SFC Dynasty

After last month's premiership victory over East Perth the Subiaco Football Club stand alone as the most successful WAFL club of the decade.

The Lions have visited the WAFL grand final six times in the last ten years adding four titles in an incredible period for the football club. 

With an abundance of memories added in 2014 we look back on a decade which has re-defined the Subiaco Lions. 

 

After winning the club's first premiership in over 16 years the year before; the expectations were high on the 2005 Subiaco Lions.

We saw the emergence of young star Matt Priddis who burst his way onto the WAFL football scene as a sweeping midfielder. The 20 year old would establish himself as an elite ball-winner amongst one of Subiaco’s greatest line-ups.

Led by Marc Webb on the field and Peter German from the war-room the 2005 Lions only lost two games over the entire season; setting the standard for attacking football in the Western Australian Football League.

Lachlan Oakley (80 goals) led Subiaco and the league in goal kicking in the absence of the injured Brad Smith and Allistair Pickett, Sam Larkins and Caine Hayes provided important supporting roles.

Names like Ryan Crowley, Ben Randall, Aidan Parker and Darren Rumble became household fixtures as the Lions looked en-route to a consecutive premiership.

Unfortunately the hype would exceed the boys in maroon and gold bowing out in straight sets to South Fremantle and Claremont in September despite finishing on top of the ladder.

An air of un-finished business was left after the 2005 disappointment but the Lions wouldn’t have to wait long for redemption. 

 

RECORD: 18-2

POSITION: 1ST

COACH: PETER GERMAN

CAPTAIN: MARC WEBB 

OUTRIDGE: MATT PRIDDIS

 

Subiaco were heavily favoured to make a run at the premiership after falling agonisingly close the year before.

The Lions boasted an elite midfield in 2006 on their way to another 18-win season. Marc Webb led a dangerous mix of game-changers such as Mark Haynes, Ben Keevers, Caine Hayes, Chris Hall and Chad Cossom as well as the return of premiership player Jarrad Schofield who had signed with the Fremantle Dockers at the end of the 2005 season.

The back-line also developed on their chemistry to concede the second least points on the season with young charges Darren Rumble, Greg Broughton, Aidan Parker and Chris Hood impressive for the Lions.

David Mapleston stood up in a well-rounded forward line to kick 57 goals on the season with young emerging forward Blake Broadhurst kicking 47. The little master Allistair Pickett was also a force to be reckoned with in 2006 booting 31 goals and averaged 19.18 touches a game.

The Lions made up for their 2005 heart-break on the biggest game of the year to down South Fremantle 24.9 153 to 10.10 70 for the club’s ninth flag.

Subiaco youngster Matt Priddis would launch himself onto the national stage after winning the Sandover Medal for best individual player in the West Australian Football League. Priddis’ dominant year would garner the attention of AFL club the West Coast Eagles where he was rookie drafted at pick #31.   

 

RECORD: 18-2

POSITION: PREMIERS

COACH: PETER GERMAN

CAPTAIN: MARC WEBB 

OUTRIDGE: MARK HAYNES

 

Subiaco embraced change at the top job in 2007 with ex-West Coast and Fremantle player Scott Watters taking the coaching helm.

The ex-AFL midfielder Watters had big shoes to fill with the highly revered Peter German joining the Fremantle Dockers coaching staff after winning two flags with the Lions.  

The Lions re-gained the services of Brad Smith who made his return after two consecutive knee re-constructions. The powerful goal-kicker was a huge asset for the Lions booting a career high 127 goals on the season.

Veteran midfielders Marc Webb, Ben Keevers, Jarrad Schofield and Mark Haynes all had dominant years taking full advantage of Luke Newick’s prowess in the ruck. Subiaco also saw the first glimpses of youngster Daniel Rich who caught eyes with his bounding run and booming kick.

The Lions back-line made progress with Aidan Parker, Darren Rumble and Greg Broughton playing important roles in the league’s second stingiest defence. A young Rob Forrest also made his presence felt playing 13 games and Chris Hall and Shane Parker added experience in the business end of the season.

After sharing the spoils 2-2 in 2007; Subiaco developed a healthy rivalry with Claremont which was epitomised in the final game of September. The two modern WAFL giants battled it out at Subiaco Oval with the Lions riding a quick start to a 9.8 62 to 15.13 103 grand final victory over the Tigers.

