By Matt Fotia
Wantirna South promised a stark improvement in 2021, such was the talent of their recruits – which included a trio of Vermont Eagles and Knox Premiership player Marcus Jordan – but a failure to gel together straight off the bat saw the Devils finish entrenched in mid-table.
They threatened to make the ‘scheduled’ finals series, but losses to Mitcham and Montrose at their season’s bookends meant they were never really in the hunt.
Hopefully for their sake they’ll slip back under the radar ahead of 2022, preparing themselves for a surge up the table.
Best Win – Wantirna South 17.10 (112) def Mitcham 11.7 (73)
A case of atonement for The Devils following their Round One fluff-up against the same opponent.
Their first quarter was hot, having nine scoring shots to the Tigers two, culminating in a 32-point quarter time lead for the Devils.
Mitcham worked their way back into the contest in the second and third quarters, pegging the lead back to 19 points at the final change, before the Devils put the foot down once again careering out to a 39-point win.
Lincoln Wong was in the best – shock – whilst recruit Marcus Jordan showed just how good he can be, with five goals in a best afield performance.
Worst Loss – Montrose 8.10(58) def Wantirna South 8.8(56)
A win would’ve left Wantirna South in the equal fifth place heading into the final lockdown, but it wasn’t too be for the boys in dark green.
They started poorly, allowing Montrose 10 scoring shots to two in the opening term, but gained control back in the second and third quarters, keeping the Demons goalless, whilst adding four of their own to take an eight-point lead into the last.
Both sides had five scoring shots in the last term, with Montrose kicking five straight to win the quarter by 10 points and the game by eight, despite the best efforts of Wong, Jordan, and versatile defender Jackson Freeman.
Star Player – Lincoln Wong
It’s impossible to go past Wong for this gong.
The Devils superstar had yet another great season, with seven appearances in the best players across the season as he went on to finish on the podium for the League Medal.
He leads from the front on the field and has been one of – if not the – best Devils players for the past few years with 35 appearances in their best players since the start of the 2017 season.
If they’re going to give it a shake in 2022, he’s the man to help steer them there.
They need to target some height, particularly a more mobile ruckman and another lockdown defender, with the Devils conceding 60 more points across the season than any of the top six and having their inside decencies exposed at times throughout the year.
That being said, the foundations have been laid now for the Devils.
A good strong core group of players, who have played a season or so together now and are set to take the Division by storm.
Watch this space.