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Historic premiership win for Bond Bullsharks

Bond University's AFL team, the Bond Bullsharks, have claimed a historic back-to-back win after taking out their second premiership in as many years, defeating the South East Suns in the grand final of the Queensland Amateur Football Association (QAFA) competition.

The victory was even more remarkable considering it was the Bond Bullsharks' first year in the QAFA (A) competition, moving up a division after taking out the QAFA (B) premiership in 2014.

Widely considered the underdogs going into the QAFA (A) division, the Bond Bullsharks went on to play a near perfect season, losing only one game in the semi-final round to the South East Suns.

The Bond Bullsharks met their rivals again in the grand final on September 19 at Tidbold Park in Redlands, winning 12.21 (93) to 9.8 (62) against the only team that had beaten them this year.

Bond Bullsharks' playing coach, Sam Whish-Wilson, said the grand final win was a true team effort and he was incredibly proud of all the players.

"We played really well in the first half but we missed a few opportunities in front of goal, and history shows if you miss those opportunities in grand finals it can really affect your mental game," he said.

"However, those things that can negatively influence a team didn't affect us on the day and we were able to weather the storm, get some scores on the board and get our momentum back.

"The boys never gave up and that was the mentality that really defined our whole season; it is part of the culture of our club not to let anyone in the team down and we really lived up to that on game day.

"Having only formed in 2011 we are only a relatively new club, so to win the premiership two years running even after moving into a higher division is a real testament to the determination and skill of the players.

"Entering the QAFA (A) competition this year we were definitely considered the underdogs, so it was important to me to instil in the players and the club that if we train hard, develop our games plans and play for each other, we were good enough to achieve anything we put our minds to.

"I think once we had that belief, the goal of taking out the competition seemed achievable, and that was certainly proven by the end result."

Whish-Wilson said losing to the Southeast Suns in the earlier round was a blessing in disguise.

"The team played a remarkable season to make it through to the semi-finals undefeated, however in that semi-final game against the Southeast Suns just about everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong," he said.

"We were thinking about the grand final already and were unprepared and complacent, but it was a lesson we needed to learn from - I think we needed to lose that battle to win the war."

Whish-Wilson said the overwhelming support from the crowd at the grand final really contributed to the team's victory.

"I would estimate that around 80 per cent of the crowd on grand final day were cheering for Bond, everyone really rallied and we had so much support from friends and fans. The atmosphere definitely had a lot to do with our success," he said.

"Both Bond University's Vice-Chancellor and President Tim Brailsford and Vice-President John Le Lievre have been huge supporters of the club since its inception and their support has been invaluable, so it was a real boost to morale to see them in the crowd on grand final day.

"It wasn't just the players who contributed to the premiership win, a lot was invested in the club this year and the hard work that was put in both on and off the field has definitely made this second premiership even more memorable than the last."

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