Premiership prize for Geelong’s SANFL stars

Woodville-West Torrens premiership forward Tyson Stengle celebrates one of his four goals in the AFL Grand Final. Picture - Darrian Traynor (AFL Photos)

Four SANFL stars tasted the ultimate glory on Saturday when they earned premiership medallions after Geelong’s monumental 81-point AFL Grand Final win against Sydney at the MCG.

From Rhys Stanley, who was playing in his 183rd AFL game, to Tyson Stengle, who was in his 41st, the Cats received meaningful contributions from the quartet of SANFL draftees.

SANFL’s Zac Milbank summarises each player’s impact on the biggest stage of all, in front of 100,024 fans in Melbourne.


Tyson Stengle (Woodville-West Torrens)

Twelve months earlier, Tyson Stengle was playing a major role in helping Woodville-West Torrens win back-to-back premierships with a stunning triumph against Glenelg in the 2021 SANFL Grand Final.

The crafty goalsneak kicked three goals against the Tigers on SA’s biggest footy stage, earning him a third chance at an AFL club, with Geelong, in 2022.

Stengle certainly repaid the Cats’ hierarchy this season, kicking a total of 53 goals from 25 games while earning selection in the All-Australian team.

And to top off his fairytale campaign, the indigenous star was a major player in Geelong’s romping win against the Swans on AFL Grand Final day.

Stengle kicked a game-high four goals for the afternoon, with his first coming in the fifth minute of the second term before following up with another entering time-on.

The former Richmond and Adelaide forward then kicked consecutive goals in the third quarter as the party started early for the Cats.

Originally from the Portland Football Club in Adelaide, the 23-year-old finished with 15 disposals, six marks, three tackles and 14 pressure acts.

Geelong’s Brad Close celebrates one of his two goals in the Grand Final. Picture – Cameron Spencer (AFL Photos)

Brad Close (Glenelg)

Glenelg premiership forward Brad Close influenced the game positively for the Cats in several ways, starting with a crucial set shot goal late in the first term.

Similar to the critical set shot he kicked in the opening quarter for the Bays in 2019, Close calmly slotted truly for the Cats to ensure they would take a commanding 35-point lead into the first change.

Whether it be a ruthless chase down tackle or getting a hand in to create a contest, the 24-year-old was doing whatever it took to help his team win in his 55th AFL game.

One of the most unselfish players in the AFL, Close was taking great joy from his eye-catching goal assists, which included an intelligent knock on into the path of veteran Joel Selwood, which followed a classy handball over the head to Brandan Parfitt in the goal square.

The North Gambier premiership player finished with 18 disposals, five marks, two tackles, two goals and 19 pressure acts in an impressive display.

Rhys Stanley gathers the ball before one of his 16 disposals. Picture – Daniel Carlson (AFL Photos)

Rhys Stanley (West Adelaide)

Drafted in 2009 to St Kilda, Stanley has displayed tremendous resilience to earn his first AFL premiership medal.

The 31-year-old transferred to Geelong in 2015 after five seasons with the Saints and has since become one of the Cats’ mainstays in the ruck.

Originally from Berri in the Riverland, the West Adelaide product collected 16 disposals, five marks, three tackles and 27 hit outs to play a strong role against the Swans.

Measuring in at 200cm and 102kg, Stanley is noted for his versatility and mobility in being able to get his hands dirty at ground level while also offering a marking target in attack while not patrolling the centre square.

North Adelaide draftee Brandan Parfitt (right) holding his premiership medallion with teammate Tyson Stengle. Picture – Darrian Traynor (AFL Photos)

Brandan Parfitt (North Adelaide)

North Adelaide draftee Parfitt didn’t waste time making his presence felt after being activated early in the final term of the AFL Grand Final.

Replacing teammate Cameron Guthrie, the Cats’ substitute hit the scoreboard when he accepted a classy goal assist from Brad Close in the goal square to kick truly in the 15th minute of the fourth quarter.

Playing in his 112th AFL game for Geelong, the 24-year old tallied eight disposals, one tackle, one goal and six pressure acts in just over 17 minutes of game time.

Originally from the Nightcliff Football Club in Darwin, Parfitt developed rapidly with the Roosters where he played five SANFL League games in 2015 while also lining up at Prospect in the Reserves and U18s in 2016.

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