. Lying in third place, two games clear of the fourth placed team, seems a fair indication of the team’s performance as it has defeated the four teams immediately below it on the ladder.

The addition of Sam Cranna in the ruck has added a lot to the team, not only in his ruckwork but how he sets up around the ground.

Luke Murphy and Ben Marra, with their big bodies, have transformed the midfield while Sean Bayzand has added a touch of class in the games he has played. The experience of Bayzand and Murphy has shown out around the ground as they have provided real leadership.

With these players in the team the pressure has been released on Chris Meyer and Elliot Bath, both of them are playing with more freedom this year.

Ash Clugston and Peter Weir are the best double act in the competition having kicked ninety three goals between them. They have really stretched the opposition defences with their work rate and skills. Their ability to feed off each other has also been impressive. Chris Meyer and Nathan Cocks have also been dangerous forwards.

In the back line Tyler Edelsten has taken on more responsibility with the injury to Adam Schulz. He is one player who has taken his football to a new level. Jayden Werner has been a revelation at centre half back, taking on much taller opponents each week and winning the contest. Heath Clugston is enjoying the sweeper role while John Cozens has been playing some good football, rarely losing a contest. His brother Justin has also added to the team with his ability to play good football in a number of positions. The team’s defensive pressure has been impressive with players willing to run both ways.

Reserves:
The Reserves began the season well winning their first two games but have only recorded one more win in the first eight games. Injuries, both in the Seniors and Reserves, have meant that the team has not been able to have a settled line up.

Steve Murphy is one player who has played good football in every game, kicking goals and providing a go to target in the forward half. Brett Fisher has played well in his first two games, providing another goal kicker for the team which it lacked in the earlier games.

Brett Jensz, Woody Conboy, Matt Cozens and Lachlan Robinson have played well in the midfield with Brett and Woody also playing some games in the Seniors.

Andrew Lamont is one player who has really improved this year; he has played good football both in the backline and in the midfield.

U17’s:
Like last year it has been a real struggle for this team to be competitive. This is not the fault of the seven boys who are in this age group or the younger boys who make up the team each week. One can only admire their efforts as they play against full strength opposition teams.

Jakob Cocks and Rory O’Halloran will benefit from their games in the Seniors; both boys are leaders in the team. Hayden Jamieson and Jaydn Kruger have alternated between the ruck and fullback with both boys never giving in. Liam Preston is a player who performs each week. He has kicked some nice goals.

U14’s:
After a slow start to the year, when the team played the top five teams, the boys have really stepped up in the last three weeks when they have won games against teams in the bottom half of the ladder. They have shown that against boys their own age and size they can show their skills and team work. There are more winnable games in the second half of the season for this team. Sitting on the sidelines it is great to hear the encouragement coming from the older boys towards their younger team mates.

Xavier Oakley has impressed with his pace around the ground and his goal kicking. Jordi Leach, Max McKenzie and Nicholas Roll have provided good leadership while Matt Thomas returning to the team after his injury has been a big positive. Aiden Gelligen and Murphy Leach are boys whose football has really improved over the first eight games. Mention must also be made of the youngest boys in the team. Flynn Smith, Oliver Schilling and Jaime Eckermann are learning how to play the game and are starting to play some good football.