The fans decide… top football team of the decade

The Colac Herald is calling on the community to find Colac district football’s top premiership side of the past decade.

We will post head-to-head battles on our Facebook page “Colac Herald Sport” for you to cast your vote, with three knock-out rounds until a winner is crowned at the end.

The bracket is posted below, with teams ranked in order of win percentage.

So be sure to like the page to get involved.

Visit www.facebook.com/colacheraldsport to cast your vote.

Buy the Colac Herald print edition, which has full coverage of all the region’s news and sport.

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THE CONTENDERS: 

1. Birre back-to-back (2016-17)
The Saints made three straight grand finals from 2016 until 2018, winning premierships in the first two years under Ben Boseley. After losing an elimination final in 2015, the Saints added Andrew Kelly, Paul Ridout and James Rowan, among others, to become a competition powerhouse. Only lost one game in each premiership-winning season.

Record: 39-2 (Win percentage: 95.1%)
Percentage: 274.8%
Finals: 4-1
Notable players: Ben Boseley, Andrew Kelly, Christian Kelly.

2. Simpson back-to-back (2014-15)
Favourite son Adam “Irish” Courtney returned to the club which finished ninth a year before. With little recruiting – Courtney and Mark Clissold were the biggest inclusions – the Tigers claimed a flag against the odds, by a record 103 points. The 2015 Tigers, with the addition of Tom Leishman, Brad and Mick Salmon, were the only team of the decade to go undefeated.

Record: 34-3 (91.9%)
Percentage: 205.6%
Finals: 4-1
Notable players: Adam Courtney, Corey Baulch, Nick Harding.

3. Lynch’s Saints (2011)
Ex-AFL champion Paul Lynch led Birregurra to its first premiership since 1994 and the Saints have remained contenders ever since. The team was stacked full of club veterans who had returned to the club, including Mark Whelan and Chris Roberts, while Lynch added a host of ex-Geelong guns like Jace Kelly and Jack Mahoney Medallist Cam Wright.

Record: 17-2 (89%)
Percentage: 256.7%
Finals: 2-1
Notable players: Jace Kelly, Cam Wright, Mick Davis.

4. Shiels’ Dolphins (2013)
Lorne put together one of the most dominant sides in recent history in 2013. After finishing runner-up to Forrest a year earlier, Lorne recruited Lewie Hollmer, coach Brock Shiels, Che Turner and ex-AFL player Jaxson Barham to become flag favourites.

Record: 16-2 (88.9%)
Percentage: 228.3%
Finals: 2-0
Notable players: Jaxson Barham, Lewie Hollmer, Steve Oliver.

5. Irrewarra-Beeac three-peat (2010)
Irrewarra-Beeac became the first club to win three straight premierships since Lorne won four flags in a row in the early ’80s. It was the first coaching stint under young mentor Dan Casey. The Bombers just sneak into contention for this honour due to their third flag coming in the past decade.

Record: 16-1-2 (84%)
Percentage: 255.8%
Finals: 2-1
Notable players: Khan Beckett, Peter Featherston, Tony Walker.

6. Lorne back-to-back (2018-19)
Lorne’s 2018 premiership team was the only one in the past decade to win after not finishing on top of the ladder. Unlike the other back-to-back premierships this decade, Lorne is the only club to achieve the feat under different coaches. Sam Stavenuiter led Lorne to a runner-up finish in 2017 before Kane Smartt joined him as a co-coach, and the pair helped the Dolphins upstage a more fancied Birregurra in 2018. Jack Hollmer then took the Dolphins to a record-equalling 12th title last year.

Record: 34-7 (82.9%)
Percentage: 206.9%
Finals: 4-1
Notable players: Kane Smartt, Jack Hollmer, Mark McCormack.

7. Forrest’s second flag (2012)
After losing the second semi-final to Lorne by 63 points, Forrest bounced back to weeks later to win its second flag since 2005 in an absolute thriller. Ryan Halnon was the hero for the star-studded minor premiers, goaling in the final minutes to bring down an impressive Lorne side.

Record: 15-1-3 (79%)
Percentage: 141%
Finals: 2-1
Notable players: Sean Calcedo, Dean Calcedo, Chris Dickenson.

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