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2016 Season Preview

AJAX FC Season Preview

 

Finally after almost six months on the training track, the ‘real stuff’ has arrived and the AJAX Football Club are ready to tackle the competition with a renewed vigour in 2016.  

The club will be fielding an unprecedented five teams this year– seniors, reserves, thirds, under 19s (all in the Victorian Amateur Football Association) and a ladies team (‘Jackettes’-in the Victorian Women’s Football League), whilst the junior division will field 19 teams in the South Metro Junior competition.

Finishing in 5th place in 2015 and narrowly missing out on finals for the third consecutive year, re-instated Senior Coach Marty Pask and his newly constructed coaching group (Brendan Devlin & David Harris) have put the club’s players through a gruelling yet focused training program.

“Marty and his coaching staff have had a big focus on fitness, strength work and the development of our game plan”, club President Ronnie Lewis told AJAX Media.

J-Air's On the Ball previewed AJAX's season with Marty on Monday night. Listen back here:

Almost 50 players attended the annual football camp in Torquay six weeks ago, where the purpose of the challenging training program and education sessions was to give the players “the opportunity to create an even stronger bond” amongst the group.

 

 

“The B-Grade competition will be a tough one this year but I am really confident our boys will be super competitive. We have an improved midfield group and some exciting youngsters who have trained really strongly all summer. Senior spots will have to be earned as the depth of the group is very good", Pask said.

Aside from a number of additions to the coaching, support group and committee this year, the club also welcomes back former best and fairest winners Warren Steinberg and Josh Ludski.

In comparison to 2015, the club experienced a less chaotic time on the injury front this pre-season.

“We’ll get guys back for the full year who had injuries last year, then it’s the development of the next tier down who we put a lot of game time into last season. I’m after them to start owning a position on the ground, stepping up and having a say in results”, Pask said.

Last weekend the club formerly capped off the pre-season with an impressive 12-point victory over Old Trinity, last season’s A-Grade runners up.

Read the match report here

“The wins are obviously what you get judged on, but for me it’s not so much that or the scoreboard. Any form is important going into the regular season but for me it has been about the continuity of our performances and getting some consistency, and getting guys up to match simulation speed and VAFA Premier B standard as best we can with the three games we played”, Pask said.

The coaching staff was able to have a look at the playing group in great detail over the three practice matches with a total of 27 players given senior opportunity, including Under 19s player Josh Baron.

There will be a strong link between the seniors, reserves and under 19s this season with the implementation of the game plan at these levels to facilitate a smooth transition to senior football.

“Age is irrelevant. The most important thing, is that they understand what we do and how they can help put this footy club on the right track. We need to look, find and get a good balance. If they are playing well they’ll get an opportunity at the highest level”, Pask said.

The Jackas opened their 2016 pre-season campaign with strong showings against Edithvale/Aspendale and Chelsea, both who play in lower divisions, however the club’s performance on the weekend against an A-Grade team showed ominous signs leading into round one.

 

“We put ourselves out there to be judged against a really good opponent. We certainly wanted to do that, it was intentional and deliberate playing them before round one. I wanted the guys to give a real good honest showing and I think we did that”, Pask said.

The reserves will be in the capable hands of Rob Paterson in 2016, with Matt Schmidt assuming an assistant coaching position.

Coming off a meteoric rise in 2015, the Thirds will once again be led by Daniel Slonim and Simon Jedwab who will be hoping their team can build on last season and win a final. 

Former player Ash Shenker has been entrusted with nurturing the club's exciting young talent, as coach of the Under 19s. 

Meanwhile, excitement has been high all summer for the club’s ladies team, the Jackettes, who are coming off Grand Final heart break in 2015. Tom Humphrey takes over the coaching reigns and comes to the club with a wealth of coaching experience, most notably in the VFL. 

“After a richly successful inaugural 2015 season, the "Jackettes" are looking fit and ready to take on the higher grades in the VWFL. With three of our players training in the AFL Academy squad over summer, a fitter and more skilled group of returning players and the addition of some gun recruits, season 2016 promises to be another exciting one for our Women's team”, Club President Ronnie Lewis said.

Finally, on senior expectations, the Head Coach was bullish about the club’s chances in 2016.

“I’d hope they are ready for finals. Any time you start pre-season training, you want to be thinking about finals. I don’t think you plan for anything but finals, I say that to the guys all the time.”

“You’ve got to be prepared to do the work and understand what it entails to play in a final in B-grade. We’ve looked at how we can get to that point. We are not content with finishing 5th.”

“There would be nothing better than to give these guys an experience like finals.”

We hope to see you at the footy. Go Jackas!

Seniors vs Old Scotch at Camberwell Sports Ground, Saturday April 9 @2pm, Reserves @11:40am
 
Thirds vs Old Carey, Sunday April 17, venue/time TBC
 
Under 19s vs Old Haileyburians at Princes Park Caulfield, Saturday April 9 @9:20am
 
Jackettes vs Bayswater at Bayswater Oval, Sunday April 17 @12pm
 
 

Aaron Fetter
AJAX Amateur Football Club
Media & Communications Manager 

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New-look Jackas topple Old Trinity

New-look Jackas topple Old Trinity


AJAX held off a strong Old Trinity outfit at Highett Reserve on Saturday, registering a 15.8 (98) to 13.8 (86) victory, entering the season proper with strong momentum and belief. 

