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Best & Fairest 2018 + Hall Of Fame Inductees

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2018 Best & Fairest Winner: Nick Lewis

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AJAX’s 2018 Best & Fairest night saw club captain Nick Lewis take out the prestigious Michael Ritterman Seniors Best & Fairest award, edging out prolific midfielder Kane Nissenbaum in a tight contest.

 

With just two rounds of voting remaining, Nissenbaum lead Lewis by a single vote. However with Nissenbaum sidelined for the remaining two games due to a hamstring tear, Lewis was able to accrue 12 votes in the remaining two matches for a grand total of 77 votes, a 27-vote improvement on his 2017 tally. 

 

The Best & Fairest award was the pinnacle of a succesful night for Lewis, who took out the Best Clubman award, Lionel Rosenberg Senior Coach’s award, and the Daryl Cohen Seniors Most Courageous award.

 

Speaking afterwards, Lewis emphasized his desire to gain team success over individual accolades.

 

“To win the Best & Fairest means a lot to me. It means joining a group of Jewish footballers that have ultimately achieved the highest individual accolade that you can win playing for a Jewish club.”

 

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“I’m much more orientated around team goals. As cliché as it sounds I really would trade it in for a premiership, so whilst it is a nice feather in my cap I’m looking forward to getting team success in the coming years,” Lewis said. 

 

Jess Marget was awarded Best & Fairest for the Jackettes, with last year’s winner Chelsea Fisher finishing 3rd, having missed a large portion of the 2018 season. Isi Burstin capped off an impressive season, finishing second in the Jackettes Best and Fairest count. 

Justine Gabriel and Daniella Abraham shared the Coach’s award, while Maddy Smart took out the Most Courageous and Determined award. 

 

The Reserves Coach’s award was presented by coach Ash Shenker to young-gun Nico Cohen, who impressed in season 2018, earning himself a few appearances in the seniors team. Reserves stalwart Dylan Rothschild deservedly took out the Barry Linde Reserves Best & Fairest award.

 

While the thirds were unable to complete the entirety of season 2018, there were nonetheless outstanding performances- none more so than Eli Adelist, who won the Best & Fairest award for the Thirds. 

 

Recognition was also paid to individuals off the playing field, for their contribution and services to the club over the years. Both Andrew Shenker and Mark Mitchell received awards for ‘Outstanding and Invaluable Service,’ Mark Williams was thanked for his incredible contribution to the club over the past two seasons, and two stalwarts of the club were honoured for their enduring commitment to the AJAX footy club. 

 

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Wednesday’s AJAX Best and Fairest night saw the induction of two new members to the Hall of Fame. Jack Chrapot and Lionel Rosenberg became the 9th and 10th members of the prestigious list.

 

Rosenberg, who was pivotal in the establishment of the club back in 1957, was also the first captain of the club when it began in E-grade 61 years ago. He then went on to coach the Seniors, leading the Jackas to their first ever premiership in 1966, defeating Old Ivanhoe Grammarians by a whopping 71 points. 

 

Speaking to the AJAX Media, Rosenberg explained how far the club has come from its humble beginnings back in 1957. 

 

“It actually feels unbelievable that the club has come from such humble beginnings to what it is today. 700 kids in the juniors…its an unbelievable story,” Rosenberg said. 

 

The night’s second inductee was Jack Chrapot, who began his involvement with AJAX in the early 1980’s as part of the junior club setup. Chrapot served both AJAX and the MSJFL for two decades, before he joined the AJAX senior committee. He currently sits as the chairperson of the match committee for the junior club. 

 

“I was really honoured because unlike everybody else [on the Hall of Fame], they were players and I’m an administrator. Just to be in that company… its fantastic.”

 

He continued “I get a lot of enjoyment from watching kids grow up from five-year-olds when they can’t do up their own shoelaces to being young men and women, leaders of our community, not just in sport but in the general community.”

 

Award Winners

Seniors Awards

Mark Feldy Best Clubman Award: Nick Lewis

Seniors Most Improved Player: Justin Berkowitz

Lionel Rosenberg Senior Coach’s Award: Nick Lewis

David Merkel Most Determined Player: Kane Nissenbaum

Daryl Cohen Seniors Most Courageous Player: Nick Lewis

Seniors Best First Year Player Award: Cam Nankin

AJN & Pratt Family Trophy- Supporters BNF: Kane Nissenbaum

 

Jackettes Awards

Coach’s Award: Justine Gabriel and Daniella Abraham

Most Courageous and Determined Award: Maddy Smart

3rd BNF: Chelsea Fisher

2nd BNF: Isi Burstin

Jackettes Best and Fairest: Jess Marget

 

Reserves Awards

Reserves Coach’s Award: Nico Cohen

3rd BNF: Benj Michelson

2nd BNF: Jacob Teperman

Barry Linde Reserves BNF: Dylan Rothschild

 

Thirds Awards

3rd BNF: Levy Teleshevsky

2nd BNF: Elliott Debinsky

Thirds BNF: Eli Adelist

 

Off-field Awards

Jeffrey Jankie President’s Award: Peter Berkowitz

In Appreciation of Outstanding and Invaluable Service: Andrew Shenker and Mark Mitchell

Hall of Fame inductee: Lionel Rosenberg

Hall of Fame inductee: Jack Chrapot

 

Ash Obel

AJAX Media and Communications Manager 

 

 

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Weekend Wrap: Round Eighteen

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AJAX have been swept aside in the final game of 2018, going down by 154 points to top-of-the-table St Bernards, officially relegating the Jackas to VAFA Premier C division for the first time since 2011. 

 

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Season 2018, Choco’s second in charge of the club, started brightly as AJAX thumped Old Haileybury in front of a huge crowd at Princes Park. However, a round two loss to Mazenod and a spate of injuries to key players triggered a six-game losing streak, only broken when AJAX defeated Monash Blues, the lowest ranked side in the league. 

 

A mid-season form spike quickly gave way to another even more damaging losing streak, as the Jackas went winless for the remaining seven games of the season, culminating in Saturday’s relegation. 

 

Speaking to AJAX Media, Choco highlighted the large number of players who have debuted and developed this season.

 

“Win-loss wise we weren’t as successful as last year, but we played 55 players and 18 on debut, it sets the club up for the future and that’s one of the main things I was looking to do.”

 

Reflecting on his time at AJAX Choco said: “I’m absolutely thrilled by it. The support and the welcome that I have received has been outstanding- it’s a real community club and everyone should be very proud of it.”

 

With much speculation as to who will coach AJAX next season, club president Ronnie Lewis left all possibilities open.

 

“We have commenced our search now that the season is over and are utilising our community and broader football contacts to speak with a range of potential coaches. We are very open as to who that might be & where they may come from,” Lewis said.

 

Lewis also addressed AJAX’s relegation to VAFA C-Grade, saying “achieving seven consecutive years as the longest serving VAFA B Grade Club, we have done an awesome job in being competitive in the second highest & highly rated amateur competition. 

 

“However, a year that brought a number of significant retirements and long-term injuries to key players has meant that we can no longer keep up at this level.

It’s a cycle that happens to all football clubs at all levels. We will rebuild in Premier C and I have no doubt in time we will have the ultimate success and another crack at higher grades again in the near future.”

 

AJAX fans can look ahead to the club’s annual Best & Fairest night next month, where 20 year-old Kane Nissenbaum will go up against club captain Nick Lewis, 2017 winner Josh Ludski and key defender Richie Simon for the prestigious ‘Michael Ritterman Seniors Best and Fairest’ award.

 

Another highly makeshift Reserves side went up against third-placed St Bernards Reserves, losing 19.22 (136) to AJAX’s 3.1 (19). Ryley Michelson, Jordan Lipton and Sasha Gilberg each kicked one goal in what was an expectedly one-sided affair. 

 

The Reserves can be proud of their efforts in a season where their best talent was regularly called up to the senior team in unprecedented numbers, resulting in a vastly different team-sheet from week to week and stifling any potential consistency. 

 

The club will use the offseason to reset after a disappointing season on the field, with a new head coach and some new players expected to don the AJAX colours in 2019. 

 

Ash Obel

AJAX Media & Comms Manager

 

Scores

Firsts- 3.8 (26) def by St Bernards 26.24 (180)- Goals: R. Israel, J. Cohen, R. Simon. Bests: J. Forbes, J. Ludski, R. Simon, N. Lewis, C. Hamilton, S. Fayman.

