By Matt Fotia
2019 was a disappointing year if you look no further than wins and losses columns for Upwey-Tecoma. But with some promising Unders coming through, some improvement on the netball court and a few new names locked in for 2020, maybe it wasn’t that bad at all.
Here’s their 2019 Review.
Position : 8th (3-13)
For : 920 (Ranked #8)
Against : 1848 (Ranked #8)
Leading Goal Kicker : Daniel Waters (26)
Best and Fairest : Liam Beacom
What went well : The Tigers started the season well before injuries and some naivety saw them drop drastically down the table to finish second last. But the positives came from below their senior side, with the club boasting some consistency across their sides, unlike a lot of their ex Yarra Ranges counterparts.
Their Under 18’s finished in fifth spot on the table, with nine wins and lost their Elimination Final by just two points, whilst their Reserves had the best percentage outside of the top four, and should really have been playing finals if it weren’t for an odd finish to the year.
With a strong off-field department, both committee and coaching, good youth and some new recruits the Tigers look likely to be on the up and up.
What went wrong : Obviously it wasn’t a successful on field season for the Tigers senior side, but the main disappointments will be the missed opportunities against sides around them on the ladder, in Healesville, Olinda Ferny Creek and Wandin, throughout the year.
If the Tigers were able to finish on five or six wins for the season they might have even more recruits then they’ve already managed to sign.
What they need : It’s been a good start to their 2020 campaign already, but the Tigers need to keep their feet on the ground and work hard under new coach Adam Parker.
Parker knows how to play elite level football and with new assistant coach Stuart Hill, who will not only slot in as one of the competition’s premier defenders, but also as one of the hardest working, the Tigers have people to emulate.
So the remainder of the squad need to do just that.
They can’t just expect Hill and the other recruits (Simon Orenshaw [East Ring] , Jarryd Ambrose [East Ring], Josh Hannon [Boronia] and Lachlan Marolla [Noble Park]) to drag them up the ladder alone.
If the bottom rung of the Tigers 2019 list can get the absolute most of out themselves and rise as close to or above the level of Grenda, Bell, Oates, Stanley, Beacom and Waters, then those listed recruits – and the others rumoured to end up at Chosen Avenue- will have an even greater effect.
Grade – C
The Tigers finished around about where they thought they would. However, they’ll be one of the most intriguing sides to watch in 2020.
Position : 6th (5-11)
For : 631 (#7)
Against : 895 (#8)
Leading Goal Shooter : Monique Nagle (319)
Best and Fairest : Taylah Edelmaier / Amy Pickard
What went well : The second half of the year was a big improvement for Upwey Tecoma, as not only did they go from having a 1-5 record after Round Seven, to finish at 5-11 (4-6 after Round Seven), they also closed the gap on a number of sides above them, most notably Beaconsfield whom they lost to by just four goals in Round 14, a 39 goal improvement from their Round Five meeting.
The finish to the year is a big tick for new coach David O’Hare.
What went wrong : Defensively they struggled in 2019, conceding 104 goals more than second bottom side Berwick and only 52 goals less than Healesville, who finished the season on the bottom of the ladder with just one win.
Now the Tigers weren’t looking to pull up trees in A Grade this season, but a side who was able to win five games across the year shouldn’t be leaking that many goals.
Something to think about for 2020.
What they need : The Tigers improvement in the second half of the year shows that they’re on the right track and because of that they need to stay patient.
It’ll no doubt be a slower burn then their footballing peers, but with a couple of recruits and some more development under O’Hare, they could see themselves established as a consistent A Grade outfit in the Premier Division.
Grade – C
The end of the season showed plenty of green shoots and cancelled out some early season disappointments. A consistent season nonetheless, and a base for years to come.