Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all members, players and supporters, our season is fast approaching.  I thought I would provide everyone with an update on a number of matters from prior to Xmas Christmas and a general update for this upcoming season.

Pre season is well underway with coaches confirmed for the following season:

Lindsay Scown continues his tenure as Club Head Coach, and coach of our Premier Division team. We welcome Peter Steer as the Coach of our newly promoted Premier Division Women’s team, Matthew O’Connor continues as our Premier Reserves Coach, Peter Van Vliet with our 19’s team and Michael Lambert with our Div 2 guys. We hope to announce shortly the new coach for our second women’s team.

Prior to Christmas we held the Club’s AGM and need to announce that we have had some slight changes. The board would like to welcome our new Director, Bethan Arndt and make a special thank you to retiring board member Paul Meyer, who is now making a sea change by moving up to the Gold Coast in February. As a result, the new board will consist of the following elected members:

President:  Jon Gawley

Vice President: David Arndt

Administration: Bronwyn Bailey

Football Operations: Paul Eastman

Facilities (role title to likely change): Bethan Arndt

I would also like to acknowledge the continued support of all our major sponsors plus welcome some new sponsors to the football club.  Thank you to Vesta Homes, Mansfield Corporation, Micron, KFC and Kanebridge for the year on year support. The club would also like to welcome two new major supporters to the football club; our new Polo Sponsor: Norwest Lawyers and our new finance partner Aussie Home Loans, Rouse Hill.

Speaking with a few of the coaches, I am really encouraged by the early start to pre-season; numbers have been good and recruitment has been positive on all levels.

I also need to share some not so good news which occurred over the break. Our great BBQ cook Ron Heathcote had a heart attack, he is well after one surgery and has another next week; all our thoughts and prayers are with Ron and with his recovery. I have highlighted this as we will need to have a good think about the level of support we can all provide to the club during 2019 season. Many hands make light work, it would be Ron’s intention to come down but at 83 we need to all chip in and assist to make sure not only the BBQ and canteen is run well but our match days in general have good support all round. So if you have anyone you know or can tap on the shoulder to assist we would love to hear from you. This is even more imperative with the loss of Paul, who so ably ran our canteen last year.

Pre-season matches are all being planned and the draft fixtures have been released, as well with our first home game planned at this stage to be on 6th April against UTS at Kanebridge Oval.  Our Premier Division Squad is also going to make a trip to Adelaide on the weekend of the 23rd March, further details will be posted for supporters who may wish to make the trip to support the guys when they take on Payneham.

In relation to the club website, we will be aiming to ensure more news is regularly uploaded throughout the season and we intend to also set up an online store for events and merchandise as well.

We are always trying to improve and do better, so if you have any ideas please share.

Lastly and please keep this in your diaries: this season is 20 years of East Coast Eagles and we are planning a major event on the 13/7/2019; lock this date in, more information to come.

Bring on season 2019


Jon Gawley








East Coast Eagles to join AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division Competition in 2019

AFL Sydney is pleased to announce that the East Coast Eagles have been awarded an AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division licence from next season.

AFL Sydney recently completed a submission process for a vacant position within the competition and following a considered review process, the East Coast Eagles have been successful in their application for entry into the Premier Division competition.

The Eagles introduced female football in 2017, where their inaugural team competed in the AFL Sydney Women’s Division One competition. They continued to grow on and off the field in 2018, putting the Club in a good position to transition into Women’s Premier Division for the 2019 season.

Lauren Bunting, Community Football Manager – AFL Sydney was pleased to welcome the Eagles into the Premier Division competition next season.

“AFL Sydney congratulates the East Coast Eagles on joining the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division competition in 2019. We are looking forward to seeing the Eagles play at the highest level of Women’s Community football in Sydney.” Bunting said.

“The Eagles have set up a thriving female football program in the fast growing North-West region of Sydney. With strong local connections and clear pathways from junior to senior football and an extremely strong coaching and executive group, they will continue to drive their female football program to the next level.

“AFL Sydney is looking forward to working closely with the Eagles to offer them any support necessary to ensure that they are ready for next season both on and off the field.

President of the East Coast Eagles, Jon Gawley said the club is thrilled with the announcement. ‘This progression into Women’s Premier Division enables our club to build on the momentum of growing youth and providing a strong pathway for talented women in the region to play at the highest level.’ Gawley said.