Reserves- 3.1 (19) def by St Bernards 19.22 (136) - Goals: J. Lipton, R. Michelson, A. Gilberg. Bests: A. Gilberg, J. Tonkin, J. Burston, J. Teperman, N. Cohen, J. Liberman

 

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Kalmus Family Claims Rare AJAX Record

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The Kalmus family has claimed a unique AJAX record, becoming the first family in the history of the club to have four siblings take to the field for the Jackas.

 

Last weekend’s round 17 matchup against Parkdale saw Mark ‘Choco’ Williams hand Sam Kalmus, the youngest of the four Kalmus brothers, his first game for the seniors.

 

Kalmus, known around the club simply as ‘SK’, proved to be a ball magnet as he tallied an impressive 14 kicks and 4 handballs despite the volatile weather conditions.

 

 

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SK, at just 20 years old, joins his brothers Ben (30), Josh (28) and Jake (24) as first team AJAX players. 

 

Proud father, committee member and all-round club legend Mark Kalmus is himself a former player, having been a part of AJAX’s 1979 premiership winning team. 

 

Speaking to AJAX Media, Mark said “Its a very humbling but proud feeling. I never pushed the boys into footy or AJAX but as they got into their late teens they showed more interest in the club and learned about my experiences. Barry Markoff originally got me to the club, and our families were and still are very close friends. I think Barry’s natural enthusiasm and love for the club rubbed off on the boys.”

 

Asked what the AJAX footy club meant to him, Mark responded “There is no better feeling than getting together after a win, putting your arms around each other and belting out the club song. You never lose the bond with the club and all the people that have been and will continue to be involved, whether they be supporters, players, support staff or coaches.”

 

AJAX captain Nick Lewis paid tribute to the family, praising the Kalmus’s for their loyalty and passion over multiple decades.

 

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I’ve been privileged enough to play with all four Kalmus boys, they’re a family that has been extremely influential to the footy club over the last decade. All four boys are different in skill level and size but they all come with a big heart and strong desire to compete and contest.” 

 

Lewis added, “A special shout-out to Mark who was from all reports, a gun player himself. Now he is on the committee and most weeks can be seen goal umpiring the Reserves game, even when none of his sons are playing.”

 

Ash Obel

AJAX Media & Communications Manager

 

 

 

 

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Weekend Wrap: Round Seventeen

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AJAX look destined for the drop 

 

AJAX’s last realistic chance of surviving relegation slipped away on Saturday, after Mark Williams’ side went down to the Parkdale Falcons by 32 points.

 

While the Jackas were never favourites to win Saturday’s clash, a victory by any margin would have likely secured safety in B-grade for another year- however it was not to be. 

 

The opening two quarters represented a war of attrition as both sides tried unsuccessfully to wear each other down and open up a gap on the scoreboard. 

 

Shots at goal were few and far between for both teams, in large part due to the icy wind gusts sweeping over Gerry Green Reserve, making it especially difficult to hit moving targets. 

 

The third quarter saw Parkdale get on top of an AJAX side that was without a staggering 15 players from the 22 that took to the field at Princes Park in round one. 

 

A late flurry of goals including a spectacular left foot snap from Dean Rotenberg wasn’t enough to close the gap and stage an unlikely comeback, as AJAX fell by 32 points. 

20 year-old Charlie Hamilton is one of just seven players to have taken the field in both round one and on the weekend, registering one of his best performances of the year.

 

“A lot of things went wrong this year. We lost 3 or 4 of our most experienced players from last season, which really hurt us. Expectations were maybe too high at the start of the year.” 

 

“In order for AJAX to be in B-grade, all the young players coming through have really got to work hard and mature as footballers. Its on us to move this club from where it is now into the future,” Hamilton said.

 

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AJAX will have to pull off a miracle upset over top side St Bernards on Saturday if they are to survive the drop, in what will be Mark ‘Choco’ Williams’ last game in charge of the Jackas.

 

Earlier, a highly makeshift Reserves side performed admirably against Parkdale Reserves. Drained of much of their top-talent, the Reserves were forced to call upon an army of fill-ins, including 36 year-old former Premiership player Geoff Measey.

 

While the Reserves defenders did well to restrict Parkdale to just 11 goals for the day, the AJAX forwards were unable to get the scoreboard ticking over, finishing the game with just four goals. 

 

Olly Hoffman did his best, finishing with two goals, while Measey and David Glass both chipped in with one each. 

 

If results go as expected in next week’s penultimate round, the AJAX Reserves can expect to finish a respectable seventh spot on the ladder. 

 

Ash Obel

Media & Communications Manager

 

Scores

Firsts- 8.12 (60) def by Parkdale Vultures 13.14 (92)- Goals:D. Rothschild 2, J. Goldberg 2, D. Rotenberg 2, N. Cohen, J. Forbes. Bests: R. Simon, S. Fayman, N. Lewis, J. Ludski, C. Hamilton, J. Bade-Boon

Reserves- 4.9 (33) def by Parkdale Vultures 11.19 (85) - Goals: O. Hoffman 2, G. Measey, D. Glass. Bests: O. Hoffman, J. Teperman, A. Gilberg, J. Liberman, J. Burston, D. Glass.

 

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Weekend Wrap: Round Sixteen

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AJAX’s fight to survive relegation is on thin ice after the Jackas were defeated by bottom placed Monash Blues by 17 points on Saturday.

 

With all three of AJAX, Monash and Mazenod stuck on 12 points at the foot of the ladder, a win against Monash would have all but secured AJAX’s future in Premier B for another season. 

 

Two Jordan Cohen goals in the opening quarter wasn’t enough for the Jackas as they went into the first break trailing by one point. But it was the second quarter that saw the Clayton-based side take the initiative as they kicked five goals to AJAX’s one. 

 

Three goals in just a handful of minutes for small forward Dean Rotenberg brought the Jackas within touching distance of the opponent, before torrential rain and deafening thunder put a halt to any momentum needed to claim a come from behind win.

 

As the storm above eased, there was time only for a Kane Nissenbaum special, dribbling the ball in from 35 meters out to give the AJAX fans something to cheer, even if it was only a consolation.

 

Nissenbaum was named best on ground for AJAX, tallying 38 touches and two goals. Captain Nick Lewis made his mark, finishing with 33 disposals and eight tackles.

 

Looking ahead to next week, Lewis said “the lads are up for the challenge and will train and prepare with the mindset to chase another win. We won’t shy away from the fact that the Parkdale game is big for our hopes of staying up. 

 

“If we bring our best footy we will get the job done. Let’s wait and see.”

 

Mark Williams’ men will have to hope for an against-the-odds victory against mid-table Parkdale Vultures on Saturday if they are to salvage a spot in Premium B for 2019.

 

A highly depleted Reserves side were also defeated by Monash, going down 6.6 (42) to 11.12 (78). 

 

Michael Feiler was best on ground for the Ressies for his two goal contribution, joined in the ‘bests’ by Rachbuch, Michelson, Tonkin, Carp and Liberman.

 

The Reserves started slowly in the first quarter before steadying the ship in the second, heading into the main-break with a 7 point deficit.

 

However the Ressies weren’t able to find their attacking charisma in the second half, only managing two goals and one behind for the rest of the game. 

 

The loss means that the gap between Monash and AJAX in Premier B Reserve division is now just four points with two weeks remaining.

 

Ash Obel- Media & Communications Manager

 

Scores   

Firsts- 10.10 (70) def by Monash Blues 13.9 (87)- Goals: D. Rotenberg 3, J. Cohen 2, K. Nissenbaum 2, J. Goldberg, B. Joel, C. Hamilton. Bests: K. Nissenbaum, D. Paltiel, N. Lewis, B. Shapiro, C. Nankin, J. Ludski. 

Reserves- 6.6 (42) def by Monash Blues 11.12 (78) - Goals: M. Feiler 2, B. Carp, D. Rothschild, S. Kalmus, J. Rachbuch. Bests: M. Feiler, J. Rachbuch, B. Michelson, J. Tonkin, B. Carp, J. Liberman.

