After making the jump to Premier Division, Mt Evelyn had their work cut out in 2022. They struggled to get wins on the board, winning just two games, whilst losing 14.
They averaged about 50 points a game and conceded 125 points per game.
Some season highlights included smashing Upwey Tecoma in Round 6 and taking care of Officer comfortably in Round 16.
For the season Mt Evelyn recorded the most tackles at 78 per game and were third for contested marks with 16 per game.
Up forward Callum Urquhart topped the goal kicking with 32 goals from 13 games and took a magnificent Mark of the Year contending grab against Woori Yallock.
Standout players for the year include Bailey Forbes, Daimon Kift, Jack Beamish and Callum Urquhart.
Whilst they weren’t kicking as many goals as they’d have liked, they’d be looking to strengthen their defence.
Mt Evelyn would be hoping to have more of their best team on the park consistently next year as a number of their important players missed a fair chunk of the season with injury.
With a clean bill of health and another preseason under their belts, Mt Evelyn looks to win a few more games next season under new Senior coach Connor O’Sullivan.
It was a similar fate for the reserves, who only managed the four wins for the year, however their U19’s showed a lot of promise and competed in finals.
Mt Evelyn finished 8th (equal wins with 6th) and won six games, whilst losing 12.
Their ladder position probably doesn’t fairly represent their capabilities, as it was tight from sixth downwards.
Beating Monbulk in Round 3 was a highlight as it was a strong late season from where they narrowly went down to ROC, Olinda Ferny Creek and comfortably beat Woori Yallock in the last round.
The late season form is something they can take confidence from; knowing they can match it with a few of the top teams.
Coach Kaitlyn Black put the late form down to finding the combinations which worked better, as it was something they tinkered with a lot throughout the season.
“I think it probably took us a while to find the right connection and the right combinations.”
“We had to play a little bit, with our attack end in particular,” Kaitlyn explained.
The narrow loss to 3rd placed ROC and eventual premiers in Olinda Ferny Creek were impressive but unfortunately for Mt Evelyn, they were too far back to make a push for finals.
“A little bit too much rotation at the start of the year, trying to get the right team. And then when we finally got it together, it was little bit too little too late,” Kaitlyn admitted.
With only one season ending injury, Mt Evelyn had a great year injury- wise, according to Kaitlyn, “Within our squad we only had one season ending injury.”
“We had very minimal injuries this year, I think it’s the best year we’ve had for that.”
Kaitlyn also mentioned that they went with 10 players in A grade for most of the season, up from their usual eight or nine.
“It was great because it gave us more options. But we also had to make changes most quarters… So it was hard to get a consistent couple of quarters in a row from the same group.”
This included trying 5 different players in the goal circle.
Having a better understanding of the best combinations, holds Mt Evelyn in good stead for next season. If they’re able to match their late season form, then they can definitely challenge to make finals.
Rory Barr scored 237, with the next most being 137 from Georgia Marsh.
Coach Kaitlyn Black enjoyed a great season on the court, being named as Goal Keeper in Team of the Year.
Their B Grade team had a first round exit in finals after finishing 5th, whilst in C Grade, they narrowly lost Narre Warren in a thrilling contest.
Written by Jordan Peeler