Kicking with a four-to-five-goal wind, the Jackas made the most of their advantage, accumulating 11 scoring shots to four, taking a 27-point lead into quarter time. 

Adam Caplan's physicality and goal-sense was prominent with the utility banging through two goals in as many minutes. 

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The home side stormed back into the contest with a dominant seven-goal-to-two second term to hold a five-point lead at the main break. 

The game turned AJAX's way in the third, thanks to some David Fayman brilliance. The star forward wrought havoc around goals, kicking three for the quarter. Old Trinity showed their class and slick ball-movement late in the term, bridging the deficit to just seven points at the final break. 

 

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Old Trinity entered the fourth term with the wind advantage, however the Jackas adopted a defensive style of play that was inpenetrable-intercepting many of the opposition's forward thrusts. 

On the counter-attack, youngsters Justin Berkowitz and Zac Braun got themselves on the scoreboard, eventually securing a 12-point win.

David Fayman finished with four goals, while Josh Ludski floated forward to kick two. 

AJAX's new and revamped Media Department will be boundary side at every Senior game, all season, endeavouring to deliver unrivalled live match coverage via twitter (@ajax_footy) as well as a range of other club media interactions throughout the week (Stay tuned!) 



Coaches' Corner

AJAX Media caught up with some of the coaches after the weekend's results and asked them to review their team's performance. 

Reserves Coach Rob Paterson's Report:  

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"Saturday presented the Reserves side with the opportunity to measure themselves against an 'A Grade' club. When we ran the ball, supported each other and played to our game style we looked like we could complete well. This did however break down at times and our defensive run was not as good as it could have been.

Some poor goal-kicking and critical turnovers from opposition pressure meant we weren't as close on the scoreboard as we might have been. All up another good hit-out and a game which will help us prepare for round one against quality opposition."

Under -19s Coach Ash Shenker's Report:

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"The Under-19s continued to show positive signs in a stellar performance against Old Trinity. Despite key players missing through injury, the side put on immense pressure for four quarters and were damaging on the counterattack in an impressive win.

In the team's final hit-out before round one, it was fantastic to see so many players step up in the absence of others. Everyone has staked a claim to be picked for the season opener, suggesting that there will be great depth in the team on show throughout 2016."

Thirds Coach Daniel Slonim's Report: 


"We held an intra-club match on Sunday morning and it was pleasing to see 36 guys having a serious go. We tried eight new players and they all performed well. In particular, David Ellinghaus, Eli Solomon, Jonny Kaplan and ruckmen Yoni Steingiesser and Ben Meneham.

Others to impress were regulars such as Yossi Jedwab and Chaim Wellis-Stosser in defence while the Jones boys and Yehuda Gottlieb led from the front."

 


 Round 1 Matches 

Seniors vs Old Scotch at Camberwell Sports Ground, Saturday April 9 @2pm, Reserves @11:40am

Thirds vs Old Carey, Sunday April 17, venue/time TBC

Under 19s vs Old Haileyburians at Princes Park Caulfield, Saturday April 9 @9:20am

Jackettes vs Bayswater at Bayswater Oval, Sunday April 17 @12pm

 

Aaron Fetter
AJAX Amateur Football Club
Media & Communications Manager 

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Jackas hold-off Chelsea Challenge

Jackas hold-off Chelsea challenge

 

AJAX's pre-season form across the board showed no signs of slowing on the weekend, as an undermanned Seniors side shook off a late challenge from Chelsea to record a 15-point victory in wintery conditions. 

 

With likes of Warren Steinberg, Josh & Jarryd Ludski and reigning Best & Fairest winner Adam Caplan on the sidelines, it was a perfect opportunity for the depth of the club to put their hand up for a potential round one berth. 

 

Kicking with a two-goal breeze, the Jackas kept the home-side scoreless in the opening quarter.

 

 

Chelsea responded in the second term, bridging the gap to 15 points at the main break.

 

There were a couple of bright spots for the Jackas before half-time with 19-year old Josh Baron kicking his first senior goal, while Dean Rotenberg continued his strong pre-season form, kicking his second.

 

Goals to David Fayman and Brandon Joel lengthend the advantage to 21-points at three quarter time.

 

 

With the conditions favouring the home-side in the final term, they converted their chances in front of goal, piling on the first three majors to trail by four points with six minutes remaining. 

 

Last gasp goals to Richie Simon and Asher Burstin put the result beyond doubt as the Jackas ran out winners 9.7 (61) to 7.4 (46).

 

Later on the Jackettes prevailed over a highly-fancied Rosebud, recording a 4.9 (33) to 3.1 (19) victory. Vanessa Mrocki led the way with two goals.

 

 AJAX's new and revamped Media Department will be boundary side at every Senior game, all season, endeavouring to deliver unrivalled live match coverage via twitter (@ajax_footy) as well as a range of other club media interactions throughout the week (Stay tuned!)

 


Coaches' Corner


AJAX Media caught up with some of the coaches after Saturday's results and asked them to review their team's performance.

