The 2019 #BUPATSL season proved to be unfamiliar territory for the Clarence Football Club, with the ‘Roos missing out on finals action for the first time since 2016 and just the third time since the inception of the current TSL in 2009.
With just one win and anchored to the bottom of the ladder after round 17, the ‘Roos, who blooded a raft of inexperienced and young players throughout the season, stared down the barrel of a senior wooden spoon for the first time since 1958.
However, to the credit of Jeromey Webberley’s side, they dug deep to finish the season with two wins from their last four games, including a stunning 22-point upset win over Eastern Shore rival Lauderdale in round 18 and thrilling eight-point Gadomski-Riewoldt Trophy win over the Tigers in round 20.
A disappointing loss to North Hobart in the final round proved to be a sour note to end the year on, but considering the amount of games blooded into the likes of Sam Green (11), James Bealey (16), Jack Preshaw (16), Oscar Paprotny (15), Oliver Preshaw (10), Jordan Ede (14), Adrian Butterworth (11) and Lachlan Borsboom (7), the teething pains of this season should hold the side in good stead moving forward.
Brady Jones was again a terrific leader, as was Jeromey Webberley, while 2018 Team of the Year ruckman Ryan Bailey finished the year in impressive fashion.
The club will also be buoyed by the development of Zac Buechner as a key defender, with the talented utility improving as the season progressed.
Ethan Jackson proved his worth in his first year in the red and white, while Chris Nield and Jarrod Harper were also solid contributors with 20+ goals each.
The development of young players is promising, but the ‘Roos will be looking for its mid-tier of players to step up and show improvement if Clarence are to make significant strides up the ladder in 2020, especially with an aging group of top-end players.
6th, 3-15, 66.22%
Chris Nield – 26
Jarrod Harper – 21
Jake Cox – 14
Team of the Year Representatives: 1
Brady Jones (Int)
Best and Fairest:
Brady Jones took out Clarence’s Best & Fairest Award after a season that saw him named in the TSL Team of the Year.
Ruckman Ryan Bailey finished as the ‘Roos highest vote-getter with eight, one vote clear of captain Brady Jones.
Bailey finished the year with a bang with three votes in round 19 and two in round 20, while Jones started the year in style with consecutive three-vote games in rounds six and seven.
Coach Jeromey Webberley was next best with three votes.
RACT Insurance Player of the Year:
Brady Jones and Ryan Bailey polled six votes each to lead the way for the ‘Roos.
Jones delivered three consecutive two-vote efforts in rounds five, six and seven; while Bailey polled three in rounds 18 and 20.
Jake Cox was next best with five, despite having an injury-interrupted campaign.
The round 18 Eastern Shore derby looked to be an uneven contest heading into it, with the bottom-placed Roos hosting the top-of-the-table Bombers at Blundstone Arena.
The hosts burst out of the blocks, however, kicking five goals to three in the opening term and 10 goals to six across the opening half to set up an eventual 22-point win.
Ryan Bailey got the better of Lauderdale’s Haydn Smith on that occasion, while young defender Sam Green, veteran Jake Cox and crafty forward Chris Nield also played crucial roles in a match that saw the experience and youth of the side blend almost perfectly.
Two losses to eventual wooden spooners North Hobart were clear lowlights.
The Roos went down by 55 points in round 14 – despite having the same number of scoring shots – before being pipped at the post under Friday night lights in the final round by just five.
2019 In Three Words:
Joeys get exposure