With 10 wins and eight losses, the 2014 season was the worst campaign in the club’s 53-year history

THE North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) was redesigned for 2014, with Southport Sharks as the stand-alone community club representing the greater Gold Coast Region and beyond.

The competition was condensed in terms of teams in South East Queensland, which saw seven teams reduced down to three teams with a list of 35 players, plus twelve under-19 rookies.

This has made Sharks an even more valuable talent pathway for all aspiring Gold Coast AFL players who wish to test themselves at the highest level of semi-professional AFL football.

To lead the Sharks into this new-look competition Matt Angus was appointed as senior coach. Matt had spent the last three seasons as Senior Coach at Broadbeach Football Club.

New coaches welcomed to the club for the 2014 season also included Brad Moore, Neil Mackay and Dane Carmody, all in Assistant Coach roles, Gary Fox as High Performance Manager and Jim Barrett as the Strength and Conditioning Coach.

The season started well for Sharks with wins over Gold Coast SUNS, Sydney Hills Eagles and Aspley, before a loss to Redlands in Round 4.

Sharks easily won its Round 5 clash with Eastlake Demons in the A.C.T.

The Sharks, having departed the Gold Coast on the Anzac Day public holiday, were in control for most of the game, establishing a 47 point to zero first quarter then building to a 76 point lead at half time.

From then, the Sharks went on to provide a dominant display, cruising home to a 22.18 (150) to 2.9 (21) victory.
The win saw Sharks third on the ladder, only points from top spot and equal with Sydney Swans.

Aspley inflicted the fourth loss of the season in Round 11, with an impressive 49 point win.

This result meant Sharks exiting the top six for the first time in the season.

All was not lost however, a 111 point win over an under-manned Queanbeyan side in Round 12 meant Sharks remained in touch with the top contenders.

In a dominant display in the ruck (41 hit outs), Will Wolbers gave his midfield charges first use of the football all day, resulting in Southport dominating the inside 50 count 65 to 29 and allowing power forwards Jake Goldsmith (six goals) and Josh Baxter (five goals) to have a day out in front of goal.

A 79 point victory over Ainslie at Fankhauser Reserve in Round 13 saw Sharks move back into the top six. The Sharks got off to a flying start kicking the opening three goals of the game.

After a dominant 135 point win over the Gold Coast SUNS at Metricon Stadium in Round 14, Sharks found themselves in fifth position on the ladder.

Despite struggling to fully capitalize on their opportunities early in the SUNS game, kicking 2.5, the Sharks controlled the remaining three quarters of the game, kicking eight, nine and six goals in each of the last three quarters to increase their lead at every change.

Round 15 saw a 43 point loss to Aspley.

Sharks were then defeated by Redland Bombers for the third time during the season in Round 16, in what was an arm wrestle of a contest.

Southport started well with 5 individual goal kickers in the first term helping them to lead Redlands by 7 points at the first change.

When Adam Clarke goaled for Southport at the seven minute mark of the last term to extend Southport’s lead to 20 points, it appeared to be the sealer in what was a low scoring contest, however, the Bombers kicked the last 5 goals of the game including 3 goals in ten minutes to ex-Shark Cleve Hughes that proved the difference.

The loss, by 8 points, saw the Sharks drop out of the NEAFL top six.

This round at Fankhauser Reserve also saw Ben Headland play his 100th senior match.

While the Sharks were still able to call on a host of senior players, a lot of experience had been lost through the likes of Kurt Niklaus, Danny Wise, Tom Daniel, David James and Adam Devine.

Sharks were also dealt a serious blow with a number of season-ending injuries to players Mitch Brewer, Glenn Screech and Haydn Kiel.

With the loss of those players Headland has been forced to take on greater responsibility in 2014, something he has done extraordinarily well according to senior coach Matt Angus.

The playing group for the season had an average age of around 22 years.

After six losses in a row, Sharks finished the season eight on the ladder.

A positive to come out of a lacklustre season was Lachlan Weller’s pick at number 13 in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft; a just reward for an impressive senior season in the NEAFL.

The Shark was Fremantle’s first selection.

Lachlan played eight games of senior footy for Sharks, where he averaged 20.4 disposals as a high forward.

Following the conclusion of the season, Wayde Mills claimed his second “Doc” Mackenzie Medal, which is awarded to Southport Sharks Fairest and Best Player.

Wayde (85 votes in total) polled 9 votes in the last game versus Sydney University to finish 10 votes clear of runner-up Todd Grayson (82 votes).

In third place was the ever-consistent Jason Burge (82 votes).

Wayde, Todd and Jason were well clear of their teammates heading into the final three rounds; however, the three players were only separated by three votes.

Wayde Mills was also recognised for his great year by the League and awarded a position in the NEAFL Team of the Year, sharing this honour with Sharks captain Jason Burge.

In other awards presented at the Southport Sharks Awards and Presentations, Jason Burge was awarded Most Determined, Luke Hill was awarded Most Improved Player, Mark Collison won the Coaches Award, Jake Keller was awarded the Wally Fankhauser Award, Kallen Geary won the Ken McDonald Most Dedicated Player and Alan Moroney was awarded the Bill Wood Clubman of the Year Award.