‘Our bid to expand and move up to the next level has been thanks to the hard work of a large number of key stakeholders in our football club. We are grateful for the confirmed opportunity.’

For more information please contact Belinda Kelso, Media/PR Manager AFL NSW/ACT

Ph: 0400 422 871 Em: belinda.kelso@afl.com.au

2019 Player Sponsorships Now Available

The East Coast Eagles Player Sponsorship program provides an opportunity for a player to secure an individual sponsor for the 2019 season. Player sponsors receive a range of benefits from the club with the sponsors investment covering the players registration costs.

Find out more

Peter Steer appointed Head Coach for Woman’s football

The East Coast Eagles Football Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Peter Steer as our new Head Coach for Woman’s football.

Peter is a long term member of the club. He has coached Premier League during the NEAFL era as well as a senior assistant roles including the 2016 premiership team. Peter also coached and ran the U19 program for 5 years, culminating in a premiership.

The Board is very confident that Peter is the right person to guide the woman’s football program in achieving our immediate and long-term goals and we look forward to the future.

East Coast Eagles 2019 Pre-Season Training

Date Day Time Teams Venue
19-Nov Monday 6.30pm Women Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
20-Nov Tuesday 6.30pm Mens Kanebridge Oval; 49 Withers Rd, Kellyville NSW 2155
22-Nov Thursday 6.30pm All Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
27-Nov Tuesday 6.30pm Mens Kanebridge Oval; 49 Withers Rd, Kellyville NSW 2155
29-Nov Thursday 6.30pm All Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
1-Dec Saturday 7.30am All Bay Run, Leichhardt. Meet/Park at Glover Street, Lilyfield
3-Dec Monday 6.30pm Women Kanebridge Oval; 49 Withers Rd, Kellyville NSW 2154
4-Dec Tuesday 6.30pm Mens Kanebridge Oval; 49 Withers Rd, Kellyville NSW 2155
6-Dec Thursday TBC – Can be Wednesday or Thursday pending option
11-Dec Tuesday TBC – Can be Monday or Tuesday pending option
13-Dec Thursday TBC – Can be Wednesday or Thursday pending option
17-Dec Monday 6.30pm Mens Bernie Mullane Sports Complex; Marella Ave, Kellyville
14-Jan Monday 6.30pm Mens Kanebridge Oval; 49 Withers Rd, Kellyville NSW 2154
15-Jan Tuesday 6.30pm Women Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
17-Jan Thursday 6.30pm All Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
21-Jan Monday 6.30pm Mens Kanebridge Oval; 49 Withers Rd, Kellyville NSW 2154
22-Jan Tuesday 6.30pm Women Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
24-Jan Thursday 6.30pm All Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
28-Jan Monday 6.30pm Mens Kanebridge Oval; 49 Withers Rd, Kellyville NSW 2154
29-Jan Tuesday 6.30pm Women Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
31-Jan Thursday 6.30pm All Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
4-Feb Monday 6.30pm Mens Kanebridge Oval; 49 Withers Rd, Kellyville NSW 2154
5-Feb Tuesday 6.30pm Women Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
7-Feb Thursday 6.30pm All Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
11-Feb Monday 6.30pm Mens Kanebridge Oval; 49 Withers Rd, Kellyville NSW 2154
12-Feb Tuesday 6.30pm Women Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
14-Feb Thursday 6.30pm All Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
18-Feb Monday 6.30pm Mens Kanebridge Oval; 49 Withers Rd, Kellyville NSW 2154
19-Feb Tuesday 6.30pm Women Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
21-Feb Thursday 6.30pm All Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
25-Feb Monday 6.30pm Mens Kanebridge Oval; 49 Withers Rd, Kellyville NSW 2154
26-Feb Tuesday 6.30pm Women Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
28-Feb Thursday 6.30pm All Charles McLaughlin Reserve; Crestwood Dr, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

Turner goes Back-to-Back in BM18, as Jon Vlatko announces retirement

Boots off, suits on.

After a dominant 2017, Stuart Turner defined season #BM2018 by an unparalleled consistency which saw him cap off a sensational East Coast Eagles Club Champion Night at the Homebush Novotel, by claiming back-to-back Peter Physick Medals.

