CENTURY UP FOR LIONS
2000: The Centenary year was celebrated with many off-field functions and a new jumper design. The traditional vertical stripes of the 80's premiership years returned, with an SFC logo and centenary dates 1901-2000 across the chest. In my opinion this is the best Club jumper in our history. Alas, on the field we still had nothing new in the trophy cabinet. Over the summer we lost 20 players who had league experience, among them some star players like Hampson, Irving, Leach & McFarlane. There were 43 players used during the season, with 12 players making their debut. New recruits to the club were Brad Campbell, Richard Pang, Damian Condon and Hayden Sharp. An interesting statistic is that only 6 players who played in the Prelim. Final 0f '99 were playing in the losing 2000 Prelim. Final. The club was in the mix for another premiership, finishing in 3rd position on the ladder with 12 wins and 6 losses. Again but fell short, losing the Prelim. Final. Coach Kevan Sparks made the following comments in his season report, " People will offer excuses, whether it be injuries, umpires, the run of the ball, etc, but the plain simple facts are we didn't want it bad enough, didn't work hard enough or didn't make the sacrifices when it counted, that is all of us, Coaches, Players etc." It was a successful season for some of our top players, Richard 'Curtly' Ambrose, who won the Sandover Medal with 34 votes, and Michael Symons who was the runner-up 4 votes behind. The Club Champion Award went to Symons from Ambrose. A sensational performance by these two great players. Symons also added the State captaincy to his impressive season. Tony Godden played his 100th game, Brad Campbell won the Simpson Medal in the State Game. The Best First Year player was Nathan Featherby, and Brad Smith was the leading goalkicker. In the Reserves, Ashley Parsons won the Fairest & Best with Jonathon Wylie won the Colts Award. Memberships rose slightly from 574 last season to 585.
2001: The Club set out to recruit players to take the Club to the next level. Matt Connell returned to the Club from a successful AFL career with Adelaide. Richard Maloney, Michael Gardiner, Ben Knights, Brad Oborne, Sam Mcmanus, David Clark and former Geelong and Fremantle player Andrew Wills. 45 players were use during the season, of which 16 were played their first game for the Lions. Injuries were the main reason for our lack of success during the season. Not making the grand final has been wearing thin with coaches, players and fans alike. Coach Sparks commented, "Just to compete in the finals is no longer satisfactory. Everyone to a man, myself included, must lift and give more, be genuine, cut the crap and wear the Subiaco outfit with pride and commit ourselves to the cause". Good comments Kev! Nathan O'Connor played his 150th, Neil Marshall played his 100th WAFL game. Captain Richard 'Cheese' Maloney won the Club Champion Award from Matt Connell. Aiden Parker was the Best First Year Player and Ben Knights was the leading goalkicker with 38. The Reserves used 60 players during the year and had an outstanding season under coach Peter Ashworth. To complete the home and away season undefeated is an awesome performance. But, the record books will show that they lost the Grand Final. That is really tough to take. The Reserves B&F went to Sam McManus and Clint Gardiner won the Colts B&F. Memberships dropped from 585 last season to 552.
SPARKS CALLS IT QUITS!
2002: The season was remembered not only for the results on the field, but for the historic decision made by the Members to relocate the club from its home at Subiaco Oval to Leederville Oval in 2004. We will share our new home with rivals East Perth. The league side finished in second position on the ladder and even with the double chance again failed to make the long awaited grand final appearance. The Second Semi-Final was against East Perth and turned out to be a complete debacle. A controversial umpiring mistake which saw our captain Richard Maloney sent from the field, and four injuries to our players basically lost the game for us. Maloney was found not guilty at the tribunal, which caused much discussion about the send-off rule amongst the football fraternity. We had to front-up the West Perth in the Preliminary Final with a depleated side, and you can guess what happened? Frustration forced Coach Kevan Sparks to resign after the sides loss in the Preliminary Final. The club appointed Peter German as the incumbant coach for 2003 and beyond. It was not all bad news, the Reserves won another flag under the guidance of Peter Ashworth.
GRAND FINAL BLUES!
