Overall it was positive, but boy what a ride. Peter Young said in the pre-season that their goal this year was to play a final. They did that… they couldn’t advance to week two, but they got there. A month or so into the season they weren’t just thinking finals though, they were thinking top three. In patches this year they played as good as anyone in the comp; it was blistering. Unfortunately for them, a slump in the middle of the season cost them a double chance.
Earlier this year, the Demons had to take on last year’s two Grand Finalists in the space of three weeks. I don’t think many would have penciled them in for two wins, let alone winning by a collective 165 points. They decimated both sides, and put themselves on the map as genuine contenders.
Rounds 8, 9 and 10 will haunt them. Three weeks, three losses… and all by decent margins. The defeats at the hands of the Mt Gravatt, the Western Magpies and Sandgate meant they were back in the fight to make the scrape into the finals. Their first final loss to Mt Gravatt by six points was a devastating way to end a season that promised so much at times.
What they will take from 2016:
They are good enough. Their best wins pretty much every game, but there was too big of a difference between their good days and their bad days. If they can work on that consistency over summer, they will be a force to be reckoned with in 2017.
Daniel Green was the standout. The Ray Hughson Medalist kicked 83 goals in the home and away season, proving to be the most deadly forward in the competition. Noa Corbett was dangerous as a small forward, and Cass Haberfield went to another level again this year in the middle.
It wasn’t so much about uncovering a gem for Surfers this year, but more about getting a more consistent input out of some of their middle tier players. Matt Green was great down back, Cody Filewood showed why he is rated so highly by Southport despite being so young, and Harrison Fraser was in ripping form through the middle.
What they need for 2017:
They need a full time key back. Matt Green did a great job this year playing on the opposition gorillas, but he needs a chop out. The way they played this year meant they had a lot of number plugging up holes in the back half, but when the ball was transitioned quickly they were exposed one-on-one.
By Andrew Wiles