 

 

 

Reserves Coach Rob Paterson's Report: 

 

"The AJAX reserves continued to develop and adapt to the game structure against Chelsea on Saturday. Welcoming back some players who missed the first match we also had the opportunity to try out some players in new positions. Once we got our running and support game going we put together some really good massages of play. The second half of the match saw Chelsea outscore us and give us a few areas to work on prior to the final practice match against Old Trinity. All up it was a pleasing performance and certainly gives us a lot to look forward to for 2016."

 

Under -19s Coach Ash Shenker's Report:

 

 

"The Under-19s continued their rapid development in a hard-fought victory over Chelsea. The young guns put some great pieces of play together and showed plenty of glimpses of what's to come in 2016. 

 

Elliot Blau put in an impressive display down back, while tough-nut Jesse Velleman suffered a broken nose in a superb (and rugged) performance in the midfield.
 
 
With a lengthy list of players and an even spread of talent, it's an exciting prospect for what the side can achieve throughout the season."

 

The Jackas will hold an intra-club session at Moorabbin this Saturday, before their final practice match on April 3 vs Old Trinity.

 


Aaron Fetter

AJAX Football Club

Media & Communications Manager 

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Coaching Announcement: AJAX FC New Women's Coach

The club is delighted to announce the appointment of our new Women's coach, Tom Humphrey.

Tom joins us with a wealth of playing & coaching experience.

He began his playing career with Box Hill in the VFA in the early eighties and has enjoyed tremendous success as a coach and assistant coach being involved in seven Premierships & ten finals campaigns in his 20+ years of coaching.

"I'm really excited to be working with the Ajax Women's team. I am aware of the success and the passion surrounding the group’s first year and will be working hard to continue their development and continued success", Humphrey said.

"Women's footy is on a big growth curve and I want our girls to take full advantage of the great opportunity that's ahead of us".

Over the last ten years, Tom has coached with Vermont, U15 EFL Representative team, Eastern Rangers in the TAC Cup and most recently as an assistant coach with Box Hill development side in the VFL. 

“This is going to be a fantastic challenge and something completely different to the stuff I’ve done before.”

“The girls are as keen to learn skills then any side I reckon I’ve ever coached.”

“It’s all about skill acquisition for the girls in the next couple of years.”

We are thrilled to welcome Tom into the Ajax community and have him working with the Jackettes.

Listen to Tom’s interview with J-Air’s ‘On the Ball’ program here.

Happy New Year to all!


Ronnie Lewis
President 

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AJAX Junior Football Club Presentation Day Award Winners

AJAX Junior Football Club's 2015 season has come to an official close with the hosting of the Club's Presentation Afternoon at National Theatre in St Kilda.  More than 700 players, family members, club sponsors and club supporters attended and reflected on a very successful 2015 for the club.  Congratulations to all the award winners and particularly to our 2015 Club Champion, Levi Teleshevsky.

All other Perpetual Award Winners can be found in the Junior Football, Honour Roll section of the website.

Pictured is Junior Club Life Member Graeme LeBransky, Club President Daniel Antman and 2015 Club Champion, Levi Teleshevsky.

 

 

 

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Adam Caplan crowned AJAX FC Seniors Best and Fairest

Adam Caplan crowned AJAX Seniors Best and Fairest

The AJAX Senior Division formally brought to a close season 2015 on Thursday night at Bentleigh Club, with 25 people awarded for their success and contribution on and off the field. Fittingly, Adam Caplan capped off a stellar season, taking out the Michael Ritterman Seniors Best and Fairest, followed by John Brustman Golden Boot winner Jake Lew in second and older brother Brad Caplan who placed third.

List of all the winners from the club's annual presentation night.

2015 Ajax Best & Fairest Awards

 

 

Jeffrey Jankie President’s Trophy                                                            Mark Mitchell / Craig Joel

Mark Feldy Best Club Person Award                                                         Daniella Abraham 

Thirds Coach’s Award                                                                               Tamir Goldberg

Thirds 3rd Best & Fairest                                                                            Jeremy Herz 

Thirds 2nd Best & Fairest                                                                            Benji Jones

Thirds Best & Fairest                                                                                   Eli Adelist 

Womens Most Courageous & Determined                                                    Chelsea Fisher

Women’s Coach’s Award                                                                               Jess Marget

Women’s 3rd Best & Fairest                                                                      Danielle Robinson           

Women’s 2nd Best & Fairest                                                                       Tamara Epshtein

Women’s Best & Fairest                                                                                Toni Hamilton 

Reserves Coach's Award                                                                               Jamie Lewis       

Reserves 3rd Best & Fairest                                                                           Roi Abraham

Reserves 2nd Best & Fairest                                                                      Nadav Greenberger         

Barry Linde Reserves Best & Fairest                                                        Daniel Janover-Rocha

John Brustman Golden Boot Award                                                       Jake Lew                            

Richard Pratt & AJN Trophy for Supporters Best                                    Jake Lew

Seniors Best First Year Player                                                                 AJ Thurin           

Lionel Rosenberg Senior Coach's Award                                                 Adam Caplan

Daryl Cohen Seniors Most Courageous Player                                         Jarryd Ludski                   

Seniors Most Improved Player                                                                 Jordan Bade-Boon  

David Merkel Seniors Most Determined Player                                         Corey Jankie                    

Seniors 3rd Best & Fairest                                                                         Brad Caplan

Seniors 2nd Best & Fairest                                                                         Jake Lew

Michael Ritterman Seniors Best & Fairest                                                  Adam Caplan

 

 

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Pre-season training for season 2016 will be held on a Tuesday and Thursday evening as well as a Saturday morning. The first session commences on Tuesday November 10. 

