By Josh Ward
They were a dominant force in 2019 and levelled up to unstoppable in 2021, with Coldstream by far the best in Division Four and one of the best in the EFNL this season.
Went unbeaten for the entire season with an 11-0 record, their average winning margin was 128.3 points and they averaged 158.6 points for per game and only 30.3 points allowed per game.
An equal-league high six players (and coach Chad Rogers) made the Division Four Team of the Year and a league-high nine made the squad, with the Cougars automatically promoted to Division Three and could pose a threat in the fourth tier of the EFNL men’s next year.
Best Win: R12 vs Surrey Park (Coldstream 14.13.97 defeated Surrey Park 4.6.30)
Facing a Surrey side in strong form, the Cougars continued their dominant season in Division Four, thumping the Panthers yet again, this time by 67 points.
Surrey Park headed into the game coming off a scrappy win against Forest Hill and needed to improve if they stood a chance against Coldstream. They were even at 4.5(29) apiece by half time, but the Cougars were dominant in the second half, scoring 68-1.
Chris Witchell was superb up forward with four goals, named in the best alongside Mitchell Edmonds (three goals), Jarrod Andreatta (one), Cain Eisele along with team of the year duo Jesse Lehmann and Bradley Batten-Leitch.
Batten-Leitch (two votes) and Lehmann (one) got B&F votes that game, with star midfielder Lauchlan Craig getting the three votes as Coldstream made it 20 home and away game wins in a row (since R8, 2019).
Worst Loss: N/A
Standout Player: Darcy Fritsch
There were quite a few players at Coldstream who might feel hard done by, but it’s hard to go past the brother of Melbourne star Bayley and his dominant season.
The ex-Norwood big man was dominant in every game he played, kicking a league-high 74 goals in only 10 games, going past double digits three times, hitting the 20 mark in round two against Kilsyth, and also being named in Coldstream’s best six times, including two BOGs.
Named at Full Forward in the Division Four Team of the Year, also picked up six votes in the B&F, including one best on (against Kilsyth) and he’s re-signed at Coldstream Reserve. Gonna be a huge threat yet again with Coldstream, this time in Division Three.
Coldstream haven’t made too many moves, announcing 27 re-signings so far, including re-signing most of their core players such as Fritsch, Lauchlan Craig, Cain Eisele, Mitch Edmonds, Austin McInerney, Chris Witchell and Mitch Felstead.
One player they have lost is the ever reliable Brad Batten-Leitch to Montrose, with that loss a particularly big loss given how well he had performed in his two seasons at the Cougars – named in the best an equal team best six times.
They’ve done what they needed to do by re-signing most of their squad, but what will be interesting is how they’ll replace the potential hole the loss of Batten-Leitch may create.
In the inaugural season of women’s footy at Halley Supple Reserve, the Coldstream women showed a bit of promise, but struggled a little bit as most first year teams would.
Finished with two wins and eight losses (2-8 record), they also finished second last and were 2-1 by round three before going on to lose their last seven games.
Two players made the Team of the Year squad with Bree Pascoe captain and will look to show even more promise in season 2022.
Best Win: R3 vs Fairpark (Coldstream 0.2.2 defeated Fairpark 0.0.0)
Facing a Fairpark side that were 2-0 in its inaugural season, Coldstream’s women’s side made it a near perfect day at Coldstream Reserve as they picked up their second consecutive win by a very small margin.
It was possibly the scrappiest matches of 2021, with the Cougars scoring the only two behinds in the second and fourth quarter to win with a soccer score line of 2-0.
Named in Coldstream’s best were Stacey Moate Gilder, Hannah Chappell, Nyomie Lagerway-Allen, Holly Duke and Baylee Eastham, with Pascoe picking up the three best and fairest votes.
Pascoe also managed to get the three B&F votes on the day, with Holly Duke getting two and Fairpark’s Nicole Crivellaro one as the Cougars picked up their second win, eventually going on to lose their last seven.
Worst Loss: R11 at Boronia (Coldstream 1.3.9 defeated by Boronia Gold 3.8.26)
Coldstream had previously thrashed Boronia by 49 points back in round two to pick up their first ever win, however the Hawks got one back and picked up their first win of 2021 and their first since August 10th, 2019.
In a twilight match down at Tormore Reserve, Boronia’s strong first and third quarter, where they scored 25 points to one in those two quarters, were enough to give the Boronia Gold crew a reason to celebrate in what was a poor season for them.
Nyomie Lagerway-Allen kicked the Cougars only goal, being named best on for Coldstream, with Bree Pascoe, Baylee Eastham, Stacey Moate Gilder, Tayla Street and Hannah Chappell also named in the best.
Lagerway-Allen got one B&F vote, with Boronia’s Ali Gottliebsen (three votes) and Jessica Buzinskas (two) getting the other votes as Coldstream lost their sixth game in a row.
Standout Player: Bree Pascoe
Pascoe was an out and out star for Coldstream in their inaugural season.
Was consistent throughout, named in their best six out of eight times, which included four best on grounds and finished third in the Division Three Best and Fairest, finishing with 11 votes, including three BOG’s against Fairpark, Blackburn and Croydon North MLOC.
Was named in the Division Three Team of the Year squad as captain and she’ll play a big role if Coldstream are to climb up the table next year.
The Coldstream women have also had a few re-signings announced, with (at time of writing) seven re-signings announced.
They have bought in North Ringwood premiership defender Courtney Madeley, who’ll bring a touch of experience and improve a Coldstream defence which conceded the second most points per game in 2021 (499 total, 49.9 per game).
And like every rebuilding team, they need experience if they want to climb up the table. If they also keep their core unit together then they could be a force in Division Three next year.