A Barnes burner of a side
COMING UP WITH TEAM OF YEAR PROVES TOUGH, BUT THIS ONE COULD HOLD ITS OWN ANYWHERE
The dust has finally settled on the this year’s Kyabram District League season and it is time to select the line-up for the News Team of the Year.
Although the season was cut short on the eve of finals, we witnessed exciting battles each weekend. The quality of the competition reached another level and we were robbed of what would have been a cracking finals series.
To select the Team of the Year squad, the sports team has considered how each player polled in the league’s McNamara Medal — along with their performance in the club’s best-and-fairest.
As always, there are a few unlucky players to miss out. Merrigum’s Jack Sinclair and Nagambie’s Mark Wilson enjoyed terrific campaigns and were edged out.
Avenel on-baller Kyle Maynard, along with Nagambie duo Callum Tardrew and Mark Nolan were a toss of the coin. Murchison-Toolamba’s James Milne, Violet Town’s Ben Cosgriff and Dookie United’s Jack Threlfall had claims to be selected. Stanhope’s Chris Sanders was consistent in his first-year back at his former club and that resulted in a runner-up in the club best-andfairest.
Even who operated the magnets was a tough decision. Merrigum’s Steve Lawlor was handed Coach of the Year at the league presentation night and Avenel playing coach Kasey Duncan was stiff to miss out after a 27-goal season.
To kick things off we delve into the back six.
Back pocket: Josh Wild (MurchisonToolamba)
Full-back: Phil Carroll (Lancaster)
Back pocket: Daniel Clarke (Avenel) The backline was one of the hardest spots to fill, but we can sleep easy with these three holding down the fort. Josh Wild was one of Murchison-Toolamba’s top performers and enjoyed a strong first-year after crossing from the Shepparton Swans. Phil Carroll takes up positioning at full-back after a terrific year for minor premier Lancaster. Has been one of the Goulburn Valley region’s premier defenders for more than a decade. Much like Carroll, Avenel’s talented defender Daniel Clarke has carved out a stellar career down back. In a team oozing with class, Clarke notched five appearances in the better players.
Half-back flank: Nick Waterson (Nagambie)
Centre half-back: Billy Barnes (Girgarre) (vice-captain)
Half-back flank: Jordan McGregor (Murchison-Toolamba) Another difficult line to fill, but we have all of the ingredients that make a quality backline in present day football. Former Girgarre coach Billy Barnes can slot into any position on the ground, but we have placed the athletic tall at centre half-back. Finished inside the top-10 in the league best-and-fairest. Nick Waterson enjoyed a consistent season for the Lakers. The versatile defender/onballer had four top-two finishes in his side’s best players, a hard feat when you have a stack of talent playing alongside you. Another contentious decision is speedster Jordan McGregor on the back flank. Started the year off with a bang and led the McNamara Medal at one stage of the season. Squeezed out of the midfield, we are happy to have McGregor’s dash and run out of defence.
Wing: Blake Fothergill (Nagambie)
Centre: Braydon Avola (Avenel)
Wing: James Ross (Lancaster) If there is one word to summarise this trio of on-ballers it is pace. All three can turn on the afterburners with a flick of a switch and run all day too. What they lack in height they make up for at ground level and around the stoppages. The trio can find its own ball with ease and has the ability to hit the scoreboard. All finished inside the top-four in the McNamara Medal, with Avola a deserving runner-up on 15 votes.
Forward flank: Patrick McMullan (Dookie United)
Centre half-forward: Andrew Lloyd (Shepparton East) Forward flank: Zach Cerrone (Lancaster)
Dookie United’s experienced head Patrick McMullan was rewarded for a sublime season with a top-five finish in the McNamara Medal. McMullan has multiple strings to his bow and 23 goals for the season highlight that. Shepparton East emerging star Andrew Lloyd enjoyed a breakout year on the field. The tall timber booted 43 goals and was one of East’s best all season. Zach Cerrone may not have polled high in the McNamara Medal, but the classy operator was a star all season long. Can play as a high forward (30 goals) or through the midfield.
Forward pocket: Jono Pearson (Stanhope)
Full-forward: Josh Mellington (Violet Town)
Forward pocket: Josh Smith (Merrigum)
Along with the midfield, the forward line was one of the easier spots to fill. Leading goal-kicker Josh Mellington headlines a potent attack. The Violet Town sharpshooter slotted an eye-watering 113 goals. Alongside him in the pocket is Merrigum forward Josh Smith. The powerful target booted 43 majors. Rounding out the forward line is the ever-reliable Jono Pearson. The Stanhope utility slotted 33 goals and featured in the best players eight times.
Ruck: Jake Ross (Merrigum)
Ruck rover: Tom Davies (Lancaster) (captain)
Rover: Jack Myers (Avenel) Merrigum’s Jake Ross announced himself as one of the premier rucks in the competition. Has a large engine and his tap work has him take the first-choice ruck position. Capped a great year with a top-10 finish in the McNamara count. Speaking of the McNamara Medal, Lancaster on-baller Tom Davies reigned supreme to take out his first league best-and-fairest. The bigbodied midfielder is a class act and a deserving McNamara medallist. Avenel’s Jack Myers flew under the radar for much of the season, but take nothing away from the silky mover, he enjoyed a stellar year on the field. Tied fourth in the league best-and-fairest.
Interchange: Todd Lawrence (Avenel), Jamason Daniels (Nagambie), Jacob Martin (Merrigum), Nathan O ’Reilly (Stanhope)
With an eye to the bench, Nagambie mid-year recruit Jamason Daniels starred in each game he suited up for at the Lakers. Avenel ruckman Todd Lawrence dominated ruck battles and his work around the ground was excellent. Merrigum midfielder Jacob Martin enjoyed an impressive season. Tallied eight appearances in the better players and three best-on performances along with 20 goals. Stanhope on-baller Nathan O’Reilly caps a sublime year that consisted of his first club best-and-fairest. Coach: Mark Patten and Denis Grinton (Stanhope)
Not many tipped Stanhope to finish third on the ladder in March and that’s why co-coaches Mark Patten and Denis Grinton take the reins of this outfit. The duo worked wonders and consistently got the best out of its players. The Lions’ comeback wins over Nagambie and Violet Town are two standout performances from the season.