Women’s Grand Final Review


I will never write a newsletter like this again.

With the introduction of a Women’s Competition into the VAFA this year there was always going to be ‘firsts’ – the first OCGAFC Women’s Team led by our first leadership group – Steph Defina (C) alongside Maggie WilsonLou Anderson and Cassie Nolan, the first time we’ve had 4 women on committee – Katherine BithavasAlex OsborneJo Hookand Bec Kertes, our first Women’s Coaching group – Ken SchwabAndrew Romaninand Jayden Tapscott, our first Women’s Team Manager – Tim Wilson, our first dedicated Women’s runners – Steph Anjou and Jackson Eade, our first Women’s supporter and helper group lead by the Wilson’sAnjou’s and Hook’s, our first Women’s sponsor – Ray White Balywn, our first Women’s Jumper and Women’s Club Song!

But clearly this group wanted to create a few more firsts!

Our first Women’s Competition Best & Fairest and Best on Ground in a Grand Final – Rhiannon Green, our first VAFA leading goalkicker – Eloise Defina and to cap off a season we’ll never forget – OUR FIRST WOMEN’S PREMIERS! History makers you most definitely are!

Andrew Romanin has put together a superb wrap-up of not only the game but also the season. Thank-you Roma. Enjoy it along with some of the photos from Saturday.

I speak for every part of our large and widespread community and say a huge thank-you for it all and to you all. You have spoiled us. You have exceeded all expectations and made so many people so happy and proud to be a part of this club. Accolades, achievements and premierships aside, you are some of the finest young women I will ever have the privilege to know and deserve every last bit of your success. We can’t wait for next year.

Come on the Wells!

Adam Kyriacou

Women’s Grand Final Review

19 August 2017. A day that has been etched in the history of Old Camberwell Grammarians AFC. The women’s team took home the ultimate prize with an outstanding grand final performance against a determined Old Carey.

After a week of rain and bitter cold, conditions turned out to be near perfect at Trevor Barker Oval. With the team having mentally and physically prepared for wet and windy conditions, the added confidence and assurance that this offered was the perfect boost as the women ran through their final warm up. The feeling in the rooms, as it has been all year, was positive and upbeat. Hints of nervous energy were there, but the players were harnessing this and looked focused pre-match. Schwaby’s final message echoed the confidence in the room. The team had done the work, put in the hard yards week in week out and that’s all they needed to do again. Get on top early and we would win.

With that, a first quarter goal burst set up the day and we never looked back. Across the ground everyone was in the play early on, finding the footy and attacking the contest with a desire to impact the game. Led by a brilliant and tireless performance from the starting midfield trio of GreenAnjou and Anderson we managed to maintain control on the tempo of the game. While up against an athletic Old Carey ruck, Harper and Sincock won their share of the taps to provide first use all day.

We looked dangerous each time we attacked, setting up well across half forward and with our small forwards E. DefinaC. Wilson and Nolan applying forward pressure to lock the ball in. Our efforts were rewarded with two goals at the first change – a classy roving effort from Anderson and a classic big forward poacher’s goal to Sturrock.

As Old Carey worked their way into the game during the second quarter and began to get their share of the play our defence held up strongly. DonkinSam BangsMirabella and M. Wilson were in the thick of it, winning their one on ones but we were struggling to clear our defensive fifty for much of the second quarter. Conceding a goal during that critical period would have opened the door for Old Carey to take the momentum into the main break, so it was pleasing that we weathered their best while marginally extending our lead.

In absorbing their pressure, and with a comfortable but not an unassailable lead at half time, the “premiership” quarter delivered the most exciting and memorable performance for the year. Our run and link up game was in full stride with OpraySoph BangsElovaris and Mohamed using their pace to break away from the contest. Further up the field, our forwards were also providing a presence, playing their roles perfectly. Osborne was consistently playing in front, with Franklin’s physicality around the contest and Robison’s ability to continue to lead and present wearing down the Old Carey defence. At the other end of the ground S. Defina was imposing herself across the half back line and deep in defence, picking off the ball at will to dominate the second half. Meanwhile Bithavas played disciplined footy, sticking to her man and defensive duties.

The three third quarter goals not only put the result beyond doubt, but it did so with a statement. The quality of all three goals was unquestionable. Each one would win a goal of the round (maybe even season) award without doubt. Green’s effort to slot two almost identical goals in which she read the play beautifully, gathered the ball cleanly and baulked several players to split the middle from close to the boundary was pure class. Her two goals came either side of possibly the most magical goal E. Defina, and any women in the VAFA, has kicked all year (and she’s kicked a few). A crumbing effort after a long kick forward, gathering it with ease off the deck and snapping on her non-preferred from an acute angle to dribble the ball through. All three goals will be talked about for years to come. Our third quarter broke Old Carey, in the process delivering a display and brand of footy that exemplifies this team.

The final huddle for the year was enormous. It was an amazing sight to see and with the win virtually locked up there was a sense of relief. With a comfortable lead, the break offered the opportunity to mix it up a little. Strong final quarter contributions from Taverner and Edwards to nullify Old Carey’s effective No.7 was impressive, and in hindsight a call we should have made earlier in the day. They provided us with another level of energy around the contest as legs began to tire, continually finding space.

Despite the sting going out of the game, credit to Old Carey for their last quarter performance. They stuck at it and were rewarded with a final goal, which only slightly raised a few heartbeats.

As the final siren sounded the celebrations began. Green deservedly won the best on ground award to cap a memorable season. But all 24 who played on Saturday impacted the result in some way and can be proud of their contribution. The further 20 or so that did not take the field were just as important to our grand final win. Particular acknowledgment needs to go to Tori FotheringhamMaddy Sloane and Jules Hart who were desperately unlucky to miss out on selection this week. Every player in the squad has stood up this season at different times and this is the sole reason for our success.

The fact that this team did not even exist 12 months prior, let alone the idea that it might at all, is a surreal thought. There are many thanks to be made to various people for why it now does, a lot of whom were acknowledged on Saturday, but it’s only fitting to here acknowledge our ex-President Andrew Tsindos, current president Adam and our super coach Schwaby for making this a reality. Their passion, commitment and vision have guided this team and its development. Without them it may not have happened at all.

Congratulations to the team, we answered that one final question… Enjoy it, they really don’t come around often. Next year will be a bigger and more exciting challenge, but we get to do that as the reigning and inaugural premiers – a feat that everyone at Old Camberwell is, and will always be, proud of.

Goal Kickers: R. Green 2, E. Defina, A. Sturrock, L. Anderson
Best Players: R. Green, S. Anjou, C. Nolan, M. Wilson, L. Anderson, S. Defina

Andrew Romanin
Women’s Assistant Coach