Called out over the past fortnight for complacent performances leading to a slight slide down the ladder, the East Coast Eagles strongly responded on home deck with a 3 goal win over the UTS Bats, 11.12.78 to 8.11.59 at Kanebridge Oval.
Approaching Round 7 after back-to-back losses, the Eagles were desperate to return to the winners circle, welcoming the returns of key players Karl Merson and Trent Stubbs.
However, losing captain Ben Bourke to a hamstring injury early in proceedings raised concerning fears that the Eagles would crumble without Bourke’s strong leadership.
This provided the ultimate opportunity for the entire side to step up and prove their doubters wrong, and so they did with a dominant second quarter kicking 5 goals to the Bats 1.
Dan Saywell was especially impressive in front of the sticks, kicking 2 goals, his first for a number of years.
The Eagles controlled the game and never overplayed their hand, returning to the smart and fast style of footy that blew teams off the park across the opening month.
A key feature of East Coast’s game on Saturday was a ruthless pressure off half-back, rebounding out of their defensive 50. Two players in particular, Thomas Zdrillic and Luke Mansour, played huge roles and have both been immense since returning to Premier Division, reinventing themselves in 2018 as underrated key players willing to run and tackle out of the backline, whilst getting plenty of the pill.
I’ve got to give a wrap to Mansour especially, after just 2 games as a new player to the club, battling through an obscure facial injury keeping him sidelined for early in the season, the lean but lethal utility has earnt his first grade spot and never looked back, becoming a significant player in Lindsay Scown’s side.
Look at Luke fly! I predict a mark of the year contender from Mansour in the coming weeks.
The weekends result, was a much needed step in the right direction for East Coast. It lifts the clubs spirit and gains momentum for this coming week and the local derby showdown with fierce rivals Pennant Hills.
Away from home, the Eagles have a humongous task on their hands against the defending Premiers. So much has been made of the local rivalry and distaste both teams have for each other. This rivalry is as personal as it is territorial and always makes for intense and exciting viewing.
The challenge is to continue the newfound form and extend a winning run, because no one wants to lose this game.
This writer cannot wait.
East Coast Eagles
Goal Kickers: J. Large 2, K. Merson 2, J. Vlatko 2, D. Saywell 2, Z. Johns 2, S. Turner
Best Players: K. Merson, B. Clark, L. Mansour, S. Turner, K. Emery, Z. Johns
Best Players: A. Tarrant, M. Foley , M. May, R. Kirkhope, P. O”Rourke, A. Johnson
|1||North Shore Bombers||7||7||0||0||803||357||224.93||28|
|3||Pennant Hills Demons||7||5||2||0||588||506||116.21||20|
|4||East Coast Eagles||7||4||3||0||542||397||136.52||16|
|5||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||7||4||3||0||530||426||124.41||16|
|6||Manly Warringah Wolves||7||3||4||0||484||517||93.62||12|
|9||St George Dragons||7||2||5||0||371||734||50.54||8|
|10||Western Suburbs Magpies||7||1||6||0||396||808||49.01||4|
This writer learnt a very important lesson this past weekend.
NEVER COUNT OUT A WEAKER OPPONENT
Complacency is the most dangerous word in the English language, and it can be said that every East Coast Eagles side became victims of this devil on Saturday, achieving back-to-back losses for the first time in 2018.
The locals call it a graveyard….. and Weldon Oval delivered on its promise, as Manly buried their East Coast opponents along with any credentials as competitions hotshots.
The Eagles Premier Division side seemingly matched up stronger against a less competitive Manly Warringah Wolves , yet couldn’t fire a shot on a chilly afternoon where Wolves howled and Eagles frowned.
Yes, there was wind. Yes, there was rain.
Although, still was the constant variable in 22 players either side, on a day where conditions were not perfect for footy and the winner would purely be decided by one thing: Who wanted it more.
So its a worry that the Eagles lost by 5 goals.
Gone was the grunt and run from the first month, along with the smart and potent skills that saw East Coast demolish St George and Wests on home soils earlier in the season.
The Eagles did not start well despite leading by a goal after two quarters. They struggled to capitalize on Inside Forward50 opportunities, lacking the leadership and direction without the injured Trent Stubbs, as gun forward Mark Weekes went goalless.
Once both teams returned for the second half, it was clear that the Eagles weren’t prepared to run themselves out of the hole that continually deepened throughout the 3rd quarter, with Manly blowing Eagles off the park kicking 5 goals to 0.
