In John Girardi’s 3rd season as Senior Coach, the former SANFL Woodville Warrior found himself back on the playing field after a long awaited recent knee operation. It was the same knee that had cut his league career short.
In what was the team’s second season playing within the rebel SAFA league, another vigorous recruiting and fitness campaign saw the extremely fit and talented side this time conquer the Division 2 minor premiership with 15 wins and 3 losses.
Minor round games…
Round 1, 16th April 1983
Henley District OS 14.11 (95) def. Salisbury North 9.9 (63)
Round 2, 23rd April 1983
Henley District OS 12.15 (87) def. West Lakes 6.5 (41) Greg White
Round 3, 30th April 1983
Henley District OS 25.22 (172) def. Modbury 6.13 (49)
Round 4, 7th May 1983
Henley District OS 16.21 (117) def. Walkerville 14.16 (100)
Round 5, 14th May 1983
Henley District OS 10.11 (71) def. Ingle Farm 9.12 (66)
Round 6, 21st May 1983
Henley District OS 27.12 (174) def, Tea Tree Gully 13.7 (85)
Round 7, 28th May 1983
Norwood District 11.5 (71) def. Henley District OS 7.6 (48)
Round 8, 4th June 1983
Henley District OS 22.13 (145) def. Salisbury North 9.8 (62)
Round 9, 18th June 1983
Henley District OS 19.16 (130) def. West Lakes 11.15 (81)
Round 10, 25th June 1983
Henley District OS 21.24 (150) def. Modbury 8.8 (56)
Round 11, 2nd July 1983
Henley District OS 19.8 (122) def. Walkerville 14.16 (100)
Round 12, 9th July 1983
Henley District OS 15.11 (101) def. Ingle Farm 13.12 (90)
Round 13, 16th July 1983
Henley District OS 22.14 (146) def. Tea Tree Gully 11.5 (71)
Round 14, 23rd July 1983
Henley District OS 20.10 (130) def. Norwood District 13.15 (93)
Round 15, 30th July 1983
Salisbury North 17.8 (110) def. Henley District OS 13.5 (83)
Round 16, 6th August 1983
Henley District OS 28.14 (182) def. West Lakes 6.8 (44)
Round 17, 13th August 1983
Henley District OS 17.20 (122) def. Modbury 1.10 (16)
Round 18, 20th August 1983
Walkerville 22.11 (143) def Henley District OS 19.10 (124)
The first major round game saw Henley face Walkerville at the Thebarton Oval. After being down by 7 goals at half time, Girardi’s men came from behind to win a heart stopping second semi-final. This earnt not only a place in the Grand Final, but also the week off. It also fortunately avoided having to play Salisbury North in the Payneham Oval mud filled slug fest in the Preliminary.
The Grand Final, also played at Thebarton Oval, would be fought out against the returning Walkerville. A sunny day saw the Green, White and Red of Henley cruise towards a premiership victory of 7 goals. It was double satisfaction as in the previous year Walkerville eliminated and cut short Henley’s finals campaign.
1983 Div 2 Grand Final
Henley District & OS 16.19 (115) def. Walkerville 10.15 (75) at Thebarton Oval
Henley best: Roger Russell, Ian Berry, Michael Broadbent, Greg Frick, Greg White, Graham Sertorio, David Hansen
Henley goals: Darryl Smith, John Girardi (3), Roger Russell, Ian Berry, Michael Guerin (2), Greg White, Graham Sertorio, Michael Broadbent, Phil Burgess
Henley brought home the first A-Grade premiership in 10 years as the appearance also achieved a promotion to the SAFA’s Division 1 for the 1984 season.
Vice Captain and on-baller Ian Berry won the season’s Ardill Medal (Best & Fairest) with wingman Roger Russell and half back flanker Greg Frick also collecting many votes. Darryl Smith was the A-Grade’s leading goal kicker for the 5th time as with his 70 goals he was second in the competition. Most of the premiership team were able to play the majority of games enabling a settled team unit.