It was also a night where we said goodbye to arguably the clubs greatest son in 4-time Premiership player captain Jon Vlatko, who hung up the boots once and for all. We would all like to thank Jon for the hard work he has put in to get the club to where it is today and on a personal note I would like to thank Jon for all his guidance and support both on and off the field, we look forward to seeing him on the hill next year.

210 players, coaches, devoted club supporters and sponsors packed the Novotel, breaking the record for biggest club champion night attendance proving the vibe around the football club is growing rapidly, and only promises to raise a bar or two in upcoming seasons which sees 2019 pre-season begin in just a handful of days.

Also, it was announced that our major sponsor Kanebridge will be with us for a further 10 years, a huge win for the club and reason enough to celebrate.

From the highs of 2 newly inducted life members to the East Coast Eagles ranks, to the laughs of DJ Dimery and the lows of Jimmy Regan winning the 3 grand Joker Poker jackpot.

Let’s run through the Club Champion Night that was in BM2018………….

The night began with Peter Physick pointing out that the Royals Harry and Meghan were close by and on their way.

They didn’t show, but we didn’t need them because we had East Coast footballing royalty throughout the room, two men especially who took their rightful places in the East Coast Eagles Life Member ranks.

Garry Bailey and Ron Heathcote both bleed Blue and Gold, and have for a very long time.

They would do anything for the club, for anyone in it, you only have to ask.

Ronny ‘THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN TONGS’ Heathcote is a crown jewel of our football club, with the best BBQ in town his devotion to the Eagles in second to none, he barely misses a home game and will always be a celebrated figure at Kanebridge.

As for Garry Bailey, it challenges me to put a label on his role at the club. Because every Saturday I always catch an eye of him doing everything and anything around the ground. Whether that be umpire escort, timekeeping, helping on team benches.
Garry has forged his legacy as an icon of the club through his commitment and passion to do whatever needs to be done to make the club the best it can be, and he doesn’t want any recognition, so humble he is.
He loves the club so dearly saying during his speech, how lucky we all are to be playing at this great club.
A huge role model for me and many others at East Coast. Good on yah mate, can’t wait to see you around next season.

We commended our Divvy 2 side next, proud to say the team made astronomical progression this season with a new coach, new motivation and new creedo ‘MAKE DIV 2 GREAT AGAIN’. Finishing 9th with 4 wins does not sound like much, but it is an impressive improvement for a side who have struggled in recent years. New Coach Michael Lambert rewarded the hard work of first year workhorses Darren Mahenthirarajah and Troy Jones along with returning Ruckman Dave Taylor with team awards. 2017 Best and Fairest Ben King continued his strong form with a Runner-Up gong, whilst Mitch Thompson graciously accepted Angus Hay’s Best and Fairest for Division Two in Season 2018. Congrats of a big year fellas.

The Women’s team acheived so much in BM2018, falling short in the Preliminary Final but it would be remiss of us not to celebrate everything they brought to the football club in BM2018. Em Goodsir picked up more silverware, winning her first club Best and Fairest after previously being awarded the James Medal for best player in the Women’s Division One League. Her midfield partner in crime Ally Dallaway continues to develop as a leader on and off the field, winning Runner-Up, as Ruckman Courtney Torpy won Most Improved, and Jessica and Chloe won Coach’s award and Player’s Player respectively, honours that sure began a strong night for the women in the Arndt Family. You shined bright this year EAGALS, and already have the hunger to go one better next season.

The Under 19s had both strong and dull patches this year, inconsistencies costing them a finals berth. Yet, plenty of future club superstars emerged this season, none more so than in Trevor Hangan Medalist winner, speedy sensation Bailey Sims. Ryan Van Vliet finished a huge three season stint with the 19s as Runner-Up, a ripe reward for the key intercept marker. Youngster Keegan Brady put together a marvellous season once moved to the backline, and was a deserving Most Consistent award recipient. Elsewhere, Adam Mrazek picked up Most Improved and Josh Large won Players’ Player. Get to PreSeason boys, we can go far in 2019 if we believe in each other.

