By Matt Fotia
Despite the Netballers pushing into the Semi Finals, the Burras will be going down to Division Two in 2020 after another disappointing season wins wise for the Footballers from Mac Sparke.
Here’s their 2019 review.
Position : 8th (2-14)
For : 661 (Ranked #8)
Against : 1583 (Ranked #7)
Leading Goal Kicker : Mitchell Leeds (21)
Best and Fairest : Nelson Alridge
What went well : Whilst the wins weren’t rolling in for the Burras in 2019, the boys in Blue, White and Black seemed to be genuinely enjoying their football under new coach Brendon Murphy.
It mightn’t be consolation to all of those involved in the club, but creating that kind of atmosphere when down the bottom of the ladder is pretty difficult and is usually a key pillar for a successful re-build.
Hopefully for their sake they’ll be enjoying a few more wins in 2020.
What went wrong : That being said, Murphy would’ve been disappointed with the lack of offensive edge that his sides possessed during the 2019 season.
Yes the conditions on their home deck aren’t exactly conducive to free flowing football, but the fact that the A Grade Netballers scored the same amount of points (661) as the Senior Footballers is something to be worried about.
Yes it was a development year, but kicking goals brings the crowds in and is pretty crucial to winning games.
What they need : The Burras need to stay to the course. Dropping down to Division Two might lead some to thinking that they’ll be straight up to the pointy end of the ladder and into premiership contention.
But the Burras need to keep their feet on the ground. Keep continuing on Murphy’s plan and keep the focus on the long term.
A rush to taste some short term success could see them back where they are now and in quicktime.
Trust in the process and the Burras could be laughing for a while yet.
Grade – C-
Warburton Millgrove weren’t expected to pull up trees in Division One this year, and the manner of some of their defeats would have hurt, but it’s nothing to worry about.
Position: 5th (8-8) & Semi Final
For : 661 (#3)
Against : 667 (#6)
Leading Goal Shooter : Bianca Daniels (356)
Best and Fairest : Courtney Lever
What went well : The Burra girls run home was top notch. Sitting just outside the five and looking like they might have fluffed their chances to lock down a spot in September, the Burras then went on to win five of their last six games before finally getting knocked out in the First Semi Final by Monbulk.
In that period they knocked off the Hawks in the regular season, dismissed the Pakenham Lions on two occasions and finished off Doveton’s year with aplomb.
On their day they were a genuine premiership smokey.
What went wrong : They will be worried about their defence however.
The Burras were the sixth best defence in the Division, despite the fact they hold two of the best defenders amongst their ranks with Best and Fairest winner Courtney Lever and Natalia Petrucev playing together most weeks.
This would indicate that they might not be applying the appropriate pressure further up the court. Their defensive frailties might’ve cost them some wins earlier in the year and some percentage, which almost became crucial.
What they need : The Burras need to keep this group together and continue to lay the platforms for a sustainable future. They’re one team away from having a full compliment of junior sides and will have an increased chance of success in Division Two next year.
If they can keep the core of the A Grade side together, they can help mould the next batch of Burra’s A Graders and make sure Mac Sparke is a desirable place to be for years to come.
Grade – B+
Warburton Millgrove may have relied a little too much on talent alone in 2019, but to finish with a finals victory is a pretty good return.