Record: 12 wins, 6 losses
Leading Goal Kicker: Harry Pertile (48)
Although it was a premature ending to a successful run, our Under 19s showed signs of positivity for the future in 2019.
The season was capped off by the appointment of John Federico as Head Coach, after former coach Simon Abrahams moved into a Seniors Assistant role.
Starting off the year our Under 19s fell hard, as they were defeated by Hampton Rovers convincingly. Over the next few weeks, the boys would find some early form. A win against Old Xaverians in Round 2 on the back of 4 goals from Conor O’Sullivan put the Under 19s at an even 1-1, however they fell a week later to PEGS. Following this, they claimed their first big scalp defeating South Melbourne behind some great play from Lewis Michelangeli, before pummeling Old Mentonians on the back of Harry Pertile kicking 5 goals.
The Under 19s were able to defeat Old Geelong convincingly in Round 6 behind a great game from James Barbuto, but were without star player Daniel Di Paola who had been promoted to Senior football. They were dominated by Old McKinnon/Glen Eira with the Atwell brothers, Elliott and Josh, being bright sparks, before redeeming themselves against Old Xaverians behind some accurate goal kicking from James Bateman and Harry Pertile. A loss to South Melbourne in Round 9 put the Under 19s in a precarious position, but following the South Melbourne game the boys hit some fine form.
After some back and forth football, in which Ben Rodwell and Lachie Blanchard were shining lights, our Under 19s entered a 7 game win streak. They took revenge against Hampton behind a lockdown role from Thomas Bisanella down back, and followed that up with a domination of Old Geelong behind Harry Pertile kicking a season high 9 goals. The next week the Under 19s defeated eventual minor premiers Old McKinnon/Glen Eira in a close contest, capped off by the excellent work of Will Campitelli down forward.
Following these wins came even more success for our young guns. They took care of Old Xaverians behind some more great play from Ben Rodwell, dispatched of PEGS on the back of some more forward magic from Will Campitelli, and defeated Old Mentonians via forfeit. In Round 16 the boys faced off against South Melbourne, and came from behind in the fourth quarter to outlast South Melbourne for their 7th straight victory. Thomas Bisanella was extraordinary, and Will Antypas provided some strong support throughout the day.
The next two weeks were tough, losing to Old McKinnon/Glen Eira and Hampton, but the Under 19s were strong enough to secure 4th on the ladder and met South Melbourne in their semi-final. Oliver Rewell finished the season strong, and the team was to regain leaders Josh Atwell and Merrick Blake for the first final. They were unfortunately without Will Antypas, who missed out due to suspension.
Although they defeated South Melbourne twice throughout the year, the Under 19s were ultimately defeated and were eliminated from finals contention. Elliot Atwell was strong throughout the whole day, but the Under 19s were unable to capitalise in the fourth and fell short.
Even though they fell short of going all the way, the Under 19s provided some bright spots for not only the team but for the Marcellin Old Collegians future. They won 7 straight games, defeating every team in their competition throughout this stretch. Furthermore, Harry Pertile led the goal kicking with 49 goals, the most by any player for Marcellin in 2019.
Not only was the team success a bright spot, individuals shone throughout the year. Daniel Di Paola was elevated to Senior selection quite quickly in 2019, and Will Campitelli also made an appearance. Players such as Conor O’Sullivan, Lachlan Blanchard and Ben Rodwell shone consistently throughout the year, and underrated gems in Conor Nolan and Michael Ellway were found. The performances from these boys and many others showcases the young talent that Marcellin has, and makes the race for the Rising Eagle of 2019 one of the closest in recent years.
We congratulate all the Under 19s on their success in 2019. We wish the boys who will remain in the Under 19s the best of luck for 2020, and are excited for those who will push for Senior selection in 2020.