It would be the first consecutive premiership in Subiaco's long history with forward Brad Smith awarded the Outridge, Simpson and Bernie Naylor medals after a dominant season.

 

RECORD: 14-6

POSITION: PREMIERS

COACH: SCOTT WATTERS

CAPTAIN: MARC WEBB 

OUTRIDGE: BRAD SMITH

 

With two consecutive premierships under the belt Subiaco looked towards the 2008 season with an illusive goal.

The clubs first three-peat…

Subiaco would need to continue their post-season prowess to complete the historical achievement and Scott Watters had a squad bursting with talent.

Unluckily for the rest of the WAFL the Lions had reached peak condition amongst their playing list. Subiaco boasted seven players who were involved with AFL systems (Jarrod Schofield, Phillip Read, Daniel Chick, Aidan Parker, Luke Newick, Darren Rumble and Brad Smith) and four players who would find themselves on AFL lists in the near future (Daniel Rich, Adam Cockie, Kyal Horsley & Greg Broughton)

They also possessed a group of well drilled veterans who had been humming at the Lions over the last few years. Captain Marc Webb, Mark Haynes, Shaun Hildebrandt, Allistair Pickett and Chad Cossom had already established chemistry over two premierships and looked primed to repeat their efforts.

Brad Smith continued to dominate the WAFL’s defenders kicking another 100+ tally on the season whilst Blake Broadhurst worked well with the key forward to record 49 goals on the season. David Mapleston also added another big year in front of the sticks for Subiaco with 40 goals from twenty games.

Subiaco would win the first 11 games of the season before discovering a new foe in the Swan Districts. The 2008 Lions were seemingly un-stoppable until the young Swans found a way to win in Round 12 by the narrowest of margins.

It wouldn’t be the last time the two sides would battle.

Subiaco met a young Nic Natanui and the Swan Districts in their third consecutive grand final and despite a quick Swans start the Lions worked their way into a winning position. A huge 6 to 1 goal quarter in the third lifted the Lions to a historical third premiership in a row and left Subiaco with a period of time that will be permanently etched in it’s fibre. 

 

RECORD: 19-1

POSITION: PREMIERS

COACH: SCOTT WATTERS

CAPTAIN: MARC WEBB 

OUTRIDGE: GREG BROUGHTON

 

With the Lions losing the services of veterans Mark Haynes, Jarrad Schofield and Phillip Read as well as young stars Daniel Rich (Brisbane) and Greg Broughton (Fremantle) a sense of change was in the air at Leederville Oval in 2009.

Our Victorian skipper Marc Webb handed the captaincy to Brad Smith and an ageing list left Subiaco ripe for a rebuild; but another premiership was a big possibility.  

Despite the departures; the Lions were still highly rated in 2009. Subiaco ushered in fresh blood with the goal-savvy Trent Dennis-Lane and a cool-head down back in Simon White. Both players would go on to play AFL football.  Midfielder Chris Phelan earned a regular season spot and a curly haired ball-magnet Jason Bristow arrived from Victoria.

The Lions also got consistent football out of experienced veterans Michael Rix (ex-St Kilda), Chad Fletcher (ex-West Coast) and Tyson Stenglein (ex-West Coast) whilst the core of Haynes, Webb, Cossom, Hilderbrandt, Pickett and Keevers remained intact for another year.

Veteran goal-kicker and captain Brad Smith's tally on the season was noteably reduced at 52 goals but he found allies in the form of Trent Dennis-Lane and Blake Broadhurst. Dennis-Lane topped the Lions goal-kickers with 66 whilst Broadhurst continued to build on his craft with 43. 

The signs of Subiaco slowing were evident throughout portions of the season with seven losses in the 2009 campaign the most the Lions had conceded in over seven years. The Lions ability to score was slightly reduced but Watters made up for it with a well-drilled defence. 

Facing a determined South Fremantle outfit led by ex-Dockers Peter Bell and Jeff Farmer the Lions suffered a fate similar to 2005 with a third quarter grand final blow-out. Despite a spirited six goal last quarter the Lions would fall to the Bulldogs by 18-points.

The 2009 premiership loss would be a turning point for the Subiaco Football Club with Tyson Stenglein, Caine Hayes, David Mapleston, Chad Fletcher, Daniel Chick and captain Brad Smith all retiring at the end of the season. 

