Record: 8 wins, 10 losses
Leading Goal Kicker: Daniel McMahon (27)
Facing a lot of adversity in 2019, our Senior Men unfortunately fell out of a tight finals race in Premier C. Although many injuries and players going overseas hurt the Seniors finals chances, their efforts throughout the season highlighted the bright future that this team has.
Opening up their 2019 campaign, the Seniors came out and dominated eventual grand finalists AJAX. Daniel McMahon opened his goal kicking tally booting 5, and Ben Wiggins chipped in 2 of his own in his Seniors debut. Zac Tolley also made his debut in this opening matchup. Round 2 brought another close loss against Old Camberwell, where Patrick Howe and Jeremiah Antypas were standouts in this tough day at the office.
Round 3 gave the Seniors a much needed confidence booster, taking care of Hampton with ease. Daniel McMahon had himself another day out, booting 7 goals, and debutant Steve Fitzgerald also made his mark kicking 4 goals. Adam Tomaro also made a name for himself in Round 3, as he was influential through the middle of the ground. Although a positive win, captain James Robertson unfortunately fell with a foot injury that would plague him for the remainder of the year.
A grudge match in Round 4 saw Old Ivanhoe take a win against our Seniors, as a 3rd quarter brain fade allowing 6 goals was too much to overcome. Both Andrew Kay and Rowan McKenzie were terrific at their respective ends of the ground. Round 5 was a tough win in the wet, as the boys took a victory against PEGS. Aaron Castagna was impressive in his Seniors debut, and both Adam Tomaro and Ben Wiggins continued their fine early season form.
Round 6 was a defining game for the Seniors, as a 52 point 4th quarter saw the team take victory after being down 32 points. Alastair Clayton was influential in the ruck, dominating in the middle after debutant Michael Lane exited the game due to a broken nose. This game also featured the debut of 2019 Rising Eagle Daniel Di Paola. Their form was brought to a halt, however, as wayward kicking saw the Seniors fall short against Old Mentone. Matthew De Luca and Patrick Howe were the shining lights of this game, and James Way, Will Campitelli and Liam Atherton all saw Seniors debuts.
Round 8 saw a hard fought game, where our Seniors fell to eventual premiers Williamstown. The Eagles outscored Williamstown in every quarter except the 2nd, where the deficit of 7 goals was enough to put the game out of reach. Joshua James was a rock in defence, and Connor Hehir made his Seniors debut slotting himself a goal as well. Bouncing back, the Seniors took care of Ormond comfortably on the back of club great Ash Viney’s 200th game. Rowan McKenzie continued his stretch of strong games in defence, and Adam Tomaro and Daniel McMahon did the same at the other end of the ground chipping in 4 goals each.
Unfortunately, Round 10 brought this stretch of wins to an end as our Seniors were defeated by AJAX. With influential players in Matthew De Luca and Patrick Howe away, and captain James Robertson injured, the season began to become a whole lot tougher for our Eagles. They fell once again to Old Mentone in Round 11, where Lachy Rush put on a strong display of football in the tough matchup. Another loss the next week to Old Camberwell, on the back of James Robertsons return game, put the Eagles in a tough position heading into a very hard end of season stretch with a 5-7 record.
Round 13 gave the Seniors the chance to turn things around, once again defeating Hampton. Alastair Clayton was prolific throughout the day, and young gun Daniel Di Paola also provided a spark throughout the contest. Angus McHenry also made his long awaited debut for the Seniors. This form could not be continued against Ormond, however, falling after a lopsided 4th quarter. Joshua James provided another solid defensive performance, and Jackson Green started his stretch of solid end-of-year games.
With their backs against the wall, Round 15 saw our Seniors pull out a dominating display against Mazenod. It was the James Baxter Show, booting 7 goals of his own, and Adam Tomaro played no small part in providing the team with a win. Nathan Whelan was also rewarded for his Reserves efforts, making his Seniors debut in the win. This game also saw the return of Patrick Howe to our Seniors, who did not miss a beat after being in Europe. This continued over into Round 16, as James Baxter gave another performance with 5 goals en route to victory over PEGS. Adam Tomaro also made it two dominating games in a row, taking apart the PEGS defence as he kicked 3.
Coming into Round 17 it was win or go home for our Seniors, as they needed a victory against Old Ivanhoe in order to remain in the finals race. Unfortunately, it was not our day, as below-average conditions caused the Seniors trouble to push the ball forward in the fourth and were unable to kick one last goal to win the game. Jackson Green was a bright spark throughout the day, kicking three goals of his own as he claimed a best on ground performance. Round 18 was a season end that nobody wanted, being absolutely outclassed by a dominant Williamstown team. Although a dark day, Jackson Green was once again a positive throughout the game.
As the dust settles on a disappointing 2019 campaign, we can look back and see what exactly this means for the future of our club. Injuries and players going overseas took a mighty toll on our Seniors. 45 men played Senior football in 2019, with only 15 of those players registering over 10 games.
Although this highlights how 2019 was hampered by players missing games, the performances on-field illustrates the bright future our football club has. The talent of our youth is astronomical, as players such as Adam Tomaro, Patrick Howe and Jackson Green were able to dominate the Premier C Division whilst still being young players at the club. As well as this, even younger players like Ben Wiggins and Daniel Di Paola were significant throughout the 2019 season, and will continue to develop into key players for years to come.
With that our more mature players have shown their ability to lead this young team in a positive manner, as well as excelling in their own right. James Robertson was a key role model as captain, and Andrew Kay was able to step up when he went down with injuries. When both these players were out, Patrick Hamblin stepped up in a huge way and was a strong leader in his time as captain. Furthermore, Daniel McMahon and Ash Viney continue to provide huge boosts to our scoring stocks, and will continue to influence football games whilst remaining key forward leaders.
The season did come with some individual success, as Best and Fairest winner Adam Tomaro was also named in the 2019 Premier C Team of the Year.
2019 was an unfortunate year, but 2020 already has started to have a big feeling about it throughout the club. With a new Senior Coach at the helm, and a great mix of young talent and mature leaders, our Senior team will have every opportunity to succeed and return to the Premier C finals race.
We congratulate the Seniors on their 2019 season, and look forward to them returning to glory in 2020.