Friday night our senior team travelled to Jack Edwards reserve for our opening fixture of 2023 against the Oakleigh Cannons. After a strong pre-season which began back in November, the boys were primed and ready to test themselves against the competition’s benchmark from last season. We welcomed a number of new faces who made their senior debut for Gully, Thierry Iradukunda, Taylor Schrijvers, Adolph Koudakpo, Pearce Waring, Alan Gerez and Tyler Vecchio hopefully the first of many appearances for these boys in the green and white.

The first half began as to be expected with both teams looking to set the tempo. Oakleigh had an early goal struck off for offside and minutes later a great ball in from Gianluca Iannucci found Luc Jeggo in behind but was denied by a sharp point-blank save from Oakleigh shot stopper. Just before the break, Oakleigh had a set piece whipped in from right hand side, the in-swinger wasn’t dealt with and Oakleigh were 1-0 up as we headed into the break.

The second half began with a great start of energy but was brought to a halt as we conceded once again from a set piece. In quick response, the boys grabbed a goal back after Koudakpo applied great footwork on the right flank with Josh Hope’s involvement on the edge of the area leading to Luc Jeggo who made no mistake from a cutback. Gully pressed for an equaliser however another set piece from Oakleigh saw them receive the result for Round 1.

Whilst there were positive displays from this Gully side a more confident and mature display is required this week against a strong South Melbourne outfit.

Report by Tim Paton

Photo by Mark Avellino Photography