2003: Peter German took the reigns and had immediate success, winning the first 6 games and 10 out of the last 11 games prior to the finals, finishing the qualifying rounds as minor premiers. We beat the 'Garlic Munchers' in the Second Semi-final and fortunately did not have to face the triple premiers, the Royals in the Premilinary final. Our recent history in Prelim. finals had no been good, so it was a relief to go straight through to the GF. West Perth were our enemy, our arch rival, the team most Lions fans wanted to beat, specially for a premiership. Grand Final day was wet and windy, but got off to a successful start with the Reserves winning back to back premierships under coach Bill Monaghan. The smiles turned sour during the league game when we lost forward Brad Smith to a serious knee injury only minutes into the first quarter. Although there were several reasons that the Lions went down to West Perth that day. Some of our players were not switched on, we weren't the best wet weather side in the comp, and our opponents really wanted it more than we did. I consider the loss of Smithy as the biggest influenc in the game. It was a devistating blow. I can remember as he left the ground thinking that's our leading goal kicker, who is going to stand up and kick the 6 or 7 needed to win? Within minutes we were behind the 8-ball and basically the game was gone. We went down by 34 points. Club Champion was Marc Webb, with Daniel Metropolis runner-up. Mark Nicoski won the Best First Year Player Award, with Brad Smith our leading goalkicker bagging 84 for the season. In the Ressies, Chris Hood won the B&F and in the Colts it was Blake Broadhurst. Ruckman David Lucas had the highest votes in the Sandover Medal. Saturday 23 August 2003 was a significant day for the Subiaco Football Club. It was the last home game at Subiaco Oval for the club that had used League Headquarters as its home for 103 years. It was also the 30th and 15th anniversaries of the historic 1973 and 1988 premierships. Many club members and supporters paid $50 to dine with their hero's of the past in a pre-match function and many more, including myself, packed the club rooms after the match to watch the presentations. It was fitting that the present day league side had defeated Perth that day and in doing so confirmed their position at the top of the ladder and therefore grabbing the double chance for the finals. On a day where so many of our past champions were present, the two premiership coaches, Smith and Bunton, Fitzpatrick, Dargie, Keene and Taylor, there was one name from the '73 team which was not on the list of attendees. I caught up with some mates from long ago in the crowd and they asked me if I'd seen him? They were searching for 'the pocket dynamo', the key to the '73 premiership win, Keith Watt. Alas, he was again conspicuous by his absence. There was one lady in the crowd who stood up and said she had seen Keith approx. 18 months previous, but as it was some 30 years ago, Keith Watt has again disappeared into anonymity. Keith if you are out there, come to the footy club sometime and say hi. Although there were other players that could not make it on this special day, like Featherby, Sierakowski, Blair, Burton, Robertson and Crouch, just to see little 'Watty' again would have made it so memorable for me.
PREMIERSHIP 10 AFTER 13!
2004: The season ahead was dedicated to making amends for last season's disappointment. The loss to the Garlic Munchers hurt, hurt badly and only a premiership would ease the pain. There were some memorable matches during the season, with the outstanding record of losing only three matches for the season. We lost to the Bulldogs by 1 down at the Port in round 4, arch-enemy West Perth by 11 at home in round 16 and Perth at EFTel Oval (I call it Ambush Park) by 3. We had disposed of Claremont on 2 occasions prior to meeting them in the Second Semi-Final were we cruised to a 60 point win, 19.14.128 to 9.14.68. We then faced the Tigers again in the Grand Final. The day was forecast to be wet, but it turned out fine and sunny when the two sides ran through the banners, attracting a crowd of 21,507 to watch the decider. After a tense first quarter we established a 20 point lead and it was 19 points at half time. An early Tigers goal in the third quarter reduced the margin to 13 points and it seemed the game was set to be a close one. Incredibly, Subi kicked 8 unanswered goals to confirm our status as the best team in the league. The 13 year wait for our 8th premiership was over. It was a memorable season and one of the best in history for the club and all the fans. Our acheivements were as long as your arm: WAFL Premiers, Minor Premiers, Coach of the Year-Peter German, Sandover Medallist-Ali Pickett, Simpson Medallist-Paul Vines, WAFL Rising Star-Matt PriddisWith a 60 point victory in the second semi final over the Tigers, we had the weeks rest and fronted up against Claremont again in the grand final. In front of 21,500 fans, the Lions led all day to win 15.9.99 to 7.9.51. It was twelve months earlier that goal sneak Brad Smith suffered a serious knee injury minutes into the grand final. This was to be a different story with Smith kicking 5 majors with Sam Larkins kicking 4 to set-up a sensational premiership. At last, the league team has broken a 13 season drought. The social hall at our former home Subiaco Oval was packed as the celebrations went long into the night. It was a very memorable season with outstanding performances by our players. The Club Champion Award and the Sandover Medal was won by the pocket Dynamo Allistair Pickett. Runner-up, and leading goalkicker was Brad Smith with 109 for the season. The Best First Year Player Award was won by two players, Matt Priddis and Darren Rumble. The Coaches Award went to Ben Keevers. In the Reserves, Blake Broadhurst was the Fairest & Best, with Trent McKenna runner-up. The Colts Award went to Courtney Moores. There was a good feeling around the club and even before a ball was kicked for season 2005, there was talk of back to back premierships!
