The Devils were in total control from go to whoa as they secured their first senior premiership since 2010.
Devils captain Sam Kater has lived every minute of those seven years between flags, experiencing some exhilarating highs and devastating lows, but this will go down as a career-defining day for the tough-as-nails onballer and his teammates.
“In my first year [in 2010], we won a flag, which was pretty awesome and I’ve been at the club ever since,” Kater said.
“We went up to division 1 and [have] been through some pretty tough years.
“One year, we didn’t even win a game, so to finally get back to where we are now is an awesome feeling.”
North Footscray had to navigate the long road through the finals.
The Devils finished the season as minor premiers, but slipped up against Yarraville-Seddon in the second semi-final.
Playing an extra game might have been a blessing in disguise for the Devils, as they regained some momentum with a preliminary final victory over a competitive Manor Lakes.
“We had to do it the hard way … but I think a good game against Manor Lakes last week gave us good momentum coming into today and it showed in the end, I guess,” Kater said.
North Footscray was switched on from the outset.
The Devils’ pressure at the coal face was turned up to maximum and their skill level was far superior on the day.
Conversely, an uncharacteristic Eagles performance left a lot to be desired.
They appeared sluggish and the only aggression they showed was when the margin had become unmanageable.
“It was our pressure around the footy, keeping it in tight and not allowing them outside run or any easy forward 50 entries,” Kater said.
North Footscray full-forward Jason Butty set the grand final alight in the first quarter.
Butty would maintain the rage to finish with seven goals and the Rex Swann Medal for best on field.
Tyren Montebruno was just as dangerous in the Devils’ attack, finishing with four goals, including three consecutively in the second term. Montebruno had the fans in the main grandstand chuckling when he took a set shot from 50 metres out with one boot.
He hit the post on that occasion, but it was a minor blemish in a superb performance.
Butty and Montebruno were the beneficiaries of a totally dominant midfield, led by Kater, Jordan Lampi, Brayden Montebruno and Jono Miller.
It was all about every link in the chain working for North Footscray and the first link was ruckman Reece Duffield.
Duffield battled Yarraville-Seddon’s athletic bigs Jesse Varsamakis and Mason Angove and won.
“He’s an absolute giant, Duffy,” Kater said. “Without him, we’d be screwed.”
North Footscray is yet to officially announce whether it will ask for promotion to division 1 or remain in division 2 next season.
“The committee will get together in the next few weeks and sort that out for us,” Kater said.
Macauley Goring was best for Yarraville-Seddon when the contest was at its hottest, while Varsamakis and Chris Topalidis never stopped trying against the tide.
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