Four Students say farewell to NEAFL program

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Cover image: Matt Corby Photography

Following the conclusion of the 2018 NEAFL season, four senior squad members have decided to say farewell to NEAFL football with Sydney University.

Damien Bonney, Aaron Day, Jake Derickx and Mitch Thompson announced their retirement at last Friday’s Driscoll Medal in front of their partners and teammates.

The mercurial Bonney amassed 61 games over his 4 seasons with The Students since joining the Club in 2015, following stints with East Coast and Morningside. In those 61 games, Bonney kicked 78 goals, including the 2018 NEAFL Goal of the Year.

Sydney University NEAFL Forwards Coach Lloyd Perris spoke fondly of his time working with Bonney.

“Damien is a special player who will be sorely missed at Sydney University” said Perris.

“He had the ability to turn a game of football on its head and the passion he showed always dragged his teammates along for the ride.”

Arriving from Westville-Torrens (SANFL) at the beginning of the 2015 season, key defender Day quickly cemented his place as one of the leaders within the Students’ squad. Known for his precise kicking skills and leadership, Day accumulated 65 games across his 4 seasons in the hoops.

“Daisy is an all-round superstar”, said Sydney University Captain Tim Barton.

“The most consistent performer I have ever played with, a fantastic teammate, and mentor to players, young and old.”

Key forward Derickx joined Sydney University for the 2014 season, after a successful stint in his home state of WA, playing for East Perth in the WAFL. Derickx enjoyed two NEAFL Representative Side selections (2014 & 2015), along with winning the 2014 Timothy Driscoll Medal in his debut season with The Students. After 5 seasons, 94 games and 193 goals, Derickx will take time to travel next year.

“Jake has been a great player, team mate and clubman over the past 5 years”, said Senior Coach Tom Morrison.

“He has been a leader of our team, club and across the entire NEAFL competition.”

“We wish Jake and his partner Caris all the best for the future and their overseas travel in 2019.”

Finally, the longest-serving of the four, Thompson joined the Students in the 2009, before the beginning of the Club’s NEAFL program. Playing over 150 games in the hoops, Thompson has been one of the Club’s greatest playing servants, displaying an excellent level of commitment to the Club’s NEAFL and Premier Division programs, and the challenges that comes with such a commitment.

Club Chairman Jason McLennan thanked Mitch for his contribution to the Club.

“Mitch has provided us with innumerable footballing highlights and helped to drive multiple Club finals campaigns”, said McLennan.

“He has effectively grown up at the Club, from a raw but talented, cocky kid, through tough times where he showed us his inner resilience and then on to become a senior playing figure at the club.”

“We hope and expect Mitch will be around the club in some capacity forever given his contribution, and we salute him for all of his efforts in the blue and gold.”

The Club thanks each of the four retirees for their contributions to Sydney University, and wish them all the best of luck in future endeavours.