By Matt Fotia
With a pair of fourth placed finishes and a finals win to boot, Woori Yallock finished the first AFL Outer East Premier Division season as the best performed of the former Yarra Ranges clubs.
Here’s a review of their 2019 season.
Position : 4th (9-6-1) & Elimination Final
For : 1240 (Ranked #6)
Against : 1221 (#5)
Leading Goal Kicker : Jake Matthews (29)
Best and Fairest : Hayden Smith
What went well : The Tigers top echelon of players showed how good they were throughout the 2019 season, with some pretty impressive individual years. Zach Monkhorst was of course the headline act, with his dominant year in the ruck capped off with a league Best and Fairest medal.
However the years of Jake Matthews , who booted 29 goals as a forward/midfielder, Kane Thompson, who was a constant in the Tigers best players as a hard running midfielder, and club Best and Fairest Hayden Smith, who impressed with his powerful running and tackling efforts, were just as eye catching and that’s just to name a few.
Those who hadn’t taken much notice of the talent at Tigerland in years prior would be more than aware of it heading into 2020.
What went wrong : In saying that, Woori Yallock missed out on the double chance and some more finals action due to their lack of bottom end talent and severe lack of depth running through the Reserves.
The Tigers are well known for bypassing the Reserves, preferring to promote youngsters directly from the Under 18’s, and whilst it’s always nice to see some young talent running around, it is not a common symptom of a strong list.
What they need : Obviously the Tigers would have preferred to keep the likes of Jordan Williams, Michael Riseley and the Monkhorst boys, but their departures do open up a window of opportunity for the Tigers recruiting department.
More room to move in the salary cap will mean that the Tigers can go out and not only replace those players, but also begin to improve their depth, and it looks like they’ve already started to do that.
A number of shrewd signings have already been announced , with players who will improve their middle rung coming on board.
And if some of the rumours about the possibility of some very big fish from the Eastern suburbs appearing in Yellow and Black next year are correct, they might end up in a better position then they started in.
Grade – A
All things considered the Tigers did incredibly well to make the finals, almost finish in the double chance spots all with almost no depth outside of their best 22 and some consistent injury troubles to some key stars.
2020 might see some short term pain or stagnation, but it could mean long term gain.
Position : 4th (11-5) & Semi Final
For : 790 (#3)
Against : 724 (#5)
Leading Goal Shooter : Mia Sudomirski (376)
Best and Fairest : Unknown
What went well : Like the football department, the Tiger netballers would be pleased with the blossoming of a few of their future stars.
Mia Sudomirski (376 goals) and Madeline Hargrave (368) both finished in the top ten of the Premier Division’s goal shooting table and were regularly netting 30 plus goals on a Saturday.
If these two maintain their trajectory Woori’s goal circle could end up being the envy of the local netball community soon enough.
What went wrong : The Tigers finished with the worst defence of the top five, conceding 724 goals for the year. Over the course of their 18 matches (including finals) they conceded less then 40 on just seven occasions – of which two were against bottom side Healesville – and they conceded over 50 just four times.
This suggests that the Tigers were consistently conceding 40-49 goals per game, which isn’t diabolical, but its not exactly the sign of a genuine premiership threat.
What they need : They need to focus on developing that defensive side of their game now. With the aforementioned goalers looking like consistent shooters for years to come, the Tigers can focus on becoming more defensively solid. It’ll improve their percentage and improve their chances of stealing a couple more wins, should the dynamic duo have uncharacteristically down day.
Grade – A
The Tigers performed well collecting 12 wins and finding themselves in the second week of September. The signs are good for the future, so lets see how it pans out.