With summer breaking a little this week it’s hard to believe it wasn’t that long ago a lot of us were either at the first final in 7 years against Old Geelong or glued to the VAFA website on our mobiles desperately refreshing every few seconds.
As with our Women’s Teams, our Men’s Coaches Anson Brownless and Tim Killworth have put together some great season reviews along with our Men’s Award Winners for 2018.
On behalf of the OCGAFC community, I’d like to say a huge thanks to the coaches, support staff, supporters and especially the players for a very memorable season. We have been denied the joys and heartbreak of finals football for too long and to play as you did across the season, ably supported by our Reserves and Thirds teams was sensational.
I am working on my yearly review of the club which I will circulate over the coming month alongside the date for our AGM.
Enjoy these great reviews and importantly, have a think about 2019. We have a great platform to build on and we are looking for more helpers, sponsors,supporters and people to join our great club and make it an even better one. We need all the help we can.
Wow! What a season!
It was evident to those closely involved with last year that there were some encouraging signs in our Men’s Teams and after a solid pre-season we went into the season quietly confident. After a football lesson to the tune of 107 point loss at Williamstown away in round 1, we realised were a little underdone.
It certainly wasn’t the start we had planned and trained hard for and our early season form was patchy throughout the first part of the season. A disappointing loss to Old Mentonians in Round 2 then saw us onto the winners list with a solid win over old rivals Old Ivanhoe at GBO. We were well in the game away to Old Geelong in Round 4 but lost by 19 points but the signs were there as we started to play good football at times. We bounced backed strongly to beat Marcellin OC by 11 points in Round 5. In a game we felt confident about against PEGS at home, we lost our composure and went down to a talented outfit.
After 6 games we sat 2 wins from 6 and while disappointed, knew we had much more to give and there was a belief there was more to come. And come it did!
A trip down the Eastlink to Peninsula Old Boys was the beginning of an amazing 7 game winning streak. We started to play to our potential with fast paced, scintillating football founded on a new defensive mindset and hard running. The mix of experience and youth found it’s groove with the influx of our Under 19s and we started to play as one. Defining wins away over Marcellin OC, PEGS and Fitzroy FC and at home over Old Mentonians’, St Mary’s and Old Geelong showed we had the capability, game plan and character to match it with anyone. While the winning run ended with a lost to Fitzroy I believe this team realised how far they came when we pushed Williamstown all the way in Round 16 at the GBO in what had to be one of the games of the Premier C season. We finished the season strongly with emphatic wins over St Mary’s and Peninsula OBs to book a place in the finals for the first time in 7 long years.
Sudden death football is high pressure and we went into the first semi-final against Old Geelong at the Bill Lawry Oval believing we could match it with them and win. Our start was sensational but we ultimately fell short by 7 points after the boys gave their all in a very tight and even contest. In the end we ran out of legs and Old Geelong were deserved winners. It was a cruel way to end the season given the big strides we’d made but I believer everyone realised there were so many positives to take away and we know it was a successful season.
We will build strongly in 2019.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the improvement came from but it’s clear to everyone that we now have a bigger group of players to choose from as not only did our Under 19s step up but many players made huge improvements to their games. If we continue these improvements our chances of team success will continue to grow.
From all the players, support staff and coaches, we’d like to thank all supporters, our Women’s Teams who were fantastic at Old Geelong and everyone across the globe who was watching and backing us. Thank you for coming along for the ride and we hope to deliver more next year.
A big thank you to my assistants Tim Killworth & Gavin Powell for their support throughout the season and a special mention to our Team Manager Dave Frearson for all his hard work. Thank you also to our Committee, sponsors and helpers all across the Club for their commitment and hard work.
Some highlights to remember –
- Our away win at by 25 points against power house Fitzroy at Brunswick Oval in Round 9.
- Winning 7 games on the trot from rounds 7-14.
- Winning 11 games in total for the year (7 in 2017) and playing our first final for 7 years.
- 6 players picked in C Grade team of the year – the most of any club. Cameron Wilson, Simon Bennett, Chris Hensby, Robbie Campbell, Ben Hart and Nick Adamson.