East Coast’s back-line were also significantly weakened without Full-Back and Captain Ben Bourke, as Manly forward pocket Anthony Robertson claimed best on ground honors kicking 5 goals.
The Eagles still remain inside the top, yet, at 3 wins and 3 losses, they must return back to square one and do some quick soul-searching before a crucial crunch game at home against UTS this coming Saturday.
The losses will hurt at the moment, but East Coast can blame no-one but themselves.
Best Players: A. Robertson, H. Washington, L. Kilpatrick, A. Butler, L. Brain, C. Pettersson
Best Players: D. Spiteri, L. Mansour, T. Zdrilic, J. Etto, B. Clark
|1||North Shore Bombers||6||6||0||0||663||318||208.49||24|
|3||Pennant Hills Demons||6||4||2||0||505||427||118.27||16|
|4||East Coast Eagles||6||3||3||0||464||338||137.28||12|
|5||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||6||3||3||0||396||373||106.17||12|
|6||Manly Warringah Wolves||6||3||3||0||424||454||93.39||12|
|9||St George Dragons||6||2||4||0||332||594||55.89||8|
|10||Western Suburbs Magpies||6||1||5||0||343||674||50.89||4|
For the first time in blue and gold colours, Lindsay Scown coached against former club Western Suburbs and boy did the Eagles turn up for their coach. It was a good old fashioned carve up in Round 3, as East Coast did a strong number on their opposition picking up a 93 point win, beating them all over the ground in every aspect of the game. Full-Forward Mark Weekes kicked 8 goals, more than the entire Magpies side, as 18 year-old Lewis Waters gained best-on-ground honours in just his third top grade game. After winning 21.7.133 to 6.4.40 against Wests, East Coach will focus on winning back to back games for the first time in 2018, next week in Round 4.
Read more on the Prems thumping win over Wests – http://www.eastcoasteagles.com.au/weekesy-kicks-8-as-east-coast-soar-over-wests/
Premier Division Reserves
The Eagles got off to a much better start than in Round 2, leading Western Suburbs by 10 points at half time. In the first two quarters, a competitive arm wrestle ensued especially as East Coast struggled to convert numerous chances into goals. It was a much different story in the second half however, as the Magpies could only manage one goal eventually falling by 56 points at the final siren. Although, the Eagles still left a lot to be desired in front of goal kicking 7.10 in the second half, as the final score ended: 14.16.100 to 7.2.44. Alex Foxall and Josh Duncan kicked 3 each in Matthew Scholz’s return game for the club, but utility Jake Roberts was best on ground without a shadow of a doubt. Roberts was unstoppable off half-back, shutting down one of Wests key forwards.
For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=124992995&c=1-1047-0-477739-0&pool=1
Under 19’s Division One
Another week, and another loss in the closing moments for the Under 19’s. The future of the Eagles took on the North Shore Bombers in Round 3 and almost pulled off a hellacious upset over a side who has competed in the past four Under 19’s Grand Finals. Dramatically, the Eagles fell at the final hurdle unable to combine and find a way to kick the winning score, losing 5.8.38 to 3.10.28. Three rounds in and zero wins for the Eagles, finals footy may very soon become a bridge too far to climb, but with Saturday Night Footy against Camden in Round 4 this weekend, East Coast have an opportunity to prove the doubters wrong. Co-captain Will Mitchell was brutal in defence, rag-dolling many Bombers in a great tackling display. Also, speedy half-back flanker Cameron Wood played his best game of the year, as did Ruckman Tom Grove who fired up against old Bomber teammates.
For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=125052686&c=1-1047-0-477740-0&pool=1
Women’s Division One
After a pulsating one point win against Western Magic in Round 2, the Eagals only conceded one point in their Round 3 meeting against Sydney Uni at Kanebridge Oval. But they scored One Hundred and Two. Yes, it was as one-sided as you’ll ever see, with the Eagle women winning 15.12.102 to 0.1.1, once again putting together a four quarter team effort and displaying a killer instinct that coach Phil Bester couldn’t be more proud of. The Eagals continue to play smart and committed footy not afraid to take the game on and beat their opponents with speed, a trademark that midfielders Em Goodsir and Ally Dallaway are consistently producing in 2018, as they were again outstanding on the weekend. Meanwhile, Tara Killminster was lethal in front of goals kicking 5 majors tacking her tally to 8 for the year.
