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2005 Northern Bullants        

2005 Northern Bullants

Bullants Season 2005
Coach: Barry Mitchell
Captain: Frankie Raso
Best and Fairest: Glen Bowyer
Position: 3rd
Premier: Sandringham






The rise of the Bullants: 2005 review
The Northern Bullants made a spectacular rise up the VFL ladder in season 2005, reaching the Preliminary Final. In the end, injuries, a lack of depth at VFL level and an unkind Finals draw, which included travelling to Tasmania to take on the sixth placed Tassie Devils (the Bullants finished second), and a six day break straight after that leading into a cut throat Preliminary Final jolted the Bullants preparation. Digby Morrell was the standout, often paying a key role up forward, he took games by the scruff of the neck, and was often the main difference between a win or a loss. Jordan Bannister played a small role during the season in the midfield, but he was the anchor in defence during the finals campaign. Brett Johnson, David Clarke, Glen Bowyer, Adam Bentick and Simon Wiggins contributed greatly when they were available to play for the Bullants, and were often a class above their VFL opponents. Even so, this year has produced many great moments for a club that has always been looked down on as a perennial cellar dweller. The Bullants now intend to do all they can in order to remain in the upper echelon of the VFL. Bullants coach Barry Mitchell has been widely praised for the way he has handled the playing group, keeping them focussed, grounded and committed to the cause. He regards this year as a success, compared to last year, which was a complete disaster, Mitchell explains; "At the start of the year, if someone said we'd finish second and then get knocked out in the Preliminary Final, I would've taken it any day of the week." The Bullants managed an eleven week winning streak (including a draw) that set up their fine season. Mitchell says the Bullants had a bit of luck in the medical room at that point: "At both Carlton and the Bullants we had a good run with injuries." The Bullants were regarded this year by many as a team that had very little support coming off the bench, with most of the work being done by the Carlton listed boys, and strong support from Frankie Raso, Josh Vansittart, Ross Young and Justin Crow. From there, the list went pear shaped. Barry Mitchell defends the Bullants listed players who came in and out of the seniors like a revolving door: "It's a bit harsh to say we had nothing off the bench, guys like Michael Hooper and Rowan Williams have a lot of improvement in them, and they didn't get enough game time so they struggled a bit."