The Reserves led by ‘MOC’ Matt O’Connor, endured a heartbreaking finish to the season bowing out in the first week of finals, but it was one the club is very proud of. The Best and Fairest count provided one of the biggest surprises of the night. Midfielders Dan O’Connor and Marty Karafalis became joint winners on the Billy McLeod Medal, the former becoming a back-to-back medalist. Xander Van Vliet returned after a season off proved he was better for the break, winning Most Consistent. Our Big Buddha Blake Jones won the Coaches Award after an inspiring job as captain for much of the year. Damien Gatte, also returning to the club after an extended layoff finished the year as Players Player. A solid year for the Ressies, but no one is content just yet, big things are a coming.

Before we move to the Peter Physick medal count and Premier Division awards, multiple club awards were again presented to well earning winners.

Firstly, Beth Arndt picked up ClubPerson of the Year joining her daughters as award winners. Beth works tirelessly behind the scenes with husband Dave, to ensure Gameday runs smoothly, and with special dedication as the Womens team’s mother duckling, you would have to look hard to find a figure with more commitment and heart then this East Coast woman.

Rudi Bylsma or as many know him, the Canteen Guru, won Volunteer of the Year. Rudi is a life member who never stops and breathes this footy club. At training before any of the coaches and players to set up the canteen Dim Sims and injury bed, he would travel to the ends of the earth if anyone had a bung ankle and needed taping. Heart and Soul of East Coast, never change Rudi.

Elsewhere, Damien Gatte and Will Cashmore won a golf and rally car trip in the Hunter Valley a popular prize for claiming Eagles Academy Coaches of the Year.

Clubman of the Year had a bit of a difference in BM2018 as Jamiela Kristine deservedly took out the award. Devoted and passionate member of the East Coast family, Jamiela always is willing to put in the hard yards around the club, and has become the EAGALS number one supporter and coaching staff’s right hand woman. Keen to get back on the field in 2019, and we are keen to watch you play once again. Congratulations on the award Jam.

In one of the nights most rewarding moments, Peter Physick swapped the award announcing gig, to humbly accept this years President’s Award. You can look through the record books of East Coast, and there is always a constant. That being the Physick family, led by Peter at the forefront. No matter what it was, no matter the challenge. Peter is always there to get the job done. He is the Patriarch of our great football club, and although he asks no praise he deserves a lifetime supply of it.

Finally, we arrive at the Premier Division Best and Fairest medal count, starting with rookie Daniel Saywell leading after Round 1. He sure got a kick out of that. As the rounds progressed two contenders emerged out of the pack. Trent Stubbs eventually became runner up, falling just short of a 4th Peter Physick Medal. In the end, hard nosed midfielder Stuart Turner won back-to-back medals, accepting the award to a standing ovation. Thanking his teammates, coaches and family, Turner knew how much work went into the season and was privileged to receive the honour once again, although made it known a Premiership is the greatest prize of all, and in 2019 East Coast would be gunning for it. Lewis Waters was rewarded for a consistent first season in first grade, the tenacious backman winning the Rising Star award. Big men Kieran Emery and Jamie Vlatko claimed Most Consistent and Player’s Player respectively, whilst plucky midfielder Brandon Clark took out Lindsay Scown’s coaches award.

Speaking of the head coach, Scown congratulated all teams on their seasons during his speech, and made it known he thoroughly enjoyed his first season at the East Coast helm. However, much like Turner, he asserted that everyone needs to be committed to the cause because you play footy to win Premierships, and that is our biggest ambition in 2019.

So there yah have it, a complete rundown of 2018’s night of nights for the East Coast Eagles.

What a night it was, one I and many others will remember for many years to come.

2 new life members.

Farewelling captain courageous Jon Vlatko

A 10 year sponsorship

Many laughs, many beers, and many deserving and exciting award winners.

It’s been a pleasure in Season BM2018, time to sign off and close the curtain.

But not for long, Pre-Season is coming in hot, time to put the head down and pick the arse up because it’s a big journey

But all for that goal to play on the last day of the season.


One step short, yet one step further in BM18

One step short in 2018, yet one step further than 2017 for the East Coast EaGALs.

Following a heartbreaking loss on Saturday to minor premiers Wollongong: 9.7.61 to 4.4.28, a margin which hardly reflects the contest mind you, heads were down and tears flowed.

That is until the women were reminded or their emergence this season.