For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=125053001&c=1-1047-0-477743-0&pool=1
The grass sure was greener at Kanebridge Oval this past Saturday as Division Two secured their first win of the season, and yet another thumping victory for the club on a day where East Coast dominated. This particular result was a long time coming for Division Two, with the Eagles maintaining destructive and dazzling form against a hapless Western Suburbs side, 17.17.121 to 3.3.19. It is a positive sign for the sides development that a more consistent goalkicking record could have boosted the winning margin, as the Twos’ are beginning to prove a handful inside their forward half, constantly keeping the pill locked in their forward 50 with impressive defensive pressure. AC Mohammad was unstoppable on this day, kicking 3 as the clear best on ground whilst James Salvador is beginning to find his best form, bringing his infectious presence and passion to a side that is up and about after this 100 point win.
For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=125052620&c=1-1047-0-477741-0&pool=1
Round 4 Fixtures
|U19’s Division 1||4||Saturday, 28 April 2018||Camden||East Coast||Fairfax Reserve||6.10pm|
|Premier Division||4||Saturday, 28 April 2018||Camden||East Coast||Fairfax Reserve||3.40pm|
|Premier Division Reserves||4||Saturday, 28 April 2018||Camden||East Coast||Fairfax Reserve||1.40pm|
|Men’s Division 2||4||Saturday, 28 April 2018||Camden||East Coast||Fairfax Reserve||11.50am|
|Women’s Division 1||4||Saturday, 28 April 2018||Wollongong||East Coast||North Dalton Park||1.00pm|
East vs West!
Battle of the Birds!!
More like the Mark Weekes show!!!
It was a demolition derby at Kanebridge oval in Round 3, as the East Coast Eagles relentlessly picked apart a diabolical Western Suburbs Magpies by 93 points, with superstar Full-Forward Mark Weekes slotting 8 goals, sending him to the top of the Stan Milton Trophy Race for league Leading Goalkicker.
Weekes was back to his absolute best providing instinctive service to his midfielders, dragging his opponent out of space leading up the ground, showcasing strong hands and a penetrable set shot.
The Eagles were clearly up for this game, playing quick transitional footy across a lethal four quarter-display never allowing the Magpies to get a foot in the door. East Coast kicked 8 goals to 1 in the first half and Wests were never in the contest, falling apart in the second half as East Coast converted 13 goals; conceding just 5.
East Coast were prepared to make yet another statement despite being without a number of senior players.
This challenge provided the opportunity for other players to step up.
One bloke who continues to make a name for himself in Premier Division is Lewis Waters. It might of been the Mark Weekes show in the forward line, but Waters was phenomenal playing a shutdown tagger like role in the backline, and displaying a strong ability to be an effective user of the football. The 18 year old had a tough job against former NT Thunder forward Adam Tipungwuti, but the young Eagle was not intimidated and played the only way he knows and that is with sensational courage and determination. Lewis wore Tippa like a glove.
Debutant Cameron Wilson was also handy roving the forward line in the Eagles barnstorming win. Seamlessly translating his Under 19’s form to the faster paced Premier Division, Wilson kicked a goal and proved once again that the East Coast Eagles are in strong hands for the future, as the new wave of youngsters come through the ranks.
With the 93 point win, East Coast have got their season back on track and coach Lindsay Scown couldn’t be happier especially after a strong win over old side Western Suburbs.
The challenge now for the Eagles is to continue this momentum on the way to achieving maiden back-to-back wins for the season when they meet Camden Cats in Round 4.
With every week it is becoming clearer that in 2018: Its all about the Eagles
|East Coast Eagles||5.1.31
EAST COAST EAGLES
Best Players: L. Waters, M. Weekes, K. Emery, S. Turner, B. Stewart, D. Steer
WESTERN SUBURBS MAGPIES
Best Players: C. Dell, J. Robinson, K. Bremner, E. Cole, T. Blake, A. Bremner
|1||North Shore Bombers||3||3||0||0||305||171||178.36||12|
|3||East Coast Eagles||3||2||1||0||289||147||196.60||8|
|4||Pennant Hills Demons||3||2||1||0||250||203||123.15||8|
|6||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||3||1||2||0||236||175||134.86||4|
|8||Manly Warringah Wolves||3||1||2||0||221||311||71.06||4|
|9||Western Suburbs Magpies||3||0||3||0||164||334||49.10||0|
|10||St George Dragons||3||0||3||0||135||315||42.86||0|
After a strong Round 1 performance against St George, the East Coast Eagles Premier Division side backed up in Round 2 falling short against Sydney University by 10 points. In a closely fought battle where momentum was difficult to sustain over long periods, Uni proved clinical enough to take the points and remain undefeated, despite a wave of defensive and tackling pressure inflicted by the Eagles across four quarters. Stuart Turner was fantastic again laying 15 tackles, and gun utility Trent Stubbs dominated up forward kicking 4 goals.
