By Matt Fotia
After a number of close shaves Seville’s time finally came, as 2019 saw them make six out of six possible senior grand finals, winning three of them and promotion to Division One as well.
But before they think about 2020, lets look back at their outrageous 2019.
Position : 1st (14-2) & Premier
For : 2024 (Ranked #1)
Against : 847 (Ranked #1)
Leading Goal Kicker : Nathan O’Keefe (73)
Best and Fairest : Unknown
What went well : Pretty much everything. Despite early season wobbles, the Blues were unrivalled in 2019, scoring well more than anyone else and conceding a fair bit less.
At their best they cut sides up with their powerful style of play, often busting out of congestion, finding space through quick hands, before driving the ball inside fifty for either Nathan O’Keefe, Josh Fraser, Josh Neal or Patrick Rattray to mark. If they didn’t grab hold, Dylan Broadway and Cory Glass would swoop in and finish the job.
This wasn’t the only way they would kick start a scoring movement however. Defensive stars Adam Oxley, Jack Nolan and Paul Bailey would often light the fire for a Seville attack, right after they’d halted an opposition one.
Prepared to leave their opponent and take the game on, they would often be seen flying across the pack to mark, before springing the Blues into action, with a sweeping hand-pass or an incisive kick.
At full strength the Blues were a very complete side, with plenty of talent within their ranks and they were deserved premiers.
The step up will not see them outclassed at all.
What went wrong : Luckily for Seville, the things that did go wrong, happened early enough in the season for them to rectify them.
Yarra Glen and Yarra Junction defeated the Blues, albeit a slightly understrength one, early on the year, exposing their lack of forward pressure when going overall tall in the forward half, allowing both sides to hurt them on the counter attack.
They obviously fixed that up pretty quickly, and gave Broadway and Glass a little more help by going a tiny bit smaller up forward. Come September, Yarra Junction were unable to exit their defensive fifty with ease, if at all.
What they need : To keep developing their style of play.
Making the step up will see the Blues need to continue this focus on speed, endurance and spread. They identified it at the end of 2018, and made big strides in 2019.
But for them to succeed in 2020, they’ll need to take this to the next level. They can’t afford to have any passengers when it comes to their pressure, and they’ll need to work even harder to provide options with the ball in hand as opposition defences strengthen both in terms of talent and in terms of system.
Grade – A+
Sublime season from Seville. Don’t be surprised if they go straight into the mix for finals in Division One.
Position : 2nd (12-2) & Runners Up
For : 825 (#2)
Against : 419 (#1)
Leading Goal Scorer : Jackie Cullimore (499)
Best and Fairest : Unknown
What went well :
Just like their footballing family, pretty much everything went well for the Blues on the netball court in 2019. All four of their senior sides ended up playing on Grand Final day and they came away with a couple of premierships.
They were untroubled by all sides bar Yea in A Grade and on occasion seemed like they might be the best side in the competition on their day.
The addition of Cullimore meant both ends of the court were strong, whilst the mid court continued to be brilliant. With depth amongst the grades as well the Blues can come away from 2019 pretty pleased with their efforts.
What went wrong : Look, nothing much really. There was no shock loss to a side below them on the table. They got close to Yea a couple of times but just couldn’t get past the Tigers.
Their three lower grades were dominant all season, and whilst the D Grade side were undone by the Tigers (once again), those things can happen.
Nothing went wrong, just Yea were better.
What they need : With the senior Netball club now strong and stable, attention must now turn to getting a junior program off the ground.
Up a division and coming off an incredible year of both Football and Netball, the Blues should be quite the destination club for any aspiring junior netballers.
To make sure this venture into Division One isn’t a short lived one and that their current strength within the senior ranks isn’t wasted, the Blues should look to create a pathway to ensure that they’re a destination club for the long term, not the short.
Grade – A
Get that premiership and it would’ve been an A+, but nonetheless another spectacular year on the netball court for Seville. Will be right amongst the favourites in 2020, despite the step up.