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Adam Caplan Kicks for a Car

Adam Caplan Kicks for a Car

Our very own Adam Caplan capped off a breakout season on the VAFA Premier B Grand Final day, kicking successfully for a car. The competition was sponsored by Bayford Group who own South Yarra BMW one of the Club’s sponsors.

 

They ran a competition for the season that any club in the VAFA that referred clients to them would receive additional sponsorship.

 

At the end of the season the clubs that referred the most buyers would have an opportunity to kick for a new car.

 

AJAX referred the most clients and on the League’s Grand Final day Adam represented the Jackas and was given 3 opportunities to kick the footy from 50m into the back of a Ute.

 

Adam’s first shot into a strong wind was on line but fell five meters short.

 

His second shot landed on target and the excitement on the ground was pulsating.

 

The video has gone viral and has featured on a number of programs on Channel 7.

 

Adam also spoke with J-Air's On the Ball program. Listen back here: https://soundcloud.com/jairradio/adam-caplan-speaks-to-j-air-after-winning-a-car?in=jairradio/sets/on-the-ball

 

 

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Junior Weekly Wrap - Grand Final Edition

The Grand Final Edition of the Weekly Wrap is now available - Click here for this week's edition of the Weekly Wrap. Previous weekly wraps are available in the Weekly Wraps menu item in the Junior Football section.

Pictured is the back-to-back premiership winning U14 Comets team.

 

 

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Senior Round 18 Match Report

Jackettes fall at final hurdle

 

The Ajax Senior Football Division’s most successful team in season 2015 was the inaugural women’s team, the Jackettes. The girls played in the VWFL’s East Division Grand Final on Saturday night at Shepley Oval, but failed to overcome a much stronger Gippsland outfit, losing by 37 points.

 

A large Ajax crowd braved the conditions and made the trip to Dandenong. The girls were stunned in the opening quarter as Gippsland held them scoreless, taking a 26-point lead into the first break.

 

The Jackettes lifted their intensity in the second term and hit the scoreboard for the first time courtesy of a brilliant solo effort from Toni Hamilton.

 

The game continued its low-scoring trend with only three goals registered after half time, but unfortunately for the Jackettes they couldn’t make amends for their first quarter fade-out and eventually went down 2.2 (14) to Gippsland’s 7.9 (51).

 

Skipper Chelsea Fisher worked tirelessly in the midfield while Toni Hamilton kicked both of her team’s goals to finish second on the league’s goal-kicking table with 31 majors.

 

Earlier in the day the Seniors finished off their 2015 campaign with an inspired comeback win against Mazenod at Gary Smorgon Oval, ending the visitors run in Premier B.

 

The Jackas won 13.8 (86) to the visitor’s 11.8 (74), after trailing by two goals at three quarter time.

 

Jake Lew kicked a lazy seven goals, making it the sixth consecutive season an Ajax player has won the VAFA league goal-kicking award for their division.

 

Lew ended the season on 69 goals, ten more than his next rival. The result is just reward for his efforts over the last six years where he has often come runner-up to David Fayman who has claimed the previous five league goal-kicking titles.

 

It was a tight opening term with the wind slightly favouring the end Mazenod were kicking towards.

 

The visitors took a seven-point lead into the first break.

 

The Caplan brothers combined for the Jackas’ first with Brad finishing off nicely, but not to be outdone, Adam quickly showed his class, slotting his first of the afternoon from deep in the pocket.

 

Lew kicked consecutive goals before half time to give Ajax the lead for the first time of the afternoon.

 

Mazenod came out after the main break with a newfound confidence and turned the game on its head, piling on six unanswered goals to lead by as much as 29-points halfway through the quarter.

 

Some Adam Caplan brilliance and Lew’s fourth and fifth goal pulled the deficit back to 12 points.

 

Tensions flared after a distasteful response from certain crowd members when skipper Nick Marks suffered a head injury in a marking contest.

 

The incident seemed to spur the Jackas on as Marty Pask’s men found another gear, kicking five goals to one to eventually secure their tenth win of the season.

 

The Jackas finished on the same amount of points as Old Brighton in fourth but poor percentage ultimately kept them from finals action.

 

Earlier, the Reserves notched their fifth win of an otherwise disappointing season, trouncing Mazenod 25.13 (163) to 6.8 (44).

 

Speedy half forward Anton Ritterman kicked another bag of four, taking his season tally to 29, while Tom Rogers continued his strong finish to the year, also booting four in a dominant display from the midfield.

 

Vice-captain Ash Shenker kicked a goal in his final game while the Jackas boasted eight multiple goal-kickers, capping off an improved finish to the year winning three of their last four.

 

Aaron Fetter

 

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Senior Round 17 Match Report

Girls bound for Grand Final glory

Ajax’s women’s team the Jackettes have made history by securing a spot in the VWFL East Division Grand Final in just their first season, after they cruised past Rosebud 5.2 (32) to 9.9 (63) at Frankston Oval on Sunday.