Recruiting is now the main focus as the Bullants look to beef up their VFL stocks, but the club remains financially restricted, therefore limiting the possibility of bagging a ready made goal machine like Box Hill's Clinton Alleway or Werribee's James Podsiadly. Mitchell knows this all too well, but is still adamant the club can find some good VFL talent; "It's pie in the sky to say we'll get a Clinton Alleaway, we need two or three top line players to add to our top six Bullants players. Last year we got Justin Crow and Ross Young, and they were fantastic for us this year." There also looms the tantalising prospect of seeing some of the country's best young talent on show with the Bullants next year, as Carlton will feature prominently during the draft period: "We get good draft picks, we've got picks 1, 4 and 20," Mitchell said. There is a strong chance that the new players will need to settle in, and therefore build some confidence at VFL level before heading onto the big stage with Carlton; "It depends on the kid, but usually they don't step into the seniors straight away," Mitchell said. There have already been a couple of changes to the Carlton list with 25 year old on-baller Glen bowyer calling it quits. Injuries may have taken their toll on the gifted midfielder who spent a fair amount of time with the Bullants this season. Midfielder David Clarke is the first player to be told his services are no longer required. The ex-Cat played his 100th game this season at AAMI Stadium against the Crows, but spent a large portion of the year orchestrating the Bullants charge up the VFL ladder. It is expected that there will be a few more changes and additions to the playing personnel at Carlton once the trade and draft period has ended. All up, season 2005 has been a great success for the Bullants, and here is a brief look at some of the people who made it all happen for the Red and Whites. Barry Mitchell: Highly respected by the playing group and support staff at the Bullants. Mitchell did the best he could with the limited talent coming off the bench this year. He maintained a positive outlook throughout the year and supported his players. The best example was when the Bullants threw away a 46 point last term lead to just go down to Werribee. There was no fierce spray, instead he quietly spoke to the players, and offered a few pats on the back to some disappointed players. Peter Dean: Also highly respected, Dean has a wonderful knowledge of the game and works well with Barry Mitchell. Dean's approach after a game is to have a one on one chat to the players and go over the good and bad points of a player's game. There's no speaking down to the player, so he is more likely to take on board what is being said by Dean. Mark Eustice: Had a tough job keeping the modestly talented Reserves group up for most of the year, with a late run towards the Finals that ended just short of a Finals spot, Eustice said; "We were doing a Bon Jovi, living on a prayer!" The Bullants boys: Captain Frankie Raso worked hard all year through the midfield, and got great support from on-baller Ross young and defender turned ruckman Justin Crow. Josh Vansittart is my pick as the best performed Bullant. Playing a key role in defence each week, Vansittart worked hard at shutting down his opponent while collecting valuable possessions himself. His courageous style of play, launching himself into places most players take a backward step from, earned him the respect of the whole playing and coaching group. The Carlton boys: Digby Morrell was the standout, often paying a key role up forward, he took games by the scruff of the neck, and was often the main difference between a win or a loss. Jordan Bannister played a small role during the season in the midfield, but he was the anchor in defence during the finals campaign. Brett Johnson, David Clarke, Glen Bowyer, Adam Bentick and Simon Wiggins contributed greatly when they were available to play for the Bullants, and were often a class above their VFL opponents. The development of rookies Nick Becker, Jesse Smith and Setanta O'hAilpin moved along at full speed, with O'hAilpin the obvious choice to be promoted to Carlton's senior list next year. Honourable mention must go to Karl Norman, Luke Blackwell, Adam Hartlett (who returned from a knee injury), Brad Fisher (who returned from a knee reconstruction) and Jordan Russell. The Bullants will be keen to rise even further in season 2006, with the aim of going all the way firmly entrenched in their minds. If not for a series of unfortunate events, the dream could easily have been realized this year, but we will have to wait until next year to see how it all unfolds, as the Blues and Bullants look to make an imprint on the footy world.



Round 1 - 3rd April, 2005.

Played at Preston City Oval.

Northern Bullants 1.4, 3.7, 6.11, 11.12.78
Sandringham 1.2, 2.5, 2.6, 4.10.34

Result: Won by 44 points

Goal Kickers: Andrew Walker 2, Setanta Ó hAilpín 2, ,Chris Bryan, Glen Bowyer, Jordan Bannister, Nick Becker, Daniel Batson, Luke Blackwell, Troy Longmuir 1.
Best Players: Brett Johnson, Glen Bowyer, Chris Bryan, Jordan Bannister, Andrew Walker, Adam Bentick.



Round 2 - 9th April, 2005.

Played at AUSTAR Arena Ballarat.

North Ballarat 3.3, 4.4, 10.8, 12.12.84
Northern Bullants 0.1, 2.5, 2.7, 4.13.37

Result: Lost by 47 points.

Goal Kickers: Daniel Batson, Setanta Ó hAilpín, Troy Longmuir, Jordan Russell 1.
Best Players: Troy Longmuir David Clarke jnr, Andrew Walker, Adam Bentick, Jordan Russell, Kade Simpson.



Round 3 - 17th April, 2005.

Played at Chirnside Park Werribee

Werribee 4.1, 6.6, 10.10, 14.16.100
Northern Bullants 2.3, 6.5, 9.8, 12.10.82

Result: Lost by 18 points.

Goal Kickers: Chris Bryan 2, Brent Colbert 2, Nick Becker 2, Digby Morrell, Adam Bentick, Kade Simpson Jesse Smith, Daniel Batson, Setanta Ó hAilpín 1.
Best Players: Kade Simpson, Adam Bentick, Jordan Bannister, David Clarke jnr, Chris Bryan, Josh Vansittart.



Round 4 - 24th April, 2005.

Played at Preston City Oval.

