September 11th 2006
MI AFL Under 12s are 2006 Premiers
For the first time a wholly Magnetic Island based AFL team of under 12 years players won the Grand Final for 2006 after a nail-biting struggle against the Currajong Swans at the Murray Sports Sports complex yesterday.
The 7 point victory was the work of a skilled team, following months of solid training, which came together in a real contest against the experienced Swans.
To many the team entered the finals as underdogs or, "little fish in a big pond". It is only their fifth year in the League and they entered the finals third on the ladder.
Ranging from 8 to 12 years of age some were playing their first season while others have been in the side the whole 5 years since the Maggie Island Magpies Football Club was formed in 2002.
A number of players had previously shared in a Grand Final win in an Island/Townsville combined team, but this weekend's performance was the first Premiership as a true Island team - an impressive achievement considering the small demographic area and population from which it was drawn.
Confidence (and nerves) ran high as a great morning of top Grand Final football unfolded for the excited island supporters, as well as well-wishers from the whole Junior AFL League.
Maggies applied consistent pressure throughout the evenly-matched game, putting the first score on the board. The Swans were kept scoreless in the first quarter against the wind, whilst the Magpies used the wind to their advantage.
The Swans made a strong comeback in the 3rd quarter when the Magpies failed to score. The final quarter began with the scores levelled but a great goal, under pressure, by Nick Langley put the Magpies back in the lead - firing up the team to storm home with a 7 point victory.
At the final siren, relief and happiness were obvious all round, as the vistorious Pies cheered the opposition and the umpires. The were lots more cheers, hugs, grins and tears all round from players and spectators
Noisy and enthusiastic celebrating continued on the bus and ferry home (thanks to Sunferries and our regular driver from Campbell's Coaches).
Congratulations to all players for the fine spirit in which everyone played throughout the season. It was a spirit appreciated and commented on by everyone in the League and the wider community.
Spectator numbers were boosted by support from many of our Under 10 players - who do not play finals matches but came along nonetheless to cheer on their club mates - such is the family and team spirit of our Maggie Football Club.
Congratulations to Jackson Young who led the team onto the ground as Captain (running through the special Maggies' Banner) and named by AFL officials as, "Best on Ground," for the Grand Final and receiving a special Trophy.
All players were presented with a 2006 Premiership Medal which they are wearing with pride.
The Premiership Victory marks the end of a wonderful year, commencing with a pre-season team excursion to the NAB Cup in Cairns, through each weekly victory (and only two losses for the season) and culminating in the Premiership win and the end-of-season Trophy Presentation.
The great outcome was a reward not only for the team and thanks are extended to all parents, carers, coaches, committee, supporters, sponsors (MI Dairy, Horseshoe Bay Store, Bell's Harbour Bakery, IGA, McDonald's, Arcadia Newsagency, MI Bus Company), volunteers and umpires who worked tirelessly to support the talented players to make it such a great year for the whole Club, including Under 10's and Under 12's.
On Sunday afternoon at the end-of-year Presentations, special awards were presented to: Breanna Koenen, Jackson Young, Nick Langley, Ryan Smith and Patrick McDermott. Gavin Crouch received the Coaches Award.
Photos of the 2006 Junior AFL Premiership Cup & Premiership Cup with team photos will now go on permanent display at the Arcadia Newsagency for all the community to share.
For the record, scoring was as follows: goals: Nick Langley (2) and Donal Glavin-Quane (1).
The way the kids performed in the first quarter set the game up for us. We held the Swans to 1 point even though we had a 4-5 goal breeze, then followed that up with a good second quarter; holding them against the wind. The third quarter (was strongly contested) and our persistence paid off in the nail-biting final quarter (with lots of action in the centre). The whole team were Best Players.
Photo: The victorious Magnetic Island Magpies taken by Jon Chilcott.
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