The Bloods will be hoping to back up a solid 2022 campaign in 2023.
Last season they finished 4th with a 9-7 record which saw them make the Semi Final, where they went down to a very strong Woori Yallock side by 48 points, a team they lost to by one straight kick in Round 1.
Barring a narrow loss to Pakenham, Olinda Ferny Creek didn’t lose to any sides who finished lower than them on the ladder, showing that they truly are a top 4 side. However, they did lose to the top 3 sides all twice; something they’d be wish to change.
And change it very well could, with another year under the belt of much of the playing group. The team cohesion will continue to improve, given that a fair chunk of the guys hadn’t played much footy with each other prior to last year. By the end of the season, 11 players still had played 20 or less games for the club.
Being a young side resulted in some games not finishing the way they would have hoped.
One of their highlights from the H&A season was their 181 demolition of Mt Evelyn.
Mathieu Rosier bagged 7 goals, whilst teammates Noah Desta and Lachlan Taylor (Team of the Year) booted 5 and 4 respectively.
Albeit, against a weaker team, the style and magnitude of the victory was pleasing for the Bloods, in a match that followed a 161 point loss to Premiers Narre Warren.
Taylor, Rosier and Desta finished the season with 59, 40 and 29 goals respectively.
Matthew Scharenberg also enjoyed a fantastic season (Team of the Year), as did Kelsey Currie (Team of the Year), Patrick Rosier and Francis Seal.
Heading into the 2023 season, the Bloods are focusing on getting their systems right.
With the continued incline of gaining experience, maturity and team cohesion, expect Olinda Ferny Creek with some more consistent results and right in the mix for finals in 2023.
The Bloods should be confident surrounding 2023, following a Conference 1 Preliminary Final. They weren’t good enough for Healesville on the day. However that takes nothing away from a dominant season, where they won 9 games and lost 4, thanks to 6-0 run at the start. Healesville was the team to end their dream start, however the following weak the Bloods were back in form, smashing Yarra Junction to the tune of 45 points, with Phoebe Dixon booting a monstrous 7 goals on a day to remember.
The Bloods dropped a couple of games late in the season but regathered some form before handing Pakenham a 70-22 smashing, which could have been much more if it wasn’t for inaccurate kicking.
Olinda Ferny Creek are stocked full of talent, with a handful of guns across the board. Young gun Grace Belloni (Team of the Year) had a terrific season, racking up possessions at will and taking more than a fair share of contested marks.
Dixon ended up with 26 goals, Madeleine Collins booted 17 and Ella Smith slotted 13.
Casey Seymour, Chelsea Wilson, and Madeleine Collins, all made Team of the Year, whilst Lily Carlin and Amalijah Kostich both had great seasons. Sophie Collins, who was a first-year player was improving each week.
The Bloods will be full of confidence in 2023 after winning the 2022 Premiership, by just one goal, in extra time, against Narre Warren.
During the H&A season they had a 13-1-4 record. Two of the losses came against Narre Warren (Runners up, 1st on ladder), with the other two coming against Wandin and Pakenham (5th and 7th respectively).
The Grand Final was a match of epic proportions, not just with momentum swings and tightness of the score, but the extreme weather.
The second half of the match was played during heavy, heavy rain, which saw a couple of players slip over.
The Bloods started the match on fire, shooting the first four, but Narre Warren were never going to lay down. For much of the match Narre threatened to take the lead but Brodie Smith and Alice Paget’s defensive efforts were impeccable at times, not to mention Bronwyn Simpson barely giving Narre Warren an inch to work with for much of the first half.
Hayley Howard couldn’t miss in the first half and Tayla Werner’s passing and shooting was elite. Christa Tomlinson in the middle showed fantastic poise, not to anyone’s surprise.
Olinda Ferny Creek ended up winning the match in extra time by 1 goal, in one of the games of the year.
If the Bloods can play to a similar level as they did in the finals, in the 2023 H&A season, then they are likely to find themselves in another Grand Final.
Hayley Howard shot 668 goals, which is a tremendous achievement, who was supported extremely well by Tayla Werner (183) and Jackie Cutting (158).
Christa Tomlinson was brilliant all year and was named the Centre in the Team of the Year, whilst Hayley Howard’s great season was acknowledged with a spot on the interchange in Team of the Year.
The Bloods have plenty of talent and have players pushing A grade, as they had five Netball teams finals, which is a fantastic achievement.
Expect Olinda Ferny Creek to be one of the dominant teams again and let’s see if they can go back-to-back.
Written by Jordan Peeler