7th October 2015
ELTHAM – 3rd (13 wins, 8 losses)
2015 proved to be a season for huge improvement for Eltham in Mario Bandera’s second season at the helm. The Panthers returned to the finals after a ninth-place finish in 2014 and claimed their first Division 1 finals victory since 1977 when they defeated Northcote Park in the first semi.
Eltham was the only side to beat all other teams during the home and away season, with Greensborough and Macleod eventually matching that feat during the finals series. The Panthers looked to have one foot in the grand final when they led Macleod by 33 points early in the preliminary final, before injury and fatigue saw them run out of gas.
Mario Bandera’s efforts in taking the club from three wins last season to 13 wins this year were rewarded when the Australian Football Coaches Association (AFCA) named him the Northern Region Senior Coach of the Year.
Anton Woods enjoyed his first season at Panther Place and was runner-up for the Frank Rosbrook Medal, as the competition’s best and fairest player. Woods and Bradyn Taglieri – who returned to Eltham on a permanent basis after two seasons with the Northern Blues – were keys to the Panthers’ rise up the ladder following an arduous 2014 campaign.
James Kroussoratis kicked more goals than any player in the competition, finishing with 67 goals despite missing the final two home and away games and the opening two finals with a knee injury.
Reigning club best and fairest Billy Glasgow continued to improve and established himself as one of the league’s premier players – finishing in the top five for the Coaches Player of the Year for the second successive year. Matthew Evans proved a handy recruit from Bundoora and Chase Caulfield showed great improvement in his second year at Eltham. Meanwhile, Matthew Williamson and Jamie Doukas showed their capabilities as goal kicking forwards when Kroussoratis went down late in the year.
Most NFL best and fairest votes: Anton Woods (22 votes)
Leading goal kicker: James Kroussoratis (67 goals)
Team of the Year representatives: Billy Glasgow, James Kroussoratis, Bradyn Taglieri, Anton Woods
DIVISION 1 – 2015 REVIEW
Greensborough 10.6 (66) def by Macleod 13.9 (87)
Best and Fairest
1st – Matthew Vasilevski (Lower Plenty) – 24 votes
2nd – Wayne Schultz (Northcote Park) – 22 votes
2nd – Anton Woods (Eltham) – 22 votes
4th – Ned McKeown (Bundoora) – 17 votes
5th – Matthew Dennis (Bundoora) – 14 votes
Leading Goal Kicker (home and away only)
1st – James Kroussoratis (Eltham) – 65 goals
2nd – Rhys Boyden (Greensborough) – 60 goals
3rd – Shane Harvey (North Heidelberg) – 55 goals
4th – Patrick Fitzgerald (Montmorency) – 51 goals
5th – Gary Moorcroft (Bundoora) – 45 goals
Coaches Player of the Year
1st – Lachlan McQuilken (Greensborough) – 19 votes
2nd – Shaun Gannon (West Preston-Lakeside) – 18 votes
2nd – Lucas Hobbs (Macleod) – 18 votes
2nd – Tristan Stead (Greensborough) – 18 votes
5th – Billy Glasgow (Eltham) – 17 votes
5th – Luke Lirosi (West Preston-Lakeside) – 17 votes
For reviews on all other 9 sides in Division 1 go to http://bit.ly/1hpFkhk