Despite struggling with form in recent seasons, here’s no denying that South Whyalla has a roster filled with a number of talented individual players.
Joel Howard-Bristow proved that on Monday night, being the third Demon to win the Whyalla News Medal in as many years at the Whyalla Football League Presentation Night.
Mr Howard-Bristow was five votes off first place heading into Round 16, but rallied to beat out West Whyalla’s Ben Butler by a mere three votes on the final game of the season.
The medal tally was slightly controversial, with three games missed in the initial tally due to a mix-up with umpire slips. Fortunately the votes were re-tallied by the league, and the final outcome was not affected.
Joel maintains that he doesn’t play for individual awards, but said it was ‘nice to win’.
“We have a lot of good individual players, but obviously we need to have more of a team bond,” he said.
The Souths star has played just about every position on the ground this season, proving his versatility as a player. He says his main strength is his attack on the ball.
“I’m always hard at it, there’s nothing pretty about it, I just get it forward,” Mr Howard-Bristow said.
South Whyalla have struggled through an inconsistent season, but were close to beating Weeroona Bay in the First Semi Final, going down by just one point.
Joel hopes the loss can spur the team next year.
“That’s football, if we played a bit better during the season we would have had a double chance,” he said.
Regardless of the team’s performance on the field, Joel says that off the field Souths have a great culture.
“We’ve got a good team morale, we all get around each other,” he said.
Joel believes commitment is key for South Whyalla to improve as a team next year.
“If we get a bit more commitment we should do better...we have the squad there, we have the coaches, it’s just about commitment,” he said.