The Club was represented in another final over the weekend, which unfortunately saw the Thirds (Blacks) overpowered by St Kevins to the tune of 36 points.

Meanwhile, the Seniors require a miracle to snatch a finals berth after they demolished a hapless Hampton outfit away from home. The win leaves them a game and 34% outside fourth spot.

A ten-goal masterclass from the Premier B goal-kicking leader Jake Lew and a best on ground display from David Fayman in the midfield led the Jackas to a 22.15 (147) to 11.12 (78) win.

The home side got the first on the board but Ajax responded quickly as Lew finished off some good work from youngster Brandon Joel.

Adam Caplan banged on two consecutive goals, both in typically impressive fashion. Lew was setup twice more and led the Jackas into quarter time with a 27-point lead.

It was a high-scoring second term with Ajax managing seven goals to the home side’s four.

Brad Caplan parked himself in the forward pocked and managed to hit the scoreboard on three occasions while Dave Fayman chimed in with two of his own.

The Jackas were relentless in the third term continuing to score freely while defenders Ben Kalmus and Daniel Cohen stood tall down back.

The home side kicked four final quarter goals but were out played on every line in a fiery finish that threatened to get out of hand.

Marty Pask’s men remained disciplined while Lew slammed on the final three goals of the game to finish with ten majors-a career-high.

The Jackettes broke the game open in the second term of their Preliminary Final against Rosebud, taking a commanding four-goal lead into half time.

Rosebud pressed hard in the third term but the determined Jackettes held firm to go into the final break with the momentum.

Five goals from Toni Hamilton sealed the 31-point win for the girls who play Gippsland in the Grand Final on Saturday night at Shepley Oval, Dandenong.

There was no such joy for the Thirds (Blacks) who were always behind the eight ball in their Preliminary Final against St Kevins, after a horror first quarter saw them seven goals behind. They staged a mini comeback in the third but were ultimately outclassed.

Eli Adelist finished with three majors including a goal of the year contender. The game also marked the end for club-favourite Joel Benjamin who announced his retirement after battling with injury.

The Reserves made it a successful trip to Boss James Reserve for the club recording their fourth win of a challenging season, holding off a persistent Hampton outfit to win 15.8 (98) to 10.9 (69).

Anton Ritterman moved inside the league’s goal-kicking top ten with three goals, while Daniel Janover-Rocha continued his strong 2015 form with another standout performance in the middle.

Olly Hoffman kicked two crucial late goals to secure the win for the Jackas.

 

Aaron Fetter

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U14 Comets and U16s Win Premierships

Pictured above is the victorious U16s team.

The U14 Comets have gone back to back and won the Premiership for the second season in a row, and the U16s have also won the premiership. Congratulations to both teams and all involved. More details to come.

Under 14 Comets Premiers

The back-to-back premiership winning U14 Comets team.

 

 

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Junior Weekly Wrap - Finals Week 2 Edition

The Finals Week 2 Edition of the Weekly Wrap is now available - Click here for this week's edition of the Weekly Wrap. Previous weekly wraps are available in the Weekly Wraps menu item in the Junior Football section.

Pictured is U14 Comets player Aaron Bryer kicking the ball deep into attack during the big Preliminary Final win for the U14 Comets last week. Bryer and his team mates are on target for back to back flags and will play their second Grand Final in a row this week. Details and game preview in the wrap.

 

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Junior Weekly Wrap - Finals Week 1 Edition

The Finals Week 1 Edition of the Weekly Wrap is now available - Click here for this week's edition of the Weekly Wrap. Previous weekly wraps are available in the Weekly Wraps menu item in the Junior Football section.

Pictured is U11 Comets players Liam Eliau who celebrated his 50th game with a Semi Final win and now gets to play his 51st game in a Grand Final!

 

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MAN OF STEEL – A JOURNEY FROM ICU BED TO THE IRONMAN WORLD STAGE

Tuesday, October 29, 1991 – 07:50am. The moment that changed Rob Paterson’s life forever. 

Rob, aged 25, was midway through a 40km training ride down the Hume Highway when he was sent flying from his bike by a semi-trailer travelling at 110km/h. Fifteen minutes later Rob was in an ambulance on his way to Wodonga hospital. Immediately, he was rushed to the operating theatre for an exploratory laparotomy.

One minute training for an upcoming triathlon, the next minute on the operating table with his life hanging in the balance.

Having heard he’d come off his bike, Rob’s wife soon arrived, expecting only a broken arm or leg. Instead she was welcomed by doctors preparing to operate, mere seconds away from opening Rob’s abdomen.

“He might not make it”, they told her.

Two days (and more than 20 units of transfused blood) later, Rob was flown to The Austin in Melbourne where he spent 4 weeks in ICU. He was placed in an induced coma, underwent dialysis because of his failing kidneys, was treated for collapsed lungs and had to be resuscitated on 3 separate occasions.

Rob’s injuries were devastating and numerous – a depressed fracture of his skull, 7 breaks in his pelvis, and a dislocated elbow causing severe nerve damage to his hand. Worst of all, Rob suffered vertebral fractures at the T5, T6 and T12 levels, the lowest of which damaged his spinal cord to the point where he lost movement of his legs.

