Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Celebration of Two SPECIAL Premierships Reunions!

March 20, 2018 by  

2018 Celebrates Two SPECIAL Premierships

30 Year Reunion of the 1988 1st Grade Premiership

20 Year Reunion of the 1998 1st Grade Premiership

At the close of business in 1987, the Tigers were set to lose an incredible number of players from the senior grade list. The 1987 team was highly regarded as one of the best teams fielded by the Tigers up to that point but unfortunately there were signs before the finals series that many players would be leaving the club after the season.

The losses over the off season included approximately 20 players from the senior ranks including Best and Fairest winners Peter Scully (1986) and Barry Suckling (1987) centre half back Darren Walton, former premiership players Mark Thompson Snr, Robert McCleod, Geoff Harrold, Darryl Bell and Geoff Deeble, full forward Ian Male and Michael Kennedy who was drafted to the Brisbane Bears.

A recruiting campaign secured players from all over including Allan Mapleson and David Skuta from East Sydney (both being former NSW Representative players), Brett Schmidt from Horsham, Craig Nielson from Merimbula, Jim Brennan from West Canberra, Gerard Johnson from Tuggeranong. Craig Hall from Wagga Tigers plus Steve Geerdink and Paul Walshe from Tuggeranong.

History now prevails to tell the story from the Tigers History Book that states: “1988 is the Bicentennial Year for Australia. Our aim will be to win the ACTAFL Bicentennial Premiership as we did the 1956 Olympic Premiership and the 1953 Coronation Premiership” – And that it did.

Under the guidance of Brian Quade who had led the Tigers into the previous four grand finals, they achieved what no person thought possible after the player losses from the 1987 Grand Final team.  Youngster such as Steven Vizy, Michael Goiser, Ray Callan, Peter Gilchrist and Tim Wynd were blooded amongst seasoned players Roger Cuschieri, Robin Schelberger, Gavin Doubleday, Darren Fowlie and Adrian White.

It was an historical win and one that was equalled in 1998 after similar circumstances seen many players depart the scene after the 1997 season.   New Coach James Dore was given the unenviable task of blending what was left with a new bunch of players and that he did.

The unassuming and quietly spoken James Dore methodically worked his way through the preseason of 1998 knowing that 30 players had departed the senior grade list from 1997 including many high profile 1st Grade players.

He was overheard to say and quote “what the #*^%ing hell have I got myself into !!!!!!”

Once again, the Club was to fight adversity.

A week leading up to the first game, leading full forward Michael Niesen was transferred back to Adelaide with employment opportunities while two young recruits became home sick and departed the scene and then the third young promising recruit also returned home after damaging a knee. It certainly wasn’t a great way to enter the first round of footy.

The young junior Tiger players were to take the next step and it was to be the Captains address to his players before the first match that resinated loud and clear by years end. The Captain happened to be one of the young blokes from the 1988 experience that being Michael Goiser. He said to the playing group “we were very much in the same position in 1988.   I’ve looked around the room and in seeing you young guys – that was me ten years ago – you could be part of a really special premiership”

He wasn’t wrong!

Remarkably the Tigers played off in both the 1st and Reserve Grade Grand Finals

  • Along with other significant titles the 1998 Premiership was the 75th Anniversary of the ACTAFL.

To celebrate those two wonderful premiership moments, the Tigers will be holding a reunion on Saturday 18th August. The day will include a mammoth day of footy at Allinsure Park (4 Grades of Footy) culminating with the 100 Club Dinner( in its 37th Year) that evening at the Tigers Licensed Club.

More details will follow but please place this date in the diary as we enter another year of Tigers Footy for the City of Queanbeyan / Palerang.

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