SEASON REVIEW – MOOROOLBARK

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By Matt Fotia

After sneaking under the radar in the pre-season thanks to the likes of East Ringwood, Croydon and Wantirna South stealing the transfer headlines, Mooroolbark started the season like a house on fire storming their way to a 4-0 start, with every win by a commanding 36 points or more.

 

A season ending injury to star man Aaron Mullet put a stop to any minor premiership aspirations, with the Mustangs losing forward potency as the year went on.

 

They’ve added nicely to their list since the end of the season and look set to challenge for silverware in 2022 once again.

 

Best Win – Mooroolbark 14.9 (93) def Mitcham 9.3 (57)

 

Coming up against a fellow undefeated unit in Mitcham, Mooroolbark’s ace in the hole led them to a massive win over the Tigers.

 

The Mustangs trailed by four points at the main break before the Aaron Mullett inspired side put together a nine goal second half to run out 36-point winners on the Tigers home deck.

 

Mullett booted eight goals and ran through three or four Tiger opponents across the afternoon in a scintillating performance, backed up brilliantly by Kane Noonan (2nd Best) and Marcus Baxter (Three Goals)

 

Worst Loss – Mooroolbark 3.4(22) def by Croydon 14.9(93)

 

On paper this was a monster clash. Both sides came into the game on a form high and when you added in a little mix of local rivalry, everything was set to explode in a beautiful festival of local football action.

 

What ensued was anti-climactic to say the least, with Croydon keeping Mooroolbark scoreless in the 1st and 4th quarters, dominating the clearances, and edging closer and closer to a training run as the afternoon wore on.

 

It was a sign of things to come for the Mustangs, who struggled against their fellow top four rivals across the 2021 season.

 

Star Player – Kane Noonan

 

I’ll admit this is a bit harsh on Austin Smith, who took home the League medal in his first season since crossing from AFL Outer East outfit Yarra Glen, but the Mustangs leader was just as good, if not better, in 2021.

 

The former Coburg man was uber-consistent in 2021, named in Mooroolbark’s best players on 10 occasions out of a possible 11.

 

He’s got a big engine and plays a high percentage of game time, has the ability to get his own ball and breaks the lines.

 

He will be key to their future -Premier Division- aspirations.

 

Off-Season Plans

 

The Mustangs have already more than addressed their ruck stocks, signing Ryley Monkhorst from Woori Yallock. The former Balwyn man will see Mooroolbark’s midfield brigade go into season 2022 unrivalled.

 

Their defence performed well in 2021, but their forward half needs some more consistency. Having multiple options who can tear a game apart should be high on the agenda, as it will allow Aaron Mullett the freedom to move into the middle should he so wish.

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