Check out one of the great years at the club’s history, I have a write up for every season since 1899, and will start to introduce each season in time to the website, enjoy… (Ev)
Located: Henley Memorial Oval
Affiliation: South Australian Football League (SAAFL)
After going down to the Goodwood Saints in the previous year’s 2009 Division 1 Grand Final, unfinished business was the flavour of the upcoming season.
The November start of preseason training saw huge numbers come to train as the A-Grade barely lost a player from the previous year. Departing from the team however were Johnathon Lee heading to Kadina, James Stewart returned to the SANFL Eagles, Daniel Proud to the Riverland and David Barnes left with work commitments.
On the up side the team unit was further enhanced by the recruitment of former Port Districts state player Ryan Kelly as well former Henley junior Sam Fairclough who returned from the Eagles after playing in their 2006 SANFL premiership as a 16 year old. Also to the side came a family reunion in the likes of Shaun and Kenny McGregor. Shaun had previously played at Henley before departing to become a decorated player at Gaza and Kenny was a celebrated Henley Junior who went all the way to play 152 AFL games with the Adelaide Crows. Craig Herrmann and Tim Rosewall also returned to the Club after time away.
In Steven Hall’s third season as Coach, he hung up the boots to provide total concentration from the sidelines and in a change of circumstances a new Captain was appointed in Dennis Redden (pictured). A preseason camp saw the team travel to Port Hughes where the players were put through some tough grueling hard work.
In the minor rounds the team led the competition on top of the ladder but gave away the ladder lead on occasions with 4 unexpected losses. Eventually by season’s end its 14 wins saw it once again win the minor premiership and earn a rest in the first week of finals.
The finals mission began on an atrocious day for football at the Henley Oval against recent nemesis the Goodwood Saints. Winter’s greatest performance delivered non-stop hammering rains and gale force winds to see trees bent over at 90 degree angles. The on field events could hardly be seen from the sidelines as only those willing to sit out within the weather’s unleashing could absorb how the match had actually evolved. On the scoreboard however, the efforts of Henley’s men reached an incredible result. The 5 time reigning premier Goodwood were pulverised to receive one of the worst results in its SAAFL history. After being ejected by the Saints 3 times in the past 4 seasons, Steve Hall and his team secured a place in the Grand Final by scoring 8 goals and 10 points to Goodwood’s lone and solitary point. Not a single goal was scored by the opponent.
2 weeks later in the Thebarton Oval premiership decider, Henley would face Sacred Heart who had risen from the Elimination final with 3 straight wins. The underdog even took the ascendancy to be ahead at quarter time. The Sharks got back the lead at half time as the close contest continued into the 3rd quarter. Kicking into the wind, Henley rose to another level extending the lead with multiple goals. To its credit, the Old Collegians continued to dig deep, keeping the game alive into the dying stages of the game. When the final siren sounded on the 18th of September 2010, the Henley Football Club had won its first ever SAAFL Division 1 premiership, since beginning with the league in 1920. With a tremendous 4 quarter effort, Ruckman Ross Pederson won the Best on Ground medal and in a parallel performance Damien Williamson was outstanding all day at both ends of the field.
Grand Final, 18th September 2010
Henley 11.6 (72) def. Sacred Heart OC 7.5 (47) at Thebarton Oval
J. Cullen, D. Williamson (2), R. Biar, V. Rugolo, K. McGregor, S. Fairclough, R. Kelly, M. Gautesen, J. Turner
D. Williamson, R. Pedersen, S. Fairclough, G. Colville, S. McGregor
Statistically, the A-Grade used 37 players in 2010 as 15 players played 16 games or more. 18 players who played in the Grand Final all played in Round 1 and the team was never defeated by Goodwood or Sacred Heart, playing them both on 3 occasions.
Henley State Players
In the mid-season break, the SAAFL state game included 4 Henley players in Jake Pavlich, Seamus McDonnell, Michael Gautesen and Damien Williamson. The great win over Western Australia in Perth was well led by player Seamus McDonnell who for his performance was chosen in the All Australian Amateur League team.
The SAAFL’s end of season awards also saw a Henley dominance. The A1 Division ‘Team of the Year’ included Joel Cullen at Centre Half Forward, Seamus McDonnell on the Half Forward Flank, Vinnie Rugolo in the Forward Pocket and Jason Turner on the interchange bench. At the league medal count Jason Turner polled 16 votes along with 2 other players to be joint winners of the prestigious 2010 Eric Pfitzner Medal. It was Henley’s first winner since Paul Heeps in 1978.
