2014: PLAYER REVIEW
- Monday, 13 October 2014
Subiaco surprised everyone in 2014 with a re-vitalised performance under second year coach Jarrad Schofield to claim the club’s 12th WAFL Premiership.
A perfect storm was created amongst the playing group with clever recruiting in the likes of Matthew Boland, Shane Yarran and Wayde Twomey combining with an exciting talent pool.
The Lions were humming in 2014 as Schofield’s game-plan was executed to the tune of 14 wins and six losses. With Subiaco finishing second and qualifying for their sixth finals series in a decade.
Subiaco had the second lowest scoring forward line in 2013 and it was detected as a key area of improvement for the coaching staff. The club actively targeted the services of Victorian key forward Matt Boland from Parkdale over the off-season which proved to be a master class. Boland finished second in the WAFL for goals; kicking 53 in his first season as a Lion. Subiaco also acquired the services of the relatively unknown Shane Yarran who would become an excitement machine for the maroon and gold kicking 34 goals on the season including a match-winning four goal performance against East Fremantle in a sudden-death final.
With a key forward and an electrifying goal-getter in the midst Subiaco worked on the pre-existing talent. Subiaco already had George Hampson, Rhys Waters and Chris Deluca; it was just a matter of extracting their potential. 2014 proved to be breakout years for the three as they worked tirelessly on and off the ball. George Hampson and Chris Deluca were both included in the Western Australian state side, whilst Rhys Waters oozed class in a half forward position. Add in the likes of speedy youngster Joshua Deluca and the mountainous Andrew Mcdougall and it creates a potent mix of versatile forwards…. The kind that leads the league in scoring.
Subiaco’s midfield also received a face-lift in the off-season with several key players making their way to Leederville Oval. The return of club favourite Kyal Horsley sparked excitement with the Kalgoorlie product named captain in the pre-season. The Lions also added past premiership player Shaun Hildebrandt who is known for his ability to win the ball. The two returning champions re-joined a strong core of Jason Bristow, Chris Phelan, Jarrod Kayler-Thomson and Brett Mahoney as the Lions midfield began to roar.
The club added some drive into the midfield acquiring the services of 22 year old Joel Latham from the Falcons whilst Justin Joyce returned to Subiaco after a year of amateurs. With great leadership and hard work the Lions midfield became one of the grittiest in the league.
Coach Jarrad Schofield often looked to key players such as Jason Bristow and Kyal Horsley to change the tone of the game from the midfield, which was noted with Subiaco’s new -found ability to control football games. This was visible in the 2014 Grand Final where Bristow, Horsley and Phelan were all named in the best column. The veteran trio were incredible on a wet and rainy premiership victory.
Darren Rumble geared up for his 12th season in the Subiaco back-line and found a partner in the freshly acquired Wayde Twomey from Swan Districts. The two veterans would wreak havoc in 2014 blanketing and creating defensive attacks with experience.
Rumble joined the 200 club in 2014 and added a fifth premiership to his resume whilst Twomey was named the Lions finals player of the year.
Subiaco entrusted third year player Daniel Leishman with a key defensive role whilst youngster Charlie Le Fanu elevated his game to hold a regular spot in the side.
Players like Hayden Kennedy, Dylan Elliott, Declan Jackson and Aaron Heal gave the Lions faithful a brief preview into the future of the club’s back-line with the four young defenders playing important roles throughout portions of the season
Some old heads returned as well with Clancy Wheeler, Scott Worthington and Reece Blechynden all heavily contributing to Subiaco’s 12th premiership.
The Lions lost veteran Andrew McDougall in a pre-season game against East Fremantle and were forced into their depth early in the season. Enter 24-year-old Frank Stockley,; another addition by Subiaco’s recruiting team in the off-season. The ex- Falcon flourished at Subiaco to establish himself as a dangerous ruck in the tap and around the park.
Aiding Stockley with the early duties was Victorian Lachlan Delahunty. After moving West with Matt Boland this year Delahunty was thrust into multiple positions for the Lions with his role early involving the ruck. The 194cm utility had the leap and athleticism to pair with Stockley as the two developed an abstract ruck partnership until McDougall’s return in Round 13.
Stockley and Delahunty’s sporadic injuries in the second half of the season resulted in utilising Clancy Wheeler as a ruck option. Wheeler performed magnificently in the absence of Stockley and was used as a third option for the remainder of the season.
We also got to see the first glimpse of Subiaco’s future ruck talent with youngsters Jordan Bestry and Sean Bradley both stepping up in critical games.
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