Emerald Football Netball Club endured a frustrating but exciting year across the sporting department with silver linings coming through its football and netball ranks.
Boasting a strong list in both football and netball, the Bombers had a great pre-season from which they were ready and raring to go, following a year of no community sport in 2020.
Reflecting on 2021, Club President Mark Pedder was pleased to see community sport return, despite the disruptive nature that the year brought to the region.
“Our year started off alright and we were always up and about despite knowing in the back of our head that there was going to be some sort of interruption along the road somewhere,” Pedder said.
“We had a frustrating year, but also really exciting year aswell with some of the things that came though for us.”
Struggling to win games prior to the 2021 season, the netball department went through a restructure under the watchful eye of Football and Netball Operations Manager John Rich that saw club legend Kim Walker return as head coach.
Additionally, the Bombers underwent a recruitment strategy that saw talented players head to Chandler Reserve and the girls were in the hunt all year as one of the teams to beat.
The restructure and competitive nature of the girls means they have built a culture amongst themselves of being a tight knit group, which has set the foundations for success in the years to come.
“Netball has been fantastic,” Pedder said.
“We were a week away from having a crack at ROC in A Grade which we were really looking forward to because of how competitive both sides are and were placed in the top three on the ladder.”
“We have some serious talent in that netball group.”
The senior football side had an up and down year, with its best performances good enough to beat the teams below them on the ladder, while struggling to put in a four-quarter performance against the better sides in Hallam & Bayswater Truck Centres Division One.
Strong depth in the football department saw the reserves have a good year, with the highlight being the shock win against Mount Evelyn, while the thirds won eight games to finish as the minor premiers in Box Hill Institute U19 1st Division.
The standout players from 2021 because of strong, consistent performances are the likes of Jake Pedder, Jarrod Marshall, Matt Livermore, Nic Jansen and Patrick Chin who fought hard each week in the football stakes.
Captain Leigh Taylor and Kaylah Loulanting were the standouts from the A grade netball team, while Best & Fairest winner Lupe Fonya was a star in the U17 junior team.
Looking ahead into 2022, Pedder is excited about what his club can deliver, with the recent signing of new coach Sein Clearihan hoping to drive the senior football team up the ladder.
“He has a lot of experience so it will be interesting to see how he goes,” Pedder explained.
“He is a very passionate man.”
Pedder thanked everyone involved at Emerald for all their efforts in what has been a difficult season to navigate.
“We only got eight games in this year but the club is in a great financial position which means we are in a good spot moving into 2022,” he said.
“It was a frustrating year, but also really exciting year at the same time, so we are looking forward to getting a full season under our belt.”
|Hallam & Bayswater Truck Centres Division One||6th||4||4|
|Coates Division One Reserves||4th||6||2|
|Box Hill Institute U19 Division One||1st||8||1|
|Kärcher Division Two A Grade||3rd||7||1|
|Kärcher Division Two B Grade||5th||4||4|
|Kärcher Division Two C Grade||3rd||7||1|
|Kärcher Division Two D Grade||2nd||7||0|
|Kärcher 17 & Under White||3rd||5||3|