AJAX Football Club’s men’s team is riding a well-deserved wave of communal support as it continues to shine in its first finals series since 2011, booking its place in this Saturday’s VAFA Premier C grand final after making light work of Ormond in the preliminary final.
And there was a bonus prize for the Jackas too – automatic promotion to Premier B footy next year.
AJAX looked fresh and hungry as they took to Sandringham’s Trevor Barker Oval last Saturday afternoon, and led the Monders at every change in front of a vocal crowd to triumph 12.17 (89) to 6.7 (43).
Enthusiastic tackling by AJAX constantly applied pressure on Ormond all over the field, with Dov Paltiel and Stuart Fayman continuing to front up in the forward pocket, and the Jackas’ backline allowing their opponents no time or space to attack.
Richie Simon (nine marks and 21 kicks) was brilliantly supported by Asher Burstin and Daniel Janover-Rocha in restricting Ormond’s danger men, while Nick Lewis (22 possessions and 12 tackles), Charlie Hamilton (29 possessions and two goals), Jordan Cohen (23 possessions and one goal), Benji Krongold (28 possessions, nine marks and six tackles) and Nico Cohen (22 possessions and one goal) all helped to dominate the mid-field.
Big man Brent “Sauce” Shapiro made 22 hit-outs, Roi Abraham and young gun Toby Sheezel executed two brilliant chase downs in the last quarter to fire up the crowd, Jake Lew kicked an amazing goal from a set shot 50 metres out on the boundary, and Alex Wollan caused havoc, kicking three goals.
Inside a buzzing change room, Jackas coach Adam Andrews paid tribute to his team’s ability to “deliver and execute” in such a high stakes game.
Club president Ronnie Lewis said he believes the Jackas have every chance of toppling competition frontrunners Williamstown in the grand final, and hopes the amount of Jackas fans in the stands will double again to give AJAX the edge.
What promises to be a thrilling grand final will begin at 2.30pm this Saturday at Trevor Barker Oval.