“I remember when….” Bob Shield

I remember when ……..

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. The years rolled by and each year we dreamed the dream and endured the jibes, jokes and cheap shots from other club supporters. Each year as the season unfolded we asked whether this would be the year of our dreams. We went close on a number of occasions but fell at the final hurdle, beaten but not humbled, eager to fight another day.

Then, after a half century of tears we witnessed the winter of our dreams when on the 25th September, 1999 those Magnificent Men from Eastwood held aloft the 1999 Shute Shield having defeated Sydney University 34 -17.

Eastwood District Rugby Union Football Club, 1st grade Premiers at last! The cream had finally risen to the top.

On grand final day, the Woodie faithful streamed into the Sydney Football Stadium as though on a pilgrimage to Mecca.  Eastwood supporters at the ground outnumbered the Students 3 to 1 and those who could not be there were glued to the ABC telecast.  And when the referee whistled fulltime, tears welled-up in the eyes of the most hardened supporters and legend has it that a number of older followers passed away quietly, happy in the knowledge that the Woodies had finally captured the Holy Grail of rugby.

Prior to the match, every male over the age of eighteen claimed to have played for the ‘Woods’ at some stage of their lives and afterwards back at the club, those making the same claim had trebled.

Today we celebrate the 10th re-union of the 1999 Premiership winning team and remember those Magnificent Men.

Eastwood 1st XV 1999

1. Bill Young

2. Josh Cullen

3. Rod Moore

4. Nathan Grice (c)

5. Anthony Reed

6. Dave Fryday

7. Scott Fava

8. Daniel Manu

9. Travis Hall

10. Tim Donnelly

11. Matt Miller

12. Paul Dineen

13. Alan McDonald

14. Matt Barr

15. Peter Miller

Sub: Dan O’Hara

Dean Michnicwicz

1999 Squad Members

Aaron Broughton-Rouse

Matt Burke

Matt Dunning

Scott Staniforth

Aaron Spooner

Gareth Richmond

Chris Stannin

Jon McGill

Rick Veitch

Gareth Adamson

Aaron Patchett

John Webeck

Andrew Wisemantel

Matt Nilan

Ben Nelson

Coach: John McKee

Assist.Coach Bruce Robinson

Manager: Barry Taylor

Assist.Mgr/Trainer: Neil Dickie

Grand Final Score:

EASTWOOD 34

(P. Miller, M. Miller, D. Manu, M. Barr, Pen. Try, T Donnelly 3 Conv, 1 Pen Goal)

SYDNEY UNIVERSITY 17

(B. Daly try, C. Malone 4 Pen. Goals)

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