2005: The season commenced with promise. With no premiership hangover in sight the team got straight into gear from round 1 thumping East Fremantle by 80 points. With other big wins over Perth by 154 & 126, Swans by 62, Claremont by 94, East Perth twice by 101 it was a great start to the season. We were again a force at the top of the ladder and played most matches with confidence and skill. With the loss of Richard Maloney, Richard Ambrose, Caine Miller and David Mundy & Brad Smith on AFL duties, the Club seemed to have the players to fill these positions. We suffered two losses in the home and away season to South by 33 under lights at Fremantle Oval and The Falcons at home by 27. Although we finished minor premiers, it all came horribly unstuck in September. The Second Semi-Final was a disaster, losing by 60 to a slick and dominant Bulldogs side. The loss was a shock to everyone in the footy world, but I had some reservations about our form leading into the finals that year. I'm not saying I'm a clairvoyant or anything, but some matches in the later half of the season, specially against lower clubs were not that convincing. The loss was bad, but it wasn't the loss so much, as the way we lost. Beaten badly all over the ground. I remember leaving Subi Oval more angry and frustrated than I had felt since I was a footy-mad kid. I got home and immediately jumped onto the PC and sent an email to Germo with my thoughts on where he and the match committee went wrong at the selection table. The side was littered with all the big names, some of which were out of form leading into the finals. I was convinced some of the younger, more hungry players should have been given a run against the Bulldogs who were definately our major threat. Apparently Germo hung my email onto the pin-board in the rooms that week and it was there for all to see. I hoped that some words from a life-long fan might make a difference. Mainly I was hoping it would infuence the coaching staff to make a few changes to the side to face the P Claremont in the Prelim. Final. But alas, it was not to be. Virtually the same 22 ran through the banner and for the first 40 minutes of the game we seemed to have some spirit back that was sadly lacking in the previous match. It was mid way through the second quarter that the Tigers started to come back after trailing 33 to 7 at quarter time. At the half time siren, we were 6.3.39 to 5.5.35. The signs were there, we were going down, and we trailed at three quarter time by 17. The final margin was 24 points. The side who lost 4 matches for the season was out of the finals in straight sets. The calls of 'chokers' rang in our ears as the opposition fans enjoyed the result. We were a much better side than Claremont that season, but not good enough to make the only game that really counts. That is the hardest thing for supporters and players to realise. That is footy so they say.....Roll on 2006!
GERMO MAKES IT TWO!
