Strathfieldsaye Storm marks a remarkable decade

by Nathan Dole

STRATHFIELDSAYE Storm Football Netball Club capped its 10-year celebrations by naming Teams of the Decade at Saturday night’s gala at the Club Court function centre.

There have been plenty of outstanding achievements and significant contributors in Storm’s first 10 years in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League.

Most notably have been the senior premiership victories in 2014, ’15 and ’17, and runners-up in 2013 and ’18.

Storm’s Team of the Decade includes two sets of brothers – Geary and Smith, several from the club’s foundation season of 2009, and a star-studded forward line that includes Lachlan Sharp, Sam Mildren and Stephen Milne.

Triple premiership coach Darryl Wilson played an incredible role in building the club’s culture on and off the field.

The club’s inaugural coach, Clint Whitsed is assistant coach for the Team of the Decade.

Among the highs of Wilson’s reign at Storm were the back-to-back premierships in 2014 and ’15.

Storm achieved a win-loss record of 17-1 in the 2014 home and away series and went on to beat Sandhurst by 55 points in the grand final.

Mildren kicked seven goals in a best afield display as Milne, six, and Sharp, three, also starred.

A highlight was Milne’s 100th and 101st goals as the star in 272 matches for St Kilda capped his first year at Storm by being club champion.

Best in Storm’s first seniors premiership victory were Mildren, Shaun Everington in the centre, Milne and key defender Leigh Prior.

Storm was undefeated premiers a year later.

A hard-fought grand final against Sandhurst ended in a 60-53 victory as Matt Smith, Jayden Donaldson, ruckman Michael Pilcher, Kallen Geary and Kellan Smith led Storm’s surge to glory.

Knocked out by defeats in the qualifying final and first semi in 2016, Storm was back on top the following September.

Strathfieldsaye ended the home and away series in second place, 15-3, and went on a remarkable run in the finals action.

A nine-point victory in the qualifying final against Golden Square was followed by a three-point loss to Eaglehawk in the second semi.

Storm hit back to win the preliminary final clash with Golden Square by 16 points.

At three quarter-time on grand final day, Eaglehawk led Storm by 20 points.

After Daryl Wilson gave his final address as Storm coach the team slammed on 9.3 to 0.3 to complete a memorable 88-56 victory.

A brilliant year by Lachlan Sharp included kicking 142 goals and being the first Storm player to win the Michelsen Medal as the league’s fairest and best.

A group of 15 in the Team of the Decade played in the club’s first senior grand final in which Golden Square beat Storm by 21 points in 2013.

Club champion in Storm’s first two seasons, Cameron Hall did not play in a premiership victory but was an influential player for teams coached by Whitsed and Wilson.

Stung by the grand final defeat to Eaglehawk last September, Storm is on track for another tilt at the Bendigo Advertiser premiership cup.

Strathfieldsaye Storm’s Team of the Decade, 2009 to 2019, number of premierships in brackets:

B: Lachlan Bonney (3), Leigh Prior (1), Jayden Donaldson (3).

Hb: Kallen Geary (2), Ash Trollop (2), Matt Ladson (1).

C: Kellan Smith (3), Shaun Everington (2), Tom Dowd (2).

Hf: Jake Hall (3), Kris Lea (1), Tom Bartholomew (2).

F: Stephen Milne (2), Sam Mildren (2), Lachlan Sharp (3).

Foll: Michael Pilcher (2), Matt Smith (2), Shannon Geary (3).

Interchange: Harry Conway (2), Nick Smith (1), Fergus Payne (2), Sam Heavyside (1), Cameron Hall.

Coach: Darryl Wilson.

Assistant coach: Clint Whitsed.


Elyse Morgan, goalkeeper.

Claudia Powell, goal defence.

Gemma Ralli, wing defence.

Brianna Dalrymple-Monro, centre.

Aleisha Langdon, wing attack.

Ashlee Barbetti, goal attack.

Lee West, goalshooter.

Kristen Wilson, Lucy Morcom, Mikaela Wilson, Melissa Dillon, Nicole McDermott, Claire Herbert, interchange bench.

Mali Roberts, coach.

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