Honorary Life Membership was awarded to Alan Moroney at the 2014 AGM in recognition of over ten years of service to the club. Alan has been a Sharks team manager since 2004.

In other club news, The Swisse AFL Quality Club Program recognised Southport Football Club for achieving a high standard of club administration and governance in 2014. The Swisse AFL Quality Club Program provides an opportunity for all community football clubs across Australia to be recognised and rewarded for achieving higher standards of excellence and success.

Ahead of the year’s end, the AFL advised that the 2015 NEAFL season would be reformatted from 14 teams to 11 and includes the four current AFL reserves teams, namely Gold Coast SUNS, Brisbane Lions, GWS Giants and Sydney Swans.

Former Gold Coast Suns vice-captain Nathan Bock and retired GWS Giants player Josh Hunt were appointed in October to spearhead Sharks in 2015, as senior coach and playing assistant coach, respectively.

Season details: Games played 18, with 8 wins and 10 losses
Best and fairest: Wayde Mills
Leading goalkicker: Josh Baxter (42)


Round 1 (Mar 29):
SOUTHPORT 0.6 3.9 9.13 12.16 (88)
GOLD COAST SUNS 0.2 3.4 5.4 9.4 (58)
Southport goals: J. Baxter 3, H. Kiel 2, F. Pope , M. Brewer , R. Salter , J. Burge , L. Shreeve , T. Grayson , J. Goldsmith
Southport best: H. Kiel, J. Burge, R. Salter, K. Geary, J. Keller, L. Hill
At Fankhauser Reserve, Southport Sharks

Round 2 (Apr 5):
SOUTHPORT 5.5 8.10 9.13 13.19 (97)
SYDNEY HILLS EAGLES 1.0 4.5 5.8 5.13 (43)
Southport goals: M. Brewer 2, J. Burge 2, B. Wells 2, J. Goldsmith 2, L. Shreeve , A. Clarke , J. Baxter , M. Collison , K. Geary
Southport best: B. Headland, M. Collison, L. Shreeve, M. Brewer, E. Mallan, B. Wells
At Bruce Purser Reserve

Round 3 (Apr 13):
SOUTHPORT 5.6 5.9 7.14 8.18 (66)
ASPLEY 0.1 2.3 4.6 6.10 (46)
Southport goals: J. Baxter 3, B. Merrett , K. Geary , E. Mallan , L. Shreeve , A. McKenzie
Southport best: W. Mills, S. Haslem, L. Hill, L. Shreeve, B. Wells, J. Burge
At Fankhauser Reserve, Southport Sharks

Round 4 (Apr 19):
SOUTHPORT 1.4 3.9 10.11 12.13 (85)
REDLAND 2.4 7.6 9.8 15.11 (101)
Southport goals: J. Baxter 2, S. Haslem 2, K. Geary 2, B. Wells , F. Pope , L. Hill , M. Brewer , E. Mallan , J. Goldsmith
Southport best: W. Mills, L. Shreeve, J. Burge, L. Hill, J. Keller, T. Grayson
At Tidbold Park

Round 5 (Apr 26):
SOUTHPORT 7.5 11.12 18.15 22.18 (150)
EASTLAKE 0.0 0.2 1.2 2.9 (21)
Southport goals: K. Geary 4, J. Baxter 4, J. Goldsmith 3, K. Brennan 3, J. Burge 2, E. Mallan 2, B. Wells 2, M. Brewer 2
Southport best: K. Geary, M. Collison, M. Brewer, J. Burge, B. Wells, K. Brennan
At Football Park, ACT

Round 6 (May 3):
SOUTHPORT 2.4 6.5 7.6 10.8 (68)
NT THUNDER 1.3 4.4 7.10 12.14 (86)
Southport goals: Baxter 5, B. Wells , M. Brewer , J. Burge , M. Collison , S. Haslem
Southport best: J. Keller, J. Burge, F. Pope, L. Hill, J. Baxter, M. Collison
AT TIO Stadium

Round 7 (May 10):
SOUTHPORT 3.3 4.7 6.8 12.11 (83)
BRISBANE LIONS 1.3 3.6 6.7 7.8 (50)
Southport goals: J. Goldsmith 2, B. Wells 2, L. Shreeve 2, E. Mallan 2, F. Pope , S. Haslem , N. Burton , M. Brewer
Southport best: M. Collison, L. Shreeve, T. Grayson, L. Hill, J. Burge, B. Wells
At H.A Oval

Round 8 –Bye

Round 9 – Bye

Round 10 (May 31):
SOUTHPORT 4.2 6.7 11.9 16.9 (105)
REDLAND 6.2 10.5 15.7 17.7 (109)
Southport goals: J. Baxter 4, M. Brewer 3, K. Geary 2, S. Haslem , B. Wells , J. Macansh , L. Shreeve , T. Grayson , J. Goldsmith , N. Burton
Southport best: J. Keller, W. Mills, T. Grayson, J. Baxter, B. Headland, S. Thynne
At Tidbold Park

