It was a tough season for Broadford, who merged with Yea (just in football) in the seniors and reserves. Their only win was against Yea before the two teams merged for the season. Round 5 was the first game played as ‘Broadford Yea’ where they went down to Warburton Millgrove 85-24.
“They actually gelled really well and really quickly to be honest,” expressed coach Jayden Welch.
“By the end of the game, we gelled really well.” (In regards to the Round 5 match.)
During that game, Broadford Yea started slowly, finding themselves goalless at half time and down by 51 points. However, in the second half they equalled Warburton Millgrove for scoring shots, with nine apiece. Unfortunately, accuracy wasn’t high, however it was certainly promising to match a reasonable opponent in that area of the game for a half.
Although often on the end of heavy losses, the team improved throughout the season and had multiple games where they were much more competitive. In Round 9 Broadford Yea were able to run with Alexandra for a half, trailing at half time by just nine, before letting the margin slide in the third quarter, before winning the last quarter. They lost by 5 goals, but it was a much improved performance.
Round 17 brought a much-improved performance also, however this time it was the start of the game that hurt them, finding themselves 35 points down at half time, courtesy of first quarter dominance by Warburton Millgrove. The Broadford Yea boys lifted and ended up winning the second half.
Looking forward to 2023 Broadford and Yea look to field their own sides again, with Broadford also recruiting a handful of handy players who will add much needed strength and depth.
A change in game plan for Broadford is also an opportunity for improvement next season and beyond according to Welch, “We made a few tweaks in that aspect and changed some structures.”
Sean Duggan and Tom Knight topped the goal scoring with 17 goals and 10 goals respectively, both missing a handful of games throughout the season.
Liam Lucas was a standout, being named amongst the best players in all but one of his 15 matches.
Braydon Hardstaff and Jayme Ruedin also enjoyed brilliant years.
Liam Lucas’ stellar season was acknowledged with a spot on the wing in Team of the Year.
Broadford finished runners up after an extremely promising second half of the season. They finished 4th with 10 wins and 7 losses after they were heavily tested during the middle of the season which saw three consecutive losses to the top three sides all by four goals or less. The narrow losses to Alexandra, Powelltown and Warburton Millgrove stung as Broadford found themselves at four wins and six losses.
A five-game winning streak is what followed, kicked off with an emphatic 64-16 over Yarra Junction. Coach Ashley Chapman spoke about how the team needed to get together and chat about how they were going to not let the season get away from them, “That’s when our season was on the line, going into that round we were sitting in an awkward position on the ladder, we hadn’t been your Alex, your Powelltown’s and the teams above us to get into that finals contention.”
“So, we basically sat down as a group and had some really honest conversations about what we wanted to get out of the season and what we needed to do to ensure that we do give ourselves an opportunity to win the premiership.”
Winning five games in a row put Broadford back on track, resulting six wins from the last seven rounds, importantly including wins over Alexandra and Powelltown. This was the first time Broadford managed to beat both Alexandra and Powelltown and were important victories especially given they got so close against both sides during the middle of the season.
“We knew that to knockoff teams that have beaten you before; it’s always a bit of a mental battle, because we didn’t actually lose to them by much (4 goals both times against Powelltown and 3 goals in the most recent game against Alexandra) so we knew it was gettable and fine-tuning on our part,” explained Chapman.
Chapman alluded to the low margins meaning that a couple of turnovers or missed shots can be the difference in those tight games.
Heading into finals Broadford had now beaten every team at least once except ladder leaders (and Premiers) Warburton Millgrove. Their recent form gave them confidence, however they only managed to finish fourth, meaning they had to win three games against teams above them in finals to win the Premiership.
They belted Alexandra 59-37 and managed to beat Powelltown 41-34 in the Preliminary Final. Unfortunately, though their starting GA Caitlin Hinrichsen tore her ACL in that Preliminary Final, making things difficult for Broadford
They had eight players in the Grand Final and were unable to match it with Warburton Millgrove for the full game.
Broadford did extremely well to finish runners up after finishing 4th, turning their form into wins consistently in the back end of the season.
They know that they can match with any team, and they were the only team to lose to Warburton Millgrove by just 1 goal (Round 12).
They also didn’t lose to any team who finished outside the top 4 and four of their losses were by 4 goals or less.
Not losing the close games next season could be the difference between 4th on the ladder and top 2, with finals being the goal again for next season.
Coach Ashley Chapman highlighted that most of the A Grade team played A grade for the first time this season and now know what to expect with regard to the intensity and pace of the game.
Renee Sari and Caitlin Hinrichsen both had phenomenal seasons scoring 333 and 311 goals respectively. Other standouts for the season were Ally Black in the centre and Amanda Rothwell GD/GK. Ebony Heers, Brooke Currell and Alyssah Chibnall had solid seasons also.
Ally Black (C) and Amanda Rothwell were both acknowledged for their superb seasons in Team of the Year.
The B grade team also made the Grand Final, whilst their C grade team and 17&U team both made Preliminary Finals in what was a very promising season for the club in the way of Netball.
Written by Jordan Peeler