The powerhouse season of Joel Cullen, with multiple best on ground performances collected Henley’s Ardill Medal. Runner up in the best & fairest voting was midfielder Vinnie Rugulo. The Best Team Man award went to youngster Aaron Dart as Scott Berry, Damien Williamson and rookie Adam Turner also received high accolades. Other formidable assets to the historic team were Craig Herrmann, Brad Mehaffey, Trent Kelly, Luke Pastyn, Lee Pastyn and Gavin Colville. The development of young Ruckman Sam Daniel was also promising as Gareth White played many important roles in defence. The journey of Shaun McGregor entailed high adversity when before the season his Achilles tendon was ripped from the bone in what seemed as season ending injury. To his credit, the long road of rehabilitation was conquered and possibly shortened with great dedication to become an integral part of the premiership team.
His brother and gun forward Ken McGregor kicked 41 goals in a limited season to win Henley’s goal kicking trophy. He kicked 7 goals against Payneham as well as Tea Tree Gully, but the largest tally by a Henley player came in Round 12 when Russell Biar kicked 8 goals in the away game victory against Port Districts. His own season tally totalled 37 goals.
The annual ANZAC Day game was this year played at the Henley Memorial Oval and in front of a massive crowd on a Sunday afternoon, the Sharks overwhelmed Port Districts by 6 goals.
The tireless work of team manager Teresa Daveron was tremendous and ensured the boys were the best managed footballers in the state.
A new Coach took on the B-Grade team in former Henley A-Grader and Juniors coaching assistant Stuart Whitehouse. Stuey in his playing days also reached SANFL level, playing 22 games with West Torrens in the late 1980’s. Throughout the season the team defeated every team excluding top side Sacred Heart as in the second half of the season it began losing multiple games due to player unavailability.
Finishing the minor rounds in 3rd place with 13 wins and 5 losses, the finals journey took off at Salisbury North where the home team had 3 matches on the day (As/Bs/Cs). The Henley Reserves out classed the Hawks to earn a Semi final birth, fortunately at Henley’s Oval, against the minor premier. On a wet lousy day, Sacred Heart OC was out played for a lot of the game, but its early lead managed to inflict defeat on the Henley team. With the double chance in the following week, the journey went to the Goodwood Oval in a fight for the remaining Grand Final position. In the tight entertaining game against the Goodwood Saints, the ability to win the contest and to tackle hard earnt a close fought out victory for the Sharks. The Grand Final played at Thebarton Oval before the A-Grade once again saw an even contest against Sacred Heart. Henley this time was able decrease the margin ahead that Sacred Heart had owned all season, as the Sharks even led the game in the final stages of the last quarter. Fortunes were not abiding as the boys went down by 7 points.
For the season, youngsters Nigel Osborn and Addison Whitehouse were equal best & fairest winners with the runner up Sam Harvey, a rookie from the Colts also leading the goal kicking with 44 goals (2nd in the division). Captain Andrew Martin, Nick Jones and Leigh O’ Donohue were also outstanding players for the year. Other season contributors were James Caica, Shaun Letts, Daniel Waterman, Jason Clark, Scott Newman, Alex Newman, Tim ‘The Claw’ Rosewall, Iszac Thompson and Evan Bennetts. New comer Jarred McNally was detrimental in the finals surge as rookies Kurtis Cox, Ty Hodsen and Jordan Lawless also impressed. Sam Phillipou also made the field on occasions to kick 23 goals.
It was the B-Grade’s 4th Grand Final in a row and 3rd failed attempt.
With a promotion to the A6 Division, the reigning A7 premiers began the season with a new Coach in 1990 Kersbrook Mail Medalist Darryl Pearce. In a competition full of teams that were officially the opposition Club’s A-Grade units, the Henley C-Graders were at times up against the impossible. Although able to match skill levels, the opposition player would be highly tuned and intensely trained compared to the casual kick and catch c-grader. The stronger teams buried the Sharks within the first 10 minutes of many games and matches were lost by massive margins. But on multiple occasions the team proudly gelled together, respectively earning 6 victories for the year. It just lacked the key position power that could rebound and react from the opposition’s press and compliment the team’s talent. The biggest highlight of the season came in Round 12 when it defeated the inform and cashed up Colonel Light Gardens in the away game by 4 points. The victory was even more pleasing after Colonel Light had defeated the Sharks by 17 goals earlier in Round 2.
Centreman Brad Tonkin played another consistent season to win the Best & Fairest Medal. His season was further recognized by receiving a selection in the A6 Division ‘Team of the Year’. Josh McKenzie had a classy season before promotion to the B-Grade as Nick Meiers and Shane Walshe were also stand out on-ballers all year. Tom Pitman captained his second year, as players Paul Jennings, Aaron Biglands and someone else were also key components to the team. David Loveder kicked the most goals.