Read more on the Prems loss to Sydney University – http://www.eastcoasteagles.com.au/the-students-topple-the-eagles-in-a-colossal-round-2-showdown/
Premier Division Reserves:
Alike the Prems, the Reserves despite cruising to victory in Round 1 met far greater opposition this past weekend. The Eagles were stunned in the first quarter by Sydney University, not registering a score, and it was only atrocious kicking from Uni to the tune of 2.10.22 that prevented a total whitewash before the match had barely begun. Trailing at half-time by 34 points, the Eagles fought hard with a small comeback narrowing the margin to a couple of goals at the final break. However, Uni played smart tempo footy to nullify any push the Eagles spiritedly could mount in the last quarter. Veterans Daniel Spiteri, Ryan Fitton and Jared Patira were once again tremendous in the 9.18.72 to 7.7.49 loss.
For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=124992816&c=1-1047-0-477739-0&pool=1
Under 19’s Division One:
Never in my footballing career have a returned to a changeroom with a team so deflated. The footy gods can be cruel sometimes and the East Coast 19’s side painfully learnt that against Sydney University who kicked two goals in the final minute to sink the devastated Eagles by just 4 points. Whilst an improvement on Round 1, East Coast still have a lot to work on to be considered a threat in this competition. Nevertheless, the backline were immense in this clash as Matt McVey, Cal O’Donnell and Bailey Sims dominated, repelling numerous entries into the forward line and igniting speedy passages of play up the ground. Co-Captain Will Mitchell was also outstanding, emerging as a dynamic tackling two-way midfielder who willingly puts his body on the line. The forthcoming Round 3 clash with North Shore shapes as must-win football earlier than expected for the 19’s.
For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=125053024&c=1-1047-0-477740-0&pool=1
Women’s Division One:
How proud are we of our Eagals, the only victorious East Coast side from the weekend. A classic battle between two hungry sides, the East Coast women were pushed to their absolute limits against an injury ravaged Western Magic, scraping home by a solitary point. They knew it would be a tough game, and the Eagals promised to never say die, displaying exceptional courage and resilience in front of many happy supporters. The Eagals have hit 2018 with a purpose, reinvigorating their side with a difficult to defend run against the play style of football, however, backline exits remain an area that needs improvement. These are the sort of wins that strengthen a football side and define the potential of a playing group. To grind out a 1 point win, is a moment that will surely inspire an exciting season for the East Coast women, who are sure to go very close in 2018.
For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=125052913&c=1-1047-0-477743-0&pool=1
The end scoreline of 13.9.87 to 1.6.12 did not reflect the effort and tenacity of the Eagles second division side against Sydney University, as they showed that they are clearly building something special, yet, recognizing that all great rebuilds take time. Coach Michael Lambert noted after the game that he was impressed by the run and carry provided out of the backline, communication through the midfield and second efforts in the forward line. However, clearance and forward 50 entries are areas which still must improve in order for the 2’s to start being more competitive. Troy Jones was best on in the midfield, and Dave Berger ended the game with a broken nose. It was that sort of night for the Eagles.
For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=125052677&c=1-1047-0-477741-0&pool=1
Get ready for Round 3, because we’re back at home.
Round 3 Fixtures:
Women’s Division One – vs Sydney Uni @Kanebridge Oval 9:00am
Division Two – vs Western Suburbs @Kanebridge Oval 10:40am
Premier Division Reserves – vs Western Suburbs @Kanebridge Oval 12:20pm
Premier Division – vs Western Suburbs @Kanebridge Oval 2:50pm
Under 19’s Division One – vs North Shore @Kanebridge Oval 4:50pm
Did we just witness a grand final preview?