2006: In a similar scenario to last season it was a brilliant start with losses to Swans in round 12 and Claremont in round 13 being the only failures. This season, unlike the season just passed was to end in celebration. The season commenced with the biggest wins over the Sharks by 112, Peel by 122. Mid year the Club proudly displayed their new night-match jumper when they played against East Fremantle at home. The new strip is prodominantly gold with maroon stripes. By far the best performance of the season, in my opinion was the Second Semi-Final, held for the first time at Medibank Stadium on Sunday September 10. We faced the second placed Bulldogs on an overcast day. We lead at quarter time, 5.1.31 to 4.3.27. In the second quarter was a tight struggle and we trailed by 2 points at half time. South's lead by 19 at the last change and it looked as though we were destined to be playing in the Prelim Final in a week's time. A sensational 7 goal to 2 last quarter saw us score a come from behind win by 7. It was surely THE best performance by a Subiaco side for a decade or more. Pickett kicked 4 and Mapleston 3 in what was a great team effort. We were through to the GF!!! A big relief for everyone at the Club after the disappointment of 2005. Grand Final day was fine and hot with light winds. A perfect day for a premiership one would say. The pre-game talk was very much angled towards the decision by the Subiaco match committee to select West Coast representitive Mark Nicoski in the 22 for the GF. Nicoski had been sidelined for a couple of months due to injury and was on the verge of AFL selection. The Eagles won through to the AFL Grand Final the following week and, although the Lions coach denied he had been pressured by the Eagles to play Nicoski, he had chosen the defender in the Lions side. This was a controversial decision in some ways, leaving a regular Subiaco player out of the squad, to play a guy who hasn't played a match for 8-10 weeks. With the availability of Ben Keevers and Josh Wooden after injury, it was a disappointment for Courtney Moores, Shaun Hilderbrandt and Jordan Adamson-Holmes who never made the final 22. The Bulldogs looked slick in the early part of the game, but we lead by a goal at the first break. Our second and third quarters were top shelf and we had a good lead at the last change. A sensational 10 goal last quarter was icing on the cake as we powered to our greatest ever winning margin in a GF of 83 points. That margin was the second highest in WAFL history. We had secured our ninth premiership! There were some remarkable individual highlights in another stellar season the the Lions. Matt Priddis was the pick of the bunch, winning his first Sandover Medal with a record 58 votes. Priddis also made his AFL debut with West Coast during the season. Caine Hayes, in my opinion the complete footballer, skilled, tough and unrelenting, won the Simpson Medal for his best on ground performance in the State game. He was among many Subi team mates who also played State footy in 2006, Luke Newick, Marc Webb, Ben keevers, Darren Runble, Aiden Parker and Ali Pickett. Our skipper Marc Webb also won the Simpson Medal for BOG in our premiership win. Mark Haynes won the Outridge Medal after joining the club from Sanderingham in the VFL in 2004. Now a dual premiership player, 'Dessie' played 66 continuous matches in his 3 seasons with the Lions. 2006 Sandover Medallist Matt Priddis, who missed 4 matches due to AFL duties was runner-up, 4 votes behind Haynes. Dual Sandover Medallist Ali Pickett in third place. Greg Broughton and Cam Heise won the Rising Star Award and David mapleston was our leading goalkicker with 57 for the season. In the Reserves, Trent McKenna won the B&F from Sam Miles. In the Colts it was Joel O'Halloran from Matt Virgo. In October, dual premiership coach Peter German announced his intention to search for a coaching role in the AFL. German's 82% win ratio in his 4 seasons as coach is a remarkable achievement. Although some would say he had a premiership squad of players to coach, there is no doubt his methodology and style was a success and all Subi fans would be satisfied at the results he has achieved. In early November Frementle Football Club announced that Germo would join their coaching panel, ending weeks of speculation. On November 6, the club made the surprising announcement that 2006 Subiaco Colts coach Scott Watters would take over as senior coach on a part time basis for 2 seasons. Many close to the club would have put money on either Bill Monaghan or David Sierakowski stepping up from their assistant's role. Tiny in stature, Scotty Watters has played for 3 AFL clubs, originally coming from South Fremantle in the WAFL. Personally, I think the club obviously thought highly of the guy and I wish him all the luck in pushing the players to back to back flags in 2007.
BACK TO BACK?