 

RECORD: 13-7

POSITION: 2ND

COACH: SCOTT WATTERS

CAPTAIN: BRAD SMITH 

OUTRIDGE: SHAUN HILDEBRANDT

 

With a handful of premiership veterans leaving the year before the Lions had a big task ahead of them in regards to identity. The likes of Hayes and Mapleston had retired opening up an opportunity for a new age of Lions to make their mark.

Alongside multiple personnel changes Scott Watters moved on to the Collingwood Football Club as an assistant coach; opening the door for ex-West Coast Eagle great Chris “Muddy” Waterman. 

The first year coach had an exciting squad to build on but would struggle with consistency over the 2010 season. Despite sitting in the top four with six rounds to play the Lions would hit a slump to lose five of the last six and miss the finals for the first time in 13 years with a record of 10-10.

All wasn’t lost in 2010 however with new captain Aidan Parker showing stellar leadership out of the back-line. Kyal Horsley, Adam Cockie and Chris Phelan established themselves around main ruck Michael Rix who led the league with 584 hit-outs on the season. The Lions would also provide a golden moment with son and father Allistair and Alliston Pickett playing together for the first time in Round 18 against South Fremantle.

Many were also wondering who was going to kick goals in 2009 with Brad Smith, Trent Dennis-Lane and David Mapleston all departing the year before. The questions were answered by Blake Broadhurst who took his opportunity as the Lions key forward to kick 56 goals on the season and win the Outridge Medal for Subiaco's best.

Missing the finals for the first time in over a decade was a sign for club champion Marc Webb who retired at the end of the season after 195 WAFL games and a Simpson medal in 2006.

 

RECORD: 10-10

POSITION: 6TH

COACH: CHRIS WATERMAN

CAPTAIN: AIDAN PARKER 

OUTRIDGE: BLAKE BROADHURST


For the first time in a long time; Subiaco weren’t expected to be contenders for the WAFL Grand Final.

The Lions weren’t given much of a chance at the start of the year but pundits began to turn their heads when Subiaco embarked on a nine game winning streak in the second half of the season to finish third.

Although it took a while for the chemistry to develop the Lions trio of Kyal Horsley, Jason Bristow and Shaun Hildebrandt dominated clearances. Michael Rix was gallant again in his final year of WAFL football amounting 716 hit-outs on the season before an injury in the first semi-final cut his premiership dreams short. 

Blake Broadhurst had well and truly arrived as a WAFL power forward kicking a league high 73 goals on the season to win his first Bernie Naylor Medal. Broadhurst was joined up forward in 2011 by Victorian Danny Hughes who slotted 33 and ex-Fremantle great Des Headland to help Subiaco average 102.2 points a game.

With an abundance of form and skill the Lions roamed into the 2011 WAFL Finals Series with an “anything can happen” attitude. The fairy-tale continued as Subiaco took care of South Fremantle and West Perth in consecutive finals but Claremont offered a more distinct challenge. The Tigers had lost four grand finals in the last decade and were desperate to turn their continuous success in to cups.

Unluckily for the Lions that determination proved too strong; with Claremont riding a quick start to a 66 point white-wash. Despite a deflating Grand Final loss the 2011 was an extremely important transition period for the Lions to ensure growth in the years to come. 

 

RECORD: 14-6

POSITION: 3rd

COACH: CHRIS WATERMAN

CAPTAIN: AIDAN PARKER 

OUTRIDGE: KYAL HORSLEY

 

The Lions managed to make their fifth grand final of the decade in 2011 and despite losing some grunt in the midfield with the departure of Kyal Horsley, Adam Cockie and Shaun Hildebrandt the boys from Subiaco were expected to be extremely competitive.

Chris Waterman got off to the perfect start with four straight wins but injury would play a telling role in the Lions 2012 season. After key losses across the board Subiaco only managed three wins for the rest of the season to finish with a 7-13 record.

One of the biggest holes in Subiaco’s season was their inability to score points. The Lions scored a league low 1652 points on the season with key goal-kicker Blake Broadhurst slowing in his final year of WAFL football. Without much assistance in the forward line Subiaco struggled to kick winning totals resulting in a losing season.

Although missing the finals for the second time in a decade left a sour taste at Leederville Oval some important roles were filled as Subiaco braced for a rebuild. Midfielder Brett Mahoney proved to be a find for the Lions and club products George Hampson and Dom Sheed starred.