Early days I know, but that must be at the back of minds for those who witnessed this enthralling contest, which saw Sydney University overcome a game East Coast Eagles by 10 points.
It was an age old battle, with many a twist, turn and bone-crunching tackle, yet you’d be a brave man to bet against Sydney Uni at home, when in the form they currently hold.
The Students’ have well and truly stamped their authority on the Sydney AFL Premier Division, who after a heartbreaking late defeat to the Pennant Hills Demons in last years’ Grand Final, have begun 2018 by defeating the past two premiership teams in consecutive weeks, in the East Coast Eagles this past weekned and Pennant Hills (who in Round 1 they beat by 55 points).
Uni held their composure for much of Saturday afternoon’s match, not allowing themselves to succumb to the fierce defensive pressure once again displayed by the Eagles.
Despite having enough opportunities, the Eagles were made to rue costly scoring execution, kicking 8.7 for the match, but an ugly 2.6 prior to half-time.
The Eagles were outpaced in the crucial moments, unable to win clearances and counter Sydney’s attacking movements.
As mentioned, the tackling and determination at the ball never faded for the visitors but it wasn’t enough to get them over the line. Too often in the last quarter they were found chasing tails of opponents who used Henson Park’s width to their advantage, and ultimately ran out of time on the scoreboard.
Former Three-Time Club Champion Trent Stubbs was damaging for the Eagles, putting on a clinic up forward kicking 4 goals and winning best on ground honours for his side, whilst Stuart Turner continues to impress making a phenomenal 15 tackles for East Coast.
After a close loss, headlines do not waver from the East.
In Round 3, for the first time, Lindsay Scown will coach against his old side the Western Suburbs Magpies. The Magpies may have had a slow start to 2018, but there’ll be plenty of feeling in this contest which is sure to make for compelling viewing and exciting football @KANEBRIDGE OVAL.
Sydney University meanwhile, look to start the season 3 and 0, when they meet fellow Uni rivals, UTS, next weekend in what could be a danger game against the undefeated Bats.
Sydney University. 9.11.65
|East Coast Eagles||1.5-11||2.6-18||5.7-37||8.7-55|
Goal Kickers: M. Nettheim 2, A. Clarke 2, R. Lucas 2, S. Gilfedder, W. Stratford, T. Ayton
Best Players: M. Krochmal, T. Ayton, M. Nettheim, M. Fogarty, R. Lucas, S. Gilfedder
Best Players: T. Stubbs, R. Haupt, J. Vlatko, S. Turner, K. Emery, B. Clark
|1||North Shore Bombers||2||2||0||0||214||111||192.79||8|
|4||East Coast Eagles||2||1||1||0||156||107||145.79||4|
|6||Pennant Hills Demons||2||1||1||0||141||148||95.27||4|
|7||Manly Warringah Wolves||2||1||1||0||166||202||82.18||4|
|8||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||2||0||2||0||126||138||91.30||0|
|9||Western Suburbs Magpies||2||0||2||0||124||201||61.69||0|
|10||St George Dragons||2||0||2||0||98||205||47.80||0|
The Eagles kicked off the Lindsay Scown era with a thumping 59 point win over an underwhelming St George Dragons. It was one way traffic for the Eagles, kicking 13 goals to the Dragons 2 after quarter time, to take valuable Round 1 competition points winning 15.11.101 to 5.12.42. Defending club champion Stuart Turner was impressive claiming best on, but it was the Eagles young brigade who made the most exciting impact for the home side. Connor O’Brien, Baylee Jones, Dan Saywell and Lewis Waters (the latter on debut), were outstanding, playing well above their age displaying an exceptional footy education, and cementing strong futures for themselves at the club.
Read more on the Prems crushing defeat of St George – http://www.eastcoasteagles.com.au/eagles-tame-dragon-fire-in-round-1-dismantling/
Premier Division Reserves:
After falling just short of playing finals footy in 2017, the Eagles Premier Division reserves were potent in attack and ruthless in defence, blowing St George off the park in the first quarter, kicking 5 goals to nil. Winning 15.12.102 to 5.8.38 over the defending premiers, East Coast have emerged as a force to be reckoned with in 2018, as the Eagles consistently executed silky passages of play and a willingness to win the hunt. Experienced compatriots Daniel Spiteri, James Ford and Josh Duncan were excellent in the Round 1 win, but newcomers Jake Roberts and Nick Yazdani (who kicked 2 goals) were just as impressive, demonstrating a strong balance within the side that is sure to make 2018 an exciting year.
