Season 2019 saw us field a team in the Over 35’s Masters Competition for the first time. After some initial apprehension about the pros and cons of taking on this extra team the enthusiasm of Brian Nieser could not be subdued so he was made captain and chief recruitment officer for the new Allstar Magpies Team.
The preparation for our first game of the season against North Shore at Gore hill was somewhat limited. The pre-game warm up and pep talk time consisted mainly trying to find jumpers to fit some our big bodied players and introducing the players to each other. Many of the players did not know any of the other players and many team members met the coach for the first time as well. Not the ideal preparation but amazingly the Allstars were only 7 points behind with 10 minutes to go. We were not able to finish off in style but the seeds had been sown for a better performance in the next game due in two weeks’ time.
Not only did the Magpie Allstars win the next game but continued undefeated for the remainder of the home and away season to enter the finals in 3rd place on the ladder.
This set up a sudden death semi-final against Sydney University at the University Oval. After a slow start and trailing by several goals at quarter time the lads rallied in the second term and got back to a 2-point margin at half time. After urging each other to bring an even more determined effort, the Magpies stormed all over the tiring University team and won a stirring victory during a fantastic second half of the game. The win earned the Magpies a place in the Masters Grand Final at Pickens Oval against the undefeated St George team.
Unfortunately, the week leading into the grand final saw us lose a number of key players for various reasons so the team was unable to utilize the interchange bench for most of the players due to the limitations of AFL Masters rules. The Magpies put up a fantastic effort in front of a huge crowd but were unable to come out victorious on grand final day.
The formation of the Masters competition structured within the Sydney AFL system has created a lot of interest and should continue to grow as more clubs seek to participate. It has been very rewarding for our club and it has been wonderful to reignite the interest from many of our former players. It has also been good to rekindle friendships and introduce many new mature age members to the Magpie family. The introduction of Masters Football compliments our role as a Community Football Club and hopefully we can grow from all age areas of our club.
It has been great to see our senior members coaching junior teams and some of the children of Masters players supporting and running water for our older players. My heartfelt thanks and congratulations to all who helped make the inaugural season a success for the Magpie Allstars.
Men’s Masters 2019 Awards
Best and Fairest – Arron Convery
Runner-up Best and Fairest – David Clout
Most Consistent – Wayne Wilson
Coaches Award – Ali Latife
Most Improved – Donal O’Sullivan