Healesville had an inconsistent but promising season.
They won 9 games and lost 9, missing out on finals by just one match; the last round, where a heavily fancied Seville ended their season.
They started of their year in promising fashion, taking care of business against Berwick Springs, who finished third this season. They then scraped over the line against Yarra Glen and disposed of Belgrave by 109, where star forward Max Donegan had a day to remember, booting 11 goals.
Unfortunately, they lost their next three, with losses to Gembrook Cockatoo and Emerald before being torn apart by Seville by 148 points.
Berwick Springs then got revenge on Healesville winning by 39, when it was Healesville who won the Round 1 matchup by 37.
A bit of hope was instilled into the team when they upset Gembrook Cockatoo (Premiers) by 29 points in Round 12.
It stung badly however, when Emerald belted them by 85. Healesville were sitting 6-6 and needed a spark heading into the business end of the H&A season. They pulled off an incredible 47-28 victory over Seville, breathing some life into their final’s chances.
Unfortunately, two weeks later they went down to Yarra Glen. Beating Emerald in a nailbiter in the penultimate round kept their season alive, just. They needed to win the last round and Emerald to lose poorly.
They couldn’t produce the four points as they lost heavily to Seville, in what was a season with plenty of ups and downs.
5th Spot on the ladder is probably a fair representation of Healesville’s season, given they were able to go (1-2) against the top 4 sides each. Losing a game to Yarra Glen and being hammered by Emerald in Round 13, showed that they aren’t consistent enough.
There is clearly plenty of talent in the side and the knowledge that they can beat anyone should help them drive towards becoming a consistent footy team.
Max Donegan (Team of the Year) booted 61 goals in an impressive season, including 11 against Belgrave in Round 3. Sam Gebert (Team of the Year) contributed 32 of his own at a tick under two goals per game.
Other standout players for the season were William Kristelly-Kelety (Team of the Year), Lochie Oliver, Zachary Fawdry and Shaun Donkin. Daniel Plozza, Dale Senior and Campbell Frazzetto all had fantastic seasons also.
The Reserves finished 5th, one spot out of finals, however, they were 7 wins behind Gembrook Cockatoo, who were 4th on the ladder (Premiers).
It was a fantastic year for Healesville’s women’s team as they got the best of every team except one. Upwey Tecoma was the only team they lost to, twice during the H&A season, with their R11 encounter seeing Healesville lose by just for points. An emphatic year saw Healesville with seven times as many points for as against, consistently keeping opposition teams to low totals. There were many highlights for the season, including a 108-1 smashing over Yarra Glen in Round 2, where Perry Byron booted 6 goals, with Scarlett Potter bagging 4 of her own. Round 4 brought similar joy when they annihilated Thornton Eildon to the tune of 139 points, Perry Byron kicking 5 with 3 to Danielle Carrucan.
Other noteworthy performances included keeping Pakenham and then Olinda Ferny Creek scoreless in consecutive weeks across rounds 9 and 10.
It was these two sides that Healesville took on in the finals, beating comprehensively, however a much better effort from their opponents was given this time around.
Unfortunately for Healesville, they were once again unable to get past Upwey Tecoma, who were simply too strong on the Grand Final day, going down 7-47.
Danielle Carrucan (Team of the Year) amassed 32 goals this season at more than two per game, with Perry Byron (Team of the Year) and Jaimee Petersen kicking 14 apiece and rounding out the top three for Healesville. Monique Willemsen and Paula Pavic (Team of the Year) chimed in with 10 goals each also.
Other main standouts for the year were Amy Frazzetto and Lauren Rogers, who both enjoyed stellar seasons.
Having three players in team of the year further shows that they have the talent to go all the way next season.
Making a Grand Final is an excellent achievement in itself and the team should be confident they can go all the way next year.
Written by Jordan Peeler