 

 

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Weekend Wrap: Round Fifteen

 

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With just three games remaining in season 2018, AJAX’s battle to stay in Premier B for a record seventh-straight season will go down to the wire after the weekend’s heavy defeat to Old Carey in Bulleen. 

 

The 96-point defeat leaves the Jackas hanging by a thread, with just 13 percentage points separating them from relegation. With the odds stacked against them, AJAX’s task of overcoming second placed Old Carey was made even more difficult from the outset after star midfielder Kane Nissenbaum was called up to play for Sandringham Dragons in the VFL, while key defender Zac Braun suffered a head-knock in the second quarter, ruling him out for the remainder of the afternoon. 

 

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A fast-starting AJAX took a marginal lead into the first break, however this only served to awaken Old Carey, who kicked nine goals to two in the second quarter. Despite impressive forward efforts by youngsters Reece Israel (3 goals) and Nicholas Cohen (2 goals), Old Carey proved far too strong all over the ground, finishing the day with 24 goals and 161 points. 

 

With a scheduled bye-week this weekend, the round 16 clash with bottom-side Monash Blues is looming as potentially make-or-break in the Jackas fight for survival. 

 

Speaking to AJAX Media, Club President Ronnie Lewis said “The effort over the last few weeks has been nothing short of sensational. I’m quietly confident that we can get the job done against opposition who are also fighting against relegation.

“I’d love to see all our supporters come down, particularly against Monash Blues at Albert Park- a ‘19th man’ on the sidelines could make all the difference.”

 

The Reserves also tasted defeat at the Carey Sports Complex, going down by 94 points in David Glass’s 150th game for the Jackas. In similar fashion to the seniors, the Ressies copped a battering in the second quarter, rendering the second half a mere formality. Glass kicked a goal on his milestone day, as did Noah Rischin (2 goals), Michael Feiler, Jake Liberman and Benj Michelson.

 

Next door, the Jackettes found their kicking boots after last week’s scoreless loss, nailing 3 goals and 3 behinds, with all three majors coming courtesy of Maddy Smart. While the girls were still beaten, the result represents a marked improvement on previous weeks performances. The Jackettes also farewelled 28 year-old Dani Robinson, who played her final match for the ‘Kettes’.  

 

The Girls finish the season with 12 points, leaving them 7th on the ladder, one spot ahead of the Hampton Rovers who finished last. The Jackettes top goalkicker for season 2018 was Maddy Smart who finished with eight goals and was named in the bests on seven occasions. 

 

Both the Firsts and Reserves will enjoy a week off to recover before the crucial encounter with bottom side Monash Blues on August 11th at Gary Smorgon Oval. 

 

Ash Obel

Media & Communications Manager 

 

Scores

 Firsts- 9.11 (65) def by Old Carey 24.17 (161)- Goals: R. Israel 3, N. Cohen 2, J. Cohen 2, W. Williams, T. Lipton. Bests: J. Ludski, S. Fayman, R. Simon, W. Williams, C. Hamilton, J. Ludski.

Reserves- 6.3 (39) def by Old Carey 15.13 (103)- Goals:N. Rischin 2, M. Feiler, D. Glass, J. Liberman, B. Michelson. Bests: M. Feiler, N. Rischin, G. Vadas, J. Teperman, A. Gilberg, T. Rogers.

Jackettes- 3.3 (21) def by Old Carey 10.13 (73)- Goals: M. Smart 3. Bests: L. Nankin, J. Marget, M. Smart, M. Grek, M. Burstin, M. Glikfeld. 

 

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Weekend Wrap: Round Fourteen

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AJAX Downed In Nick's 100th

 

It was another tough weekend at Gary Smorgon Oval as the Seniors and Reserves both suffered comprehensive defeats at the hands of the Caulfield Grammarians, while the Jackettes were beaten by Beaumaris. 

 

The Seniors, still significantly undermanned, called upon rookies Dylan Rothschild, Nico Cohen and debutant Jono Goldberg as well as 27 year-old Stu Fayman who made his first seniors appearance since May 26th.

 

The boys were fired up and determined to get a result for their captain in his 100th game for the Jackas and performed accordingly, using the icy mid-winter breeze to blow them along to a two-point lead at the quarter time break. 

 

The opening quarter also saw first goals for Reece Israel and debutant Jono Goldberg, who slotted a stunning set shot from outside the boundary.

 

The second quarter saw high-intensity AJAX pressure pin the Grammarians into their defensive 50 however inaccurate kicking meant that the Jackas were never able to pull away on the scoreboard. 

 

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Conversely, when the Grammarians were able to penetrate through the AJAX zone they capitalized on almost every opportunity, putting four goals and six behinds on the board compared to AJAX’s zero goals and five behinds. 

 

The third quarter, typically AJAX’s weakest, begun as expected with Caulfield kicking a goal within 20 seconds of the restart. The Jackas were able to steady the ship however the damage had already been done.

 

While the result was never in doubt, the second half did provide some highlights for the loyal AJAX crowd that braved the freezing weather at Albert Park. 

 

In one of the best passages of play Jackas fans have witnessed this season, Charles Hamilton gathered the ball in the defensive 50 before smartly handballing to captain Nick Lewis who in turn moved it on to midfield dynamo Kane Nissenbaum. Nissenbaum used his blistering speed to run straight down the middle of the Gary Smorgon oval before smartly kicking into the path of Cam Nankin who calmly slotted the goal from 35 meters out.

Highlights from the game can be seen on the AJAX Football Club Facebook and Instagram page. 

 

AJAX were unable to get an unlikely victory in Nick’s 100th game losing by 56 points, their 11th loss of the season with just four rounds remaining. 

 

Earlier, the Reserves were soundly beaten by the Caulfield Reserves, with much of the teams top-end talent having been already called up to the Seniors leaving the Ressies desperately short on experience.

 

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Dylan Nadelman kicked two goals, James Fisher was also on the score sheet and named in the bests, however Fisher was forced off in the second half following what looked to be a serious leg injury. AJAX Reserves lost the game by 100 points.

 

The Jackettes were kept scoreless against second-placed Beaumaris but will look forward to taking on Old Carey this Saturday. Old Carey sit one place below the Jackettes, providing an opportunity for the Jackettes to get their fourth win of the season. Likewise, the Seniors and Reserves will head to Bulleen to take on Old Carey in what will prove a stern test for both sides.

 

Ash Obel- Media and Communications Manager

 

Scores

 

Firsts- 7.11 (53) def by Caulfield 16.13 (109)- Goals: D. Rotenberg 2, R. Israel, C. Nankin, J. Ludski, W. Williams, J. Goldberg. Bests: J. Ludski, K. Nissenbaum, N. Lewis, C. Nankin, C. Hamilton, D. Rotenberg.

 

Reserves- 5.2 (32) def by Caulfield 19.18 (132)- Goals: D. Nadelman 2, J. Broons, K. Krakaeur, J. Fisher. Bests: G. Vadas, D. Ellinghaus, J. Fisher, T. Rogers, S. Kalmus, J. Blode.

 

Jackettes- 0.0 (0) def by Beaumaris 9.12 (66)- Goals: n/a Bests: L. Nankin, T. Abelman, J. Marget, M. Grek, H. Mrocki, A. Fleiszig

 

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Weekend Wrap: Round Thirteen

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A depleted AJAX side’s struggles have continued into round 13 with a demoralizing 82 point loss at the hands of the Beaumaris Sharks on Saturday. 

 

Already facing heavy casualties, AJAX were forced to make nine changes to the side that fell agonizingly short against Old Haileybury a fortnight ago, with Mark Choco Williams opting to hand Olly Hoffman, Reece Israel and Joel Burston their senior debuts. 

 

Having not initially been named in the squad to take on the Sharks, Burston was the beneficiary of a late call-up handed to star midfielder Ash Krakeur by VFL side Port Melbourne. 

 

After an inspirational pregame tribute from club legends both past and present ahead of Josh Ludski’s milestone 150th game, the Jackas began the encounter with typically high-intensity, a benchmark set by Cam Nankin’s crunching tackle just seconds into the match. 

 

In the opening quarter and indeed throughout the game, AJAX displayed resolute defensive solidity, however it was an inability to create going forward that left the Jackas with little hope of getting a result against the fourth placed side in the division. 