Sure 2018 had officially come to an end, but it came after the side defeated every foe at least once throughout the season.

And on top of that, 2018 was year which went a long way in proving a Premier Division Women’s team deserves to be running around Kanebridge Oval in 2019.

Finishing 5th in 2017 before rising to 3rd this season, the Eagals made considerable improvements in 2018, completely enhancing ball movement, attack on the footy and most importantly their all round club-commitment and dedication.

The future sure is bright.

With a battle against Western Magic in the Grand Final on the line in a Preliminary Final this past Saturday, Wollongong overcame the Eagals fortunate home ground advantage, starting strong and winning the mental battle early despite both sides aiming up psychically with a multitude of destructive tackles.

The Saints led by 2 goals at 1/4 time, challenging the Eagals to bite back.

That they did, as captain Sarah Ford stood up whilst taking charge of the midfield alongside League Best and Fairest contender Em Goodsir, both breaking the game open to lead the side to within 3 points of the Saints at half-time.

There were only inches in it throughout the 3rd quarter, a period which featured one of the best moments for the club in 2018.

Devoted player and clubwoman Dana Polverino made her long-awaited return from a nasty shoulder injury, to kick a welcomed and crucial goal in the Premiership 3rd quarter.

It lifted the crowd, and sure lifted the women’s intensity for the remainder of the quarter, trailing by only a goal at the final break.

Maddie Ferguson, Brenna Tarrant and Laura Moran continued impressive gameday displays in the 3rd term as well.

Here we go and Game on.

Down to the final quarter, both sides desperate and hungry for victory.

A Grand Final berth beckons

It became clear however in this quarter, that the Eagals couldn’t contain and ultimately fell victim to Wollongong’s powerplay.

All day inside 50, the Wollongong forwards were a headache for Eagal defenders, taking plenty of marks and solidifying dominance.

The ball may go up, but the Saints players knew they’d mark it in front of goal.

The blue and gold charges never gave up, but the Saints eventually ran away with the result, pushing the scoreline out to a 5 goal victory, that as aforementioned did not reflect East Coast’s fight across the four quarters.

But certainly in the last of these 4 quarters, in which Wollongong demanded another shot at the Premiership Cup.

The Eagals’ season was sent packing, but boy are the club proud of their efforts in 2018.

As the most successful team inside Season BM18 at East Coast, the women set the standard and wrote the blueprint for long-term success.

You turn up and train then you rip in on the weekend, together, for each other, with the drive and determination to be successful in finals.

One step short, but one step further in 2018.

One more step towards a maiden grand-final seems inevitable in 2019.

Season BM18

A magnificent one for the EagALS.

More than anyone in the club, they embodied BM – BENCHMARK/BESTMATES – 18.

A sensational endorsement for women’s footy at East Coast.

Wollongong Saints 2.4-16 3.4-22 5.4-34 9.7-61
East Coast Eagles 1.0-6 3.1-19 4.4-28 4.4-28

Wollongong Saints
Goal Kickers: E. Morris 3, R. McGartland 2, P. Davis 2, C. Stanton, L. Donnelly
Best Players: L. Donnelly, J. Stanton, A. Anderson, K. Chan, S. O”Donoghue, P. Davis
East Coast Eagles
Goal Kickers: C. Arndt, E. Goodsir , B. Hourigan, D. Polverino
Best Players: S. Ford, E. Goodsir , M. Ferguson, B. Tarrant, A. Dallaway, L. Moran

Eagles tumble out of contention as the Wolves howl

A season which birthed a new era at the East Coast Eagles began with a wave of promise.

A new coach.

A set of new recruits.

A motto which to play and live by. BM18.

It most certainly had its ups and downs, and on the weekend, the most significant down proved to be the final nail in the coffin in season BM2018.

East Coast fought hard, but could not keep up and fell via an 11 point loss to Manly Warringah in an Elimination Final at Blacktown International Sports Park 4.16.40 to 4.5.29.

The old adage in football, especially at this time of year, that games are one in the Premiership (3rd) quarter.

Coach Lindsay Scown made it clear that it was in this period, is that the game was won and lost as the Wolves achieved critical second half momentum.

Overcast conditions met both teams from the first bounce, and clearly hampered goal kicking execution for Manly, kicking 0.4 as opposed to the Eagles two goals straight in the opening quarter.

