By Nick Creely
A host of local stars have been rewarded with selection in the Eastern Football League’s Premier Division Team of the Year after putting together outstanding 2021 campaigns.
Berwick stars Harrison Money and Travis Tuck have been rewarded for an outstanding debut season in the Eastern Football League top-flight, named in the Team of the Year for 2021.
The excitement machine Money picked up right where he left off from the Outer East in his new surroundings in 2021, finishing third in the competition for goals, with the high-flying forward snagging 25 majors from his nine matches, and was named in the forward pocket.
Money proved exactly why he’s one of the most challenging players to match up on from a defenders’ perspective, averaging almost three goals per game, including a three-week purple-patch which netted five (Balwyn), six (North Ringwood) and four (Doncaster) goals in a row.
The Wickers star finished the season with 28 marks inside 50, second in the competition by Balwyn’s Jordan Lisle, and was also sixth in the competition for total forward 50 tackles with 11.
Wicker Travis Tuck also enjoyed another strong campaign in the midfield to clinch a bench spot, with the inside bull averaging 22.6 disposals a game in 2021, and led the club for total Premier Data points with an average of 117.7, kicks, contested disposals, clearances, hard ball gets, inside 50s and score involvements.
As the left-footed champ often does, he hit the scoreboard frequently, kicking four goals from his seven matches.
The premiership winning star’s most prolific game of the season came against South Croydon, where he racked up 27 disposals, nine clearances, six inside 50s and seven tackles.
After a superb season, Noble Park was also rewarded with three players selected – Ryan Morrison, Kyle Martin and Jackson Sketcher.
Morrison, the star Bulls defender was named at centre half back, after a sublime season patrolling the backline.
He was particularly efficient with his trusty foot skills, finishing the season with an average of 26.3 disposals per match, topping the competition for marks, kicks and rebounds 50s.
Morrison was particularly influential in a game against North Ringwood, where he found the footy 35 times at an efficiency of 82 per cent.
The great Kyle Martin clinched the centre spot – with the champ continuing his storied career with an absurdly brilliant season – leading the competition for disposals with an average of 33.2, was second for contested disposals, top for clearances, inside 50s, and was also second for score involvements while also contributing eight goals.
In one game against North Ringwood, Martin picked up 50 touches, 14 marks, seven clearances, 11 inside 50s and four tackles.
The classy Jackson Sketcher was also brilliant all season, averaging 27.4 touches a game, not dipping below 20 disposals in a single match for the year.
Sketcher led the competition for contested disposals, loose ball gets and was second for inside 50s to land a spot as the team’s rover.
Noble Park coach Steve Hughes was named as the coach of the Team of the Year after leading the Bulls to a second-place finish.
B – Nick Evans (South Croydon), Kris Pendelbury (Balwyn), Robin Nahas (North Ringwood)
HB – Tristan Tweedle (Norwood), Ryan Morrison (Noble Park), Simon White (Doncaster East)
C – Daniel Cooper (South Croydon), Kyle Martin (Noble Park), Alex Greenwood (Vermont)
HF – Blake Pearson (Norwood), Jordan Lisle (Balwyn), Lachlan Wynd (Rowville)
F – Harrison Money (Berwick), James Wilsen (South Croydon), Charlie Haley (Balwyn)
R – Jake Spencer (Doncaster), Lachlan Johns (Vermont), Jackson Sketcher (Noble Park)
INT – Liam Wale-Buxton (Vermont), Paul Pattison (Balwyn), Travis Tuck (Berwick), Chris Phelan (Doncaster East)
COACH: Steve Hughes (Noble Park)
CAPTAIN: Lachlan Johns (Vermont)
Berwick has also been strongly represented in the Division One Women’s Team of the Year, with three players selected after outstanding individual seasons.
The Wickers – who finished seventh in a promising debut season – were rewarded with Montana Mazzagatti named on the wing, while Logan O’Connell-Webb and Courtney De Kroon had superb seasons and were named on the bench.