Here was a successful triathlete that pushed his legs further than most would care to imagine. Now, he would never push his legs again.

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Some might say Rob’s grit and determination can be traced back to his upbringing. As one of seven siblings raised in a housing commission area with an absent father, Rob became self-reliant from a very early age. Once a junior representative rugby league player, karate and surfing soon became his passion. At age 16, Rob moved out of home and ‘went off the rails’ for a period, leaving school in year 11 and eventually moving from Brisbane to the Gold Coast. There, Rob met his future wife, and the two of them moved to Melbourne.

Rob may have lacked a father figure in his formative years, but one man – his karate coach – made a lasting impression. He did this by introducing Rob to the sport of triathlon. Years later (and now living in Albury), Rob ran a gym and was competing in triathlon events. It was at this time that Rob’s fortunes took a turn for the worst, ‘waking up’ 3-and-a-half weeks after that fateful ride to find himself in The Austin ICU.

Whilst the road to recovery was extremely challenging, Rob never experienced an emotional breakdown. He chose to focus on short-term goals that would surmount to getting his life back on track, the first of which was getting out of rehabilitation as soon as possible. After 12 weeks on his back in an external pelvic fixator, Rob headed to the gym to regain lost strength. He flew through his rehabilitation program and was back home 3 months later, 9 months ahead of schedule.

Never one to indulge in self-pity, Rob chose not to surround himself with people of that mindset. With the great support of family and his innate determination to succeed, it wasn’t long before Rob was back training triathletes and getting himself fit in the gym and the pool.

That is not to say that adapting to life in a wheelchair wasn’t an emotional challenge. Rob admits to being horrified by his own reflection in shop windows the first time he went out in public in his wheelchair. Still today, Rob confesses that the accident isn’t something you ever get over fully. He misses the rush of adrenalin he used to experience in karate and other contact sports. He also loved to surf.

It wasn’t until 2 years ago that Rob returned to competitive sports. Having watched a friend compete in several triathlons, Rob set his sights on the IRONMAN event in Busselton, WA. The para-athlete version of the event features a 3.8km swim (unchanged), a 180km ‘bike’ leg in a modified hand-cranked cycle (the handcycle), and a 42.2km ‘run’ using a more conventional race chair.

He trained for over a year, pushing himself to his physical limits through exhausting sessions lasting as long as 6 hours. When the day finally came, Rob got off to a good start – completing the swim leg in one hour and twenty-four minutes. Unfortunately, partway through the bike leg Rob’s shoulder flared up. Knowing full well how important his arms were to every aspect of his life, Rob made the heart-breaking decision to pull out of the race.

Nevertheless, not even the disappointment of having trained so hard and failed could stop him. Little more than 6 months later Rob successfully completed his first full IRONMAN triathlon in Cairns, QLD. Being the qualifier event for the World Championships in Hawaii (and with only 1 spot on offer), Rob came second in his division, missing out by one position. Rob plans to return to Cairns later this year to again try to qualify for the World Championships.

“One way or another, I’m going to Hawaii… I’ve already bought the tickets.’”

 On the 14th of June, 2015, Rob Paterson won the Cairns IRONMAN in a time of 13 hours and 45 minutes. He will compete for the World Championship in Hawaii in October this year.

 By Jordan Bade-Boon

To support Rob in his quest to compete in Hawaii visit his mycause page at: https://www.mycause.com.au/page/105811/robshawaiianironman2015

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Senior Round 16 Match Report

Seniors thrashed, Jackettes and Thirds’ finals fever

Ajax’s Seniors were completely outplayed against second-placed St Bedes/Mentone on Saturday, suffering a harsh blow to their faint finals hopes in the 7.7 (49) to 20.25 (145) loss at Brindisi St Oval.

The defeat was the Jackas’ biggest of the season and pushes them two games and over 40% off fourth spot with two games remaining.

Adam Caplan kicked the game’s first goal in brilliant fashion but unfortunately for Ajax that would be the only highlight of the quarter.

St Bedes banged on the next five goals to take a 27-point lead into quarter time.

Eugene Routman added to Ajax’s injury woes after he succumbed to a hamstring injury and he was soon joined by midfielder Nick Lewis on the sidelines who came off with a shoulder complaint.

The Jackas didn’t fair too much better in the second term conceding six goals to three, and if it wasn’t for the home side’s inaccuracy the margin could have blown out further.

Caplan added Ajax’s second, yet another highlight to his growing 2015 collection with a classy snap on his left boot.

The margin at the start of the third term was 53 points but against the run of play Stuart Fayman kicked the Jackas’ fifth, before his brother David set up impressive youngster Dov Paltiel for his first senior goal.

St Bedes didn’t have it all their way in the third, winning the quarter by five points.

Ajax Coach Marty Pask demanded his players show a bit of pride and purpose in the final term, but the message fell on deaf ears as the Jackas were held goalless, eventually losing by 96 points.

Meanwhile the Reserves’ disappointing season rolled on registering the club’s second 90-point defeat of the day, losing 7.4 (46) to St Bedes’ 22.9 (141).

Anton Ritterman kicked three goals while Roi Abraham, Simon Roth and Adam Sekler fought hard all day.

