The 2019 #BUPATSL season was always going to be a big win for the Glenorchy District Football Club, with the proud club celebrating its centenary year.
With milestone matches against arch rivals North Hobart, Clarence and North Launceston throughout the season, big functions and commemorative guernseys, the club’s history was impossible to ignore.
Through the words of Paul Kennedy and the influence of senior figures at the club, the history of the Glenorchy and New Town Football Clubs were emphasised for players and supporters alike, with the Magpies embracing the past while also hinting at the future.
It wasn’t all sweet for the Pies in 2019, however, with the senior team enduring a torrid injury run, losing Daniel Joseph and Brayden Webb early on, while also being forced to deal with stretches without Josh Grant, Josh Arnold, Zac Webster, Sam Rundle, Harrison Gunther, Trad Duggan and others.
These injuries proved costly, particularly as the side reached the finals, with the Magpies bowing out of the finals race in straight sets.
Although this exit wasn’t the desired way to celebrate a centenary season, the competition got a strong insight into what lies ahead for the Pies with a raft of young players getting experience at senior level and holding their own.
Players like Adam Roberts, Will Atkin, Ryan Banks-Smith and Cameron Goodsell all showed significant improvement as the year went on, while the meteoric rise of Ben Kamaric as one of the competition’s standout midfielders was also eye-catching.
Throw in the weekly highlight reel that is Callen Daly, the explosiveness of key forward and eventual Hudson Medal winner Aiden Grace and the sensational leadership of Harrison Gunther in defence and Glenorchy has an exciting list capable of doing damage.
The evergreen Jaye Bowden again left footy fans spellbound, while stand-in captain Josh Arnold was also a rock in defence whenever out in the middle.
2019 will go down as a memorable season for the club’s centenary celebrations, and although injuries hampered on-field success, there were still plenty of indicators to suggest that Paul Kennedy’s side have a promising future ahead.
3rd, 12-6, 105.44%, Semi Final exit
Aiden Grace – 50
Jaye Bowden – 33
Callen Daly – 27
Team of the Year Representatives: 5
Harrison Gunther (CHB)
Jaye Bowden (FP)
Aiden Grace (FF)
Callen Daly (FP)
Ben Kamaric (INT)
Best and Fairest:
The breakout season of Ben Kamaric was rewarded with the R.H Patterson Perpetual Trophy and Roy Cazaly Medal as the Magpies’ Best & Fairest player ahead of second-placed Rhys Mott and Jaye Bowden in third.
Ben Kamaric was the highest poller for the Magpies with 12 votes. A red-hot start to the season saw the speedy midfielder with eight votes by round seven, which placed him in equal third before picking up another four votes across rounds nine and 10.
Hudson Medal winner Aiden Grace was next best with 10 votes, ahead of Sam Rundle (7), Callen Daly (7), Josh Arnold (6), Jaye Bowden (4) and Rhys Mott (4).
RACT Insurance Player of the Year:
Ben Kamaric was also Glenorchy’s standout according to the media, polling 10 votes ahead of Callen Daly (9), Jaye Bowden (8), Rhys Mott (8) and Aiden Grace (7).
The Magpies launched their centenary season in style with six wins from their opening seven games.
A 29-point win over the Blues at Windsor Park kicked things off in style, while wins over North Hobart, Clarence and Tigers also impressed.
The most significant win of the opening third of the season, however, proved to come in round seven, where a Glenorchy side missing the likes of Daniel Joseph, Brayden Webb, Zac Webster, Mitch Rainbird, Clinton French, Josh Arnold and Rhys Mott – with the latter two late withdrawals just prior to the match – overcame a 10-point deficit at the half to inflict Lauderdale with its first loss for the season.
Cal Daly was the spark for the Magpies, kicking two remarkable goals as part of a five goal to three third term.
The Magpies’ defence was under constant pressure in the final term, with interim skipper Harrison Gunther leading a miserly defensive effort that restricted Lauderdale to just one goal and two behinds, securing a historic win for the side, made all the sweeter after a demoralising loss to North Launceston the week prior.
Midfielder Ben Kamaric summed up the significance of the win during the following week.
“I was saying after the game that bar the grand final that was probably the best win I’ve ever played in. All week hearing about how we had been written off, the people who were out and losing Rhys Mott at training on Thursday as well and then to come in and win with the team we did and the way we did was unreal.”
A straight-sets finals exit is the clear lowlight for the Magpies in 2019.
The Magpies went into the finals undermanned with several key players on the sidelines, but giving up a 13-point lead midway through the final term against an out-of-form Lauderdale saw the ‘Pies pipped at the post by just one straight kick in a Qualifying Final classic.
This loss saw the Magpies spend their second chance and meant a knockout meeting with a red-hot Launceston was on the horizon the next week.
In a wet, muddy and cold KGV scrap, the Magpies were completely outclassed by the Blues, with a Dylan Riley and Jobi Harper-led Launceston storming to a 10-goal win, booking a Preliminary Final date in the process.
Undermanned with the likes of Webb, Gunther, Joseph, Duggan and Grant on the sidelines, the Magpies were kept to just 4.4 (28) – the club’s third-lowest overall score and lowest against Launceston since the TSL reformed in 2009 – and knocked out of the 2019 #BUPATSL finals race.
2019 In Three Words:
Centenary celebrations diluted