Sharks snare some top-quality recruits
A BUSY off-season recruiting campaign snared several quality recruits for the Sharks.
Former Footscray and Western Bulldogs warhorse Paul Dimattina headed the list, joining brother Andrew at the Sharks, who also snared Ben McEntee (Adelaide), David Cameron (Geelong) and Dane Carmody (Subiaco).
McEntee moved over from Glenelg on a decent-sized deal covering five years, but he eventually proved to be worth every cent.
In round 16, against Mt Gravatt at Fankhauser Reserve, McEntee became the first
The feat was acknowledged by several reserve grade players and spectators, who ran on to the ground to celebrate the occasion, although it was nowhere near the same proportions as when Tony Lockett kicked his 2000th AFL goal for the Sydney Swans.
McEntee finished the season with 119 majors, including three hauls of 10 goals.
Another key signing was former Brisbane AFL defender Matt Kennedy, who was back at Fankhauser Reserve, not as a player but as new football manager. He replaced Gary Watts in the position.
In round one,
The Cats took a thriller by a point and the Broadbeach side that day contained several ex-Sharks, including Craig McGough, Adrian Hill, Ash Gehling, Brad Fisher, Brad McMahon and Corey Taylor.
And champion ruckman David Round, signed as an assistant coach as he recuperated from knee surgery, had also moved cross-city to the Cattery.
After the full-time siren ended the battle, Broadbeach players and supporters celebrated like it was a grand final victory.
That show of false bravado was to be a big mistake because the Sharks subsequently smashed the Cats by 112 points in the return bout in round 11, then by 83 points in the second semi-final, on their way to a grand final berth, which they lost to Morningside.
It was a weird finale in many respects because Paul Dimattina found himself in exactly the same circumstances as another ex-Footscray (Western Bulldogs).
Like Dempsey, Dimattina never played in a grand final at AFL/VFL level and, as happened to Dempsey in 1986, the Sharks lost the flag decider.
But, as was the case with Dempsey, things were going to change the next year – and again in strikingly similar circumstances.
Brad Moran, yet another from the Surfers Paradise junior production line, made his debut for the Sharks this year.
So did defender Wayde Mills, originally from Ballina, who went through the Coolangatta junior program.
Regan Duckworth signed from
But Troy Crossley and Shaun Coughlan (retired) departed, as did midfielder Luke Carroll after just one season and David Round also gone.
During the season the Sharks again held a visiting side goal-less. This time it was the hapless Mayne – who never beat Southport in matches played on the Gold Coast – with the final score being 33.24 (222) to 0.3 (3).
That remains the lowest score kicked against
A promising season ended with a grand final loss, by seven points, against Morningside and it proved to be the finale for coach Scott Lawton after four seasons in charge. Season details: Games played 20, won 17, lost 3.
Best and fairest: David James.
Leading goalkicker: Ben McEntee (119).