The 2022 Robert Rose Foundation Victorian Wheelchair Football League senior premiership will be decided this Sunday, September 18 when Richmond and Essendon clash in the Grand Final at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, starting at 12pm.
Richmond earned its place in the decider after finishing on top of the ladder with 10 wins, one draw and a loss to proceed directly through to the Grand Final. The Bombers finished second with a 9-3 record and advanced after an epic preliminary final triumph over Collingwood.
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The Bombers trailed the Magpies by 17 points at three-quarter time last Sunday before fighting back to force extra time. Sam Maraldo was the hero with four last-quarter goals and two-goals in extra time, with the final scoreline 13.10 (88) to 9.14 (68).
Key players - Richmond
Richmond have the most dynamic forward line in the competition with Vincent Naidu scoring 87 goals this season and Chris Henderson 58. The deadly combination has been causing defences headaches all year.
Teisha Shadwell has been the dominant centre player in the competition this season. Teisha has played wheelchair basketball for Australia and her incredible skill has been on show all season. Teisha is currently playing college basketball in America however will be making the trip for the big game.
Key players - Essendon
For Essendon, Caleb Logan has led the way this season with 116 goals, his electric pace and chair skills will be on full display this Sunday.
Logan has been well supported by Anthony Perito this year, who has assisted many of Logan’s goals, while putting through 46 himself.
Previous meetings this season:
Round 4: Essendon 10.4 64 defeated Richmond 9.3 57
Round 8: Richmond 11.6 72 defeated Essendon 5.6 36
Round 12: Richmond 14.7 91 defeated Essendon 6.3 39
The senior game won't be the only VWFL action this Sunday, with the state league's first ever junior wheelchair match getting the day started at 10am before the Development League Grand Final at 11am, also between Essendon and Richmond. Richmond is undefeated this season so will be hard to stop, however Essendon hit form in the preliminary final downing Collingwood by 56 points.
Full Schedule - Sunday 18 September
Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre
10am – Junior Wheelchair Match
11am – VWFL Development League Grand Final: Richmond v Essendon
12pm – VFWL Senior Grand Final: Richmond v Essendon
Richmond Player Profiles
2. Matt Morris (coach)
The 2019 premiership captain has returned in a playing capacity in 2022. A calming influence for the group, Morris has been a solid contributor throughout the season.
18. Chris Henderson (captain)
Henderson, the Tigers’ inspirational skipper has been an excellent addition to Richmond as a football club both on and off the field.
The veteran former WAFL able-bodied player continues to have a strong impact for the Tigers, bagging 58-goals this year and forming a key part of the best forward line in the competition.
10. Miranda Charlton
Charlton is already a 2019 premiership player at Richmond. Her height and aerial skills add another dimension to Richmond’s team. Vice-captain in 2022.
9. Judeland Antony
Number 1 draft pick at this year’s VWFL Draft, Antony’s inclusion has helped shaped Richmond’s rebuild. A strong defender, Antony is one of the league’s star players.
4. Vincent Naidu
Speedy forward Naidu lit up the 2019 Grand Final and again enters this year’s decider in outstanding form. Naidu has slotted 87 goals in 2022, including a bag of 12 against Collingwood in Round 10.
A barometer for the Tigers, Naidu shapes as one of the key players in Sunday’s clash.
41. Teish Shadwell
Shadwell, a star of the Tigers’ 2019 premiership team returned to the VWFL this season and has helped Richmond to climb back up the ladder.
The first on the training court and the last to leave, Shadwell will fly into Australia from the United States to take her place in the game.
Shadwell is a scholarship holder in the American College system due to her equally excellent wheelchair basketball ability.
Having played the majority of the season before departing to America, Shadwell will be firmly in the running for the Tigers’ best and fairest award.
7. James Weinert
A former Victorian Wheelchair Basketballer, Weinert’s chair skills set him apart.
The Tigers selected Weinert with their only selection in the mid-season draft to help replace Shadwell in the centre of the court given her move to the United States.
A huge Richmond fan, Weinert has made a huge difference to the Tigers’ line-up and can become a premiership player with the Club on Sunday.
12. Ange Mavroudis
The youngest member of the team, Mavroudis has developed into an important player this year. The 18-year-old Richmond Institute student can be used by coach Matt Morris all over the court and is described as the “ultimate utility”.
19. Christy Luxshan Arulnesathasan
The cousin of Judeland Antony. ‘Lux’ who is one of two able bodied Tigers in the team has brought excellent football IQ and leadership to the side.
Lux will come off the bench and give the Tigers an extra avenue to goal, as well as a strong voice on and off the court.
17. Mitch Stretton
Stretton, a Tasmanian, travels to Victoria to be a part of the VWFL competition. A strong and fit defender, Stretton has been an impactful player for the Tigers throughout the season.
A much-loved member of the team.
35. Freya Munzel
Munzel has embraced a move into defence in 2022, impressing with her marking ability and leadership. A third year Tiger, Munzel has come on in leaps and bounds since joining Richmond.
6. Chris Kotsanas
Kotsanas was drafted out of the Tigers’ come and try day in Torquay earlier this year as a newcomer to the sport.
A lifelong Richmond fan, Kotsanas has been a damaging forward for Richmond in the development team and his involvement in the program after a serious car accident several years ago has been heartwarming.
8. Bryant Parsons
Known affectionately as “Barge” by his teammates, Parsons is another long-time Richmond fan that now has the opportunity to pull on the Yellow and Black in a Grand Final.
A skillful forward with a powerful left hand, Parsons will have an important role on Sunday.
23. Peter Ogunyemi
Hawthorn’s inaugural VWFL captain and a former VWFL league medal winner, Ogunyemi has been a welcome addition to Richmond.
A wheelchair sports champion across multiple sports, the former Hawk has brought maturity and experience to the development team.
13. Matt Farrell
Farrell suffered a brain injury following a car accident during his younger days as a promising footballer. He has joined Richmond’s Wheelchair Football program and had excellent success with the team.
Farrell is an exciting player to watch with his tendency to play on at all costs and take the game on fast.