AJAX Jackas get relegated

Charlie Hamilton tackles former Carlton midfielder Adam Bentick. Photo: Peter Haskin

RECORDS tumbled as AJAX’s horror season ended with a 154-point thrashing at the hands of premiership fancies St Bernards on Saturday, officially relegating the Jackas back to Premier C for the first time since 2011.

There was to be no fairytale finish for outgoing coach Mark “Choco” Williams, as the Jackas were handed their heftiest defeat in B-grade and held goalless to three-quarter time for just the second time at that level.

Season 2018 started brightly as AJAX thumped Old Haileybury in front of a huge crowd at Princes Park. However, a round two loss to Mazenod and a spate of injuries to key players triggered a six-game losing streak.

The Jackas went on to win just two further games for the season, with Saturday’s seventh consecutive loss culminating in relegation.

Speaking to The AJN, Williams highlighted the large number of players who have debuted and developed this season.

“Win-loss wise we weren’t as successful as last year, but we played a record 54 players and 18 debutants; it sets the club up for the future and that’s one of the main things I was looking to do.”

Reflecting on his time at AJAX, Choco said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. The support and the welcome that I have received has been outstanding – it’s a real community club and everyone should be very proud of it.”

With much speculation as to who will coach AJAX next season, club president Ronnie Lewis left all possibilities open.

“We have commenced our search now that the season is over and are utilising our community and broader football contacts to speak with a range of potential coaches. We are very open as to who that might be and where they may come from,” Lewis said.

Star forward David Fayman has all but put a line through next season as he focuses on rehabilitating from a serious knee injury, while it is expected the club will lose a host of other key senior players to work/travel commitments.

The club’s best and fairest night is scheduled for October 9, with midfielders Kane Nissenbaum, 2017 winner Josh Ludski and skipper Nick Lewis among the favourites to take out the prestigious Michael Ritterman award.

ASH OBEL