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Whittlesea Eagles shine on presentation night: GALLERY

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

By Max Davies

While the 2023 season on field was largely one to forget for Whittlesea Football Netball Club, it heralded a new building phase for future improvements.

The Eagles played in division one of the Northern Football Netball League this year, but a winless season for their seniors and two wins and a draw for their reserves meant they finished last and second-last on their respective ladders.

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Despite the results, club president Adrian Stewart said Whittlesea was now looking to bounce back with a revitalised behind-the-scenes setup.

“It was a season where we didn’t necessarily get the results we were after on the footy field, but it was also a season where we could analyse our deficiencies and our gaps and put a plan in place to fix all those gaps,” he said.

“We really recognised that there was a shortfall in people within the organisation that can contribute, so we now have a football department … we’ve got a women’s department and we’re forming a netball department. Every area of the club will get the focus that it needs.”

Whittlesea’s football coaching staff for 2024 will consist of Garry Ramsay for seniors, Sean McAuliffe for reserves and Shane Stanton for under 19s, as well as new signing Aimee McDougall – bringing a wealth of experience to the women’s side.

Mr Stewart said the club was looking forward to developing its women’s team and was supported by a strong juniors program for both boys and girls.

“We know we’ve got a good group of players, but we haven’t had the person to lead them and give them a game plan to follow, or strict guidelines on how to get the best out of themselves,” he said

“Part of [last year’s] review was to go out and basically look for the best person for each team.”

Whittlesea’s presentation night was an opportunity to reflect on the past season and recognise those who stood out, both on and off the courts and fields.

Awarded best and fairest for the senior footballers was Mitch Andrews, for the reserves it was Ethan Mann and the Supers winner was Zac King.

In netball, the best and fairest was awarded to Shanae Watson, Tiana Markey and Tara Bradley for the one, two, and three teams respectively.

“Most of the votes were pretty close which was pretty interesting. It was a really good turnout and a good end to a pretty tough year,” Mr Stewart said.

“I think the feeling around the group and around the supporters is that there’s much better results coming around the corner.”

Stewart said the club was looking to start its junior academy during the off-season, aimed at players from under 13 to under 19 to build on their skills and give them a better understanding of how to get the best out of their game.

To keep up to date with the Eagles, visit facebook.com/whittleseaeagles or @whittleseaeagles_ on Instagram.

Whittlesea Football Netball Club awards

Football

Senior football

Best and fairest: Mitch Andrews

Runner-up: Xavier Dimasi

Coach’s award: Curtis Taplin

Most committed: Keiden Treacy

Most improved: Christian Prestopino

Most courageous: Matthew Atta

Reserves football

Best and fairest: Ethan Mann

Runner-up: Harry Lehner

Coach’s award: Nick Papadopoulos

Most committed: Cody Bunworth

Most improved: Tulloch Bland

Most courageous: Lachlan Heaney

Women’s football

Best and fairest: Tahlia Brander

Runner-up: Jenaya Stewart

Coach’s award: Lara Likos

Most committed: Brielle Kinnear

Most improved: Taylor Wood

Most courageous: Jess Villinskis

Supers football

Best and fairest: Zac King

Runner-up: Jeremy Page

Best finals player: Israel Best

Netball

Netball 1

Best and fairest: Shanae Watson

Coach’s award: Rachel Kemp

Best finals player: Izzie Corr

Netball 2

Best and fairest: Tiana Markey

Coach’s award: Jade D’Amico

Best finals player: Sarah Baerken

Netball 3

Best and fairest: Tara Bradley

Coach’s award: Indiana Bushell

Best finals player: Madison Taylor

Life member

Colin Newport

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