The Eagles extended their lead in the second quarter, albeit slim, to lead by 10 after a competitive term.

After a half of finals football, all seemed on queue with script, when you consider that…..

– Manly may have finished above the Eagles on the ladder, yet it is well known that the Wolves struggle away from home ground Weldon Oval, winning only 2 games on the road throughout the home and away season.

– The Eagles played relatively consistent and often sensational football in the season’s second half.

– Manly were much better than East Coast at Weldon earlier this year, winning by 5 goals, whereas later this season, at a windy Kanebridge, the Eagles dominated proceedings to the tune of a 7 goal thrashing.

So, to take this all into account on paper, a 10 point lead at half-time seemed suffice for the Eagles, with an accelerated second half scoring pace expected.

But it didn’t follow, East Coast halted, and could not answer Manly’s forward pressure.

All was lost in the Premiership Quarter and the dying stages.

In fact, the Eagles were lucky Manly could not kick straight, AT ALL, as both sides at full time had converted 4 goals each, yet Manly tripled East Coast’s behinds on route to an 11 point win, swiftly eliminating the East Coast Eagles from season BM2018.

Within this disappointment a new superstar continued to blossom and emerge for the Eagles, as rising star Lewis Waters was best on ground for his side, displaying an outstanding improvement across half-back, becoming one of the toughest men to play against inside the East Coast CAGE.

Veteran Eugene Kruger was additionally fantastic on this day, finding plenty of the footy along with a welcomed goal.

Manly Warringah Wolves 0.4-4 2.6-18 2.10-22 4.16-40
East Coast Eagles 2.0-12 4.4-28 4.5-29 4.5-29

Manly Warringah Wolves
Goal Kickers: J. Field, A. Robertson, J. Brain, H. Ellem
Best Players: J. Weir, A. Fraser, G. Benbow, L. Behagg, A. Robertson, A. Butler
East Coast Eagles
Goal Kickers: Z. Johns 2, E. Kruger, D. Saywell
Best Players: L. Waters, E. Kruger, B. Clark, S. Turner, A. Browning, B. BourkE

Season BM2018 is officially over for the East Coast Prems, as it is for the Eagle Reserves.

In an Elimination Final, the Reserves could not match the North Shore side who they ironically faced just a week prior in Round 18 of the home and away season. Despite a standing 2-0 record against the Bombers in 2018, the Eagle Reserves alike the Prems found themselves chasing the tails of an inaccurate Bombers, who couldn’t convert the majority of opportunities on goal. Scott Pierce was dominant in the forward line for the Eagles kicking 3 and claiming BOG honours, whilst small midfielders Lucas O’Connor and Josh Large shined in the 7 point loss – 7.13.55 to 7.6.48. An improved season for the Reserves, one that coach Matt O’Connor is disappointed to see end, yet holds plenty of optimism and excitement for an even better 2019.

And that brings us to the last team standing at East Coast.

It is without any surprise that in 2018, the story at the Eagles is: Last Women Standing.

The Women’s Division One side, were again brutal, poised and courageous against their arch Pennant Hills rivals, in a 3 goal victory which sees them through to a Preliminary Final against Minor Premiers Wollongong. On a damp Sunday afternoon at Kanebridge Oval, the women were convinced and determined to prove they had the Demons number. After a slow start in yet the clubs third Elimination Final for the weekend, the EagALS proved this, and did not concede another goal after quarter time, kicking away in the third term before full time struck with scores reading: 6.3.39 to 3.3.21. The Superstars stood up for the Eagals, with captain Sarah Ford, Em Goodsir and Brenna Tarrant playing great games, whilst Chloe Arndt, Laura Moran and Courtney Torpy were also among the best.


Heartstopper in the Hills as Eagles fall short but cling to the last finals spot

Well knock me down and call me Russell, what a thriller. WHAT A GAME.

The most poetic initiation to finals football you will ever come across in AFL football.

It was absolute scenes in the final regular season Round 18 at Kanebridge Oval on Saturday afternoon, amidst windy conditions East Coast fell agonizingly short of an upset victory over table topping North Shore, 8.6.54 to 8.5.53.