Northern Bullants 6.1, 13.5, 20.6, 28.8.176
Port Melbourne 2.2, 4.2, 9.5, 13.6.84

Result: Won by 92 points.

Goal Kickers: Eddie Betts 6, Setanta Ó hAilpín 4, Digby Morrell 3, Adam Bentick 3, Nick Becker 2, Luke Blackwell 2, Chris Bryan, David Clarke jnr, Frankie Raso, Cory McGrath, Jordan Bannister, Ross Young, Brent Colbert, Kade Simpson 1.
Best Players: Eddie Betts, Setanta Ó hAilpín, Kade Simpson, Nick Becker, David Clarke jnr, Adam Bentick.



Round 5 - 1st May, 2005.

Played at Box Hill City Oval.

Box Hill Hawks 2.4, 6.6, 8.10, 13.11.89
Northern Bullants 3.2, 6.3, 11.5, 13.6.84

Result: Lost by 5 points.

Goal Kickers: Chris Bryan 2, Justin Davies 2, Setanta Ó hAilpín 2, David Clarke jnr, Glen Bowyer, Ian Prendergast, Digby Morrell, Ross Young, Luke Blackwell, Jordan Russell 1.
Best Players: Justin Davies, Ian Prendergast, Cory McGrath, Adam Bentick, Glen Bowyer, Setanta Ó hAilpín.



Round 6 - 7th May, 2005.

Played at Punt Road Oval Richmond.

Coburg Tigers 2.1, 2.5, 6.8, 9.11.65
Northern Bullants 4.4, 8.6, 10.9, 13.14.92

Result: Won by 27 points.

Goal Kickers: Justin Davies 2, Digby Morrell 2, Daniel Batson 2, Chris Bryan, Frankie Raso, Ross Young, Brent Colbert, Jesse Smith, Nick Becker, Luke Blackwell 1.
Best Players: Glen Bowyer, Cory McGrath, Frankie Raso, Justin Davies, Jesse Smith, Josh Vansittart.



Round 7 - 14th May, 2005.

Played at Preston City Oval.

Northern Bullants 4.3, 7.6, 14.8, 18.10.118
Casey Scorpions 1.0, 8.1, 9.2, 12.6.78

Result: Won by 40 points.

Goal Kickers: Digby Morrell 4, Troy Longmuir 4, David Clarke jnr 3, Ross Young 3, Trent Sporn 2, Jordan Bannister, Setanta Ó hAilpín 1.
Best Players: Digby Morrell, Ross Young, Chris Bryan, Troy Longmuir, Justin Crow, Trent Sporn.



Round 8 - 28th May, 2005.

Played at Preston City Oval.

Northern Bullants 11.13.79
Williamstown 9.8.62

Result: Won by 17 points.

Goal Kickers: Setanta Ó hAilpín 5, Troy Longmuir 3, Brett Johnson, Brad Fisher, Karl Norman 1.
Best Players: Troy Longmuir, Glen Bowyer, Josh Vansittart, Chris Bryan, Setanta Ó hAilpín, Heath Scotland.



Round 9 - 4th June, 2005.

Played at Devonport, Tasmania.

Tasmania 2.1, 3.6, 6.7, 9.8.62
Northern Bullants 1.5, 3.1, 6.16, 10.20.80

Result: Won by 18 points.

Goal Kickers: Brett Johnson 3, Setanta Ó hAilpín 2, Troy Longmuir 2, Callum Chambers, Ross Young, Brad Fisher 1.
Best Players: Brett Johnson, Trent Sporn, Glen Bowyer, Callum Chambers, Adrian Deluca, Setanta Ó hAilpín.



Round 10 - 12th June, 2005.

Played at Preston City Oval.

Northern Bullants 5.4, 8.8, 10.1, 11.11.77
Frankston 3.3, 5.5, 7.7, 10.17.77

Result: Drawn match.

Goal Kickers: Setanta Ó hAilpín 3, David Clarke jnr, Digby Morrell, Adam Bentick, Ross Young, Brad Fisher, Kade Simpson, Jesse Smith, Nick Becker 1.
Best Players: Jordan Bannister, Kade Simpson, Simon Wiggins, Frankie Raso, Callum Chambers, Setanta Ó hAilpín.