2007: It didn't take long for the LIONS to pick-up where they left off in 2006. Wearing replica jumpers from the 1973 premiership, it was a strong performance all over the park in very hot conditions. It would have made every supporter smile, considering that our opponents were thrown around in the media as pre-season premiership favourites. The Tigers were either hit with a bad case of sunstroke or they fell to the might of a hungry team of LIONS ready to defend their 2006 premiership. With winners all over the ground, it was feeding time for the young team which had many of the big names missing through injury. For the first time for a while the Lions went into a league Grand Final as the underdog. Ladder leaders for most of the season, a mid year loss to bottom side Peel Thunder basically cost the club top spot in the end. I look back to that loss and wonder if it was the best thing that could have happenned. The embarassment of that loss has been forgotten by the triumphant domination of both South Fremantle in the preliminary Final and a 41 point win over minor premiers Claremont in the Grand Final. I now wonder if finishing second on the ladder and not being expected to win the Grand Final was the best scenario we found ourselves in. GF day got off to a great start with the young star-studded Reserves side coached by Brett Mayo pulling off a wonderful win in extra time. With 2 goals to Blake Broadhurst, who was very unlucky to miss out on a league berth, set up the win. Chris Hood took out the BOG medal. Ben Bazzaca, Matt Virgo, Kyal Horsley, Trent Dennis-Lane and Trent McKenna, in his last game were special performers. In the league, it was a brilliant start with Sideshow tapping the ball down to Alli Pickett and a little left foot pass hitting Skidda lace-out on the chest to bring up the first major of the game after 20 seconds. The rest is basically history. The one sided grand Final was a testiment to a side that was virtually written off by the media and really wasn't given the respect it deserved. Losing the second semi-final to Claremont seemed to leave the Lions as underdogs, which is exactly what was needed to fire up the boys. The spirit of the Lions was sensational. I can't remember such fierce tackling and aggression at the ball. They were all inspirational. The after match celebrations were bigger and better than ever. Well done to everyone at the Footy Club on a momentous occasion, one I will remember for a long, long time to come.
I certainly had my doubts after the second semi-final performance at Claremont Oval, but I was proved wrong. After a slow first quarter, and the memories of 7 days ago, and the nightmares of our 2005 finals flop, I was very pleasantly surprised by our thumping of the Bulldogs in the Preliminary Final today. After all, being a Subi supporter is a bit like being on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Sometimes it's from week to week, other times, like today it was quarter to quarter. I would say that the 3rd quarter of today's match was the best 25 minutes of football the Subi Footy Club has played in a final for as long as I can remember. I will need to sit and watch the reply to gather my thoughts, but we were looking pretty sick up until early in the 2nd quarter today. Then a change was made by Watters. He ran 'Syrup' in the ruck in the second quarter and suddenly it happenned. We were kicking long, run, run, run and actually, South were gone within minutes...If we can take that spirit into the GF I reckon we have got a mighty good chance at taking the flag, back to back!
Lions full forward Brad Smith achieved something that no other player has done for a decade. To score 100 goals in a season is exceptional. Scoring 100 goals in the qualifying rounds is better again, but to do it after 2 knee reconstructions is simply awesome. That describes Brad Smith in one word. AWESOME! There have been some super full forwards in the history of the Subi Footy Club. None better than the great Austin Robertson. Ocker was, in my opinion THE best full forward in WAFL history. In recent times Jason Heatley and Todd Breman have scored tons in a season. Smith must rate up there with the very best. He can not only kick a footy straight, he is a strong lead and even after the knee operations he can still manouver himself into the best position to take a freakish mark. But apart from all of those attributes Brad Smith is a humble champion and a really nice guy. Skidda, everyone at Subi hope that you can continue in present form for many seasons to come.
Round 10: v Claremont at Claremont Oval. Fine with gusty south-easterly winds. We were beaten in the Colts, but bounced back to win the Reserves well. The league game was a tight affair all day with the lead changing many times. We had the breeze in the last quarter. Into time-on the scores were level. A questionable umpiring decision in the Tiger's goal square at the Claremont end saw a Tiger's mark reversed and given to the Subi defender. We managed to take the ball up the ground and Ben Randall marked 50 metres out on a slight angle. The trick winds meant it wasn't an easy shot, but the trusty defender snuck it through and gave us the lead with seconds left. A win, not convincing by any means, but we were good enough to snatch the game by a goal.
Saturday 7 July will go down as a unique day in WAFL football. It will be remembered as the day the cellar dwellers beat the ladder leaders, a situation one could wait season's to see. Unfortunately for all the Lions fans that witnessed the game, it is a memory that will cause some anguish when thoughts of grandure in September come closer. It was not only that we lost the game, to me it was the way that we lost that is disappointing. We hit lead into the time-on period in the final quarter which should have meant victory. We chased tail most of the day, although in front on the scoreboard several times, we just lacked pace, skills and the will to win when it counted. Peel deserved their win with an outstanding performance. They were simply sensational in their attitude, physical pressure and ability to run us off our legs. A masterful game by James Walker was the catalyst for the Thunder's victory. That could be THE result that Peel Thunder needed to turn the corner as a football club. As for the LIONS, well there is always next week, but with the Sharks in good form our boys will need to seriously look at themselves and lift their rating 100% on last Saturday's performance.