Subiaco also celebrated captain and three time premiership player Aidan Parker winning his first Outridge for the best and fairest player in 2013. 

The club would depart with head coach Chris Waterman at the end of the season as the football department looked at re-developing. 

 

RECORD: 7-13

POSITION: 7th

COACH: CHRIS WATERMAN

CAPTAIN: AIDAN PARKER 

OUTRIDGE: AIDAN PARKER

 

Subiaco announced the return of favourite son Jarrad Schofield in 2013 who re-joined the club after serving as an assistant to Marc Webb at Claremont.

Schoey brought in a hard-nosed coaching approach that focused on relentless pressure and although the Lions would fail to make the finals again in 2013; the foundations were set for a strong side.

Despite struggling to score winning totals in 2013 the engine room of Subiaco started to take shape. Brett Mahoney and George Hampson were both revelations in the middle sharing the Outridge medal after breakout seasons.  

The Lions added the classy Jarrod Kayler-Thompson from Perth and introduced young play makers Rhys Waters and Chris Deluca to give the Lions faithful a glimpse of the future. 

Kalgoorlie youngster Dominic Sheed continued to shine despite only playing four games after suffering a collarbone injury at the State Nationals. The powerful midfielder won the Larke medal for best player at the meet.  

Victorian Callum Sinclair was also a stand-out for the Lions in the ruck with his athleticism noted by multiple AFL clubs. Sinclair and Sheed would both be drafted to the West Coast Eagles at the end of the year.

Subiaco farewelled captain Aidan Parker after 11 seasons and 231 games in the maroon and gold. The champion defender finished his career with three WAFL premierships and an Outridge Medal. 

 

RECORD: 6-14

POSITION: 8th

COACH: JARRAD SCHOFIELD

CAPTAIN: AIDAN PARKER 

OUTRIDGE: GEORGE HAMPSON & BRETT MAHONEY

 

In 2014 a majority of external sources put finals out of the question for Subiaco; but second year coach Jarrad Schofield had other ideas. 

Schoey and the football operations department focused on rebuilding the Lions list which was already over-flowing with young talent. There were some key areas that needed addressing in regards to personell and through smart strategic recruiting Subiaco were premiership contenders again. 

It all started with the re-acquisition of Kyal Horsley from the Gold Coast Suns. Horsley's AFL career was prematurely ended due to a anterior cruciate injury in his left knee and the Kalgoorlie ball-winner decided to return to the Lions. Horsley was named captain in the pre season. 

Subiaco also combined the final pieces of a dangerous midfield with the return of premiership midfielder Shaun Hildebrandt (Swan Districts) and the additions of Joel Latham (West Perth) and Justin Joyce. They complimented veterans Jason Bristow and Chris Phelan who arguably had career best seasons in the maroon and gold. 

With a noted absence of firepower in previous years the Lions went after Matt Boland (Parkdale) and the relatively unknown Shane Yarran (South Mandurah) to add goals. Boland went on to be the WAFL's second highest goal-kicker with 53 goals on the season and Yarran turned heads with his meteoric rise in the around the sticks. 

The recruiting department weren't done there with athletic ruckman Frank Stockley (West Perth) and ex-Carlton half back Wayde Twomey (Swan Districts) finalising one of the most active trade periods for the Subiaco Lions. 

With the new cogs in place the Lions got off to their best start since the glory years winning the first five games straight. Subi went on to win more games on the season than the previous two years combined finishing second and shocking the West Australian Football community. 

Despite slowing towards the end of the season the Lions beat East Fremantle by five points to secure a grand final showdown with the highly favoured East Perth Royals.

Remaining true to the theme of the season the Lions burst out of the blocks to top a Royals side loaded with AFL talent on a rainy Perth Sunday. The famous 16 point win defined what it means to be a part of the Subiaco Football Club as Jarrad Schofield introduced a new age of Lions football. The only question that remains from the last decade... is what's next. And we can't wait to find out. 

 

RECORD: 14-6

POSITION: 2nd

COACH: JARRAD SCHOFIELD

CAPTAIN: KYAL HORSLEY 

OUTRIDGE: KYAL HORSLEY

 

For more updates follow the Lions on twitter at subiacolions

 

 

 

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