The club was represented in two finals over the weekend with the Jackettes recording a convincing 6.15 (51) to 0.2 (2) win over Endeavour Hills on Saturday night.

Remarkably the girls kept the away side scoreless for three quarters and goalless for the game.

The midfield dominated the clearances led by Julia Caplan and Tamara Epshtein in the ruck while Toni Hamilton slotted three majors in the win that sees the Jackettes play off for a spot in the Grand Final next Sunday against Rosebud at Frankston Oval.

Rounding out a jam-packed weekend of Ajax football, the Thirds (Blacks) took it right up to the undefeated Old Xaverians on Sunday in a well-attended Semi-Final at Sports Cover Arena, but ran out of legs in the final term, eventually losing 6.2 (38) to 10.16 (76).

Skipper Zev Aron was inspirational and finished with three goals while Yossi Jedwab, Josh Jones and Jeremy Herz were their teams’ strongest performers.

Despite the loss, the Blacks receive a second chance after they finished in the top two and will face St Kevins on Sunday in a knockout Preliminary Final.

 

Aaron Fetter

Photo Credit: Benjamin Gordon

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Senior Round 15 Match Report

Match Report-Round 15 

Seniors surge towards September

 

Ajax’s late-season charge towards an unlikely finals berth gathered further momentum on Saturday, as forward-duo David Fayman and Jake Lew combined for 17 majors, in the 23.16 (154) to 4.6 (30) demolition of rivals Caulfield Grammarians at Gary Smorgon Oval.

 

The win still sees the Seniors a game and considerable percentage outside the top four.

 

Meanwhile the Thirds (Blacks) secured second spot on the ladder guaranteeing them a double chance in the finals, after they easily accounted for Fitzroy 7.6 (48) to Ajax 17.9 (111).

 

The Seniors were slow out of the blocks against Caulfield, conceding the opening two goals in quick succession, however from then on it was all one way traffic as the Jackas kicked the next seven goals to lead by 30 points at quarter time.

 

David Fayman and Jake Lew combined for Ajax’s first before Corey Jankie got on the end of some good work by the Caplan brothers.

 

Lew had his second after Alex Wollan delivered a perfect pass inside fifty, and not to be outdone, Fayman kick-started his afternoon with a brilliant effort from the pocket.

 

Lew slammed on two more of his own to have four goals to quarter time.

 

The rout continued in the second term as the Jackas kept the visitors goalless and piled on nine goals of their own.

 

Tempers boiled over as a fracas erupted inside Ajax’s forward fifty, eventually resulting in a Caulfield Grammarian player being sent off and a fifth goal for Lew.

 

With the visitor’s number one defender off the ground, Fayman and Lew cashed in sharing in the next five goals as the margin ballooned out to 79-points approaching half time.

 

Tensions flared again with Asher Burstin the recipient of three 25-metre penalties, gifting him his second goal of the day. 

 

The scoring rate somewhat eased in the second half with the Jackas managing seven goals to Caulfield’s two, extending their advantage well past 100 points and in the process making up for some much needed percentage.

 

The bottom-placed visitors had no answer to the sheer class and dominance of Lew who finished with eight goals, moving further in front as the league’s leading goal-kicker while Fayman produced some of his finest, finishing with nine of the best.

 

Jarryd Ludski was awarded best-afield honours for his tireless efforts in the middle.

 

The Jackas clash with St Bedes Mentone next week looms as an elimination final in the context of their season as the race for the top four heats up.

 

The Reserves finally broke their five-game losing streak, cruising to victory over Caulfield 7.5 (47) to 17.18 (120).

 

Dov Paltiel did as he pleased in a standout performance while Brandon Joel responded well to his Senior demotion to end up with a game-high seven goals.

 

The Jackettes were making the long trip to take on Gippsland but never made it there as their bus broke down. They finish the regular season in third spot and will play Endeavour Hills in a night Semi Final at Shepley Oval, Dandenong at 7pm on Saturday.

 

Yoel Rosenbaum was unstoppable in the Thirds’ 63-point win over Fitzroy, finishing with a nine-goal haul while Skipper Zev Aron chimed in with three of his own.

 

The Thirds will play for a spot in the Grand Final when they square off with the undefeated Old Xaverians at Sportscover Arena, Elsternwick at 9:20am on Sunday August 16.

 

 

Aaron Fetter

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Junior Weekly Wrap - Round 15 and U10 LC Edition

The Round 15 and U10 Lightning Carnival Edition of the Weekly Wrap is now available - Click here for this week's edition of the Weekly Wrap. Previous weekly wraps are available in the Weekly Wraps menu item in the Junior Football section.

Pictured are U11 Comets players Ethan Carrick, Corey Wasbutzki and Jared Freedman in front of their 50th match banner in Round 15.

 

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Junior Weekly Wrap - Round 14 and U8, U9 LC Edition

The Round 14 and U8, U9 Lightning Carnival Edition of the Weekly Wrap is now available - Click here for this week's edition of the Weekly Wrap. Previous weekly wraps are available in the Weekly Wraps menu item in the Junior Football section.

Pictured is U14 Jets player Shimi Pacanowski bursting through his 50th match banner with his team mates in Round 14.

