Rochester gets off to the perfect start

By Brayden May

THE roar of Rochester’s tiger cubs is well and truly alive.

On Saturday, the club’s three Goulburn Valley League teams (two netball, one football) all got their modified seasons off to the perfect start with big wins against Tatura.

After months of uncertainity, club president Jeff Bright said he was pleased to see more players return to the field and court after the Shepparton District Junior Football League started last weekend.

“It was a very successful for the club,” Bright said.

“But the most important thing is we have our juniors playing sport again. As I have previously said, it’s critical for their mental health and wellbeing.

“Winning these games is just a bonus for the hard work everyone has put in over the past few months.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the continued development of all our players.”

With the Tigers not electing to field a side in the newly formed under 16s football competition, all eyes turned to the under 18s side.

And they delivered in spades off the back of a fast start, thumping the Bulldogs to the tune of 90 points.

Mitch Cricelli, who joined the club from Elmore, shone in his first game in the yellow and black — kicking nine goals.

Cricelli put the game beyond doubt off his own boot in the first half, kicking eight goals.

“He was certainly very impressive,” Bright said.

“Mitch has a great pair of hands and he made the most of his opportunities inside forward 50.

“But a lot of credit has to go to the boys who gave him such good supply from further up the ground.”

Tigers coach Mitch Bright held a similar view to the club president.

“Mitch took some strong marks and it was exciting to see him run around,” Bright said.

“He’s one of a couple of boys that have come across this year to play, he goes to school with all the boys and it was good to see him do well.

“But I thought everyone contributed, which was great to see.

“Adam (McPhee) used the ball well across the ground and Jarrad (Kyne), our ruckman, gave our mids first use.

“I was really happy with the way they all performed.”

Rochester’s next generation of netball stars also flexed their muscle to put the Bulldogs to the sword.

The under 17s recorded a 68-22 victory, while the under 15s overcame a tight opening half to win by 30 goals.

“There were some positive signs for our long-term future,” Bright said.

“The girls who have stepped up from the under 15s to the 17s have made a seamless transition so far.

“It’s all about getting as many games as possible into all of our junior players.”

Bright also said it was good to see spectators following the COVID-19 protocols that are in place for matches.

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