St Bedes/ Mentone Tigers celebrate their return to VAFA Premier Division with a first round clash against a familiar rival in Collegians on Saturday 8th April at Fortress Brindisi where the Tigers were near unbeatable in 2016 and where they have also had their share of success against the Wesley team over the years.
The Mentone team will be without 300+ gamer Paul Wintle who is overseas and Pat Tyquin who injured his knee in the Tigers' 2016 Second Semi Final victory over Beaumaris. However, they have added a number of new faces and similarly have a number of players returning from overseas or other clubs in addition to a new coaching panel led by 3 Tiger triple premiership players in Sam Anstey, Anthony Scafidi and Luke Wintle plus new Development Coach Peter 'Lippa' Laspatzis. Equally, Collegians are purported to have recruited heavily and well in what looks to be a mouth-watering start to St Bede's return to VAFA Premier.
After a very enjoyable Lightning Premiership at VAFA Headquarters Elsternwick Park on Saturday, the VAFA Senior Women's team after losing their first round to eventual premiers Old Geelong by 3 goals, regrouped to defeat De La Salle by 9 goals and then accounted for the highly-rated Hampton Rovers by 6 goals. A highly successful event held by the VAFA with a plethora of very happy faces amongst the many, many participants, supporters and coaches.
The Women's team starts their first-ever season in the VAFA with a game, at Brindisi Street, against Old Mentonians, currently scheduled for 4pm on Sunday - Go Girls.....
Our Under 19s under new coach Pat Kennedy play Old Melburnians away (venue as yet undecided) with the Under 19 Development team under another newbie in James Cato journeying to Latrobe University (9.20 a.m. start).
Let the season begin.....
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.
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.