ELTHAM – 8th (7 wins, 11 losses)
The 2016 campaign was a disappointing one for Eltham, who slipped to eighth spot on the ladder following last year’s impressive third-place finish. Still in finals contention at Round 14, the Panthers lost their final four games of the season to finish with a 7-11 record.
Despite consecutive heavy defeats to 2015 grand finalists Greensborough and Macleod in the opening two weeks of the season, the Panthers looked to have recovered with three-straight wins between Rounds 3-5. However it proved to be the only time all season that the club would record back-to-back wins.
Throughout the year the side suffered two 100-point plus losses at home, firstly in Round 6 against Heidelberg, then against Macleod in Round 17. A lack of firepower was a major concern, with Eltham ranked No.9 in the competition for points scored after being unable to find a replacement for 2015 competition leading goal kicker James Kroussoratis.
Billy Glasgow was again a standout and was named among the best players in 12 of 15 games. Gavan Connelly made a successful return after two seasons out of the game and was a high possession winner, while Eamon Gilbert was strong in defence and was a part of the NFL representative team against the MPNFL.
Injuries to key players certainly didn’t help, with Bradyn Taglieri sidelined for half the season, while livewire forward Jamie Doukas managed only seven games. Meanwhile, Daniel Coffield, a key cog in defence over the past two years, managed just three games for the Panthers after spending much of the season in Richmond’s VFL team.
Most times in best: Billy Glasgow (12)
Leading goal kicker: Josh Merkel (21 goals)