The Tigers in 2018

Friday, September 21, 2018 - 9:17 AM

By Darcy Coffey

With our senior teams bowing out in the last couple of weeks of the year we bring a close to the 2018 season. A blistering start to the reserves preliminary final on Sunday raised hopes of a second grand final appearance in 3 years for our developing Tigers however a powerful Subiaco outfit was able to take control of the game from the mid-way point of the opening quarter and run away victorious. The same fate befell our reserves in 2017 going down to Subiaco in the Preliminary Final at Leederville Oval, and once again the more dogged and determined outfit won through. This comes only a week after the League side were out muscled by a resolute West Perth outfit who have since gone on to beat South Fremantle and claim their own spot in the 2018 WAFL Grand Final.

And whilst a preliminary final appearance was almost expected from the reserves after spending much of the year at the pinnacle of the table, the same could not be said of the League side. After suffering some early losses to competition heavyweights and spending a number of weeks at the wrong end of the premiership ladder, a season defining win over South Fremantle in Round 8 appeared to reset the group on their late season charge to win 6 of their final 8 games and finish the home and away season in 4th spot. Our Elimination final win over East Perth in front of nearly 4000 fans was our first finals victory since the 2012 premiership and despite going down to West Perth the following week in the 1stSemi Final, this marks a new beginning for a group that is both the youngest and possesses the most locally zoned players across the competition.

There is a lot to like about our 2018 Tigers. 14 players made their league debut this season with the likes of Dylan Smallwood, Declan Hardisty & Jack Lewsey taking to league football like a duck to water. Sandover medallist and premiership hero Kane Mitchell returned to the fold seamlessly from his extended break away from the club. Jack Beeck returned from an ACL in 2017 and transformed from a lock down defender into a goal-of-the-year kicking wingman. Jared Hardisty, Ryan Lim, Bailey Rogers & Alex Manual have all taken the next step into outstanding WAFL players. Jye Bolton and Anton Hamp proved again to be among the best in the competition in their respective positions. Oli Eastland is a star in the making and I hope you got a good look at Jordan Clark in a Claremont jumper. The list goes on and on.

Our disappointing end to 2018 will be used wisely going forward. The positive, empowering culture Darren Harris and his coaching team have fostered within the walls of our magnificent new facility has set the club on an exciting new path with imminent success on the horizon. Be sure to get around the Tigers in 2019. They know we’re coming.