 

At halftime the AJAX backline, marshaled as always by Richie Simon and Zac Braun, held a normally high-scoring Beaumaris side to just 5.7 (37), but the Jackas forwards could only accumulate 0.4 (4), leaving an uphill battle in a second-half only compounded in difficulty by the losses of WA import Zak Fleisher who dislocated his shoulder as well as a hamstring injury to Jayden Yarrow. 

 

While effort levels never waivered, the lack of rotations took its predicatble toll as a relaxed Beaumaris side ran out to a 14.22 (106) to 3.6 (24) victory over a makeshift AJAX outfit who could not be accused of shying away from the battle.

 

While the scoreboard made for tough reading, there were individual performances that provided a positive glimpse into the future of the AJAX footy club. 

 

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Kane Nissenbaum once again stood out with 32 disposals as well as a goal on a day where points were seemingly impossible to come by. Defender Richie Simon was clinical with each of his 20 disposals, as was Charles Hamilton who showed his composure on numerous occasions to relieve the pressure on the AJAX backline. Debutant Joel Burston showed no nerves, accumulating 14 disposals and a respectable 58 fantasy points. 

 

Things weren’t much better over in Keysborough where the Jackettes suffered a 48-point loss to the Old Mentonians; Maddy Smart was the only goalscorer with a goal in the final quarter. 

 

The loss leaves the girls in sixth position on the ladder, equal on points with Old Carey and a full 12-points behind Old Haileybury in fifth position. 

 

Earlier in the day the Reserves were outgunned by a Beaumaris Reserve side that boasted the likes of former St Kilda legend Stephen Milne. 

 

AJAX defender (and lifelong St Kilda fan) Sam Kalmus restricted Milne to just two goals for the day, using his youthful speed and agility against the 275 gamer, and earning himself a spot in the bests.

 

While the 38 year-old Milne was kept quiet, the rest of the Beaumaris forwards ran riot, slamming 19 goals and 18 behinds (132 points) past the Jackas defense, leaving the Ressies stranded 12 points behind fourth spot and a finals berth. 

 

Round 14 provides AJAX with a huge opportunity to take a big leap towards safety when they take on the Caulfield Grammarians at Gary Smorgon Oval, while the Jackettes will look to improve in their matchup with the second placed Beaumaris Sharks.

 

Scores

Seniors AJAX 3.6 (24) def by Beaumaris 14.22 (106) 

Goals: J. Lew, W. Williams, K. Nissenbaum. Best: Z. Braun, R. Simon, N. Lewis, K. Nissenbaum, C. Hamilton, C. Nankin.

Reserves AJAX 2.3 (15) def by Beaumaris 19.18 (132) 

Goals: N. Cohen, J. Goldberg. Best: N. Cohen, S. Fayman, S. Kalmus, T. Rogers, D. Rothschild, M. Feiler.

JackettesAJAX 1.4 (10) def by Old Mentonians 9.4 (58) 

Goals: M. Smart. Best: J. Marget, M. Smart, D. Robinson, L. Nankin, D. Abraham, J. Israel.

 

Ash Obel- Media and Communications Manager

 

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Weekend Wrap: Round Twelve

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AJAX’S turbulent season took a turn for the worse after Mark “Choco” Williams’ men blew a 40-point lead against rivals and fellow relegation battlers Old Haileybury at the Jackas’ spiritual home of Princes Park, Caulfield on Saturday.

Goalkicking stalwart Jake Lew pulled on the Jackas jumper for the 150th time, but the mile-stone match was marred by a wave of injuries in the first half, followed by a disastrous second half fadeout, which has again left the club teetering on the edge of the drop zone.

The boisterous AJAX crowd that flocked to Princes Park rode the three-hour emotional rollercoaster, only to be bitterly disappointed by the end, which saw Old Haileybury win 10.17-77 to 11.6-72.

 

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The youthful Jackas were injected with even more inexperience, with impressive under 17 duo Corey Zielinski and Ryley Michaelson earning their senior debuts.

The first quarter went according to a familiar script – AJAX blew Old Haileybury out of the water, piling on six goals, while keeping their shellshocked opponents goalless.

Zielinski became an instant crowd favourite, joining the exclusive first kick-first goal club with a magical solo effort.

Old Haileybury counterpunched in the second term with nine scoring shots to four, but inaccuracy saw the margin only cut by 11 points by the main break.

A brutal half on the injury front left the Jackas with just two fit players on the bench after midfielder Asher Burstin suffered a sickening dislocated elbow and important defender

Daniel Janover-Rocha succumbed to an ankle injury. Bravely, two others played on after dislocating fingers.

Old Haileybury chipped away at the deficit in the third term and looked headed for the final turn with the momentum before milestone man Lew stepped up and kicked his third goal to bring his team and the crowd to life.

With AJAX’s young side rapidly running out of legs, the hosts threw everything at them early in the final term and stormed to within three points.

Fittingly, Lew stood tall once again, halting Haileybury’s momentum with his fourth major. With scores even in the dying stages, the game cried out for a hero, and one emerged, but he wasn’t wearing red, white and black.

Old Haileybury completed a stunning 45-point turnaround with five goals to one in a thrilling final term, leaving Williams speechless in an eerily silent changeroom post-game.

Upon reflection Lew told The AJN: “The weekend was bittersweet. The support was amazing and I loved seeing some of the young guys make their debuts. However, lots of injuries and the loss really puts us in jeopardy of staying in B grade and we’re up against it now. I hope we can dig deep and find a way to win a few more games to stay up for another year.”

With six rounds remaining after this week’s bye, AJAX sit 7th on the VAFA Premier B table, with marginal percentage separating them from the relegation zone.

Earlier, the reserves kept their slim finals hopes alive with a dominant ten-goal win. The Jackas were slow out of the blocks but found form after quarter time piling on 11 goals to two.

Olly Hoffman booted three goals, while under 17 debutants Matthew Lincoln, Lior Smart and Aaron Bryer all impressed.

Meanwhile, the Jackettes were outclassed by Old Scotch and kept goalless for the first time this season. Isi Burstin, Daniella Abraham, and Amy Sekler battled hard.

With a competition-wide bye this weekend, AJAX’s next match will be against Beaumaris at Banksia Reserve on Saturday July 14.

AARON FETTER - The AJN

SCORES

Seniors – Old Haileybury 10.17 (77) def AJAX 11.6 (72) Goals: J.Lew 4, C.Zielinski 2, D.Rotenberg 2, B.Joel, W.Williams, T.Lipton. Best: J.Berkowitz, R.Simon, J.Ludski, C.Nankin, N.Lewis, C.Zielinski

Reserves – AJAX 12.19 (91) def Old Haileybury 4.7 (31) Goals: O.Hoffman 3, D.Goodman 2, R.Israel 2, J.Forbes 2, M.Feiler, J.Broons, J.Liberman. Best: M.Lincoln, L.Smart, D.Rothschild, A.Bryer, R.Israel, J.Goldberg

Jackettes – Old Scotch 5.11 (41) def AJAX 0.1 (1) Best: I.Burstin, D.Abraham, A.Sekler, J.Gabriel, L.Nankin, H.Mel

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Fisher’s Ferocious Fight to Fifty

WOMEN’s Jewish footy pioneer Chelsea Fisher brought up an emotional milestone last Sunday, becoming AJAX’s first female player to reach 50 games.

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It was a bittersweet occasion for the Jackettes’ captain who has made the tough call to end her season early, after bravely playing through osteitis pubis for the past 18 months.

"Stopping playing for the season was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, and it came with a lot of tears and pain ... I'll miss running out with the girls but I'm looking forward to being back and better in 2019," Fisher told The AJN.

The wear and tear of footy eventually caught up with the 23-year-old, whose ferocious style earned her the nickname “bulldog".

In 2014, Fisher approached AJAX with the idea of creaNng the club’s first ever women’s team, and courtesy of her vision and commitment to empowering young Jewish women through sport, the Jackettes have kicked countless goals on and off the field.

Fisher has this year taken the coaching reigns of the AJAX Junior Football Club's U14 girls team and she believes that "the future is bright for Jewish women and girls in footy”.

Fisher’s feats

• Played 50 of a possible 51 games, 28 games in the best, eight goals.

• Led the team to a grand final, a minor premiership and six finals.

• 2017 Women’s Development Division 3 Best and Fairest.

