AJAX milestones for Simon and Berkowitz

The win secured the Jackas top place on their own on the ladder after four rounds.

Photo: Peter Haskin
Photo: Peter Haskin

It was an extra special day of VAFA men’s Premier C footy at Princes Park last Saturday for AJAX, with big wins posted over the visitors, Glen Eira, in seniors and reserves, and also milestone 200th and 150th games for Richie Simon and Justin Berkowitz respectively.

In the seniors, Simon’s teammates made a guard of honour before the first bounce and he ran through a special banner.

Uplifted, he kicked the first two goals of the game and finished with six, in his side’s 18.6 (124) to 6.5 (41) victory and was named second Best on Ground, just behind Kane Nissenbaum, while Toby Sheezel kicked four goals.

The win secured the Jackas top place on their own on the ladder after four rounds.

Simon, who had his senior debut back in 2012, is currently the leading goal kicker in the competition.

AJAX player Justin Berkowitz (left) receives a 150th senior game certificate from David Fayman.

He told The AJN, “It was an overwhelming day, as I didn’t know what to expect.

“The reception I got was amazing, with the guard of honour, a lovely speech by a teammate and the boys even wore special T-shirts in the sheds.

“It was great to get another good win and the team is going well. Being in Premier B last season, we were used to playing high level opponents, so in C grade, we’re playing with confidence and getting forward a lot more, creating chances.”

Reflecting on his 200 games, Simon recalled how he started playing in the forward line for four years – the position he played throughout juniors – before shifting to the back line, until the end of last season, when he felt he could make more of an impact as a goal scorer.

Simon credited reaching 200 senior games to being relatively injury free and giving it everything at training and on match days, every time.

“I was never the greatest footballer in juniors, but I was just happy being out there and contributing and in seniors, I’d never miss a training session, so I’d say being committed is the key.”

Richie Simon is congratulated by teammates after scoring the first goal in his 200th senior game for AJAX last Saturday. Photo: Peter Haskin

The Jackas’ reserves team also remains unbeaten, following their 90-point win over Glen Eira.

Playing his 150th game, Berkowitz – who is renowned for his speed along the wing and his ability to set up and even score goals despite his main role as a defender – was effective as usual, helping his side keep the opposition scoreless in the third quarter, while scoring one of his team’s 16 goals for the match.

Debutant Jordy Rothfield scored his first goal in reserves with a spectacular torpedo, while Charlie Efron top-scored with three goals and Ezra Herszberg was Best on Ground, kicking two.

AJAX’s men’s Saturday thirds side beat Old Brighton 6.7 (43) to 5.6 (36) in a thriller, while their Sunday thirds team beat Beaumaris 94-38.

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