By Matt Fotia
It was a year of being close, but ultimately not close enough for Alexandra, as both their Senior Football side and A Grade Netballers threatened to burst their way into the finals makeup, before fading in the end, albeit at different times.
Here’s a quick look at their 2019.
Position : 7th (5-11)
For : 1121 Points (7th)
Against : 1599 (7th)
Leading Goal Kicker : Brayden Norris (46)
Best and Fairest : Patrick Ferguson
The Good : Rebel Park was definitely a favoured spot for the Rebels to play their football in 2019.
The Rebels were a five to six goal better side on their home deck, with the crowning jewel of their season coming in round eight when they upset Yarra Glen by five points, 77-72. They also got within six goals of Yarra Junction and Gembrook-Cockatoo at home and fell just 14 points short of eventual Preliminary Finalists Powelltown.
Only Kinglake and Seville were able to comfortably win on the Rebels home deck, and when it comes to Seville, no one really got close after round five.
The Bad : Their last fortnight was one to forget.
The Rebels were handed a tough end to the season, with Kinglake, Seville, Yarra Glen and Yarra Junction meeting them in last month of football, but it doesn’t excuse the way their year ended.
The Rebels conceded 54 goals in the last two games, with a lot of them coming in the last quarter against Yarra Glen. It was a sour note for the 2019 chapter to close on for the Rebels, who had been in the finals conversation for a fair chunk of the year.
What they need : It’s hard to do given their location and so on, but if the Rebels could find themselves another noted goal kicker to partner Brayden Norris they could add another dimension to their forward half. They’re one of the few sides in Division Two that had under 18’s so they are set up to have depth across the field, but players like Norris don’t grow on trees.
Grade : C
The Rebels didn’t shock everyone with their final place. It was common knowledge that the competition had improved overall and the Rebels impressed up until the last month to still be in the discussion. They won’t go away though, as they’re well set up off and on field for longevity.
Position : 7th (5-9)
For : 584 goals (7th)
Against : 737 (6th)
Leading Goal Shooter : Unknown
Best and Fairest : Caitlan Haggis
The Good : Whilst their footballing counterparts were leaking goals, the netballers were keeping their 2019 season alive with an impressive two goal win over Yarra Glen, who would go on to make the semi final, in a see-sawing affair. The win set up an pre-elimination, elimination final the next weekend with Yarra Junction.
The Bad : Defensively they let themselves down this season, despite their defence being ranked better then their attack. They only scored less than 35 on four occasions, but on nine occasions they let in over 50 goals, which makes finals a tough proposition.
What they need : Alexandra are a very even netball side, with a strong mid court. They need to be on the lookout for a star at either end of the court, someone they can build their team around. Whether that comes from a recruiting drive, or by promoting a young star a little early, they need to find that player.
Grade : B- In the build up to the season, the Rebels netballers were rarely mentioned as finals aspirants or challengers. So to keep their season alive until the final whistle of the home and away season, is a fine job indeed.