“On this day in September” – 11 September

Today we go back to where it all started, all the way back to 1982 and the first season of the North Coast League. Then we’ll jump forward to the 2010 season and find out which current day player claimed the League Best and Fairest award.

As if that’s not enough, on this day 11 years ago the League announced its first ever Team of the Decade.

The Woolgoolga Blues club formed to compete for the first time in the inaugural season of the League. The Blues claimed the flag in that first season, going on an unprecedented run of 13 straight Grand Finals, and holding the record at nine Senior Premierships when the club folded in late 2005.
Seniors: Woolgoolga Blues 14.16 (100) def Port Macquarie Magpies 6.17 (53)
Reserve Grade and Under 18 competitions commenced the following season (1983).

This first Grand Final and the four that followed (up to and including 1986) were played at Englands Park, Coffs Harbour.

Luke Matthews (Sawtell) won the first of his two League Best and Fairest Medal, becoming only the second player (after Mark Couzens) to have won both the Best and Fairest and Woodlock (B.O.G. in Grand Final) Medals. Luke claimed his second B&F Medal in 2017, which was the year the award became the Brian Saville Medal.

On the night of the AFL North Coast best & fairest count, it also announced the first Team of the Decade covering 2000–2009. To be eligible for selection a player needed to have played in at least three of the 10 years that were being judged.

B: Brad Greenshields (NC) Dean Nankervill (PM) James Angel (NV)
HB: Tony Waterfall (CS) Mark Blundell (Gr) Darren Funston (NC)
C: Troy Mirkin (NC) Mark Couzens (NC-S/T-CS) Greg Jarman (NC)
HF: Daniel Zacek (Gr) Peter Chadwick (NC-CS) Luke Matthews (NC-S/T)
F: Jesse Schmidt (PM) Damon Munt (PM) Tristan Snow (W-CS)
Foll: Nev Stephens (PM) Matt Newton (PM) Brad Giri (NC)
I/C Jai Hardy (S/T) Matt Lane (CS) Jason Mayer (NC)
Scott Payne (PM) Shannon Skreja (PM) Jon Stephens (PM)
Coach: Russ Matthews (S/T)
Capt: Brad Giri (NC)
V-Capt: Tony Waterfall (CS)


To see more details of the AFL North Coast timeline over the past 40 seasons and beyond, please click here.