On a day best suited for ducks, the Swans went down to a dominant Lions by 104 points. Heavy showers and gusty winds made the conditions difficult, but after a 10 goal to 1 second quarter, the game was over by half time. Brad Smith, Mapleston and centurion Ali Pickett all performing up forward and down back 'Homer' was at his reliable best. Dual Sandover Medallist and Subi superstar Ali Pickett runs out for his 100th straight game in maroon & gold tomorrow in the match against the Black Ducks at the Stadium. On a day forecast to be wet and windy, Ali should weave his magic under the packs picking up his usual swag of kicks for the Lions. Congratulations Ali, you are one of the all-time great WAFL players and a Subi legend.
The focus this weekend is beating our old-foes the Garlic Munchers. Subi's annual mid-season slump has gone long enough. This looks like being a classic contest as all of our games against West Perth are. One can go back as far as 1973 when the Cardies beat us four times that season, before we had our revenge in the Grand Final. The 1990's, when they ended our finals hopes on numerous occasions, and the sour memories of the 2003 GF still hurts. Let's all get behind the boys and wish them the best in all grades this Saturday. GO LIONS!
It certainly was a ripper game. We didn't get the lollies at the end, but I enjoyed the contest all the same. Two highly skilled sides on a perfect day for footy at the Port, a pretty good crowd and a goal feast. We were gone halfway through the opening term, but the 'G & D' the Lions showed when the chips were down was fantastic. A 16 goal first quarter had all the fans cheering. After a tight struggle the Bulldogs with the help of Jeff Farmer took out the win in a top-class match.
The Lions loss to the Royals two weeks ago makes this Monday's clash with the Tigers at Claremont Oval a must win game. Fine weather is forecast so this should be one of the matches of the season. Lions fans, make sure you get down to Claremont Oval and support the boys. See you in the outer...GO LIONS
The Subiaco Football Club is searching for the brilliant rover and 1973 Premiership player Keith Watt. The club's LEGENDS DAY is on July 22, but so far Watty has not been found. He is held in awe by all Lions supporters who were lucky enough to see him in action during the early 1970's when he won the Club Champion award, represented WA and topped off a short but stellar career as one of Subi's best players in the triumphant 1973 grand final. Watt, who made a brief comeback to football in the maroon & gold during the 1978 season has not been seen around the club for decades.
Good luck to all the Subiaco players selected to play for WA next Saturday. We'll all be watching and supporting the Black Swans.
Anyone who was at Medibank Stadium witnessed a remarkable come from behind win by the Royals last Saturday. In a game one can only describe as being played in two halves, the Lions led by 47 points at half time only to be outscored by a desperate East Perth team. In an outstanding performance Ali Pickett proved he has plenty of season's left in those little legs, kicking 3 classy goals and was amongst the Lions best players with Mapleston, Broughton and Brad Smith in good form. The latter two players taking sensational 'screamers' at either end of the ground. Congratulations to the Reserves and Colts who both had great wins.
Sunday July 22nd will be the LEGENDS DAY at the Subiaco Football Club. To mark the occasion I am asking all LIONS fans out there to send me your ALL TIME
It was one of the best performances by a Subiaco side I've seen for many years. It broke the record as the biggest winning margin against the Bulldogs. An awesome display of goalscoring by Brad Smith who bagged 11 majors was the catalyst. Whilst Smith was rested in the last quarter, but the boys kept pounding the forward line giving opportunities for our forwards to score. The victory was very much a team effort, with winners in all positions over the ground. Congratulation boys, now for Joondy and hopefully win number 3 for the season.....
