This coming Saturday as we take on Noble Park, we prepare to celebrate, recognise & honour a club legend & one of our most decorated Sainters, Anthony Sharp, as he takes to the field for his 200 th Senior Game.
Fittingly, Anthony will play this milestone game, reached by very few on the ground he has taunted & mesmerized opposition players with his football talent and given the Saints faithful so much pleasure, on the ground he considers his own backyard, the mighty Quambee Reserve. Known by all at North Ringwood as “Sharpy” or “Razor” as nick named by nick name master himself, Joe
Tunstall, this club legend has just about achieved everything possible as an individual and as part of a team.
What can be very rare in today’s local football, especially given the fact of Sharpy’s talent, he has remained loyal to the mighty Saints, being part of our program since 1999 when he attended The Warranwood Auskick Clinic at Warranwood Primary School, which for those unaware was established by our Junior Club, now know as North Ringwood Auskick at the Junior Oval.
Anthony eventually at the age of 10, made his way to our Junior Club and played Under 11’s in 2001, under the guidance of Mark Springett as Coach, who would eventually take these boys to 3
Premierships. Anthony was undoubtedly part of a team that was a formidable force until his last game at the Junior Club in 2006, playing Under 16’s going down to Knox in a Grand Final – 5.12.42 to 11.14.80 Sharpy’s 6 years at the Junior Club, was part of a golden era for him and the club, to put it simply, this was a very talented side.
SHARPIE’S JUNIOR ACHEIVEMNETS:
20 Times named in the best
Under 11’s, 2001 Lightning Premiership
Under 12’s, 2002 Premiership
Under 13’s, 2003 Premiership
Under 14’s, 2004 Premiership
It goes without saying that the Senior Club was licking their lips with the prospect of retaining as many players from this team as possible, given the success that they had just had.
In Sharpy’s first year of Colts (U/18’s) in 2007, the side had a great year, making the finals but unfortunately bowing out in the second round. Sharpy played 18 Games for the year, kicked 30 Goals & was named in the Best on 10 occasions, coming 3rd in the Colts B&F. 2008 was the year that our young Saint started his Senior Career. While still playing Colts, Sharpy was elevated to the Senior side for their RD 11 Game against Doncaster at Schramms Reserve, a ground that would hold some very special moments in years to follow. Despite the seniors going down by 4 goals on
the day and kicking only 9 Goals, young Sharpy kicked 4 of them, not a bad senior debut!
He would play 4 games in the seniors, kicking 12 goals and being named in the best twice, before going back to the Colts to help them in their finals campaign. Our boys easily accounted for Montrose (Semi) & Rowville (Preliminary) but unfortunately went down to Mulgrave in the Grand Final.
Despite playing 4 Games in the seniors, Sharpy finished his final year of Colts, with 38 Goals, named in the best on 9 occasions and finishing Runner Up in the B&F.
Finally in 2009, the Seniors finally had their man, a man to build the club around as they slowly put into place to build a successful team to get them out of Divi 3, where they found themselves in Sharpy’s first year at Senior level.
While 2009 was not a hugely successful year for the Seniors, it was massive for Sharpy. He played a total of 17 Games, missing only one game, kicked 38 Goals and was named in the best on a staggering 12 times, taking out the Senior Best & Fairest in his first year, as well as other league awards. As you can see below, 2009 was just the tip of the iceberg to what this young man was going to achieve as he helped get the club to where they are today.
