THIS season’s dominant side were worthy and deserving premiers. Led by playing coach Rikki Johnston, the Tigers were the best side throughout the entirety of the home and away season, and only suffered one loss before the start of their finals campaign. They struggled at times when playing Red Hill throughout the season, but got things right against the Hillmen when it counted in the Grand Final.
Even without gun forward Ethan Johnstone for a large period in the Grand Final, Dromana still found the scoreboard and had enough in them to secure the win, That grit and determination should be enough to see them be competitive in Division One for next season. 38 year old Ben Holmes was also a revelation for the Tigers this season up forward, sharing the load with Johnstone and booting 49 majors.
DESPITE falling short in the Grand Final, Red Hill can hold their heads high after a phenomenal season. The Hillmen went on a mid-season rampage, going on a long undefeated run while putting plenty of games through younger players. Some of their standouts for the season included Chris Irving and finals specialist Dylan Hoare. The Mold brothers also played a starring role in the Hillmen’s brilliant year. Jonah Siverson led the line in defence, and established himself as possibly the best man on man defender in the division.
Coach Jamie Mollo was rightfully awarded the coach of the year award at the end of year awards night. Under his guidance, the Hillmen will be right in among the contenders in season 2019.
A YEAR of such promise for the Bulls ended up ending in the most disappointing fashion possible, with two poor back to back losses in finals. Despite the tough conclusion, there were plenty of positives to be found in the Bulls 2018 year. Andrew Mathers nearly claimed the league best and fairest, and finished just one vote behind the eventual winner. Another bright light was the inclusion of Robert Mcewin late in the year, as he kicked four goals in their last finals loss. Despite their tough losses in finals in the Seniors’, the Bulls’ Reserves and under-19s sides claimed premierships in 2018.
Next season will be a year of change for the Bulls, as they welcome back Brendan Dunne to the club as new head coach, taking over from Brett Dunne.
CHELSEA would have felt good about a relatively successful year in 2018, in which they consistently hung around the top end of the ladder without really pushing into the top two if it weren’t for their final game. After hanging around the double chance spots for most of the season, the Seagulls were made to play in an elimination final against Langwarrin, and fell short at the first hurdle. The Kangaroos got the early jump on them, and a year of hard work went down the drain.
Despite their disappointing finish, Chelsea have plenty to smile about. Curtis Bywater booted 65 goals this season for the goals and finished 6th in the league best and fairest.
LANGWARRIN were a long shot to make finals with just a couple of games remaining in the home and away season. After a tough run in the middle of year and bad luck with injury, the Kangaroos bounced back to snatch a handful of wins in the closing rounds. They snuck into finals over Hastings and ruffled plenty of feathers from there. Making it to the preliminary final was a stunning result for Kangaroos, and will give them plenty of confidence going into next year.
Coaches Josh Beard and Blake McCormack will both go around for season 2019, providing stability to what should be a promising campaign next season for Langwarrin. Superstar goalscorer Jesse Murphy has also signed on for next season, a massive boost for the Kangaroos given his outstanding year.
THE Blues endured a horror year off the field in 2018, and will look forward to a fresh start next season. Early salary cap dramas overshadowed their off season, and the club was rocked by the passing of president Ken Stratton in the middle of the season.
The club enjoyed some success on the field, but ultimately fell just short of finals. Things look to have got off to a great start for season 2019 though, with the signing of former Coleman Medallist Brendan Fevola to the club. His goalkicking prowess will be a massive advantage, and his star power should see Thomas Barclay oval packed to capacity each week.
A DISAPPOINTING year for Pearcedale in which they languished near the bottom four for the entirety of the season. The shining light for the year was bringing in former North Melbourne forward Drew Petrie for a cameo appearance, drawing a big crowd to their home game.
The club’s womens side provided the biggest highlight of the year, when they took out the Division Three premiership over Hastings.
A DECENT start to the year saw Somerville claim four wins from eight games, before they only won one of their next seven. Their decent percentage and competitive spirit kept them from finishing as low as 11th, and they will be looking for a much better result from next season.
They will be without coach Andrejs Everitt next season, as he jumped ship to Yarraville-Seddon in the Western Region Football League.
RYE ended up stuck near the bottom of the ladder, but had plenty of positives. Adam Kirkwood took out a deserved league best and fairest award, and will be returning for season 2019 with the added responsibility of coaching.
MICHAEL Theodoridis’ impressive 60 goal haul was the biggest positive from a shaky season by the Panthers. Devon Meadows were inconsistent and patchy all season long. They will seek a fresh start for next season under new coach Neil Craig, an experienced name in the MPNFL with Mt Eliza and Mornington.
AN eleventh place finish does not reflect the quality that the Yabbies began to show towards the end of the year. A much improved Tyabb side will look to claim some scalps next season. Their best performer was Ethan Rahilly, who finished equal sixth in the league best and fairest.
A TOUGH year for Crib Point ended with just one win and a last placed finish, a mile away from their next best competitor. Their win over Devon Meadows was the highlight of a year full of struggles and thrashings. A 185 point loss to Dromana was rock bottom. The Magpies have a lot of work ahead of them.