Before this season, Rennie had not won a game since mid 2014 and unfortunately finished last on the football ladder on two occasions.
But that all changed in the most dramatic way last Saturday with a 13-point win over Tungamah to claim the 2017 premiership in the Picola and District Football League South East Division.
After four gruelling grand-final quarters in fine, but tricky wind conditions favouring one end at Katandra, the Grasshoppers triumphed over the Bears 11.9.75 to 9.8.62 under their dynamic playing coach Craig Ednie.
After the match Coach Ednie had a message for those who thought he was “crazy” taking on the Rennie coaching job.
“They told me I was pretty crazy taking this job on 12 months ago,” he said.
“They said we wouldn’t make finals and I turned around and said ‘we’ll win it’ – and now we’ve done it!”
Ednie thanked the playing group and paid tribute to the hard work behind the scenes of the club committee, volunteers and supporters.
He also had a special mention for an old mate in Brendan Fevola.
“It’s great to see all the Rennie people here to support us and the Yarra people and mates from Melbourne,” he said.
“And big Fev who played a game, he’s here – it’s good.”
Ednie also praised Tungamah, saying he had “utmost respect” for the club, its culture and supporters.
It was Rennie’s 14th premiership in its 83-year-old history. Making for a proud and delighted club president.
“It’s still all surreal. It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Rennie Football Netball Club President Andrew Starr told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
“I didn’t think it was possible at the start of the year. I thought it might be next year but the way Craig’s gone about it – he believed early on we could win it.”
The president was full of praise for the coach who he described as a master, with his development of players, recruitment and on-field leadership, and recalled the club’s moves to sign the seven-game Richmond and legendary Yarrawonga three-time premiership star player.
“It started in June (2016). He was obviously still playing for Yarrawonga. We had some discussions. He pondered over it for a fair while,” Mr Starr, in his sixth year as president, said.
“Craig could have gone to any club. He didn’t want an easy challenge. He wanted a hard challenge. We’d been beaten by 30 odd goals without scoring on occasions.
“To turn it around, Craig’s just a master.”
Mr Starr said the premiership was for “the Rhodes, the Nagles and all our supporters who have stuck by us no matter what”.
“It’s their reward and it’s great we also won the Fourths flag and the Under 17 netball.”
Rennie’s last premiership was in 2011 under Leigh Ramsdale. The good news for Rennie is Craig Ednie has the second year on his contract to run in season 2018.