Latest season to our Club History collection is 2004….
Club Location: Henley Memorial Oval
Senior Affiliation: South Australian Amateur Football League (SAAFL)
After finishing 3rd in 2003, the new season in Division 2 was always going to be exciting and challenging. Coached again by Grant Levy, a new Club Captain was appointed in Luke Pastyn, with Adam Douglas and Nathan Caldow his deputies. 8 new team members also arrived as the pressure on players to perform was high. The Guernsey was also finally upgraded.
The motto for the year was an “extra 3%” encouraging everyone to dig deep and give that little bit extra.
With the best defence and best attack in the league, the A-Grade finished as the undefeated minor premier, closing the season with a 108 point victory over Tea Tree Gully. Shane Stone kicked 7 goals.
Earning the week off, the finals campaign began at Shark Park with probably the best and most in form line up for the year. Henley cruised into the Grand Final with a massive 28 goal victory over Woodville South. Dennis Iljcesen booted 13 goals.
Played at Thebarton Oval, the Sharks again steam rolled the sentimental Woodville South in the Grand Final and set their sights on Division 1 with a powerful victory of over 13 goals. The Cats were kept to just 2 scoring shots.
Henley 13.15 (93) def. Woodville South 2.0 (12) at Thebarton Oval
Dennis Iljcesen was the league’s leading goal kicker with 47 goals as Luke Pastyn was runner up in the Chambers League Medal after winning it the year before. 4 men represented the South Australian state team in Victoria which normally leans to selecting division 1 players. These were Adam Douglas, Darren Holland, Dennis Iljcesen and David Niemann. Thomas Wright, who kicked 39 goals in the Henley season, was also a SAAFL representative in the state Under 23 state team. Wright’s highest tally came in Round 5 kicking 8 goals in the 24 goal victory over Scotch Old Collegians.
Other large goal kicking tallies came from Shane Stone (31), David Niemann (30), Darren Holland (26) Luke Pastyn (23) and Scott Berry (23)
Adam Douglas won the club’s best & fairest Ardill Medal for his terrific season.
Earlier in the day the B-Grade team coached by Patty Carpenter, set the scene by defeating Tea Tree Gully in the A1 Reserves Grand Final. Also without being beaten for the year, the team finished as undefeated premiers, winning the game 9.16 (70) to Tea Tree Gully’s 2.1(13). The premiership was led by Captain Leon Raynor who also took out the team’s Best & Fairest award and Paul Nyland led the goal kicking with 39 goals. The biggest bag of goals in one game came from Troy Cavenett who kicked 8 goals playing away against Pooraka.
In A7, the C-Grade climbed the most difficult mountain when in the last round it was not even certain it would play finals. To do so it had to get past the undefeated Colonel Light Gardens to qualify. Coached by Steve Lowe, a great last round victory began a rise to the top when it got through 4 finals in 4 weeks. The teams beaten throughout the finals journey were West Croydon, Wingfield, Houghton and again Colonel Light Gardens in the Grand Final. Played at Edwardstown Oval, final scores were Henley 13.5 (83) to Colonel Light’s 8.10 (58). Atticus Boyce as premiership captain held up the cup, Scott Robinson was celebrated for his great season winning the C-Grade’s best & fairest award and Andrew Englehardt kicked the most goals (26).
Also at Edwardstown Oval, the D-Grade super coach Jimmy McCabe, led the Demon D’s to a stunning victory in the A7 Reserves Grand Final. After losing 1 game for the year, the mighty D’s sealed as the “Year of the Sharks” with a victory over Tea Tree Gully. Final scores were 9.6(60) to 6.8(44). The best & fairest for the premiership team was Captain Andy Bray as Karl Dobner had a great year kicking 52 goals. Youngsters Cody Hicks and Aaron Dart were also impressive throughout the year, displaying great performances as goal and boundary umpires throughout the year.
The Under 17’s were well led by coach Michael ‘Wingers’ Hicks and finished minor premier. The admirable efforts unfortunately saw the passionate youngsters go without a win in the 2 Henley Oval finals against Goodwood and Edwardstown. The team finished 3rd. Matthew Pierson captained the side, Brad Geddes won the best & fairest award and Seamus McDonnell led the goal kicking with 34 goals.
The juniors brigade was blessed to have multiple former AFL and SANFL players taking on roles in the junior coaching duties. Former Crows star Andrew Jarman and Woodville utility Steve Jacquier watched over the Under-11s, former West Torrens and Port Adelaide defender Bob Enright and ex-West Torrens, Melbourne and Fitzroy ace Steven Stretch was involved with the under-9s. Former Melbourne, Norwood and Woodville defender Des O’Dwyer coached the under-8s along with the support of former Rooster Ian Willsmore.
Premierships kept coming with the Under 15s and Under 13s winning premierships. Coaches Rod Hill and Phil Burgess respectively, conquered Port Districts in both games at Alberton Oval. Sam Fairclough as premiership captain led the Under 15s well by also winning the team’s best and fairest award for the year. In the Under 13’s it was Adam Turner leading the way as captain with Kale Brock the best & fairest winner.
The lads in the Under 11s and Under 9s also had great seasons, finishing as Runners Up with their Grand Final appearances.
Mark Davoren completed his 5th and final year as the Junior’s Treasurer and John Giddings moved on after his 4th season of Junior Secretary.
All in all the ‘Year Of the Shark’ saw the Henley Football Club with nine teams, win 6 premierships out of 8 grand finals. The club was also awarded the SAAFL’s champion club of the year with around 60 clubs in the overall league.
Off the field the Club invested over $20,000 dollars in Club room improvements. Projects included adding multiple doors to the front of the building, laying at least 50 metres of pavers to the spectator area and upgrading the hospitality area to forever be known as the Graham Hill ‘Goog’s Bar’.
Written by Evan Bennetts