2001 was another one of those years where we had a base of good players but lacked the depth to carry us right across the park. The playing roster began to develop with quality new additions such as Matt Morgan, Paul Appleton, and Andrew Rush, although there was still only one Grade fielded.
After a mid-season surge where we won 5 games out of 6, we dropped off the pace and missed the finals again. Josh McLarnen won his 3 rd successive Best & Fairest Award and other players to shine that year included Grant Plecas, Bruno Pieri, Chook, Jeff Burton and Peter Mant. Trent Avery won the goal kicking again with a handy average of exactly 3 goals per game.
The major semi-final was held at our ground and was voted by the League as the best organised of that final series.
2002 was a very significant year for the Club, it marked the beginning of 4 years of excellent sponsorship by The Beaches Hotel. For the first time in living memory, the Tigers did not have to rely on Registration monies to cover the lion’s share of its League Affiliation costs. Thus, we were able to provide registered players with unique Northern Districts gear, for example, sports bags and polo shirts, as well as socks and shorts. The Beaches also provided some weekly dinner awards and complimentary drinks.
On the field it was also an extraordinary year, in which we fielded 2 Grades again, a feat we’ve accomplished every year since. Under the Coaching of Dan Sullivan, 1 st Grade lost their first 7 games (4 of them by under 2 goals) then won 7 of our next 8! We missed the finals by two games.
Reserve Grade, with Bill Parsons in his first ever role as a Senior Coach, made the semis and won but fell one game short of the Grand Final losing to Bomaderry in the Prelim Final.
2002 saw the introduction of some top 1 st year players at the Club including:- Mark (Funky) O’Rourke, Nathan (Pommy) England , Nathan (Dick) Fenby, Joel Hynd and Ben Shum. It also saw the return of stars such as Rocket and Wayne Dennehy. In an unbelievable achievement, Trent Avery (who became Treasurer in 2002 and has been several times since), won the Leading goal-kicker in both Grades! He won it also for the whole of SCAFL Reserves and was Runner-up for the SCAFL in 1 st Grade!
The Clubhouse Project was also first mooted in 2002 with Matt Simpson doing a great job co-ordinating with Juniors and the Cricket Club.
John (Scruff) Chetcuti who did a mountain of work in 2002 (especially with the phone book distribution) won Reserve Grade B&F, whilst Jeff Burton won the 1 st Grade.
2002 was also distinguished by the introduction of the Tigers ROAR, which has become the official communication vehicle for the Tigers.