For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=124993070&c=1-1047-0-477739-0&pool=1
Women’s Division One:
In 2017, the East Coast Eagles welcomed their first ever Women’s team who finished 5th and played finals football. In 2018, the Eagals look destined to resoundingly improve on previous results, as massive developments in skill and football intuition have been gained over the pre-season, evident throughout a promising four quarter performance defeating Manly by 48 points, 220.127.116.11 to 4.4.28. All 21 Eagal players were fantastic and equal contributors to the first round victory, but it was elusive speedy midfielder Em Goodsir that proved herself as best on, with youngsters Chloe Arndt and Maddie Ferguson also dynamic. Eagles supporters can look forward to a promising season for our treasured Eagals.
For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=125052646&c=1-1047-0-477743-0&pool=1
Under 19’s Division 1:
Rebounding from a celebrated season which saw a return to finals football for the Under 19’s, East Coast’s youngest side struggled to maintain cohesion and poise in a disappointing first round loss to defending premiers St George, 9.7.63 to 3.11.29. Inaccurate goal kicking was a clear Achilles heel, and despite registering a competitive Inside 50 count, forward line pressure remains a key area to improve upon, in preparation for a Round 2 showdown with Sydney University. Nonetheless, the back-line were solid countering many challenges imposed by the Dragons speedy attack, with Brock McMillan and Callum O’Donnell the strongest of the bunch. A small speed-bump and a good learning lesson for the 19’s, but Premierships aren’t won or lost in Round 1. We’ll be back.
For more information of the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=125052864&c=1-1047-0-477740-0&pool=1
Despite a 39 point loss, going down 14.14.98 to 9.5.59 against St George, promising signs were made from Division Two on the weekend, displaying a commendable resilience and spirit across the four quarters. Lead by new skipper Lochie Fisher and coach Michael Lambert, the Twos’ proved they could hang with the same side that crushed them by an excess of 150 points in 2017, outscoring their St George opponents by 5 goals to 1 in the final quarter. A little to late sure, but this writer prefers to focus on the positives. One of which, was the new breed of talent to the club in the form of midfielders Darren Mahenthirarajah, Troy Jones and Ruckman Andrew Bean, who were immense among others.
For more information on the game – http://websites.sportstg.com/round_info.cgi?a=MATCH&fixture=125052638&c=1-1047-0-477741-0&pool=1
BRING ON ROUND 2, get down and support our Eagle men and women as they continue to make early inroads in their respective competitions.
Round 2 Fixtures:
Women’s Division One – vs Western Magic @BISP no.2 7:30pm
Under 19’s Division One – vs Sydney University @Henson Park 9:30am
Premier Division – vs Sydney University @Henson Park 2:50pm
Premier Division Reserves – vs Sydney University @Henson Park 5:20pm
Division Two – vs Sydney University @Henson Park 7:20pm
The East Coast Eagles did battle with St George Dragons to kick off their 2018 campaign at Kanebridge Oval yesterday, as the home side overcame a shaky start to ultimately win by 59 points in dominant fashion.
Both sides struggled to gain momentum in a scrappy opening quarter, highlighted by Premier Division debutant Nate Campbell calmly slotting the first goal of the season for East Coast from the boundary.
However, once the sides returned from the quarter time break, the cobwebs were nowhere to be seen and the Eagles flicked the switch, tackling the Dragons into submission in an unrelenting display, that new coach Lindsay Scown was very pleased and proud of.
The Eagles used outstanding run and carry, consistently winning the clearance, as it became obvious how much they have improved in terms of fitness and gut running over the lengthy pre-season.
9 goals to nil across quarters 2 and 3, East Coast were an excitement machine unveiling a revamped and extremely versatile roster that promises big things in 2018.
The club was yesterday extremely proud to support four young juniors in Lewis Waters, Connor O’Brien, Baylee Jones and Dan Saywell play hard Eagles brand football, showcasing immense talent, professionalism and potential indicating that the club is in good hands for the future. It’s a positive consequence of the renowned culture and development that the East Coast Eagles take heavy pride in.
St George were completely shut down across the board, unable to sustain forward 50 pressure for lengthy periods of time, a step behind in defence and showcased that coherence is must needed in the short-term future.