AARON FETTER - The AJN

 

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Jackas jump out of dreaded drop zone

A DETERMINED AJAX side dusted itself off after last week's misfortunes to record an important 46- point win over Mazenod at Gary Smorgon Oval on Saturday.

Knowing full well the ramifications of a loss in the midst of a two-week challenge to distance themselves from the relegation zone, the Jackas appeared galvanised after an emotional and trying week.

A four-goal to two opening term from Mark Williams' men set up an early buffer, but inaccuracy plagued the Jackas in the second quarter and kept the visitors in the contest.

A minor knee injury to promising dasher Charlie Hamilton saw AJAX lose a rotation, but not the momentum as they proceeded to heap scoreboard pressure on Mazenod.

The Jackas' inexperienced yet steely defence held their opponents goalless in the final term and to just six goals for the match.

Richie Simon once again played the role as general down back and did so with poise and precision, named the Jackas' best for distributing 20 effective disposals and reining in nine marks.

Evasive small Dean Rotenberg was lively in the forward half collecting 21 disposals, but could have finished the day with a bag if he had packed his kicking boots. The same could be said for Jake Lew who uncharacteristically squandered four gettable chances, but the 149-game veteran still played his part and finished with three goals, his season average.

First-year senior ruckman Brent Shapiro gave his side the upper hand at stoppages, racking up 31 hit outs and 16 disposals – impressive numbers for the developing big man. Midfielders Josh Ludski (30 disposals) and skipper Nick Lewis (22 disposals, six marks, five tackles and a goal) were the direct beneficiaries.

The percentage-boosting win coupled with other favourable results helped the Jackas climb out of the drop zone and into seventh spot, a game and five percent clear.

RESERVES

Earlier, the reserves continued their charge towards an unlikely finals berth, with a hard-fought 21-point win, which elevates them into fifth, three games out of finals calculations.

Asaf Danby and Nicholas Cohen kicked two goals apiece in the low-scoring affair, while Dov Paltiel and Jordan Tonkin led from the front.

JACKETTES

The Jackettes’ quest for a fourth consecutive finals appearance took a significant hit on Sunday when they went down to a powerful Old Brighton side by 43 points.

Hannah Mel kicked her side’s only goal. Post-game caretaker coach Simon Jedwab heaped praise on Lindi Nankin and Maddie Smart for their gallant efforts.

THIRDS
Ian Jones’ undermanned side put in a brave effort against the finals-bound Old Trinity but fell away in the second half.

Joel Lewis kicked a goal in his return from a long layoff with a knee injury, while Adam Prince, Eliot Debinski and Eli Adelist put in positive performances. 

NEXT WEEK

AJAX returns to its spiritual home, Princes Park, Caulfield South on Saturday to face rivals Old Haileybury in another must-win clash. Seniors 2pm, reserves 11.40am.

AARON FETTER - The AJN

SCORES:
Seniors – AJAX 12.18 (90) def Mazenod 6.8 (44) Goals: J.Lew 3, A.BursNn 3, A.Caplan 2, B.Joel 2, D.Rotenberg, N.Lewis Best: B.Shapiro, N.Lewis, C.Nankin, J.Cohen, J.Ludski, R.Simon.

Reserves – AJAX 10.6 (66) def Mazenod 6.9 (45) Goals: A.Danby 2, N.Cohen 2, M.Feiler, J.Burston, J.Goldberg, J.Fisher, O.Hoffman, J.Bade-Boon. Best: D.PalNel, J.Tonkin, A.Danby, D.Rothschild, J.Bade-Boon, J.Goldberg.

Jackettes – Old Brighton 7.8 (50) def AJAX 1.1 (7) Goal: H.Mel. Best: C.Fisher, A.Sekler, M.Glikfeld, I.BursNn, L.Nankin, M.Smart.

Thirds – Old Trinity 11.16 (82) def AJAX 5.8 (38) Goals: E.Debinski, S.Kalmus, J.Lewis-Ninyo, S.Brygel, M.Lazar. Best: A.Prince, E.Debinski,

E.Adelist, Y.Jedwab, J.Blode, S.New.

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AJAX goalkicking great cruelly cut down

 

AJAX endured a weekend from hell, with the seniors’ 75-point drubbing compounded by what could be a career-ending knee injury to one of the Jackas’ all-time greats, David Fayman.

The 29-year-old was returning from an ankle injury that he sustained in round four, and lined up in the reserves for the very first time in his storied 175-game career.

The six-time VAFA leading goalkicker moved well early and hit the scoreboard, but shortly after, disaster struck in the cruellest form. “I was running full tilt, the ground was very wet, a guy bumped me and everything twisted but my foot was stuck ... I heard a massive snap in the knee,” Fayman told The AJN.

The team doctor and physios rushed to his aid. “He was in a lot of pain, the stretcher came out and a few senior guys ran onto the field and helped carry him off, which was quite an emotional scene”, AJAX captain Nick Lewis said.

After a nervous few days undergoing X-rays and MRIs, Fayman’s and the club’s worst fears were confirmed on Tuesday with the shattering news that he had ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee, tearing both the lateral and medial ligaments, as well as a bone chip.

Fayman’s knee will require a full reconstruction, which typically is a 12-month rehab process. Shortly after finding out the news, a “gutted” Fayman said, “[This] could be the end, yes.”

If it proves to be, Fayman or “the Mailman” as he is affectionately known around the club and competition, will go down as one of the finest players to have ever donned the AJAX jumper. The remarkably gifted forward was always under-sized but used that to his advantage, reigning equally supreme in the air and on the ground.

With his vice-like hands he pulled down countless big marks and his wizardry around goal entertained for over a decade.

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His unrivalled footy resume is headlined by a record six Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) goalkicking medals. Only he and one other can lay claim to have won four at Premier B level.

Fayman won back-to-back goalkicking gongs in 2010 and in the club’s famous premiership year in 2011 where he booted 94 majors including five in the grand final win over Werribee. He cemented his standing as a VAFA great with three consecutive goalkicking medals from 2012 to 2014 and a fourth in 2016 in Premier B.

Five times he kicked 10 goals or more including a career-best haul of 14 in an under-19s match. In his 175-game career for the Jackas, Fayman has amassed 611 goals – an average of 3.5 a game.

Bad to worse for wounded Jackas

ADDING insult to injury for the Jackas, the club finds itself back in the dreaded relegation zone after the weekend’s heavy defeat against University Blacks.

Mark “Choco” Williams’ men slipped from 7th to 9th and lost almost five per cent in the 120-45 loss. Making matters worse, fellow relegation battlers Old Haileybury pulled off a shock victory over top-four side Caulfield Grammarians to leapfrog the Jackas.

Despite the difficulty of witnessing David Fayman’s injury, the seniors stormed out of the blocks against one of the premiership favourites, not for the first time this season, with a scintillating five-goal to one opening quarter.

But the fadeout trend continued with their 28-point lead cut to a seven-point deficit at half time before the wheels truly fell off. Uni Blacks piled on the pain with a staggering 11 goals to none after the main break.

“I think Dave’s injury did affect the senior group a little bit, but it would’ve been nice to respond and do it for him ... he’s a bloody legend of the footy club,” AJAX captain Nick Lewis said.

Post-game, Williams focused on the positives which Lewis said “were beating the top side six goals to one, which shows that we are capable of mixing it with the best teams”. The negatives were “that we just can’t go the distance for the duration ... and
perhaps mindset ... which is really frustrating”.

Looking ahead, Lewis said, “The boys have set themselves up for a two-week challenge before the bye in July.” First up they face seventh-placed Mazenod at Gary Smorgon Oval on Saturday (2pm) who they lost to in round two by 34 points. The week after they face Old Haileybury in “the battle for Princes Park” in Caulfield South, which is likely to coincide with Jake Lew’s 150th game.

