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
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
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.
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.
|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|
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 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.
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
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