St Bedes/ Mentone Tigers return to VAFA Premier Division after a 2 year sabbatical in 2015 and 2016 when they finished third and second respectively in VAFA Premier B.
In the off-season the Tigers have added a number of players including returnees in Dean Porter and Jack O'Kearney (from overseas), Carey Neville (after a successful sojourn at Mordialloc where he played in one premiership and two other Grand Finals) and 2014 SBMT Club Champion and Grand Final player Tim Doherty (Oakleigh).
Also fronting for the Tigers are a number of players currently training with VFL clubs including 2014 Liston Medallist Alex Woodward (Hawthorn AFL), Jack Hellier 2015 and 2016 Collingwood captain (SBMT) and 2016 Sandy Dragons premiership player Kye Beveridge (St Peter's /De La Salle) all at Collingwood, Robbie Iudica (SBMT) at Sandringham and Ben Dance (SBMT) and Tate Short (St Peter's/ Eastern Ranges) both at Footscray.
In addition, new players to pull on the SBMT jumper are Stuart Wines from Oakleigh and Nick Henricks from Beaumaris (VAFA Under 19 Premier Grand Finalist and leading goalkicker).
The Mentone team enter the super competitive Premier Division, after winning the Second Semi Final in Premier B but going down to Beaumaris in the Grand Final, with two of the first three rounds at the Brindisi Street Fortress against Collegians and Old Xaverians who have both struggled in the past with the 'vast expanses' of the Fortress.
The Tigers kickoff their pre-season with a Practice Match against last year's Premier B finalist Monash Blues on Saturday 25th and then against Premier C premiers Mazenod on April 1st both at Brindisi Street starting at 2.00 p.m. with Under 19s and Reserves games preceding.
SBMT are also fielding a Senior Women's Team for the first time in the VAFA competition and they kick-off their season with a Lightning Premiership, comprising 12 new Women's teams, at the Elsternwick Park VAFA Headquarters on Saturday April 1st with games against Old Geelong at 9.40 a.m., De La Salle at 11.40 a.m. and Hampton Rovers at 1.40 p.m.
Let the footy begin.....
St Bedes/Mentone Tigers booked a date in the VAFA Premier B Grand Final and in so-doing earnt promotion to Premier Division in 2017 after an uncompromising 27 point victory over premiership favourites Beaumaris at Trevor Barker Oval, Sandringham on Saturday. The Tigers were off to a flying start with an early goal to Chris Richards but thereafter the first quarter was a slog as Beaumaris peppered the goals to little avail before the Mentone team kicked away to a handy twelve point lead at quarter time.