The Eagles required victory against the competition heavyweight Bombers to ensure a welcomed finals berth, yet defeat and they leave their fate in the control of fierce local rivals Pennant Hills who faced their own challenge against UNSW.

For 3 quarters, it seemed like East Coast would pull off the victory, be the smarter and most adaptive side in the tricky gameday conditions.

East Coast led at every break, determined and dogged to fulfill the first step in achieving their BM18 goal.

The writing was on the wall for North Shore.

The Eagles were soaring, displaying magnificent will and strength at the contest, pulled the trigger and controlled the pace throughout, but stumbled at the final hurdle of the very last line.

2 goals down and time ticking, the Bombers dug deep to scratch and claw down the deficit.

That they did, with a plucky late behind, North Shore won the match, by just one point.

The final siren, was luck a gun shot to the heavens dispatching of innocent eagles who flew above, such was the silence and heartbreak in the hearts of East Coast Eagle players.

Then came the news Pennant Hills were up on their opponents, a dagger to the soul.

Pennant Hills did indeed win, but not by enough and the Eagles survived the regular season by just 0.46% on the ladder.

Oh what a mess.

What a horror story.

Its no laughing matter, but boy you gotta smile.

What a relief and what a chance East Coast have earnt.

The challenge is now to become the 2nd side in two years, to climb the mountain and win the Premiership from 5th place.

Arguably the best performance of the year before finals. That is exactly the message the Eagles want to be sending their finals competition.

Aaron Drinkwater was remarkable again on Saturday, hitting peak form at the right time, as is terrier Brandon Clark, the most consistent warrior in East Coast’s clutches. Youngster Lewis Waters had his best game as well, proving his worth as a backline CAGE mainstay.

The story of the finals is shaping as a maze of possibilities.

All sides 2nd-5th have had such similar seasons results wise. UNSW, Syndey Uni, Manly and East Coast can beat any of each other on any day.

I firmly believe the tagline throughout the finals series will be ‘Who can catch North Shore?’, and after the weekends result, whose to say it won’t be East Coast despite only holidng 5th spot.

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
East Coast Eagles 3.2-20 4.2-26 7.4-46 8.5-53
North Shore Bombers 1.1-7 3.3-21 5.4-34 8.6-54

East Coast Eagles
Goal Kickers: J. Vlatko 2, D. Costello, B. Clark, R. Haupt, D. Visser, M. Weekes, A. Drinkwater
Best Players: A. Drinkwater, B. Clark, L. Waters, J. Vlatko, R. Haupt, A. Browning
North Shore Bombers
Goal Kickers: M. Wilson 2, W. Blackburne 2, B. Plug, M. Thomas, K. Devlin, Z. Fyffe
Best Players: C. Parsons, N. Campbell, S. Crane, K. Devlin, M. Wilson, C. Murphy

Final 2018 Sydney AFL Home and Away Season Ladder
1 North Shore Bombers 18 16 2 0 1963 1049 187.13 64
2 UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs 18 12 6 0 1480 1094 135.28 48
3 Sydney University 18 11 7 0 1648 1161 141.95 44
4 Manly Warringah Wolves 18 11 7 0 1485 1153 128.79 44
5 East Coast Eagles 18 11 7 0 1222 1024 119.34 44
6 Pennant Hills Demons 18 11 7 0 1543 1298 118.88 44
7 St George Dragons 18 7 11 0 1260 1594 79.05 28
8 Camden Cats 18 5 13 0 1224 1632 75.00 20
9 UTS Bats 18 4 14 0 1027 1713 59.95 16
10 Western Suburbs Magpies 18 2 16 0 886 2020 43.86 8

Elsewhere at East Coast, Matt O’Connor’s Prems Reserves side officially qualified for finals footy, beating Week 1 opponents North Shore by 4 goals on Saturday. Reserves finished 4th and look forward to an exciting blockbuster of a finals series.

The Under 19’s finished 5th place, yet, a long way off finals footy pace. A solid year for Peter Van Vliet’s young men, plenty of positives and reason to believe 2019 can be their year.

Also, Div2 well and truly left right goodnighted their North Shore opponents on Saturday, winning a 4th game for the season to finish 9th. With that victory, they knocked the Bombers out of finals contention. A much better year for Michal Lambert’s team.

