A-Reserves eye back-to-back
The depth of talent at NorthBeach will be on show when the WAAFL Grand Finals are played at Steel Blue Oval, Bassendean, tomorrow.
Despite the absence of the flagship O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team, the club will have a strong presence with both the Lifenet A-Reserves and the Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts playing off for the premiership.
The A-Grade team lost a preliminary final nail-biter in the dying seconds to Fremantle CBC last week, but the A-Reserves had already booked their place in their second consecutive Grand Final.
Scott Holbrook’s charges will play Trinity Aquinas at 12.10pm as they look to emulate the performance they produced last year in edging past Scarborough – although the coach would prefer a little less stress on the way to collecting the medals.
The Beach came from behind to win a cliff-hanger by just a behind.
In the second semi-final they always looked under control against the Boomers, but this Trinity-Aquinas line-up will have a few different players running around, with their A-Grade season ending at the hands of NorthBeach later that same day.
Again NorthBeach will take in a youthful outfit and they will benefit from the experience of playing senior finals.
The likes of Darby McCarthy, Liam Catalfamo, Joe Deegan, Matt Raynor, Cam Hoskins, Ben Johnson, Jordan Brooks, Peter Hoitis, Nick Wells and Josh Cuzens are all recent colts graduates looking to make their way to being consistent A-Grade players and matches of this nature will be a great benefit to their development.
There is a blend of experience, with long-time senior players Andy Langsford, Jamie Sajich, Arran Goodard-Nash and Michael Schofield on hand to provide some guidance to a team that has an abundance of players in the 20-23 year age bracket.
Indeed, a couple of these rising young stars are eligible to play colts, but the club encourages those who are ready to push up and play senior football. Fixtures: Lifenet A-Reserves
Grand Final NorthBeach v Trinity Aquinas, Steel Blue Oval, 12.10pm Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts Grand Final NorthBeach v University, Steel Blue Oval, 10am
Tiger cubs look for repeat
The commitment of NorthBeach to develop the pathway from juniors to senior football will again be emphasised when the Plasterwise Phil Scott Coltsplay in the WAAFL Grand Final at Steel Blue Oval tomorrow.
The Beach is heavily invested, from a resources perspective, in developing young talent within the district, creating opportunities through the colts program and to then nurturing those players to graduate to senior ranks.
That pathway is evident both in the strong presence of recently-graduated colts who have played senior football in the last couple of seasons and the predominance of youth in the Lifenet A-Reservesteam that has also progressed to the Grand Final.
Further illustrating the success of the Beach’s program is that Red Hill Brett Jones Colts finished as minor premiers before bowing out in the preliminary final.
In recent seasons, NorthBeach has built a strong rivalry with University – a club with a guaranteed talent pool – and has competed strongly.
The Scholars have won four of the last five “A” Colts premierships, with NorthBeach interrupting that run in 2016 to claim its first flag at that level since 2003.
The Beach also suffered defeat on Grand Final day a few years ago at the hands of University, but the two clubs have been the benchmark of the competition in the last five years. Indeed, along with Trinity-Aquinas, only three clubs have won Phil Scott Colts pennants in the last nine years.
With either NorthBeach or University poised to claim the mantle tomorrow, the decade will be rounded out with just three clubs savouring the glory. NorthBeach coach John Burton will be hoping his Tiger cubs can replicate the effort they produced against University when they won the second semi-final a fortnight ago.
If they bring the same level of intensity and defensive pressure that was on display a fortnight ago when they won by 15 points at Millington Reserve, they will go a long way towards achieving the desired result.
While players like Dave Purser, Conor Boylan, Judd Clinch, Chris Wells and Nic Baroni will be asked to lead the way, it was a total team commitment from theBeach that unnerved University two weeks ago and it will require more of the same.