AARON FETTER - The AJN

SCORES:
Seniors – University Blacks 18.12 (120) def AJAX 6.9 (45) Goals: J.Lew 2, D.Rotenberg 2, A.Krakauer, B.Joel. Best: D.Janover-Rocha, R.Simon, D.Cohen, D.Rotenberg, B.Joel, J. Ludski

Reserves – University Blacks 7.9 (51) def AJAX 3.5 (23) Goals: R.Israel, A.Danby, D.Fayman. Best: B.Michelson, J.Yarrow, D.Rothschild, M.Voinsky, T.Rogers, A.Danby

Jackettes – Old Haileybury 8.8 (56) def AJAX 4.4 (28) Goals: C.Fisher, J.Caplan, M.Smart, H.Mel. Best: I.Burstin, A.Sekler, M.Smart, J.Gabriel, C.Fisher, M.Glikfeld

Thirds – Caulfield Grammarians 7.7 (49) def AJAX 4.6 (30) Goals: S.Brygel 2, M.Feiler, S.New. Best: E.Adelist, E.Debinski, D.Ellinghaus, S.New, S.Brygel, M.Feiler

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Weekend Wrap: Round Nine

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AJAX Take it to the Big Boys, Jackettes Down the Rovers

 

AJAX’s promising form has continued on the back of last week’s drought-breaking win over Monash, taking premiership contenders Old Carey down to the wire in an enthralling match at Gary Smorgon Oval. 

 

Any fears the AJAX coaching staff had over the danger of facing former Carlton and GWS player Kristian Jaksch were allayed just five minutes into the game when the 23 year-old hobbled off with an ankle injury.

 

Instead, AJAX had an ace of their own, welcoming back crafty midfielder Ash Krakaeur, a regular for Port Melbourne in the VFL. 

 

The Jackas went toe-to-toe with a normally free-scoring Old Carey side, restricting them to just five goals at half-time. At the other end of the park Brandon Joel, Toby Lipton and Ash Krakaeur all ensured that AJAX remained within touching distance of the opponent. 

 

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As Old Carey threatened a final-quarter blowout, an AJAX side still missing a handful of regular first teamers pushed themselves to their limit, ensuring Jackas fans departed Albert Park deeply proud of their side despite the loss. 

 

Kane Nissenbaum was the best-ranked player with 28 disposals and 126 fantasy points. Star midfielder Krakaeur finished the game with two goals and 26 disposals at an 88% disposal efficiency rate. Up front, Brandon Joel continued his goalscoring form, bagging three goals to take his 2018 tally to 14 halfway through the season. 

 

Across the road, the Jackettes claimed their second win of the season in a nail-biter against the Hampton Rovers. The girls found their goal-kicking boots after weeks of low scores, kicking 5.3 (33) to win the match by a mere five points.

Named Best on Ground, Ruckman Maddy Smart allowed the Jackettes to command the clearances, while also providing a great target up forward, scoring two impressive goals. 

 

Jess Marget and Chelsea Fisher showed their usual aggression in the midfield, going in hard at every contest and making valuable contributions to the teams overall performance.

 

The win solidifies the Jackettes in sixth spot on the ladder having opened up a four-point gap on Old Carey in seventh spot. 

 

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Earlier, the AJAX Reserves claimed a huge scalp, upsetting second-placed Old Carey 8.5 (53) to 5.16 (46); the Jackas first win since Round Four.

 

The Ressies showed immense spirit in a tight and tense affair to match it with a side that had only lost twice this season, restricting Old Carey to just five goals for the entire match. The win sees the Reserves climb two spots to sixth on the ladder, in prime position to make a finals-charge at the halfway mark of the 2018 season. 

 

All sides will use the mid-season bye to rest up ahead of their Round Ten clashes on June 16th.

 

Scores

Firsts def by Old Carey 9.7 (61) to 12.13 (85)

Jackettes def Hampton Rovers 5.3 (33) to 4.4 (28)

Reserves def Old Carey 8.5 (53) to 5.16 (46)

 

Ash Obel- Media & Communications Manager

 

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Weekend Wrap: Round Eight

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After seven weeks of disappointment, AJAX have finally registered their first win since their round one victory over Old Haileybury with a comfortable nine-goal win over the struggling Monash Blues. 

 

Facing the very real threat of relegation, the Jackas knew Saturday’s fixture against the winless Monash Blues would be pivotal in its fight to stay in VAFA B for what would be an eighth consecutive season. 

 

AJAX continued its strong first quarter form, kicking eight goals to two in a season-high 50-point first quarter. Forward Adam Caplan lit up the opener with a stunning left foot banana that will likely contend for VAFA goal of the season. 

 

A highly confident Jackas side were relentless in the second quarter, putting another five goals on the board to take a 61-point lead into the main break.

 

Monash emerged for the second half with far more purpose in front of their home crowd, however some resilient defending combined with inaccurate kicking from the Monash forwards ensured that AJAX remained in control of the match from start to finish.

 

Club captain Nick Lewis spoke to AJAX Media post-match. “We didn’t shy away from the fact that today was a big game. We’ll certainly use the win as a confidence booster to springboard into the rest of the season,” he said.

 

 

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Things aren’t about to get a whole lot easier for the Jackas as they prepare to take on ladder-leading Old Carey at Albert Park on Saturday. Old Carey will be looking to rebound after suffering their first loss of the season at the hands of premiership contenders, University Blacks.

 

Looking ahead to the game, rookie ruckman Brent Shapiro said “playing a top side gives us a good opportunity to see where we really are at. We saw against Beaumaris a few weeks ago that we can challenge with the top sides, so it will be great to get back home and hopefully get a big win against Old Carey.”

 

Earlier, the Reserves loss to Monash saw them leapfrogged on the ladder, dropping one spot to 8th place after eight rounds. While AJAX never really hit top gear, they were firmly in the match going into the final quarter before Monash kicked a quick-fire three goals to put the four-points out of reach.

 

Ben Schwartz marked his return to footy with two goals, as did Nicholas Cohen, while Olly Hoffman and Jono Goldberg snagged one each.

 

Speaking to AJAX Media, Hoffman lamented the loss but highlighted the positive individual performances that kept AJAX in the game.

 

“It was very disappointing to lose a game that we really needed to win but in saying that there are a couple positive personal performances. I think Nico Cohen did really well in a tough game but it’s still disappointing to not get the win in a game that we could have and really should have won,” he said. 

 

At Banksia Reserve, the Jackettes were defeated by a superior Beaumaris side 4.5 (29) to 1.1 (7). The Jackettes goal scoring struggles have continued; this the fifth round in a row where they have only managed the single goal, this time off the boot of Julia Caplan.

 

The Thirds also faced defeat in their fixture on Monday night, going down comprehensively to second-placed Beaumaris Sharks. The full-time scores read 5.2 (32) to 16.20 (116), with Sam Brygel, Sam Kalmus, Stewart Fayman and Michael Lazar all goalscorers.  

 

Round nine sees the Jackas return to Albert Park for their clash with division leaders Old Carey, the last game before the bye round. The Jackettes will have a golden opportunity to get another win on the board when they face bottom-placed Hampton Rovers and the Thirds face another tough assignment when they come up against top spot De La Salle at Waverley Oval. 

 

Scores

Firsts 17.15 (117) def Monash 9.15 (69)

Jackettes 1.1 (7) def by Beaumaris 4.5 (29)

Reserves 6.9 (45) def by Monash 8.10 (58)

Thirds 5.2 (32) def by Beaumaris 16.20 (116)

 

 

Ash Obel- Media & Communications Manager

 

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Weekend Wrap: Round Seven

 

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Pattern emerges as AJAX suffer another second-half fadeout

 

A Round One demolition of Old Haileybury at a sunny Princes Park is fast becoming a fading memory as the Jackas extend their winless run to six games following a 50-point defeat to the Parkdale Vultures on the weekend. 

 

The loss leaves Mark Williams’ men perilously close to the two relegation spots at the bottom of the VAFA B ladder.

 

Speaking to AJAX Media after the match, Williams attributed the now common second-half fadeout to the inexperience of his side.

 

“Young players who are inexperienced can only concentrate for so long,” Williams said.

 

“That concentration level is something that needs building up, just like weights and strength, you have to practice it.”

 

Choco also acknowledged the impact injuries to key personnel has had on results this season.

 

“Each week we’ve had someone injured and not being able to play in the second half…from the corresponding game last year we had seven different players, a third of the side, and most of those are in the backline,” he said. 

 

In what is becoming a familiar story, AJAX began the game in style, playing some of the best footy they’ve played all season, highlighted by Jake Lew who kicked three in the opening quarter. Yet poor mistakes allowed Parkdale to stay right on the tail of the Jackas, nailing an after the siren set-shot to take the Vultures into the first break with a one-point lead despite the AJAX dominance. 

