Two years ago, the U19s Magpie-Goanna joint venture side got knocked out in the semi-final. Last year we were five points from making the grand final. This year we have gone through the season undefeated, including of course the big one. A flag three years in the making.
First, congratulations to both clubs for giving their young players the best opportunity possible to play good, competitive football. For me (Dion) personally it has been good to work with Marcus (coaching) and Pel (manager) from Goannas and of course John Manfredas, our Wests manager. The four of us have worked respectfully of each other’s roles and clubs. Both committees too need to be acknowledged for facilitating the joint venture.
Secondly, congratulations to the players. To go through a season undefeated was something very special. We had a squad of 27 and five missed out on playing in the grand final through selection and two through injury. The five that missed out could well have played and we would not have been a weaker side.
Right from round one we looked to be a high-pressure side and it became our trademark through the season. Our two other themes for the year where to ‘protect’ (on and off the field) and ‘pride’. We did go through a small form slump in the middle of the year, plus the other clubs were looking to knock us off. To the boys’ credit we toughed out a few wins that were pretty ugly, but nevertheless effective.
The grand final itself was an ordinary game to watch. The wind was blowing a gale making it very difficult. We absorbed pressure and finally kicked away in the last quarter. Not the prettiest footy but a great result, well deserved. It also made a huge difference to have had 10 of our boys play seniors through the year. They come back to the 19s better footballers.
Finally, I think both clubs can look forward to some very good footballers coming through to the seniors ranks in 2020. It is my hope that the last three years have helped build a foundation for our players to enjoy football for many years ahead.
Men’s U19s Division 2 Awards 2019
Men’s U19s Division 2 2019
George Kirby Medal – Ryan Miklich
Runner-up – Taidhg Ryan
Most Consistent – Aydin Bremner
Coaches Award – Cooper Newton
Most Improved – Ben Searle
Warwick and Rochelle Polley Trophy – U19s players’ player – Taidhg Ryan