Facing a must win clash against last years premiers St Kevins unfortunately our Senior men’s team came up short.
After a promising start to the game where we led 5 goals to 2 from there, we were unable to sustain our level for long enough and were defeated by 50 points.
We were given a lesson in how to win the ball at contest and then transition away to put the opposition backline under pressure.
Other results did not go our way and after completing the season 6-12 we were relegated back to B Grade finishing 1.6% behind OM`s in 8th spot.
Our boys have given everything this year with 2023 being the first in 12 years where we had competed in the top tier of the VAFA competition.
Whilst we are shattered to be going back down our group have learnt some valuable lessons and we will bounce back.
What ifs and If only will not help us and we will pick ourselves up and use the disappointment we feel currently as motivation for a successful 2024.
Thank you to all players for their efforts this year. Attention now turns to supporting our Under 19s boys who have a real shot at winning another flag for the Bloods.
Appreciate all your support throughout the year.
For full pictorial coverage of the Seniors' match against St Kevin's go to the Gallery
Men's Reserves Match Report
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Old Haileybury 21.13-139
St Kevin's 02.02-14
Round 18 vs St Kevins
Numbers had been an issue with the reserves all year and the final round was no exception. Four late outs on the morning of the game had us down to 17 players before the bounce. I was able to pull in Shubham Bhargave, Av Kumar (#1 Physio in the VAFA), Spencer Roberts, Scott Ellis, Corey Bourke, Jeremy Bourke and Liam Taylor. I will need to fact check this with club historian David Southa however, from my calculations that got us to 100 players that have played in the reserves in 2023.
It was fair to say even though we struggled for numbers throughout the year we never lacked the fight. We lined up against a strong and BIG St Kevins side and probably were a fair bit off the pace. The two goal kickers for the day were father and son duo Corey Bourke and Jeremy Bourke. St Kevins were too good on the day.
As the season draws to a close, I wanted to recognise a few individual efforts of some people involved in the reserves side throughout the year. Cooper Nolan, Jarrod Hewitt, Stuart Connolly, Brad Prior, Seve Stefanakis, Jack Grenda and Ben Oakes for pulling on the jumper week in week out it truly made putting a side together a lot easier know I could count on your blokes. Lisa Gown was a tremendous help throughout the whole year and was always willing to help above and beyond what she needed to. Anthony Gown and Jason Kurta, Doyley and the rest of the crew that helped with the goal umpiring and time keeping duties. Jeremy Bourke, Andrew Bonwick, Matt Armstrong and Daniel Ward for providing support for the Reserves side where needed. As mentioned, most weeks it was a struggle to get a side together so a big thank you to all those blokes that rolled through to give the team a hand where needed.
With the results aside, I truly believe those that stuck with it had an enjoyable year and I hope that the results will follow in the coming years. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Best and Fairest count in October.
Goal Kickers: Jeremy Bourke and Corey Bourke.
Best Players: Will Barrie, Liam Wood, Will Gown, Jarrod Hewitt, Jesse Laity and Max Sievers.
Under 19's Match Report
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Old Haileybury 14.22-106
Monash Blues 08.04-52
The U/19’s played Monash University on Saturday in the last home and away match of the season. With finals already secured it was a game to practice the things we had been good at all year in match conditions. Monash played some great football in patches, but our strong midfield was able to get on top and remain there for the entire game. If not for some inaccurate kicking at goal the margin at the end may have been considerably larger. Bailey Yates was on fire up front kicking 6 goals for the game ably supported by James Connell with 3. Jeremy Adams continued his great form as did Max Walstab, Will Abraham and Nick Giustiniano. We had set ourselves before the game to come away with the win and that’s exactly what we did. In a major turnaround St Kevins won their match against Old Camberwell who in turn gave up second spot on the ladder to us meaning our next game will be a 2nd Semi Final. We spoke after the game about the celebrating a good home & away season but that our focus now must turn towards taking on Carey again this week. For all the season we have been able to do the hunting, but as the form side of the competition, we will become the hunted, and everyone will want to knock us off.