AFL Central West year in review: 2019 season

2019 was the Year of the Rebel in the Men's competition winning the Minor-Premiership/Premiership double


Following Friday night’s Presentation evening, the 2019 AFL Central West season has come to an end. Four teams completed the Minor Premiership and Premiership double whilst two had perfect, unbeaten seasons. From April to September, we have you covered with all the highlights of 2019.


Cowra Blues flew home winning their final eight matches to take home the first premiership of the 2019 season. In doing so, the “Baby Blues” went back-to-back in the grade in what are fantastic signs for the club. Dubbo Junior AFL were welcomed into the competition and were the standouts throughout the Home & Away season however were unable to complete the fairy-tale finish. The Bathurst Giants showed their strength in the juniors and although missed the finals, were the only club to enter two sides in the grade.

Minor-Premiers: Dubbo Juniors
Premiers: Cowra Blues (def Dubbo Junior AFL 9.12-66 – 5.1-31), Best on Ground: Mason Bright (Cowra)
Best and Fairest: Harvey Shepherd (Orange Tigers)


With only one defeat for the season, the Orange Tigers were the benchmark of the competition. Their victory in the Grand Final made up for defeat in the 2018 edition and like Cowra, are showing incredible depth of talent at the junior level. Additionally, three players were selected for the JOSS State Zone Trials in early October. Will Sloan, Matthew Brown and Jake Egan will represent the Central West in these trials playing for the GIANTS Orange sides.

Minor Premiers: Orange Tigers
Premiers: Orange Tigers (def Cowra Blues 12.7-79 – 6.4-40), Best on Ground: Matthew Brown (Orange)
Best & Fairest: Will Chamberlain (Orange Tigers)


Only two teams started the 2019 Under-17s season and although challenging to have a competition, the matches were certainly competitive. The two sides won three matches apiece however it was the Orange Tigers who won silverware following an outstanding Grand Final performance. Many Under-17s players made successful senior debuts in 2019 demonstrating the importance of a competition in this age group. With the strength of Cowra in the Under-14s, it is hopeful that additional teams can be sourced for the 2020 season.

Minor-Premiers: Bathurst Giants
Premiers: Orange Tigers (def Bathurst Giants 9.3-57 – 3.7-25), Best on Ground: Peter Byrne (Orange)
Best & Fairest: Zac Yandle (Bathurst Giants)

Youth Girls:

The Bathurst Giants dominated the second full season of the Youth Girls competition completing an unbeaten season. Over the course of 2019, the Giants conceded fewer than 100 points, an amazing achievement in a full season. The Orange Tigers followed up their 2018 premiership with a Grand Final appearance and the Bathurst Bushrangers rounded out the finals’ placings. Dakota Nugent represented AFL Central West as part of the Greater Sydney CHS side who finished 2nd at the NSW All Schools AFL Championships. Our Youth Girls side capped off a successful representative campaign winning the Shoalhaven Junior Carnival in July.

Minor-Premiers: Bathurst Giants
Premiers: Bathurst Giants (def Orange Tigers 9.8-62 – 2.4-16), Best on Ground: Teagan Germech (Giants)
Best & Fairest: Teagan Germech (Bathurst Giants)

Senior Women’s:

Although we lost the Dubbo Demons before a ball was kicked in anger, the fifth Senior Women’s season was another successful one. Cowra Blues and Parkes Panthers played out some great matches between each other and the Bathurst Giants went unbeaten. Bathurst Bushrangers rebuilt a side after losing several members from their first four seasons and improved as the season progressed. Erin Naden and Jemma Neuman stood tall for the Orange Tigers who made a Preliminary Final yet fell short of the team’s first premiership.

In Representative football, the inaugural Women’s team went to Nowra and were beaten by AFL Sapphire Coast. A wonderful display of women’s football, the side led for three-and-a-half quarters before being overrun in the final five-minutes. Already planning redemption, the side will look to 2020 for that opportunity. Eloise Hiller-Stanbrook became the first AFL Central West player to make the Eastern Allies team for the Under-18s AFL Women’s National Championships and will head to the AFLW Draft Combine later this year.

Minor-Premiers: Bathurst Giants
Premiers: Bathurst Giants (def Bathrust Bushrangers 7.9-51 – 4.1-25), Best on Ground: Matilda Flood (Giants)
Best & Fairest: Matilda Flood (Bathurst Giants)
Leading Goal-kicker: Danita Lane (Bathurst Giants) – 23

Senior Men’s:

For the first time since moving to one-tier, the top-four didn’t include both Bathurst Bushrangers sides. Their Rebels however, finished top and by virtue of two wins at home against Orange Tigers, were crowned Senior Men’s Premiers. Cowra Blues returned to the men’s competition and although finding wins hard to come by, saw out the season and will hope to build on what was still a positive campaign. The Bathurst Giants season ended in the same fashion as 2018, a Preliminary Final defeat away from home to Orange. However the Giants defeated the 2018 premiers twice in the H&A season, building a strong foundation for 2020. Dubbo Demons were a powerhouse at home and much improved on the road in 2019. Although their season ended with an elimination final defeat, there was plenty to like from Shayne Wilesmith’s men.

Minor Premiers: Bathurst Bushrangers Rebels
Premiers: Bathurst Bushrangers Rebels (def Orange Tigers 9.15-69 – 5.9-39), Best on Ground: Bill Watterson (Bushrangers Rebels)
Best & Fairest: Bill Watterson (Bathurst Bushrangers Rebels)
Leading Goal-kicker: Paul Jenkins (Bathurst Giants) – 44

Well done to all teams in 2019. Congratulations to the six premiers and other major award winners, and bring on 2020.

Keep up-to-date with all AFL Central West related news by following us on Facebook