The D-Grade also embraced the A6 Division with a new Coach. Former SANFL Port Adelaide Magpies footballer and Henley Club Trainer Peter Organ guided a talented team against the tide to win a glorious Elimination final against West Croyden. Although losing to Trinity in the following week, the finals appearance showed that Henley’s 4th side could impose victory against opponents fielding A-Grade reserve teams.
George Charalabidis captained his second season, Jamali Sarai won the best & fairest award and Jordan Davidson was the runner up. Wayne Batters, Jason Matte, ‘Hollywood’, Craig Pitman and C-Grade Coach Darryl Pearce also had great years in a team that included former A-Grade Captain Shane Stone and former A-Grade best & fairest Chris Page. Stone in his 200th game kicked 9 goals in the 30 goal win against Mitchell Park at the Henley Oval and by season’s end he had kicked 51 goals to finish 3rd in the competition. Simon Barnes kicked 34 goals and Matthew Steer bagged 21 goals before kicking plenty more in the C-Grade side later in the season.
The Under 18s had a quiet season for a change to finish 6th. Peter Niemann coached his 6th season with Sean Kemp the Best & Fairest winner. Captain Jayce Del Bello was runner up as Michael Iwanczenko, Jaden Dinale, Harley Egel and Tom O’ Flaherty also playing good seasons. Matthew ‘Moppy’ Daveron-Searcy kicked 24 goals to lead the goal kicking.
3 premierships were won in the juniors…
Henley 5.5 (35) def. SMOSH West Lakes 2.2 (14)
Henley 10.10 (70) def. Flinders Park 3.5 (23)
Henley 10.4 (64) def. Port Districts 6.3 (39) – an upset, we have not beaten them all year.
The under 12s finished runners up to Woodville South who were undefeated all season, Henley played gallantly on the day.
Woodville South 5.5 (35) def. Henley 2.1 (13)
Players to reach milestones were…
200 Games – Shane ‘Stonie’ Stone, Tom ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ Pitman
150 Games – Simon Hardy, Andrew ‘Homer’ Martin, Evan Bennetts
100 Games – Nick ‘Shogun-Jackpot’ Jones, Shaun Lindsay, David ‘Hooker’ Loveder, Julius ‘Ces’ Miller, Matthew Pierson, Daniel ‘Lester’ Waterman
The season’s Annual Ball was held at the Adelaide Wine Centre on Saturday the 5th June. The end of season Presentation Night was held at the Lakes Resort Hotel on October 5th.
Lights: Old & New
The Club’s major off field achievement was the completion and installation of brand new oval flood lights. A 2 year project riddled with hurdles and delays magnificently illuminated the Henley Memorial Oval with lighting distinction by the close of the minor rounds. With enormous time & devotion, the never ending challenges were repeatedly solved by President David ‘Dos’ O’Sullivan, who along with a massive supporting party established a certain prospect of night games in seasons to come.
The major sponsors to assist the lighting project were…
City of Charles Sturt Council
The Office Of Recreation & Sport (Active Club Program)
SACFL AAHA Clubs SA
Auspole Products SA
The many suppliers and contractors included…
Computer Site Solutions (Mick Lockett)
Rexel Electrical Supplies (Shane Stone)
BCE Electrical & Data (Brad & Bob Cross)
AGL & Son Crane Hire (Adrian Lees)
Australian Wood Panels (Aaron Biglands)
Concrete Supplies (Jason Obbiettivo)
Jeffries Landscape Supplies (Marty Jefferies)
Talking Turf Consultancy (Jamie Butterfield)
Bob Enright Electrical
The Club facilities were further gifted by SACA’s donation of historic stadium seats from the Adelaide Oval. These members stand benches allowed for major seating area to the spectator area of the Henley Oval. The exterior of the building was also upgraded with winter comforting gas heaters as a highly effective storage shed was also constructed by Tony Yalias. The interior of the building received new carpets and Conservation SA contributed world class structural insulation. Club members played enormous roles in each improvement, saving major costs to the Club.
The Major Sponsors for the year were the Lakes Resort Hotel, Darryl Pearce Enterprises, Eadon Home Loans and Symons & Clarke Transport.
Peter Ardill & Hon. Paul Caica MP were the 2010 Club Patrons.
Player registrations were on the increase from 2009 as the Club facilitated 230 junior and 150 senior footballers. 62 senior players were sponsored.
9 out of 10 Henley teams played in finals with 7 Grand Finalists achieving 4 premierships.
At the November AFL draft, former Junior Brodie Smith was drafted to the Adelaide Crows at pick number 14.
Written & compiled by Evan Bennetts