2008: What a season. One all Subiaco fans will cherish for the rest of their lives. The first ever triple premiership for the league side who managed to dominate the competition through to the grand final, coming from behind to beat a gallant Swan Districts. The season started well with wins over South Freo at the Port and Claremont at home, two of the previous season's finalists. In fact it wasn't until June 21 that the league team suffered defeat. Subi lead at quarter time by 22 points and 36 at the long break. Swans kicked 5.3 to 2.2 in the third quarter to bring the margin back to 16 points at three quarter time. The game was in the balance halfway through the last quarter with Subi losing players to injury and had no fit players on the bench. With seconds to go a shot at goal put Swans in front by the smallest of margins. Remarkably, this defeat was to be the only loss of the season for the Lions. The biggest winning margin was on 3 May over Peel by 157 points at Kalgoorlie. That was a club record. We managed to belt Claremont by 131 points down at Tigerland, which is quite unusual looking over past results between these two sides. Subi finished ladder leaders and it wasn't until the dying minutes of the last home and away rounds that the final ladder positions were decided. September action saw the league side drawing the old enemy West Perth in the second Semi Final. On a fine day at Medibank Stadium we lead by 19 points at the first change. A 6.2 to 1.4 second quarter saw the Lions lead by 47 points at the long break. In the end we ran out winners by 44 points and quietly planned for our fifth grand final in 6 years. As it turned out Swans were victorious in a controversial preliminary final at Arena Joondalup over the Falcons. History would show that Swans and Subi had never faced each other in a grand final. Although the Lions went into the match as favourites there was a sentimental feeling from the football world that Swans had a big chance to knock off the kings of the jungle. On a cold and windy September afternoon, two of Subiaco's favourite sons were on hand to witness the grand final match. The great full forward Austin Robertson tossed the coin before the match and former star defender Brian Sarre, who was nominated as the 2008 Club Legend presented the Premiership Cup. The first half of the game was dominated by the young Swans side, having winners in most positions on the ground. At times they made the Lions look slow and it wasn't until back to back goals from big forward David Mapleston just before the long break that the sleeping Lions looked like they may be in contention. A solid third quarter saw the Lions dominate and they eventually ran out winners. Former Adelaide recruit Chris Hall was named the Simpson Medallist. He also announced his retirement at the trophy presentation after the match. Superb performances from Jarrad Schofield, in his final game of football and big forward David Mapleston set-up Subi's premiership at crucial times during the game. The Lions eleventh premiership flag was in the bag. Three in a row and the hungry Lions will be looking for four I'm sure. A great season from Greg Broughton saw him win the Outridge Medal with Brad Smith as runner-up. Smith also collected the most votes for Subiaco in the Sandover Medal and won the Bernie Naylor Medal for the WAFL's Leading Goalkicker for the fourth time with 110 goals. Julian Jacobs won the Blakemore Medal for Reserves Best & Fairest and Rob Scantlebury and Cody Enders picked up the Taylor Medal for the Colts B & F. The following players retired at season's end, Sammy Larkins, Jarrad Schofield, Chris Hall, Mark Haynes, Adam Hay & Todd Holmes.
GOING FOR FOUR IN A ROW!
2009: The season commenced with the on-again, off-again career of Simpson Medallist Chris Hall finally coming to an end in the maroon & gold. Chris headed back to South Australia to play in the SANFL. The league side saw losses against Swans in round 2 and South in rounds 4 & 18. Further losses to East Perth, twice and West Perth, twice saw the Lions lose a total of 7 home and away matches. They finished in second position on the ladder after Swans lost their round 23 game against the league leaders South Fremantle. The second semi final was held down at the Port on a wet and wild September Saturday which saw South embarass the Lions with a 70 point demolition. It was virtually a domination in every position on the ground and many Subi fans left the ground with thoughts of a straight-sets exit from the finals, similar to the finals failure of 2005. Thankfully, the Subi tradition of bouncing back from a defeat saw the boys face up to Swans at Medibank Stadium with inspired enthusiasm. Two of the previous week's 22 were missing in the Preliminary Final. Regular full-back Darren Rumble and speedy defender Raf Stack made way for Rhett Kerr and Jordan Adamson Holmes. Swans went into the match as favourites only due to the Lions having lost the previous two matches and on paper had a star studded side. In showery and windy conditions the Lions lead at quarter time and increased their lead with a sensational seven goal to one second quarter against the breeze to set up the win by 19 points. We were in our sixth grand final in seven years. Many saw the end of an era was about to hit the Lions really hard, but there were the diehards who still had Subi taking out their fourth flag in a row, but it was going to be a hard tussle.