Former Dragon Karl Merson was strong on Eagles club debut, as was new recruits Reuben Haupt, Yannick Milligan-Saville and Jordan Etto who finished the game with a heavily bruised and corked thigh.
It was Stuart Turner who gained BOG honours on the day however, as the 2017 Club Champion racked up the possessions and continued his fine form with a sensational performance through the midfield and backline. Jamie Vlatko lead the goalkicking for the day with 4 majors, as young local junior Lewis Waters also kicked 2 goals on Premier Division debut.
With their compelling win, the Eagles announced themselves as a contender in this seasons competition, a side that proved they will be very difficult to beat in 2018.
|East Coast Eagles||2.3-15||8.6-54||11.6-72||15.11-101|
|St George Dragons||3.6-24||3.6-24||3.10-28||5.12-42|
Goal Kickers: J. Vlatko 4, M. Weekes 3, L. Waters 2, R. Haupt 2, P. Vlatko 2, B. Jones, N. Campbell
Best: S. Turner, D. Saywell, K. Emery, R. Haupt, K. Merson, L. Waters
Congratulations to the East Coast ‘Eagals’ (as they love to call themselves) in winning their first ever game of footy by 33 points against Sydney Uni in Round 1 on April 1st 2017.
Thanks to Andrew McMurtry at the Rouse Hill Courier who went with the following story in Monday’s paper.
You can see the on-line version by clicking here.
The East Coast Eagles women’s side has claimed a 33-point win in its first match in the Sydney AFL division one women’s competition on Saturday.
Playing fellow debutants the Sydney University Bombers, a strong second quarter gave the Eagles a 25-point lead at half-time, eventually running away 7.17 (59) to 4.2 (26) winners.
Inaugural women’s captain Sarah Ford said she was thrilled by the result. “I’m speechless, I just couldn’t be prouder of those girls,” she said.
“I wish we kicked a bit straighter but for some of these girls, they only picked up a ball three weeks ago so we could not be any happier.”
For Ford, who was voted captain by her teammates, said it was a huge honour to lead the team to its first win.
Having been around the club for over a decade supporting her brothers, it was her first regular season game with only five of the Eagles boasting football experience.
“To be able to be a part of it, not just as a supporter but as a player, is just amazing,” she said.
“There are so many girls in the same situation and they’ve been around for ages and there’s no other club we’d rather play for.”
After the success of the national AFL Women’s competition earlier this year, club president Jon Gawley said an Eagles women’s team had been on the cards for quite some time.
“There has been a growing interest in women’s footy for years,” he said.
“I honestly think it will just grow and grow and it will complement the whole football club as well.
“For the club, it’s the direction the AFL is going and we’re glad to embrace it.”
With the women’s side kicking off the season with a win, it was a mixed weekend across the other grades with a huge 13.19 (97) to 0.1 (1) win over the South West Sydney Magpies in division four, but losses in all three other grades.
The under-19’s side went down 12.15 (87) to 7.7 (49) to Sydney University, Reserve Grade lost 11.10 (76) to 10.7 (67) to the UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs and the defending champions in Premier Division were edged out 11.6 (72) to 10.10 (70) also by the Bulldogs.
East Coast are proud to announce the appointment of all coaches for season 2017.
Premier Division Jamie Vlatko
Under 19’s Peter van Vliet
Reserve Grade Matt O’Connor
Third Grade Matty Mack
The two Matthews, O’Connor and Mack have been re-appointed to their 2016 roles, whilst Jamie and Peter are new appointments replacing Michael Sankey and John Hupfeld respectively.
Vlatko progresses to the coaching ranks following a stellar career at the Eagles where he joined his brother Jon in 2010 following 85 SANFL games with Norwood. At East Coast he is revered as a Triple Premiership player with 113 senior First Grade games, 332 goals and dual Club Champion Trophies in 2011 and 2012.
When asked about his ambitions and goals for season 2017, Jamie responded with “I’m excited to be part of a great group that is bonding closer and closer together every year. Whilst we will lose players from the Premiership side, we will gain others and I’m really interested in developing and improving players’ on-field performance, which in turn will further build the culture and momentum of the Eagles.”
Pre-season training commences Tuesday November 15th.
Up to Christmas, venues will be:
Tuesdays 6.30pm Kanebridge Oval
Thursdays 6.30pm Charles McLaughlin Reserve (Crestwood Drive; Baulkham Hills)