It was a carnival atmosphere at Cavanbah Centre Byron Bay, as the season proper finished on a high note, with the clubs converging from all over the Northern Rivers.
A couple of teams from the Coolangatta Blues also joined in the festivities which was fantastic to see.
With food trucks, snow cones, coffee, and music, hay bales, umbrellas, 100’s of kids, families and footy tragics, and a beautiful warm sunny day, the inaugural Festival of Footy got under way!
It was the return of these champions that we all wanted to see, as our sensational Superstars began the days proceedings!
They took on the Brunswick Valley Bulldogs, then the Kingscliff Dolphins, and finished against the Coolangatta Blues!
Ever since the Superstars program finished after the school holidays, our game days have been just that little bit flatter, because our smallest heroes weren’t with us!
But they charged out and simply continued from where they left off, plying their newly learned skills like old pros.
A big thank you must go to Jacinta Crane for coordinating this season, and all the other parents and carers for bringing these amazing kids each week and helping out where you could.
It was a highlight for so many and we can’t wait to see you all next season!
The sun was shining, the boys were hyped and the war paint had been applied.
Sunday’s Festival of Football for the Under 8 Boys kicked off against Byron Bay. 20 minutes nonstop against the Magpies saw our boys literally put their bodies on the line. Any injuries were quickly overcome and straight back on the field they ran. Tweed Head Tigers were up next. Many goals were scored and to the embarrassment of the boys, their efforts were rewarded with enthusiastic high fives from our substitute coach Cath. The super seven ran their legs ragged by the end of the last game, where we met the Coolangatta team for the first time. It was a very evenly matched contest with some fierce defence by Lewis and Brayden. Archer, Tom and Ollie held their ground in the midfield with some great sidestepping and game play. Michael and Hue worked together as a team in forwards to show the Coolangatta what skills they had developed during the season.
The smiles on their faces never faded. It was a fantastic way to cap off the season. A big thankyou to our opponents for lending us an eighth player and to the wonderful umpires for volunteering their time
Under 10's Girls
By Coach Corey
Hello for the last blog this year.
Giant killers is one way to describe the U10 girls. From a team that started as a group of girls that had hardly played A.F.L ,what a transformation they have created.
Sundays effort saw the girls take on all the teams and each game was played with great effort. The only team not accounted for this year was the tweed girls and the girls answered the call.
A great team effort overall and a season of football to be celebrated. Well done to all the players and I hope to see you all again next year. It's been a pleasure to coach you.
Don't forget presentation day on the 15th September.
Under 10's Red
By Coach John Trapp
The Festival of Football at Cavanbah - in our last Sunday of football for the year the Lismore Red team played an undermanned Tweed team on the back oval. The Tweed team was topped up with many players from the Lismore white team. So it was a little like a practice match on a Wednesday training night. It was a lot of fun and a very even contest with Jonah kicking goals for the Tweed team. The second game was against the Ballina red team. Our boys battled gallantly but the Ballina team was evenly strong in all positions and had a convincing win. Our last game was against the Ballina Blacks team and despite starting strongly we were beaten again by a more consistent team.
Congratulations to all members of our team for their efforts this year and to the mums and dads who came along each week and supported our team. It was a very satisfying year for me as coach to see the improvement in the boys – in their attitude and their skills! - biggest improvement was seeing the boys start to play like a team - leading to one another, hand balling to one another and kicking to a team mate !!!! Thank you boys!
Under 10's Whites
By Coach Robbie and Rich
The boys had a great time at the festival of footy to end the season. First up was a bye, but we ended up helping out the Tweed Tigers and made up more than half of their team. It ended up being the ‘grudge match’ of the season with the swans whites (Tigers) pitted against the swans reds! The kids couldn’t wait to get out there against their training mates.
Not sure what the final score was, but footy was certainly the winner!
For the second and third games our boys got back into their swannies gear and played against the Tweed teams. These were tough contests with some excellent footy from both sides. It was great to see the improvement in the boys, and even though goals were hard to come by they never stopped trying. The boys obviously had a great time and have really enjoyed playing together. It was nice to see the exchanges between team mates after the game and its obvious many of the kids have become good friends.
We hope to see everyone again next year, in either the U'10s or 12s!
By Tim Whalan
The under 14’s came into the Sunday’s round robin full of confidence with a near full strength line up, knowing that a couple of strong performances could give us a premiership.
We started against a red hot Ballina who were able to get free, hit targets and score goals. The swans struggled to get the ball into their forward 50. Ballina kicked away and booked themselves a grand final berth.
Next we played Tweed for a spot in the grand final. There was lots of space with the reduced numbers and after having to play 2 games in a row, the swans struggled to keep up with the tweed players as they found space and kicked away. Kobi played one of his best games with great attack on the ball. Tinalia was able to kick a goal and looked dangerous every time the ball went near her. Louis was tough in and under the packs and Jayden ran hard, trying to will his team to a win.
Unfortunately we went down and our season came to an end. The team tried hard but in the end it wasn’t our year.
Awards Tinalia & Kobi
Under 16's Girls
By Nicola Breward and Faith Lewis
We travelled up the highway to Cavanbah to take on Byron Bay for the premiership cup.
Once again, we combined with Tweed to make the super team that is ‘Twismore’. We went into the game with an extended bench allowing us to rotate players and keep fresh legs on the park for the majority of the game. Eliza combined magically with the midfield in the ruck. Acacia worked hard on the field and impacted the game by supporting her team mates. A defining moment of the match was Katie’s chase and second effort to tackle an opposition player on the wing. Nicki focused on her 1%ers to help the side out. Atir grew in confidence as the game went along and really exemplified our values of ‘tight, talk, tackle’. Tinalia was a rock in defence and found her legs to run and carry out of the backline time and time again. Mollie returned after moving away and we were happy to have her back on the field tackling with ferocity at every opportunity. Cheyene and Madison ripped in and Kathryn nabbed herself a goal - much to her delight! Twismore defeated Byron Bay and got to raise the premiership cup in the air with a great deal of pride and jubilation.
It was extra special for Eliza, Acacia and Katie - 3rd time lucky playing in a grand final and they got the win!
We had a turbulent season but the girls really came together towards the end of the game. It shows how bright the future of Youth Girls footy will be for the Lismore Swans.
It was a wonderful day for footy and Faith and I were proud coaches. Thank you to the Tweed girls, Nadia and Jase for combining so graciously with us all season. We couldn’t have done it without you! See you all in 2020!
From the Superstars returning, right up to our Under 16 girls being crowned Premiers, it has not only been an incredible day of football, but an absolute celebration of our great game!
The sea of red and white on the fields, congregated around the marquee, in the bleachers and around the grounds was a sight to behold, and continued to showcase the growth and pride our club has worked so hard for, these past few years.
So lets continue with that energy as we head towards the Under 12’s semifinals being held at Mortimer Oval this Sunday! Our very own 12’s feature in the second game beginning at 10:30, but the first kicks off at 9am.
So come on down to watch these kids play some high quality footy, and also cheer our Swannies on to hopefully bigger and better things!