The nucleus of the side included Phil Brooks, Phil Burgess, Michael Guerin, Stephen Guy, David Hansen, Lindsay Hick, Michael Johns, Peter Jones, Graham Sertorio, Greg Frick, Tony Skinner and Stephen Walker. The team also included former SANFL 200 game champion and 1976 West Torrens best & fairest winner Greg White.
New Club Chairman Rob Christiansen continued as the team’s runner, Brian Fitzgerald managed the side and the trainers were Steve Casey, John Jarret and Warren Rosman.
Former A-Grade Captain and league medallist Paul Heeps coached his second season in the B-Grade as the team finished 2nd after the minor rounds also with 15 wins. It once again made it through to the Grand Final only to go down again to Walkerville at Thebarton. 10 minutes after the loss Coach Paul Heeps rushed out to warm up & play with the A-Grade team and within the very first minute of the game he got one back for his B-Grade chargers by storming through one of the Walkerville boys off the half back line.
A-Grade leading goal kicker Darryl Smith was officially the B-Grade’s Captain but obviously played in the higher team. Nick Kiosses, Vice Captain Darren Hocking and Mark Shuttleworth were great B-Grade players for the year. Strong seasons also came from Jamie Butterfield, Malcolm Davidson, Tim Dodds, Ray Gepp, David Hicks, Neil Higgins, Jeff Ramm, Brian Rogers, Scott Ryan and Mick Weatherall. Jane Christiansen conquered her 4th season as the B-Grade’s Team Manageress.
Playing in the SAFA’s Division 3, the C-Grade finished 7th with 8 wins under Captain/Coach Graham Hill. Whilst also coaching the Under 18’s, Rod Hill won the C-Grade Best & Fairest with Colin Ellis the runner up. Tanya Goddard managed the side with John Messina and Scott Casey the trainers. Tony Loughhead did the running for playing Coach ‘Goog’ who was awarded the Best Team Man Award. Other valuable players were Peter Morgan, Neil ‘Budgie’ Maddigan, Ross Frick, Michael Rusanoff, Peter Lawrence and Grant White.
The D-Grade finished 9th in Division 4 as Michael ‘Wingers’ Hicks won his second D-Grade Best & Fairest in what was his 1st ever year of coaching. Hicks had also won a B-Grade Best & Fairest for the Henley High Old Scholars in 1974. Phil Stratford also played well in a team vice captained by Keith Starr, managed by Sarah Loughhead and trained by Scott Casey. The team was structured by players such as John Lawrence, B. Cole, Neale Clarke, Phil Stratford, P.Hanson, Rob Smith and G. Pink.
Rod Hill and his Colts team again won the Under 18’s flag defeating Walkerville at the Payneham Oval. One premiership colt, known as Mark ‘Mel’ Pilmore kicked 78 goals for the season. Captain Ian McDowall won the Best & Fairest award as Tom Ryan and Steve Maguire were also great contributors. The Vice Captain was Darren Salisbury in a team that included players such as Mick Todman, Mark Berry, Kym Metcalfe, Gary Lawrence, Andrew Henry, Jim Goldsmith, David Nicol and Nigel Asplin.
The Under 16’s in their 4th year of existence finished 6th. Youngster Randy Wallace had a great season winning the best & fairest award. The team captains were Geoff Stapledon and Fraser Cooper in a team coached by Ian Dales.
1983 received enormous groundwork by Stan Williams in the Club’s mission to introduce its first ever children teams into the 1984 season of the Woodville Junior Football League. The initial teams proposed were Under 15s, Under 13s and Under 11s.
Former Colt and A-Grade player David Querzoli made his SANFL debut with West Torrens. From 1983 to 1985 he played 35 league games.
Special thanks to Mike Levy, Greg White & Phil Burgess for their assistance in producing this 1983 Season That Was write up.