But the strongest placed side for the Eagles going into finals, are the EAGALS. Our Womens Div1 team lost to minor Premiers Wollongong on the weekend, but will return to finals footy, finishing 3rd, and setting up a Week 1 elimination clash against arch rivals Pennant Hills. Phil Bester’s women are without a doubt ready to rumble.

The good times are upon us. The best time of year.

The rollercoaster ride begins again, and everyone at East Coast Eagles cannot wait.


Eagles slip up en route to finals against cunning Bulldogs

The Eagles have one week until finals, therefore only one week to prove whether this past weekend result was a MAJOR or MINOR slip up.

In a game which likely would decide outright second place on the Sydney AFL Premier Division ladder heading into finals, East Coast travelled to Henson Park in Round 17 to meet a ready and willing UNSW Bulldogs outfit who absolutely took advantage of chances inside 50, on they’re way to a strong 20 point victory 11.9.75 to 8.7.55.

With this, the Eagles did indeed drop to 3rd place, as the Bulldogs now hold 2nd spot.

Add on the fact that this result snapped East Coast’s six game winning streak, and the enormity of the win is huge for UNSW.

Some would argue the damage in this game was done in the first quarter, with the Doggies kicking 5 goals to 1, and displaying relentless forward pressure.

The Eagles just couldn’t match them.

Clawing back slowly in the second term, had supporters hoping East Coast would play with more consistency in the second half.

However, these hopes were dashed in the 3rd quarter, as key defender Kieran Emery went down with an ugly injury that left the Eagles CAGE without its greatest champion.

Throughout this quarter, a stronghold became a strangle as the Eagles became overwhelmed and could not contain the Doggies attack at the carpark end, in yet another 5 to 1 goal quarter.

With a six-goal lead heading into the final term, Henson Park became a danger zone for all that wore Blue and Gold, as further key players Trent Stubbs and Karl Merson also ended the game with ice strapped to the lower body, gone for the game.

Despite their best footy played in this 4th quarter, it was too little too late for the Eagles, doubling their goals total to narrow the margin to a far more encouraging 3 goal loss.

Aaron Drinkwater was a bull in defence laying plenty of crushing tackles on his opponents, and Jamie Vlatko continued his outstanding second half of the season form kicking 3 goals.

Returning home, East Coast have the game’s toughest challenge waiting in the form of competition heavyweights North Shore in what is sure to be the perfect finals warm up slash wake up call.

Ladder positions will be on the line, and the importance of this clash will be massive for East Coast coming off the weekend’s loss.

Finals is where the gladiators rise and the heroes stand, the period where you have to play your best footabll.

Yet, if the Eagles step into finals on the back of a disappointing forntight, it shall be immensely difficult to move out of second gear.


Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs 5.4-34 5.4-34 10.8-68 11.9-75
East Coast Eagles 1.0-6 3.5-23 4.5-29 8.7-55

UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs
Goal Kickers: T. Dickson 3, S. Pollock 2, T. Banuelos 2, T. Redden, D. Pfeiffer, M. Rawlinson, J. Pascoe
Best Players: D. Pfeiffer, L. Essenstam, J. Blair, M. Thompson, J. McKinlay, T. Dickson
East Coast Eagles
Goal Kickers: J. Vlatko 3, D. Visser, R. Haupt, A. Drinkwater, M. Weekes, T. Stubbs
Best Players: A. Drinkwater, J. Vlatko, A. Browning, B. Clark, K. Merson, R. Haupt

2018 Sydney AFL Premier Division Ladder after 17 Rounds

1 North Shore Bombers 17 15 2 0 1909 996 191.67 60
2 UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs 17 12 5 0 1425 1027 138.75 48
3 East Coast Eagles 17 11 6 0 1169 970 120.52 44
4 Sydney University 17 10 7 0 1507 1108 136.01 40
5 Manly Warringah Wolves 17 10 7 0 1388 1109 125.16 40
6 Pennant Hills Demons 17 10 7 0 1476 1243 118.74 40
7 St George Dragons 17 6 11 0 1189 1552 76.61 24
8 Camden Cats 17 5 12 0 1171 1491 78.54 20
9 UTS Bats 17 4 13 0 983 1616 60.83 16
10 Western Suburbs Magpies 17 2 15 0 844 1949 43.30 8