Remember when? with robbie mackinlay - 1998 season recap!

This week we are taking a look back to the year 1998 a year that will go down in the Wodonga Raiders football club history books as one of the greatest, winning its first ever senior OMFNL premiership after entering the league in 1989.


Former Hawthorn player, Mark Turner, was appointed as the club’s first coach in 1989. However, after being beaten on the last kick of the day against Benalla in round one they did not win a game in its first season.


Raiders first finals appearance came in 1995 when they finished third. Beaten in the 1997 grand final by Albury the Raiders’ moment of glory came the following year when they crushed Lavington 19-12-126 to 8-14-62 with Geoff Valentine awarded the Did Simpson Medal for best on ground. Senior field umpires were Graeme Edwards and Aaron Beard.

To complete a great day Raiders Seconds also won the grand final beating Albury by seven points, while in the thirds it was Wangaratta Rovers defeating Yarrawonga by 39 points.


The Morris Medal was taken out by Myrtleford’s Mark Lambertini two votes ahead of Yarrawonga’s Jarrod Sutherland. Ralph Aalbers from Lavington who won the 1985 Morris Medal was the winner of the reserve grade best and fairest Leo Burke Award the first and only player to have won both. The Thirds best and fairest the Leo Dean Award was taken out by Justin Knoble from Myrtleford.


Chris Stuhldreier from Lavington was the leading goalkicker finishing with 111 (but only polled one vote in the Morris Medal), Brendan McEvoy won the seconds goalkicking and fellow Raider Matt Jones the thirds.


The OMFNL won its third straight Country Football Championship grand final beating Geelong by eight points under coach Bob Craig, in the earlier rounds they beat Central Murray by 51 points and the Murray League in the semi-final by 31 points.


Lavington won its first-ever A grade netball premiership defeating North Albury – the finals series featured an amazing three games that went into extra time. North Albury were B grade premiers beating Wodonga Raiders, while in C Grade Albury defeated Lavington to win its first ever OM netball premiership in all grades.


The A Grade netball best and fairest (now called the Toni Wilson Medal) was won by Yarrawonga Goal Keeper Renee Donovan with Wangaratta Rovers Karen Johnson one vote behind, with North Albury coach Fiona Boyer third. Emma Dallinger from Lavington won the B Grade ahead of Simone Graham from Myrtleford, while in C Grade it was Wodonga Raiders pair Lisa Burkitt and Kate McKoy finishing first and second respectively.