Shades of 2003 at the Pit

16 August 2014

Time flies and footy (especially VAFA footy) is often cyclical.

For the first time since 2003 St Bernards will play finals in all grades including the three Premier competitions in Seniors, Reserves and U19 Premier (no Thirds back then) Rocky Iannnello’s U19 boys have lost only one game in a terrific season that is reminiscent of the class of ’03.

A talented bunch of 17 year olds coming up from Juniors won the Under 19 North flag in ‘02 before stepping up to Under 19 Premier in 2003 where they completed a remarkable achievement in going through the entire season undefeated capping off their season with a thrilling five point win in the Grand Final over a powerful Uni Blues line up.

The following week St Bernards Seniors and Reserves ran onto Elsternwick Park amongst a sea of Gold and Black where in the early game the Ressies added the A Premier flag to the trophy cabinet after defeating Marcellin by 40 points.

With two flags from two Grand Finals the stage was set for a clean sweep as the Seniors were favoured to win after defeating Old Xavs in the second semi final but unfortunately Old Xavs turned the tables to win comfortably.

The following year the Ressies dropped the Prelim while the Seniors made it three Grand Finals in a row but were again shaded by a powerful Uni Blues line up on the day. Interestingly the ’04 Uni Blues senior side contained five boys from their ’03 Under 19 side that was defeated by the all-conquering St Bernards 19s.

Lets hope we can go one better in 2014!

2003 VAFA Grand Finals


Premier Seniors:

St Bernards 8.17 (65) lost to Old Xavs 18.20 (128)


Best: Ashton, Cooney, Day, Wilkinson, Mount, Fielding

Goals: Neeson 2, Harvey 2, Clarke, O’Sullivan, Mitchell, Byrne


Reserves:  St Bernards 15.14 (104) defeated Marcellin 9.10 (64)


Best: Gleeson, Pearson, Evans, Bouzikas, Holland, McIntyre

Goals: Pearson 4, McKeon 3, Holland 2, Catterall 2, Davis, McIntyre, Close, Bouzikas


Under 19:  St Bernards 10.18 (78) defeated Uni Blues 9.19 (73)


Best: Pell, Hooper, Kelly, James,  Matthews, Garth, Keunen, Liberatore

Goals: Pell 3, Hooper 2, Hogarth, Mitchell, Pitts, O’Connor, Smith


2003 Under 19 Premiers, St Bernards Undefeated Champions, Leading Goalkicker (Brett Pitts)

2003 VAFA Most Disciplined Team, 2003 VAFA Coach of the Year (David Law)




Andrew Mitchell

Shaun Matthews

Brett Johnson


George Garth

Josh Smith (vc)

Mark Harrison


Chris Liberatore

Brendan Ryan

Blake Kelly


Josh Hogarth

Ty Pearson

Jamie Robbins


Brett Pitts

Chris Keunen

Dan O’Connor


Michael Hooper

Matthew Pell

Rick James (capt)


Gary Joseph,   Matt Walsh,   Damian Hurley,   Brenton Runnals

Coach: David Law  Team Mgr: Paul Garth  Runner: John Hughes  Water: Nick Hughes

Paul Garth