The Grand Final was held on Sunday 20 September. The weather forecast was for showers increasing in the afternoon with possible thunderstorms. Thankfully the forecast was incorrect and a few light showers were experienced. Subi ran out with no change to the line up which defeated Swans in the Prelim Final a week earlier. State full-back Darren Rumble and defender Raf Stack were again controversially overlooked. Daniel Chick started the game at full-back. The Bulldogs won the coin toss and kicked with the wind to the city end. It was the Lions who scored first inside the first 20 seconds, but the Bulldogs came back. We were behind at quarter time 5.3 to 3.4, but did a reasonable job of holding South into the wind. Not taking the opportunities when kicking with the wind in the second quarter hurt us badly. Our regular mid-field was down on form with Webb, Keevers, Hildabrandt, Cossom and Bristow all struggling and Stenglein and Fletcher trying hard. It was the oldest and smallest man on the field Ali Pickett who was throwing everything at the opposition and picking up plenty of possessions. Brad Smith had only one possession to half time and things were looking very grim. We trailed by 18 points, but I felt that the margin was flattering. The third quarter started as the second quarter finished, with the Bulldogs taking full advantage of the wind and piling-on early goals to virtually seal the game. It looked like a massive blow-out was pending and at the final break the margin was 47 points -15.10 to 7.11. To their credit the Lions stood-up in the last quarter kicking 6.6 to 2.1 but the gate had already shut. It was good to see the spirit of the Lion prevented a massive defeat, although it was obvious the Bulldogs were safely home and eased-off the pedal. The margin came back to 18 points when the final siren sounded. The dream of four-in-a-row was shattered and the careers of superstar Brad Smith was over. I feel honoured to say I watched one of the best full-forwards to ever play the game. Smith rates highly on the list of the best sharp-shooters in Subiaco's history. With the great Austin Robertson leading the way, Smith statistically fills the second position with Todd Breman & Jason Heatley the other players to fill the top four rankings.
FINALS RUN COMES TO AN END
2010 saw the Club engaged Chris Waterman to the head coach role. Waterman had the unenviable task of stabilising a side missing many stars from the previous season. Finishing out of the finals race for the first time in a decade was not something the Club was looking forward too. With the loss of several top line players including forwards Smith, Mapleston and Dennis-Lane and names like Stenglein, Fletcher, White, Chick and Hayes it was not going to be easy to repeat the results of 2009. It was left to Blake Broadhurst to take the responsibility up forward which he did, taking out the 2010 Outridge Medal kicking 56 for the season. We were lucky to retain the services of Alli Pickett after the little rover originally announced that 2009 would be his last season. The loss of Robbie Forrest, Jason Bristow, Phil Read, Adam Cockie, Scott Worthington and Luke Newick didn't help our situation, but we debuted some promising youngsters. Names like Reece Blechynden, Pat Hassett, Ben Heffernan-Roper, Mark Re, Worthington and Buddy Pickett performed well during the year. The league side started the season winning six of the first 9 games and looked promising. Mid season losses to Claremont, Swans and East Perth meant the second half of the season was important to our finals chances. Rounds 14, 15 & 16, wins over Perth East Freo and Peel put us back on track in the top four. This winning run unfortunately hit a brick wall in the next 5 rounds with defeats by thr Falcons, Sharks, Tigers, Sharks & the Royals saw us out of the premiership race. The final game of the season ironically saw up line up against our grand final opponents from last season, the Bulldogs down at the port. No one who attended that day would have expected the final scoreline. With the Lions beginning with an 8.1 quarter we lead by 8 points. By half time the score was 12.1 to 9.10. With Docker Ryan Crowley and Broady running riot in the forward line, we kicked 11.1 in the third term to lead 23.2 to 16.15. In the final term the free-flowing game continued with the Lions running out 63 point victors, 33.9 207 to South Freo 21.18.144. A truly memorable match considering these were bottom 5 sides in 2010. After a disappointing season the league team finished one game outsided the top four with 40 points. In the other grades, the Reserves finished in 7th osition with 5 wins and the Colts having a shocker finishing last with 5 wins. In the awards, Broady won the Outridge Medal from Marc Webb. Tim Viney won the Reserved B & F with Heffernan-Roper the runner-up. The Colts award was won by James Lee from Joel Ashman. Congratulations to Chad Cossom on playing 200 SFC games, 150 SFC games to Aiden Parker, Luke Newick, Ben Keevers, Alli Pickett and 100 SFC games Blake Broadhurst. Shaun Hilderbrandt played 150 WAFL games.