 

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Michael Ritterman J Air Interview

AJAX FC's First Legend Michael Ritterman speaks to J-Air

 

Michael Ritterman was named the first official Legend of the Ajax FC on the weekend.
J-Air's On the Ball program spoke to Michael about his career, the club, and the state of the game in general.
Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/jairradio/michael-ritterman-speaks-to-j-air-after-being-named-an-ajax-legend#t=0:00

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Senior Round 14 Match Report

Jackas suffer honourable loss to St Kevs

Ajax were by no means disgraced against the competition’s benchmark-St Kevins OB, despite going down 10.8 (68) to 16.13 (109) in a fiery clash at TH King Oval on Saturday.

Coming up against a team who boast an unblemished record in season 2015 and a handful of players with AFL and VFL experience, the Jackas took it right up to the home team, getting closer than most clubs have.

Star-on-baller Adam Caplan opened Ajax’s account in classy style before St Kevs answered back with two quick goals.

David Fayman looked back to his best snapping brilliantly from the boundary line, although he was quickly outdone by former Hawthorn Premiership player Stephen Gilham who leapt into the sky, arguably bringing down the mark of the year.

The Jackas went onto win the second quarter kicking three goals to St Kevins’ two, and it was the old prolific duo of Fayman and Jake Lew that led Ajax into half-time trailing by just seven points.

The game opened up in the third term and it didn’t take long for the ladder-leaders to flex their muscle, kicking four unanswered goals to extend the margin out past 30 points.

Youngster Brandon Joel kicked a goal against the tide-his first in a Senior jumper, while Adam Caplan slotted his second shortly after.

Lew brought the margin back within five goals on the stroke of three quarter time with his second, as the Jackas set themselves for a season-defining final quarter.

Ajax’s challenge was firmly met by a defiant and clinical St Kevins outfit, who eventually ran out 41-point winners.

David Fayman returned to form with a four-goal haul while first year players Jake Kalmus and Justin Berkowitz were named in the best.

The loss still sees Ajax two games and hefty percentage outside the top four and while they are still mathematically a finals chance, they will have to win their remaining four games and rely on other results to go their way.

Meanwhile, the Reserves slumped to their fifth straight defeat, losing 6.10 (46) to St Kevins 22.11 (143). Ash Shenker toiled hard down back while usual suspects Nadav Greenberger and Daniel Janover-Rocha were named their team’s best players.

It was better news for the Jackettes who convincingly beat Endeavour Hills FC 55-16. Lexi Mand played a breakout game in the ruck while Toni Hamilton continued her strong goal-kicking form with five majors.

The road to finals has well and truly begun for the Thirds (Blacks) who are eying a top two finish after Eli Adelist kicked a goal in the dying seconds to secure a monumental six-point win over Old Trinity on Sunday.

The match will go down in Ajax Football Club history as it marked the first time four brothers played together in the same team. Daniel, Benji, Josh and Jacob Jones made their pipeline dream a reality as their proud family watched on.

 

Aaron Fetter

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Senior Results - September 11 (U19s GF)

SENIORS v 


RESERVES v

THIRDS


UNDER 19sOld Haileybury

5-5-35 to 7-12-54

JACKETTES v 


 
Click Team Name for Full Match Details

Senior Fixture 2016

SENIORS v

RESERVES v 

THIRDS v


UNDER 19sv

JACKETTES v

Click Team Name for Full Match Details

 

 

Junior Update

2017 Training Schedule

Note: Training will take place at Princes Park Oval 3 & 4 (Dover St, Caulfield South).

U17s- Wednesdays, 6:45-8:00pm, Oval 4
U16s - Thursdays, 6:45-8:00pm, Oval 3
U15s - Wednesdays, 6:45-8:00pm, Oval 4
U14s - Wednesdays, 6:45-8:00pm, Oval 3
U13s - Wednesdays, 6:45-8:00pm, Oval 3
U12s - Wednesdays, 5:15-6:30pm, Oval 4
U11s - Wednesdays, 5:15-6:30pm, Oval 3
U10s - Wednesdays, 5:15-6:30pm, Oval 3
U9s - Thursdays, 5:15-6:30pm, Oval 3
U8s - Thursdays, 5:15-6:30pm, Oval 3

Junior Fixture - Finals Week 1 - August 20

For the full round fixture details, click here.

2017 Leading Club Goal Kickers

(After Round 15)

33-Harry Sheezel (U13 Comets)
31-Lucas Weeden (U15 Comets)
29-Ethan Siegel (U16 Comets)

23-Benjamin Spark (U14 Comets)
22-Campbell Hymans (U17 Comets)
20
-Ryley Michelson (U17 Comets)
18-Jonah Micmacher (U15 Comets)
17-Jhett Haeata (U11 Comets)

17-Joshua Rosenbaum (U14 Comets)

17-Brett Jacobs (U14 Comets)
15-Aden Katz (U14 Jets)
15-Zac Davis (U15 Jets)
15-Corey Zielinski (U17 Comets)

14-Cameron Sharp (U16 Comets)
14-Kai Gold (U17 Comets)

Note: U8, U9 and U10 players are not listed as per league instructions.

Goal Kicker of the Week

Brandon Efron (U17 Comets) - 4 goals

Upcoming Milestones

For upcoming milestones click here

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