Season 2019 has been another great success with the club reaching a second successive NEAFL Grand Final.
In the 2019 competition of the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL), Southport competed against four AFL Reserve Grade Teams (Gold Coast Suns, Brisbane Lions, Sydney Swans & GWS Giants) and five non-AFL Clubs (NT Thunder, Aspley, Redland, Canberra and Sydney University).
Prior to the season, former Port Adelaide Captain and Coach Matthew Primus was added to the coaching staff alongside Senior Coach, Steve Daniel, and Assistant Coaches, Matthew Lappin and Ryan Davis (playing).
Following the success of 2018, 17 new players were included on the list of 42, including former AFL players Matt Shaw, Mackenzie Willis, Tom Fields, Josh Williams and Trent Stubbs.
The Leadership Group was voted on by the players and the following players were appointed:
Co-Captains Seb Tape and Andrew Boston
Vice Captain Michael Manteit
Leadership Group Jordan Taylor, Ryan Davis, Rhys Clark and Josh Hall
Among the 13 Home and Away wins recorded in season 2019, there were two notable early season performances which ensured we were in contention for a finals berth:
- Round Two win at Aspley by eight points was our first victory at Graham Road since 2012; and
- Round Five win over Sydney University at Blacktown was our first ever victory at that venue.
2019 proved to be a difficult year when it came to travelling interstate. Delayed flights to Canberra for Round Three meant a 2am arrival for a midday game, then a cancelled flight to Sydney caused the Round 15 game to be rescheduled. Full credit to the playing group who still performed well despite poor game preparations.
We were able to win 13 games during the season which qualified us in second position on the ladder. Following a week’s break, we hosted a Preliminary Final against Aspley and prevailed by 30 points. This victory qualified us for another NEAFL Grand Final where we hosted the undefeated Brisbane Lions at Fankhauser Reserve. Unfortunately, the Lions of 2019 had very few injuries and fielded the maximum allowable 16 listed AFL players on Grand Final Day. The game was over fairly early and we ended up losing by 76 points.
Following the finals series, our Presentation Night was held in the Dempsey Room at Sharks Events Centre on 20th September, with the following being awarded:
Doc Mackenzie Medal (Best & Fairest) – Andrew Boston
Runner-Up Best & Fairest – Tyler Roos
Wally Fankhauser Memorial Trophy – Jed Turner
Trademark Award – Seb Tape
Coaches Award – Dylan Fyfe
Ken McDonald Most Dedicated Player – Alex Aurrichio
Gerry Carmody Best Player in Finals – Andrew Boston
Bill Wood Club Person of the Year – Luke Kenelley
In addition, at the NEAFL Awards Night in Brisbane on 25th August, Brodie Murdoch and Andrew Boston were named in the NEAFL Team of the Year.
We acknowledge Haydn Kiel for his contribution to the club as he announced his retirement from NEAFL at the end of the season. A former junior, Haydn played 104 senior games for Southport Sharks including Premierships in 2005 and 2006 and has always shown a strong commitment to the club.