Round 11 - 18th June, 2005.

Played at TEAC Oval Port Melbourne.

Port Melbourne 10.11.71
Northern Bullants 14.12.96

Result: Won by 25 points.

Goal Kickers: Digby Morrell 7, Troy Longmuir 2, Brad Fisher 2, David Clarke jnr 2, David Teague 1.
Best Players: Digby Morrell, Justin Crow, David Teague, Adam Bentick, Brad Fisher, Simon Wiggins.



Round 12 - 26th June, 2005.

Played at Queen Elizabeth Oval Bendigo.

Bendigo Bombers 12.10.82
Northern Bullants 13.8.86

Result: Won by 4 points.

Goal Kickers: Frankie Raso 3, Troy Longmuir 3, Digby Morrell 2, Simon Wiggins 2, Nick Becker, Jesse Smith, Setanta Ó hAilpín 1.
Best Players: Frankie Raso, Adam Bentick, Luke Livingston, Troy Longmuir, Digby Morrell, Callum Chambers.

Reports: A.Henneman for striking Troy Longmuir



Round 13 - 2nd July, 2005.

Bye.



Round 14 - 9th July, 2005.

Played at Preston City Oval.

Northern Bullants 12.5.77
Box Hill Hawks 6.9.45

Result: Won by 32 points.

Goal Kickers: Digby Morrell 5, Callum Chambers 2, Eddie Betts, Ross Young, Karl Norman, Setanta Ó hAilpín, Nick Becker 1.
Best Players: Digby Morrell, Eddie Betts, Jordan Bannister, David Clarke jnr, Justin Davies, Trent Sporn.

Reports: Digby Morrell (Northern Bullants) for wrestling Z. Dawson (Box Hill Hawks) during the third quarter.



Round 15 - 16th July, 2005.

Played at Preston City Oval.

Northern Bullants 14.11.95
North Ballarat 10.6.66

Result: Won by 29 points.

Goal Kickers: Setanta Ó hAilpín 3, Digby Morrell 2, Ryan Houlihan 2, Rowan Williams 2, Luke Blackwell, Ross Young, Justin Crow, Adam Bentick, David Clarke jnr 1.
Best Players: Adam Bentick, Digby Morrell, Simon Wiggins, Ryan Houlihan, Trent Sporn, Karl Norman.



Round 16 - 24th July, 2005.

Played at Preston City Oval.

Northern Bullants 13.7.85
Coburg Tigers 7.7.49

Result: Won by 36 points.

Goal Kickers: Simon Wiggins 3, Digby Morrell 3, Nick Becker 2, David Clarke jnr, Glen Bowyer, Ian Prendergast, Ross Young, Brett Johnson 1.
Best Players: David Clarke jnr, Simon Wiggins, Jordan Bannister, Digby Morrell, Ian Prendergast, Glen Bowyer.



Round 17 - 30th July, 2005.

Played at Skilled Stadium Geelong.

Geelong 10.7.67
Northern Bullants 17.15.117

Result: Won by 50 points.

Goal Kickers: Ryan Houlihan 4, Simon Wiggins 3, Glen Bowyer 3, Adrian Deluca 2, Brett Johnson 2, Andrew Walker 2, Justin Davies 1.
Best Players: Glen Bowyer, Setanta Ó hAilpín, Simon Wiggins, David Clarke jnr, Ryan Houlihan, Brett Johnson.



Round 18 - 6th August, 2005.

Bye



Round 19 - 14th August, 2005.

Played at Preston City Oval.

Northern Bullants 18.11.119
Werribee 19.8.122

Result: Lost by 3 points.

Goal Kickers: Justin Davies 4, Setanta Ó hAilpín 3, Brett Johnson 2, Ryan Houlihan 2, Karl Norman 2, Luke Blackwell 2, Adrian Deluca, Ian Prendergast, Jesse Smith 1.
Best Players: Setanta Ó hAilpín, Justin Davies, Frankie Raso, Josh Vansittart, Brett Johnson, Ian Prendergast.