 

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A knee injury to Charles Hamilton meant his role would be limited, leaving the AJAX bench down a rotation for much of the match. Fatigue became evident as the Vultures proved too strong, kicking 13 goals to AJAX’s five over the next three quarters of footy, opening up a four-point gap over the Jackas on the ladder.

 

Justin Berkowitz had his breakout game for the season, finishing with 27 touches and six marks. Captain Nick Lewis showed his aggression with a game-high 16 tackles as well as 27 disposals while Jake Lew kicked a bag of four goals for the second time this season. 

 

In other results, the Jackettes were leapfrogged by Old Mentonians who claimed a comfortable 22-point win at Albert Park on Saturday. The girls’ goal-kicking struggles continued, managing just a single goal again this week, this time off the boot of Mikaela Grek after she pulled the ball out of the ruck contest and spectacularly snapped back over her head. 

 

With just one player on the bench, it was always going to be an uphill battle for the girls. However there was positive news in captain Chelsea Fisher, who turned in her best performance of the season, going in hard at every contest and dominating the clearances. 

 

The Reserves tasted defeat once again, falling to the Vultures 4.8 (32) to 7.14 (56) at Albert Park. AJAX had their chances to pull away from the Vultures in a low-scoring affair, however the Jackas were wasteful in attack and unconvincing in defence, leaving them vulnerable to a Parkdale side far more adept at taking their chances.

 

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The Reserves managed just four goals in the entire match, however strong defensive efforts kept the Jackas in it until the final quarter despite the lack of scoring. Daniel Goodman put his name forward for promotion to the Firsts, bagging all four goals. The loss leaves AJAX sitting just four points ahead of next week’s opponents, the Monash Blues.

 

Ian Jones’ Thirds had the week to rest and recalibrate after their game was postponed to a later date. 

 

Round Eight will see the Jackas travel to the Monash Blues in a crucial game in the battle to stay clear of the relegation spots, AJAX’s first away game in three weeks. The Jackettes are scheduled to take on third-placed Beaumaris Sharks at Banksia Reserve at 4.45pm this Saturday afternoon. 

 

Keep up-to-date with everything AJAX related at www.AJAXfc.com.au

 

Ash Obel- Media and Communications Manager

 

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Weekend Wrap: Round Six

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Spirited Jackas Fall Short

 

After four difficult weeks marked by consecutive heavy losses, AJAX have registered a hugely encouraging performance, taking their encounter with the Beaumaris Sharks down to the wire in an enthralling clash at the Gary Smorgon Oval. 

 

Playing on home turf for the first time this year, a youthful Jackas outfit blitzed the Beaumaris defence, leading by seven goals to one halfway through the second quarter. 

 

However an injury to key defender Richie Simon combined with some poor decision-making left the door ajar for the Sharks, who came out in the second half with plenty of determination.

 

AJAX were never able to recapture their momentum, as former Gold Coast Suns coach Guy Mckenna’s side patiently chipped away at the margin. 

 

With the wind working against them, the Jackas managed just one final-quarter goal as the Sharks used the weather advantage to its fullest, bagging five goals and just one behind; the scoreboard reading 8.7 (55) to 10.12 (72) at the final siren, condemning AJAX to eighth spot on the ladder. 

 

Kane Nissenbaum was again a stand-out performer, finishing with 30 disposals and 19 kicks. Nicholas Cohen impressed on debut, slotting a set-shot from 30 meters out on the boundary-line, while ruckman Brent Shapiro solidified his place in the squad with another impressive performance.

 

Speaking to AJAX Media after the game, Cohen said “the game speed was a lot faster and there’s a lot more pressure when you’re out there in front of a bigger crowd on a bigger stage.

 

“I was pretty nervous when I was lining up for goal, it was my first kick of the day and it was a pretty tough angle but Nick Lewis gave me good advice. He told me to take three deep breaths and just go through the paces and kick through the ball. That’s what I did and it went through…it was great.” 

 

Despite a fifth-consecutive loss, coach Mark ‘Choco’ Williams remained noticeably optimistic, praising his players for their week-to-week improvements and urging them to continue to believe they were good enough to match it with the best in the division.

 

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Earlier in the day, the AJAX Reserves were defeated by league-leaders Beaumaris Reserves in difficult weather conditions, going down by 45 points. The Ressies were unable to account for Beaumaris’ tall forwards despite rallying hard in the third quarter before the Sharks ran away with the game in the final stanza. 

 

Olly Hoffman impressed with three goals while Daniel Cohen marked his return to footy with a typically influential performance. Dean Rotenberg, Adam Caplan and David Glass all finished with one goal each as the Reserves held onto sixth place on the B Reserve ladder.  

 

On Sunday morning, the Jackettes were swept aside by premiership favourites Old Scotch. AJAX came out firing, with a Maddy Smart opening goal ensuring that the girls were right in it at the quarter-time break. However Old Scotch lived up to their credentials, keeping the Jackettes scoreless and piling on another 7 goals to cruise to victory.

 

Jackettes coach Daniel Slonim was positive despite the result, acknowledging the strength of Sunday’s opposition. 

 

“Despite a disappointing result, we never dropped our heads against the competition’s benchmark. Our usual suspects Justine Gabriel, Isi Burstin and Pessia Fetter fought hard and gave us drive all day,” Slonim said.

 

Playing in the unusual timeslot of Saturday night, the AJAX Thirds faced Fitzroy for the second time this season, having already defeated their opponents by 27 points in round two- the Thirds solitary win for the season thus far. 

 

After an even first term, the AJAX Thirds seized control of the match through strong tackling and effective disposals, taking a 13-point lead into the final break. However fatigue crippled the side when it mattered most, with Fitzroy overturning the deficit to steal the win in the final quarter. The Thirds will hope to perform with similar intensity in their matchup this weekend with Williamstown.

 

The coming weekend will also see AJAX face the Parkdale Vultures in a must-win clash at Gary Smorgon Oval for both the Seniors and Reserves. The Vultures sit four points ahead of the Firsts, however both sides share an equal percentage, handing AJAX the opportunity to leapfrog their round seven opponents with a win at Albert Park on Saturday. Similarly, the Reserves sit just four points ahead of the Parkdale Reserves, meaning a win is crucial if they are to avoid dropping out of the top six. The Jackettes take on Old Mentonians in another critical match, with the Old Mentonians sitting just two points behind the Jackettes after five rounds.

 

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Scores

Firsts 8.7 (55) def by Beaumaris 10.12 (72)

Jackettes 1.0 (6) def by Old Scotch 8.13 (61)

Reserves 6.4 (40) def by Beaumaris 12.13 (85)

Thirds 5.7 (37) def by Fitzroy 6.9 (45)

 

Keep up-to-date with all things AJAX at our new-look website www.ajaxfc.com.au!

 

Ash Obel- Media and Communications Manager

 

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Weekend Wrap: Round Five

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AJAX’s form slump has continued, going down to the Caulfield Grammarians by 70 points on the weekend, as all four AJAX sides lost.

 

Coach Mark Williams rang the changes in response to a four-game losing streak, welcoming back key forward Jake Lew after his recovery from injury, as well as defender Richie Simon returning from overseas. Dylan Rothschild was handed his Seniors debut after consistently strong performances in the AJAX Reserves. 

 

AJAX began the encounter on the front-foot, pressing the ball into their forward line for the opening phases of the contest, yet only emerged with two behinds to show for their efforts. 

 

At the other end of the ground Caulfield proved clinical, slotting five goals in the opening quarter, leaving the Jackas trailing by 20 points at quarter time. 

 

AJAX responded to their dismal first-quarter defensive effort, tightening up at the back and restricting the Grammarians to just the two second-quarter goals. However the Jackas were unable to capitalize on their defensive solidity, going goalless for the quarter.

 

In driving rain, the second-half saw good effort and intensity from AJAX, but Caulfield continued to creep away, with the result of the game never in much doubt. 

 

The final quarter was lit up by a Brandan Joel special, after he collected a touched footy and managed to swing it on to his boot despite being wrapped up by a Caulfield defender. 

