Premiership glory for Central
Friday, 7th September, 2018
By Tyler Hannigan
Central’s women’s team provided the highlight for the club in 2018, appearing in their sixth grand final and winning their fifth premiership in seven seasons.
The Magpies finished third on the women’s ladder before comfortably beating North in the preliminary final and proceeded to defeat South in the grand final by 13 points.
The premiership capped off a great week for the Central women which started with their captain Hannah Muscat taking out the 2018 Jan Corey Medal as best women’s player.
In the reserves and seniors, both teams made the preliminary final but neither looked like genuine threats to South or North in either grade.
In the League, Central were often let down by a poor quarter against the top sides, giving up five or six unanswered goals in a term that would ultimately be the difference in the result.
For the juniors, Central struggled throughout the season. Their sides finished last in the under 13s, 15s and 18s but there were stars in those grades such as Nick Devoy in the 15s and Josh Hanford, as well as Harry Campbell before he went down with injury, in the 18s.
Hannah Muscat - The Central women’s skipper took out the Jan Corey Medal with 19 votes and led her side to premiership success.
Her rise has been rapid, having only started playing for the team in 2017, but she forms a formidable midfield for the Pies that also includes 100-gamer Shelby Raven and player of the grand final Amber Evans. Muscat wins her own ball and is a clearance machine.
Shane Dalby - Having crossed from North in the 2017 off-season, Dalby provided the Magpies with a tall marking target up forward while also being able to play in defence.
Possessing a great set of hands and an accurate kick, Dalby wasn’t quite at the level that he showed during his seasons at North but he also didn’t have the talent around him but if he sticks around and Central can continue to develop, he’ll get better support.
Honourable mentions must go to Simon Wark who finished the season well after suffering a nasty knock in round one and showed potential through the midfield.
The Rising Star:
Josh Hanford - Forget the rising part, Hanford has established himself as a genuine A Grader after this season. Hanford played on a half-forward flank and on a wing with his strong marking a particular feature.
He was incredibly consistent in senior football while almost playing one-out for a struggling Under 18s side in the second half of 2018. That effort was rewarded with selection in the AFLBH League team of the season and he’s one of the favourites for Central’s best and fairest.
Heath Harris - Tall, versatile defender who goes about his job very well.
Zayden White - Same as Harris, tall and athletic defender who rarely gets beaten.
Linden Cox - Tough as nails, solid skills but body sometimes lets him down.