Terrific year for the Roos
Saturday, 8th September, 2018
By Tyler Hannigan
An undefeated season and a fourth flag in five years was the highlight in another terrific year from the club from over the hill.
South’s League record in the regular season was 15 wins from 15 games and they made it 16 from 16 after defeating North in the grand final by to complete a perfect season.
Marc Purcell took out the BDT Media award and the Mail Medal as well as also being runner up in the Lionel Johnston voting despite having to share votes with a host of other star teammates.
They include the likes of Jordan Johns, Luke Lines, Riley Schorn, Drew Hardy, Matt Reavill and Cody Schorn.
Cody Schorn was again the competition’s leading goal kicker and added another bag of five in the grand final to win the Stan Brooks Medal for best on ground.
It’s that kind of depth that make South so formidable and was evident again in the reserves as they won their eighth consecutive premiership.
Players such as grand final MVP Mick Vlatko, Tyson Boland, Tyler Tompkins and 2018 reserves best and fairest Harley Cannard would walk into A Grade sides at most of the other clubs but for South they’re running around in the twos.
As well as the current group, South have a number of juniors coming through such as Jye Smith, Connor Washbrook, Tarrant Wood and Tyler McKenzie who will play a heap of senior football.
There’s also plenty of young talent in the women’s football with both Eliza Cumming and Mel Keenan representing NSW and Cumming going on to play for the Eastern Allies in the national championships.
If there is a disappointment from this season it was that South’s women’s, under 15s and under 18s sides finished as minor premiers before being rolled in their respective grand finals but for a club to make five grand finals out of six grades is still a fantastic achievement.
Marc Purcell - Purcell is incredibly skilled and also as hard as a cats head making him almost the complete midfielder and he had another great year for the Roos, this time as skipper.
Leadership didn’t seem to affect his own game as he won the Mail Medal, BDT award and was named in the AFLBH team of the year.
John Dunn and Mick Vlatko - South didn’t bring in any new players but past players such as Dunn and Vlatko returned, bolstering the playing list with experience that proved vital.
Dunn’s in and under work in the midfield gave Purcell great support while Vlatko played game 200 having not played a full season since 2011 and showed he still had plenty left in the tank for an old boy.
Dunn would eventually be a part of South’s League premiership side and despite being squeezed out of the senior side, Vlatko was named best on ground in the reserves grand final win.
The Rising Star:
Tyler McKenzie - It was tough to split McKenzie and Jye Smith as both cemented themselves in South’s senior team but McKenzie’s performance in the League grand final and winning the Under 18’s best and fairest (along with North’s Harrison Trengove) gives him the edge.
McKenzie has great skills and makes smart decisions which will see him play a lot of senior football, along with Smith, for South.
Bryce Pollard - Great season and rewarded with a League premiership.
Marcus O’Brien - Played his 200th game and is very consistent.
Todd Davidson - Was superb early and finished second in the goal kicking.