 

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The match ended 17.17 (119) to 8.11 (59) with Charlie Hamilton racking up his best numbers for the season, gaining 24 disposals including 14 kicks. Kane Nissenbaum achieved a team-high 27 touches, while Jake Lew marked his return to senior footy with an impressive three goals in a tough afternoon for the forward line. Brent Shapiro was named in the bests for his impressive 41 hit-out contribution. 

 

Over at Brighton Beach Oval, the Jackettes were quickly brought back to reality following their bye-round last week, with Old Brighton handing the girls a 41-point defeat, leaving them firmly in fourth place on the ladder. 

 

After a lacklustre first half, the girls managed to hold possession in their forward fifty for a large majority of the game, however the forwards failed to translate on-ball pressure into scoreboard pressure. 

 

Midfielder, Isi Burstin, again showed great composure in and around the contest while providing a great run off the halfback line. Reliable backmen, Mikaela Grek and Daniella Abraham had their best games to date, winning important one on one contests and stopping an onslaught of goals by Old Brighton. 

 

The girl’s solitary goal was scored by tall-forward Lindi Nankin after an impressive soccer-dribble over the line in the final term. After the demoralizing loss, the girls look to bounce back against premiership favourites Old Scotch next Sunday at Gary Smorgon Oval.

 

On Saturday morning the AJAX Thirds showed great fight against Caulfield Grammarians Thirds, going down 11.10 (76) to 15.7 (97). Once again missing several key players, Ian Jones’ men took it to the hosts, leading at every break before running out of steam in the final quarter.

 

Michael Rechtman added five goals to his season-tally, while Benjamin Michowski, Ryan Klooger, Sam Kalmus and David Glass added their names to the goalscorer sheet. 

 

Playing after the Thirds, the Reserves failed to display the same effort and intensity, copping a disheartening 80-point loss. The Reserves trailed by just two goals at the main break, but were only able to achieve two behinds in the entire second half against a sharp-shooting Caulfield Grammarians Reserve outfit. Daniel Goodman bagged three goals, with Adam Caplan and Nico Cohen kicking the other two majors. 

 

Round Six will see the club return to the Gary Smorgon Oval for the first-time this season, as the Seniors (2pm) and Reserves (11.40am) go up against Beaumaris on Saturday, while the Jackettes do battle with Old Scotch on Sunday morning at 9.40am.

 

Keep up-to-date with all things AJAX at our new-look website www.ajaxfc.com.au!

 

Scores

Firsts 8.11 (59) def by Caulfield Grammarians 17.17 (119)

Jackettes 1.1 (7) def by Old Brighton 6.12 (48)

Reserves 5.4 (34) def by Caulfield Grammarians 18.6 (114)

Thirds 11.10 (76) def by Caulfield Grammarians 15.7 (97)

 

Ash Obel- Media & Communications Manager

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Weekend Wrap: Round Four

 

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Undermanned AJAX's Struggles Continue After Third-Straight Loss

 

Mark Williams’ side came out with determination following last week’s 95-point drubbing, however St Bernards flexed their muscles to hand AJAX a second consecutive 15-goal defeat and a third consecutive loss.

 

With some key-position players missing, Saturday was always going to be an uphill battle for the Jackas. Defender Richie Simon was overseas following a strong performance in round three, Daniel Cohen remained sidelined with a hamstring injury as did forward stalwart Jake Lew.

 

As they have in every round this season, AJAX put in a strong performance in the first quarter, trailing by just two points at the first break to a skilled St Bernards side that finished a very respectable third in the 2017 VAFA B grade.

 

While both sides continued to scrap for the ball at ground-level, St Bernards displayed cooler heads, hitting their forward targets and drifting out to a 27-point half-time lead, despite having only three clearances in the second-quarter.

 

The second-half told a familiar tale to last week, with the home side steamrolling an inexperienced and depleted AJAX side, piling on 14 goals to none, with the encounter finishing 7.10 (52) to 23.12 (150) in a forgettable afternoon in Essendon West.

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Not for the first time this season, inaccurate kicking hurt AJAX, who scored more behinds than goals for the third week running. Captain Nick Lewis (12 tackles 24 disposals) addressed the issue in his post-game interview with AJAX Media.

 

“Obviously its a hot-topic in the AFL. We actually kicked 20 goals against Old Haileybury (Round One) and that’s our only win for the year so I definitely think accuracy in front of goals plays a pretty big part. If we managed to kick six goals one behind instead of one goal and six behinds on Saturday, our tails would be up and we’d have a lot more energy and mojo in our gameplay,” he said.

 

The defeat leaves AJAX in sixth position on the ladder, one spot behind local rivals and round five opponents the Caulfield Grammarians who sit eight points above the Jackas.

 

This week is definitely an eight-point game, we won’t shy away from that. We want to be a finals team and to do that you need to firstly win and secondly beat the teams above you. We’re playing against a young Caulfield Grammarians team at Glen Huntly Oval in Caulfield so we’ll obviously get a good following from our supporters. We’ve got a couple of their ex-collegians playing for us so that always makes for quite a heated rivalry,” Lewis said.

 

After another tough week for the Seniors side, the Reserves provided the shining light on the weekend, defeating St Bernards Reserves by less than a goal in a nail-biting contest in West Essendon.

 

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Brad Carp, Ward Williams and Daniel Goodman each bagged two goals, as the reserves punished an inaccurate St Bernards side, with the final score reading 9.10 (64) to 7.17 (59).

 

The win leaves AJAX Reserves in fifth place, just one game off the top of the table, but only one win ahead of next week’s opponents the Caulfield Grammarians, making next Saturday’s Reserves and Firsts double-header a must-watch event.

 

On Sunday, the Thirds received a brutal defeat against De La Salle, losing by 130 points and only managing two goals for the match thanks to Sam Brygel and Michael Lazar. The Thirds sit second last on the ladder and will hope to turn around their poor form with a victory against the winless Caulfield Grammarians this weekend.

 

The Jackettes enjoyed their week off, and will now begin final preparations for their big clash against Old Brighton late on Saturday afternoon at Brighton Beach Oval, while both the Reserves (11.40am) and the Seniors (2pm) will play back-to-back games against Caulfield Grammarians at the Glen Huntly Oval in Caulfield.

 

AJAX Media will now be publishing on our new-look website www.ajaxfc.com.au - Stay up to date with our weekly news, special announcements, fixtures, results, teamsheets, club history and much more!

 

Ash Obel- AJAX FC Media & Communications

 

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Weekend Wrap: Round 1

Youngsters Lead AJAX to Opening Round Victory

If Saturday is anything to go by, the future of the AJAX Football Club is in strong hands, with the clubs youngest players guiding the Jackas to a 59 point roundone win over local rivals Old Haileybury.

20 year-old Jordan Cohen racked up 36 disposals and two goals, while Kane Nissenbaum managed 24 touches as well as two goals, highlighted by a beautiful running goal on his weaker left foot from a tight angle. Debutant Cameron Nankin also kicked his first goal for the club, slotting a set-shot late in the second quarter.

Speaking to AJAX Media, Nankin said “I was pretty nervous, first goal is always big but I managed to put it through, and everyone got around me which is good to see.” He added “I think I went alright, I eased into it in the second half and did a few things that I was happy with, hopefully I’m able to keep my spot and improve further.”

Coach Mark Choco Williams agreed, “I was delighted by what he did, he showed a lot of zip and took the game on and he took mark of the day for sure. His sister Lindy also played her first game and kicked two goals, so she’s got one up on him,” referencing Nankin’s older sister who claimed two goals in the Jackettes 26 point victory over Old Carey.

Earlier in the day, the new-look AJAX Reserves thumped Old Haileybury Reserves, kicking 16 goals and 21 behinds to cruise to a 78 point win. 17 year old Riley Michelson proved his young-gun credentials, bagging four goals and ranking amongst the best on ground.

Asked what would need to improve before Round Two, Choco said “I would think our general ball movement, and to be a bit cleaner. We turned the ball over too many times. I thought the coaches did a wonderful job, we had a few new coaches on board so it was great to see all three teams won.”

Round two will see AJAX take on Mazenod next Saturday at Central Reserve in Glen Waverley, beginning with the Reserves at 11.40am followed by the Firsts at 2pm, while the Jackettes take on the Hampton Rovers at Boss James Reserve, Hampton. 

Ash Obel Media & Communications Manager

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2017 Year Book

The 2017 Year Book is now available online.

Click here to download your copy.

 

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