SENIOR ACHEVEMENTS: 2009 – PRESENT
2009 – Senior B&F2009 – EFL Division 3&4 Leader Young Gun Award
2009 – EFL Division 3 Team of the Year
2010 – Senior Runner Up B&F
2010 – EFL Division 3 Team of the Year
2011 – Senior B&F
2011 – EFL Division 3 Team of the Year
2011 – Senior Leading Goal Kicker (46 Goals)
2012 – Senior Runner Up B&F
2012 – EFL Division 3 Team of the Year
2012 – EFL Division 3 Senior Premiership
2012 – Awarded BOG in the Premiership, after kicking 5 Goals
2013 – Senior B&F
2013 – EFL Division 2 Team of the Year
2014 – EFL Division 2 Senior Premiership
2016 – Named in the 2007-2016 North Ringwood Team of the Decade on the Wing
Games Played – 199 Senior / 34 Colts
Goals – 265 Senior / 68 Colts
Named in the Best – 62 TIMES Seniors / 19 Colts
While many of us have watched just about all of Anthony’s games and just been totally amazed at the ridiculous ease in which he does things on the playing field, there is one person besides his parents, Kerrie & Greg, that have watched and ridden every hit, goal and bump, that is the closest to Sharpy and can give an insight to this young man’s talent and that is his and the clubs longest serving coach, Brett Moyle.
“When I came to the club in 2010, Anthony had just come off winning a Senior best and fairest as an 18 year old in 2009 and I had been told about the tricks he had and the stories were spot on. In my stint as coach up until 2015 Anthony was a star. He has won 3 B&F’s and I think finished top 3 on at least 2 other occasions. He kicked 5 in a grand final win in 2012 where he also won the medal for best on ground.
Whilst he was a quiet personality off the ground he expressed himself very well onfield with the ability to turn a game with a magical goal or baulking around opponents at will. He rarely if ever missed training and whilst he has suffered some soft tissue injuries late in his career, early on he was very resilient and rarely missed a game. His chasing and tackling is also something that I suspect does not get remembered as much as the spectacular goals but he used his speed well in this area too. I loved coaching him.
A highlight along with the grand final medal would have to be his goal from the boundary to beat Doncaster at Schramms Reserve in the last minute in 2014.”
While it is easy to focus on Anthony as we lead up to Saturday’s big game, you cannot go past the fact what the Sharp family as a whole has contributed to this club, on and off the field.
Anthony has been blessed to have played nearly all of his brother Jason’s 131 games side by side and our club has been blessed to have two extremely talented brothers that will both go down as club legends & Champions. For two brothers to share and be part of two Premierships and be named together in the 2007-2016 North Ringwood Team of the Decade, would have to be very rewarding and a massive thrill for the Sharp family.
Now to Mun & Dad and lets face it Kerrie & Greg are also pretty legendary around our club along with a few other parents! Kerrie & Greg along with Grandparents would have only missed a handful of the boy’s games over the last two decades but would be confident to say, Greg & Kerrie would not have missed a Club function and possibly would be the last to leave also along with the van Unen’s, Whelan’s & Fenton’s. Mum and Dad could also be where Anthony gets his off field appetite and fun from. Anthony has always been a quiet person and has let his football skills do the talking but there is no doubt when he has got a few beers under the belt with good mate Benny Shepperd, team mates, supporters, coaches, Presidents or just anyone involved at our club, he has definitely provided us with some classic moments & entertainment at club functions and Grand Final nights.
While everyone still hopes that Anthony still has many more games in him, it is only Sharpy that knows what is in store for the future. One thing we do know, is that Anthony will go down as one of our greatest to pull on a North Ringwood Jumper. In his 199 games so far, he has just given our members so may memories, entertainment, thrills & excitement, and he will always be remembered by his peers from opposition clubs as one of the toughest & talent opponents to play on.
Sharpy, enjoy the week and enjoy the game. It is an amazing milestone to reach, and you now join a very exclusive club of past legends of our club and you fully deserve to be part of this club. Speaking on behalf of our Saints family, here’s to plenty more games of watching the number 2 Jumper running around Quambee and hearing Joe Tunstall yell “RAAAZZZOOORRR” every time you slot a goal!
To sum up Sharpy and what this club means to him, you can’t go past the question once asked to him by his Mum, “Who have you enjoyed playing footy with the most”?, simply answered by Sharpy, “Everyone”!
Sharpy is just a true North Ringwood Champion & Clubman. To all Sainters, get down to Quambee on Saturday to watch and support a legend of our club, Anthony “Sharpy” Sharp!