Rovers get 2024 off to a winning start

The Rovers got their 2024 season off to a winning start under new coach Marty Pask, defeating Oakleigh by 26 points in the club’s first home game at Trevor Barker Oval.

The 26 point victory could have a whole lot more, if not for inaccurate kicking in front of goals, with 9.21.

As the coach said, “the lowpoint was clearly the poor kicking for goal, 12 of 21 of those points were from set shots inside 50. The highpoint was the actual number of scoring shots we had compared to the opposition, dominating the contest and that was clearly shown in that we had double their scoring shots”.

In the first term, the Rovers three behinds were all from set shots from within 50. Oakleigh were held scoreless on their return to the ground where they lost their Grand Final last year. 

In the second term, Oakleigh’s Luke Ashen took a mark of the year contender, as he had the sit on the pack and launched himself over Liam O’Driscoll for an amazing mark. While Hampton were 20 points up at half time and in control, the ordinary kicking had let Oakleigh stay in the game, we kicked 2.8 to 2.3.  It should have been game over.

After the main break the Rovers again dominated but were just unable to put the score on the board.  The mids were in control with Liam O’Driscoll in the ruck and the mids sharking the ball from the taps.  The skipper was prominent as were Lachy Costello, Speedy, Dillon Melnjak and Chris Perkins around the ground.  The Rovers backline was very solid with Oscar, Joel and VDS looking after the Oakleigh talls and with Crispy, Aussie Parker making his Rovers debut and Pross looking after the smalls, it was a great effort to keep the opposition to so few scoring shots. 

The last quarter was an centimetre by centimetre battle with Oakleigh actually outscoring Hampton and coming to within 1.14 when James Prosser with a few minutes to go snapped accurately to effectively shut the game down.

It was a great day as the club christened the commencement of home games in 2024 at Trevor Baker Oval and Home Game Luncheons at Sandy by the Bay. There was a strong crowd of 100+ in attendance at the lunch, with fantastic views of the ground and of course amazing food. The remaining eight Lunches are not to be missed – see below for details.

It was a great start to the footy season for the senior section of the club, with 4 out of 5 teams winning and the Development Squad only going down by a small margin away to Williamstown.

HR         2.3        4.11     7.17     9.21     75
Oak      0.0        2.3        4.3        7.7        49
Best: Roberts, Melnjak J, Costello, Carnovale, Crawford, Coughlin M
Goals: Cairns 1, Coughlin M 1, Gray 1, Crawford 3, Costello 1, Jones 1, Prosser 1

Senior Women

A hard fought battle all day against a team over the last couple of seasons we have had the wood over.  Great to see Bianca Lenarcic back in the green and gold in what was her 50th senior game for the club. A three point victory in a nail biter was a good hit out to start the season was the coach’s view as he believes the team will settle down and play better footy as the season progresses.

HR         1.3        2.3        5.4        6.5
PH        1.0        3.3        3.4        5.8
Best:    Maegan Miller, Tayler Jones, Shae Raywood, Natasha Morris, Lizzie Dingeldei and Amber Price
Goals: Miller 3, Jones 3,

Under 19s

A Friday night game at the Boss and the Rovers U19s were too strong for Glen Eira in a game where our class showed out over their brawn.  Skipper Charles “Killer” Kilburn in his first game for 2024 kicked a lazy 8 goals to continue his stellar form of 2023 where he took out the U19 Div 1 goalkicking.  Others to shine were Olly Horigan, Kai Carrigan, Ben Antonis and Blake Jenson-Muir. A super performance by the young Rovers, who’ve started their season with two big wins in the second top division of the VAFA U19’s.

HR         4.1        8.3        16.6     19.7     121
GE     1.2        4.5        6.5        8.7        55
Best: Kilburn, Horigan, Carrigan, Antonis, Jenson-Muir
Goals: Kilburn 8, Carrigan 1, Jenson-Muir 2 Antonis 2, Seddon 1, Horigan 2, Rogocki 3.


This is the story of the week.  As many Rovers supporters sat up behind the glass we were shocked and amazed as a new look Rovers Ressies absolutely demolished what looked like a strong determined Oakleigh outfit.  Bigger bodies, the Oakleigh boys started strongly but as the game went on the speed and teamwork of the Rovers was just too much for them. The team featured about 12 players who had played senior footy in the last couple of years.  Nick Jewel played his 199th game on Saturday – and we’re all looking forward to his big 200 milestone this week against Parkdale at Sandringham.  The opposition had no answer to our style of play.  A great way to start the year with the 4 points and a percentage of an unbelievable 1154%!

HR         5.3        10.8     15.11  18.19  127
Oak     0.1        0.2        0.4        1.5        11
Best      Woolston, Deighton, McKenzie, Ebbott, Twigg, Murnane
Goals  Jackson 3, Twigg 2, Murnane 1, Deighton 2, Somogyi 2, Bowditch 1, Donald 1, Woolston 5    

Thirds/Development Squad

Firstly, great to see good numbers for the Rovers Thirds. A couple of weeks back the team was at risk of folding for the 2024 season, before a desperate call went out. Steve Anderson is now on board as coach, alongside Tim Lamb and Andrew McGregor, and we’ve had a number of players jump on board. In fact, on Saturday, eight players missed out on a game, despite the match played out at Williamstown with a 9:20am start!

Still it’s a big ask out there on an oval unprotected from the winds of Port Phillip Bay.  The scoreboard says the wind must have picked up after half time as Willy kicked 5 in the 3rd and  no score in the last.  The Rovers fought it out until the end and really 1.5 to nil in the last quarter tells the story.  A lot of new names in the team list but great to see Darcy Merlo popping through a goal and the father and son team of Steve and Ollie Anderson hitting the scoreboard.  We have one father and son but a number of brothers playing with the Rovers in 2024.  Club stalwart Ant Folino and his brother Tom, Sam and Ollie Horigan, Max and Lui Coughlin, Jack and Hugo Garrow, Peter and Stefan Smogyi, Ben and Lachy Celantano and Sam and Zack Raghdo, almost a team!

HR         3.3        5.5        8.7        9.12     66
Willy     3.2        5.5        11.10  11.10  76
Best      Klein, Jarvis, Merlo, Osborn, Smith, Raghdo
Goals Upton 1, Osborn 1, Raghdo 1,Anderson  O 1, Dixon 1, Merlo 1, Anderson S 1, Folino 2

Next up, the Rovers Seniors are back at our 2024 home for our traditional ANZAC Day match, as we host Parkdale Vultures at Trevor Barker Oval on Saturday. Lunch is on and we’re expecting another big attendance, so book your spot now!

We’re asking all supporters to help the club out in 2024 by becoming a Club Member. We’re aiming for 150 this year and we’re well on our way. In what is a tough year due to the Boss James redevelopment, every membership sold helps the club in a big way. Get access to Luncheons, special offers and more.

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