Round 20 - 20th August, 2005.

Played at Trevor Barker Beach Oval Sandringham.

Sandringham 16.10.106
Northern Bullants 17.10.112

Result: Won by 6 points.

Goal Kickers: Brett Johnson 3, Ian Prendergast 3, Adrian Deluca 2, Ryan Houlihan 2, David Clarke jnr, Josh Vansittart, Jordan Bannister, Ross Young, Declan Donohue, Setanta Ó hAilpín, Luke Blackwell 1.
Best Players: Brett Johnson, Ian Prendergast, Justin Davies, Ryan Houlihan, Glen Bowyer, Adrian Deluca.


Ladder end of 2005 VFL Home & Away Season.

PosTeamWinsLossesDrawsPointsForAgainst%
1Werribee 1530 60 21381590134.47
2Northern Bullants 1341 54 1690 1343 125.84
3Sandringham 1260 48 1793 1558 115.08
4Bendigo Bombers 1170 44 1816 1357 133.83
5Port Melbourne 1170 44 1747 1725101.28
6Tasmania 1080 40 1724 1615 106.75
7Frankston 891 34 1486 1440 103.19
8Box Hill Hawks 7110 28 1479 163290.63
9Williamstown 7110 28 1474 171386.05
10North Ballarat 7110 28 1434 175681.66
11Springvale6120 24 1480 1565 94.57
12Coburg Tigers 5130 20 1404 1774 79.14
13Geelong 4140 16 1478 2075 71.23



2005 VFL Finals Series

Week 1
1st Elimination Final
Port Melbourne 21.19.145 d Box Hill Hawks 8.13.61

2nd Elimination Final
Tasmania 17.19.121 d Frankston 11.9.75

1st Qualifying Final
Werribee 19.8.122 d Bendigo Bombers 15.14.104

2nd Qualifying Final

Played at North Port Oval.

Sandringham 3.4.22, 7.6.42, 12.15.87, 16.20 (116)
Northern Bullants 1.4.10, 2.8.20, 2.9.21, 3.11 (29)

Result: Lost by 87 points.

Goal Kickers: Callum Chambers 2, Jordan Russell 1.
Best Players: Josh Vansittart, Karl Norman, Glen Bowyer, Frankie Raso, Brett Johnson, Luke Livingston.


Week 2
1st Semi Final
Bendigo Bombers 20.6.126 d Port Melbourne 13.10.88

2nd Semi Final
Played at Bellrevie Oval Hobart, Tasmania.

Northern Bullants 2.4.16, 6.4.40, 14.5.89, 18.9 (117)
Tasmania 1.3.9, 2.7.19, 5.12.42, 5.14 (44)

Result: Won by 73 points.

Goal Kickers: Simon Wiggins 3, Ross Young 3, Justin Davies 2 Setanta Ó hAilpín 2, Chris Bryan 2, Brett Johnson 2, Callum Chambers, Jordan Russell, Josh Vansittart, Adam Bentick 1.
Best Players: Jordan Bannister, Justin Crow, Adam Bentick, Justin Davies, Simon Wiggins, Chris Bryan.

Week 3
1st Preliminary Final

Played at North Port Oval.

Werribee 1.2.8, 6.6.36, 11.11.77, 15.15 (105)
Northern Bullants 0.4.4, 3.6.24, 6.8.44, 11.10 (76)

Result: Lost by 29 points.

Goal Kickers: Setanta Ó hAilpín 2, Ross Young 2, Brett Johnson 2, Callum Chambers, Rowan Williams, Nick Fallu Karl Norman, Chris Bryan 1.
Best Players: Jordan Bannister, Frankie Raso, Ross Young, Brett Johnson, Nick Fallu, Justin Crow.


2nd Preliminary Final
Sandringham 17.19.121 d Bendigo Bombers 12.10.82

Week 4
Grand Final
Sandringham 11.17.83 d Werribee 11.8.74





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