Round 11 (June 7):
SOUTHPORT 3.2 3.4 6.11 7.12 (54)
ASPLEY 3.2 9.6 12.7 15.13 (103)
Southport goals: J. Baxter 3, M. Brewer , J. Goldsmith , J. Macansh , A. Clarke
Southport best: T. Grayson, W. Mills, K. Geary, J. Keller, N. Burton, J. Burge
At Graham Road

Round 12 (June 14):
SOUTHPORT 5.4 11.6 17.8 23.10 (148)
QUEANBEYAN 0.1 1.3 3.6 5.7 (37)
Southport goals: J. Goldsmith 6, J. Baxter 5, E. Mallan 3, S. Haslem 2, B. Wells 2, F. Pope , M. Collison , A. Clarke , K. Geary , Z. Callinan
Southport best: E. Mallan, J. Burge, J. Goldsmith, J. Baxter, B. Headland, W. Wolbers
At Fankhauser Reserve, Southport Sharks

Round 13 (June 28):
SOUTHPORT 4.2 8.5 14.7 19.12 (126)
AINSLIE 3.4 3.5 6.6 7.6 (48)
Southport goals: J. Goldsmith 5, J. Burge 3, F. Pope 2, D. Troutman , A. Clarke , E. Mallan , S. Haslem , Z. Callinan , T. Grayson , T. Cornish , L. Hill , J. Baxter
Southport best: R. Salter, K. Geary, B. Headland, J. Goldsmith, A. Clarke, D. Stewart
At Fankhauser Reserve, Southport Sharks

Round 14 (July 5):
SOUTHPORT 2.5 10.8 19.11 25.15 (165)
GOLD COAST SUNS 1.1 2.3 2.6 4.6 (30)
Southport goals: J. Goldsmith 5, E. Mallan 4, L. Shreeve 2, R. Salter 2, A. Clarke 2, L. Hill 2, F. Pope 2, S. Haslem , Z. Callinan , B. Headland , T. Grayson , T. Cornish , K. Geary
Southport best: S. Thynne, F. Pope, T. Cornish, E. Mallan, R. Salter, Z. Callinan
At Metricon Stadium

Round 15 (July 13):
SOUTHPORT 1.1 3.3 5.5 7.6 (48)
ASPLEY 5.2 7.5 9.12 13.13 (91)
Southport goals: F. Pope , L. Weller , S. Haslem , K. Geary , A. Clarke , R. Salter , N. Burton
Southport best: D. Stewart, T. Grayson, J. Keller, S. Thynne, B. Wells, S. Haslem
At Fankhauser Reserve, Southport Sharks

Round 16 (July 19):
SOUTHPORT 5.3 5.6 8.9 9.9 (63)
REDLAND 4.2 5.4 5.7 10.11 (71)
Southport goals: J. Baxter 2, A. Clarke 2, K. Geary 2, T. Grayson , J. Goldsmith , E. Mallan
Southport best: W. Mills, K. Geary, A. Clarke, T. Cornish, J. Keller, J. Burge
At Fankhauser Reserve, Southport Sharks

Round 17 – Bye

Round 18 (Aug 2):
SOUTHPORT 0.3 2.5 3.6 6.7 (43)
NT THUNDER 2.3 7.4 9.5 12.8 (80)
Southport goals: K. Geary 2, E. Mallan , A. Clarke , B. Wells , J. Baxter
Southport best: W. Mills , K. Geary , J. Keller , A. McKenzie , L. Hill , E. Mallan
At Fankhauser Reserve, Southport Sharks

Round 19 (Aug 9):
SOUTHPORT 2.3 4.6 5.9 6.11 (47)
BRISBANE LIONS 1.4 9.5 16.9 18.12 (120)
Southport goals: A. Clarke 2, L. Shreeve 2, J. Baxter , E. Mallan
Southport best: L. Shreeve , J. Keller , N. Burton , W. Mills , L. Weller , T. Grayson
At Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex, Burgengary

Round 20 (Aug 16):
SOUTHPORT 4.2 8.3 9.6 13.8 (86)
BELCONNEN 2.3 7.4 14.7 16.11 (107)
Southport goals: J. Baxter 4, S. Haslem 3, L. Weller , A. Clarke , L. Shreeve , L. Hill , T. Grayson , W. Mills
Southport best: K. Brennan , S. Haslem , D. Stewart , L. Weller , J. Burge , M. Collison
At Kippax Oval

Round 21 (Aug 23):
SOUTHPORT 6.4 6.6 7.8 7.9 7.9 (51)
SYDNEY UNIVERSITY 0.0 2.1 5.3 10.5 (65)
Southport goals: J. Baxter 3, D. Stewart , K. Geary , B. Headland , E. Mallan
Southport best: J. Keller , L. Weller , W. Mills , L. Hill , D. Stewart , E. Mallan
At Fankhauser Reserve, Southport Sharks