- Playing 7 debutants for the 2018 season including 2 more Under 19’s Will Dalrymple & Rob West.
- Simon Bennett’s 150th in a big win over Marcellin.
- Robbie Campbell 50 games for OCGAFC.
- Matthew Powell 50 games for OCGAFC.
- Matthew Vogel 50 games OCGAFC
Award winners for 2018 –
- B & F Simon Bennett
- B & F Runner up Nick Adamson
- Most Improved Sam Boyce
- Most Consistent Chris Hensby
- Most Determined Lucas Huysmans
- Seniors Coaches Award Cameron Wilson
- Goal Kicking Award Nick Adamson with 45 goals.
Senior Men’s Coach
“That was the Year That Was!”
This season the team underwent a solid pre-season without an appointed Coach, which could have had a detrimental affect on player development throughout the pre-season period. To the boys’ great credit though, they responded and got along to training in great numbers which gave the Club the confidence to field a Third XV111 for the first time since 2016.
Supported by Ben Ebbage, who accepted the Thirds role, the core group of 40 + players received great guidance and counselling from the senior coaching panel and by Round 1, they were ready to hit the ground running!
The season started in disappointing fashion, with an away defeat to Williamstown CYs but the learnings from that game were strong and the team strung together 5 wins from the first 8 rounds to see the team sitting inside the Top 4. By Round 9 we were drawn to meet eventual season premiers, Fitzroy where we copped our largest loss of the season, going down by 92 points to a very slick, organised & disciplined unit.
The back half of the season saw our depth tested, the positive being that a number of players were promoted to the Seniors and once selected, remained at the higher level playing great footy at the higher level. We were able to draw on the talent available to us from our Third XV111 team (thanks Bennie for your support and positive approach to recommending the players who were deserving of promotion). Our win loss record, in the back half of the season was very disappointing, running at 3 wins /6 losses, including a forfeit received in our favour against Old Mentonians. Credit, where credit is due, the mainstays of the team, ably led by skipper Charlie Urwin, and his able deputies, Tom Vogel and Jon Huntsman, the season finished strongly with two great wins recorded against teams that we had much closer contests earlier in the season.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank a number of people who provided us with invaluable support throughout the season, which helped make the job of coaching the group so much easier.
The senior coaching group, Anson Brownless, Gavin Powell and Robbie Campbell
Game Day Assistant, including Board Man – Matt Vogel
Runner – Nick Russell (too often Rusty for both our liking, I am certain you will overcome the challenges of 2018 and return bigger and better in 2019!)
Team Managers – Boyd Elliott, Tim Cottrell
Boundary Umpire – Andy Lane
Goal Umpire – Andrew Wilson, Justin Urwin and Rob Terriaca
The Trainers were always ready to look after the boys in need, which was always appreciated by those involved.
Season Key Statistics
Win / Loss Record 8 wins; 10 losses Percentage Achieved 81.15%
Goals Scored 127 (Behinds 144); Goals Conceded 163
Leading Goal Scorer: Scott Kaiser 18 goals
Highest Winning Margin Rd. 18 Vs Peninsula Old Boys, 99 points
Closest Winning Margin Rds. 6 & 7, 2 points
Players selected to represent the team – 49
Players promoted to the First XV111 during the season – 19
Players promoted to the First XV111 who remained at that level – 11
Players achieving 18 games for the season: Alex Bongiorno, Nick Benson, Taylor Stone, Tom Vogel
Player Club Games Played Milestones achieved during the season:-
Rd. 1; 50 games – Matt Vogel, Will Kanz
Rd. 10; 50 games – Alex Bongiorno
Rd. 11; 50 games – Tom Pepperell
Rd. 13; 50 games – Tom Eastick
Rd. 17; 50 games – Matthew Todd
Rd. 18; 50 games – Tom Vogel
Best & Fairest Award Winner – Alex Bongiorno
Best & Fairest Runner Up – Oliver Lloyd
Most Improved – Tom Pepperell
Most Consistent – Jon Huntsman
Most Determined – Taylor Stone
Coaches Award – Chris Young
Reserve XVIII Coach