The 2022 SAFL final moved to the scenic albeit wet Binh Quoi area for a frenetic finish to a great season. 4 quarters were played at breakneck pace with several flashpoint moments seeing the heat rise beyond the steamy conditions. As it turned out the Bears and Vipers maintained a lead that the Tigers and Crabs could never close. In the guts Jono, Cam Pirret and Ryan Tishler provided far too much firepower blunting the efforts of Ryan Oglynn and Rusty and Dinh Anh to get any momentum going. Down back Matty B and Nath Milner rebounded all day with the weight of scoring opportunities proving way too much in the end. On the end of so much of the Bears and Vipers play was strategic ring in Harry Wuttke effortlessly picking up touches and providing silky finishing. His ability to get to contests all day should convince plenty of Tigers and Crocs players to push harder in pre-season for 2023.
Bears Go Back to Back
With the Tigers the only other team in contention on finals day the Bears held the upper hand across all 4 quarters. The big guns stood up and across the season there was no doubting the Bears were once again the strongest squad. 2023 will see the other 3 teams going right back to the drawing board trying to end the Bear-hug on the SAFL Cup now into it’s 2nd year. Congratulations to all players across the season. The level and competitiveness of these 7 domestic games was definitely a key part of our success when playing International hit outs and will continue to be a great part of the footy landscape for years to come!
Men’s MVP – Ryan Tishler (Bears)
Polling 19 votes across the season Bears midfield Bull took out the League MVP by a 2 vote margin. After getting the ball going forward for the Bears Ryano also hit the scoreboard frequently with 11 goals placing him 3rd in the goalkicking ranks. A great reward for a brilliant season at all levels!
Women’s MVP – Ela Walsh (Bears)
8 goals from limited game time said it all! Ela’s MVP vote count also would have seen her place 3rd overall in the league outright. 2 Best on Ground performances (all players!), 8 goals and a key role in the premiership season placed Ela in a position as not just the Women’s MVP but one of the leagues most influential players. Watch out for her running around in an AFLW top on TV in the next year or 2 if she so chooses to go down that path!
Goalkicker Award – Wayne McMahon (Tigers)
The Tigers skipper won the award for the 2nd season straight with his 20 majors leading Crocs sharp shooter Pete McElhone by 7 goals. Wayne showed consistency going 3-3-5-3-6 in the first 5 rounds before missing Round 6 and being a key contributor to the Tigers leading the leagues scoring across the season. Battles with League MVP runner up Nathan Milner were some of the highlights of the league.
Vipers MVP – Nathan Milner
Vipers MVP and league runner up Nath Milner was no surprise. Week in week out bringing another level of competitiveness to all 4 quarters. The younger Bagel Bro was instrumental in the final round seeing the Vipers finish 2nd in the league and still maintains teenage like energy and enthusiasm after a decade of footy in Vietnam.
Tigers MVP – Wayne McMahon
The Tigers were not only the highest scoring team, maintained the highest % across the season but were the most even performers across the squad. Eventually skipper Wayne McMahon came to the fore in MVP voting. Leading from the front in each and every way Wayne kept the Tigers in every single game of the season with incredible goal tallies and plenty of assists. After the disappointment of a losing Grand Final Wayne and the Tigers will be looking to go 1 step further in 2023.
Crocs MVP – Rusty Clarke
The Rolls Royce of the Swans midfield no player gets more attention than Rusty week to week. That doesn’t stop him breaking free, streaming through and scoring clearance goals. Something that occurred 9 times throughout the season.