Friday 19th of November, 2021 saw students and staff from across The Academy came together at Highgate Reserve, Craigieburn, for the inaugural The Academy Cup.
Introduced in the second half of 2021, and set to become an annual tradition, The Academy Cup is a series of one-day football carnivals in which 4 teams made up of The Academy students, and coached by The Academy campus teachers, play off against each other for the glory of being crowned The Academy Cup Champions!
Even before the day arrived, buzz and excitement amongst the students and their teachers was electrifying! Students busily discussed game plans and strategies and the teachers worked to prepare their students for peak performance once the day arrived.
On the day, the highlights started early with the Wangaratta campus students hopping off their bus in Craigieburn donned in full professional attire, mimicking their favourite players from the 2019 AFL-X event. Soon after all students were on deck wearing their The Academy guernseys and running warm-up drills with each other and their coaches.
The Academy Cup also welcomed students’ families to come down and watch their sons play – for some this was the first time in almost 2 years. Thanks to COVID restrictions having recently eased in Metropolitan Melbourne The Academy was able to host a number of families who lined the boundary line at Highgate Reserve, providing a healthy audience for the students to perform for.
Throughout the day there were many displays of brilliance, determination and well-intentioned competitiveness amongst the students and staff. The students embraced the opportunity to exercise the skills and fitness they’d developed throughout The Academy’s High Performance Program, showcasing performances that impressed themselves, their teachers and their families.
Results from the first two rounds were:
Game 1: Team Cliffo (coached by Essendon teacher, Ben Clifton) beat Team Skillzy (coached by Wangaratta teacher, Justin McMahon): 6.5.41 vs 3.5.23
Game 2: Team Torts (coached by Geelong teacher, Alex Tortora) beat Team Iacca (coached by Essendon teacher, Josh Iacobaccio): 7.7.49 vs 4.4.28
Game 3 was a play-off for third place overall between the runner-up teams from Game 1 & 2; results of that game were:
Team Iacca beat Team Skillzy: 7.6.48 vs 4.2.26
Game 4, the championship game, featured both winning teams from Game 1 & 2. Despite equal displays of determination and grit Team Torts (pictured above) took out the top prize over Team Cliffo in convincing style: 9.8.62 vs 2.1.13
Throughout the day, the coaches and umpires also cast votes towards a “best on ground” award. Putting on dazzling performances in both of his team’s wins, The Academy Cup’s first “Best on Ground” award went to Year 12 Geelong campus student, Sam Donegan.
The Academy would like to thank the Calder Cannons for hosting us on their home ground at Highgate Reserve, the families that joined us throughout the day, the teachers and staff that coached the teams and help the day run smoothly, and of course the students, who turned up on the day and gave their 100% effort across four brilliant games of football.