EDEN WHALERS 2017 REVIEW
EDEN WHALERS FC
The Whalers had a mixed season again in 2017, with the club doing a lot right off the field and in the community. The year was capped off with a second consecutive premiership in the women’s grade with individual honors going to Nicole Crowe for a merit award in 20+ years contribution to AFL and Ally Crowe for Sapphire Coast AFL volunteer of the year for her dedication to the Eden FC auskick centre in 2017.
2017 Prediction: 6th
2017 Finish: 6th
Review: 2017 was another tough season for the Eden Whalers in the senior grade. The season started positively for the Whalers with a good showing by Eden in the lightning premiership although with a move to Cootamundra, Scott Munday was lost early in the year and key players Liam Wilkinson and Peter Russell were lost to season ending injuries early in the season. Bright spots for the Whalers was the play of Jordan Merkel and Joel Grewar who both had solid years in a winless season for the side with Merkel playing representative football and Grewar selected in the team of the year. Nathan Sheldon claimed club best and fairest honours and was a handful for opposing teams in the midfield.
Key Player: Nathan Sheldon, was the clubs best and fairest winner in 2017. A couple of injuries slowed the midfielder down in 2017 although was impactful when in the team claiming plenty of contested possessions.
2017 Prediction: Runners/Up
2017 Finish: Premiers
Review: The Whalers know how to elevate their game at the right time of the season with the Whalers playing two of their best games of their history on the last weekend of the season the past two years. The Whalers had another impressive regular season with Carra Sheldon, Kate and Melissa Mitchell and Karra Grubesic leading the way for the Whalers finishing second two points off the pace. Heading into the finals the Whalers were even favourites with Tathra although a major semi-final loss where injuries played their part resulted in the Whalers scraping through their preliminary final before the Whalers claimed back to back flags against the odds. The Whalers got younger in 2017 with the likes of Shanise Mongta and Alexis Watson joining the squad which leaves the Whalers in a good position to challenge again in 2018 and look for the threepeat.
Key Player: Kamilla Grubesic, the league’s leading goal kicker for the 2017 season Grubesic was able to push forward from Midfield/ half forward and impact the scoreboard. A quad injury in the semi-final saw Grubesic deployed deeper in the preliminary and Grand Final although her three goals in the grand final proved crucial to the Whalers getting the result.
2017 Prediction: 7th
2017 Finish: 7th
Review: It was a tough season for the Whalers under 13’s finishing at the base of the table. With a number of under 11’s players backing up into the under 13’s the side lacked the experience at the under 13’s level which showed against some of the bigger sides within the age group. With a year of experience, the Whalers could be the big improvers within the age division in 2018. The side battled hard all season and their result to Bega in round 14 showed how far the team had come in 2017.
Key Player: Jack Pollock, looked up to the task when stepping up from the under 11 grade into the under 13’s. With a slender frame, Pollock threw his weight around and looked at home against his opposition. Finished first in best and fairest in the under 13’s and second in the 11’s.
2017 Prediction: 7th
2017 Finish: 7th
Review: The young Whalers went from 0 wins in 2016 to 3 wins in 2017, with the team close to claiming 5 wins with narrow losses to Pambula and Bermagui throughout the season. Eden was extremely competitive throughout the season with opposition clubs finding it hard to break down the Whalers both defensively and offensively. Jemma Pollock had another stellar season for the Whalers polling well in her club and league best and fairest whilst also playing representative football and is another promising prospect for the Whalers senior women’s ranks. The Whalers still need to add a little more depth to their line-up for 2018 to make a trip to the finals although with the majority of players still only in their first or second season, the experience will come in future seasons.
Key Player: Jai Grant, the Whalers youngster claimed the clubs best and fairest in 2017. Grant plays the game the right way in that he leads from the front and by example. Has all the attributes to be a great footballer for years to come.