Stars of the big night

IT was a first for the winners at the New Norfolk District Football Club best and fairest counts in front of an excellent crowd at the Valley Sports Bar, Clifford, Harriss, Minchen and Blackaby all took out their first NNDFC B&F awards in what was an exciting end to the 2022 season.

In the senior men’s count it was Josh Clifford on 93 votes, five clear of up-and-coming star Tyron Bailey. Clifford, who switched to an on baller mid season, won not only his first ever Les Hepper medal, but his first club best and fairest. The loyal Eagle showed plenty of emotion in accepting his award in a heartwarming speech that displayed his continuous dedication to the club. Third was Captain Josh Farrow on 80 votes.

The women’s award for the Pixie Turner Medal, went to Olivia Harris taking out the medal on 118 votes, 14 clear of runner-up and assistant coach Zoie Crawford. Harris had a season that most could only dream about. She not only became a premiership player in the women’s first ever grand final appearance, but in doing so was adjudged best on ground in the big dance. And now the on-baller has a B&F medal to add to her stellar season.

Captain and last year’s winner Sophie Farrow had a very consistent season picking up 98 votes. Goal kicking ace in Melinda Green had 47 votes.

In the reserves, Andrew Minchin took out the Roydon Howard Medal on 78 votes, just three clear of the skilful Jake Foster. Minchin who has given great service to the club had a fantastic season playing in the middle and in doing so took out his first B&F for the club. Like Clifford, Minchin was at times lost for words when accepting his award, but the grin on his face said enough for all to what it meant to him. The big rooster in Corey Ransley was third on 57 votes.

With the Colts (U/18’s) best and fairest for the J.H Dixon Medal it was a much different affair. Riley Blackaby polled 90 votes, 30 votes clear of runner-up Harry Morgan on 60 votes. Blackaby had a very consistent season and to win what is mainly a centre position award from one of the hardest position at full backis a real credit to him. In third spot was Hayden Burns who polled 56 votes. All three must be commended for their efforts as they also played for the NNJFC U/16.5 team as did many others.

Congratulations to coach Dean King and the women’s team for their historic premiership win. The ladies lost just the one game and were ladder leaders all season, creating history since its inception back in 2018. The senior men’s team didn’t fare so well winning just the one game. This hadn’t occurred since 1947, but with many young players among the list, a bright future lies ahead. The reserves had a credible season making finals while the colts, who started with barely any players, finished with much better numbers.

I hear on the grape vine that Mathew Smith is eager to continue as the senior men’s coach. He is regarded by many as one of the club’s best coaches, particularly of the last 20 years. And well done to the following on your efforts with the club, your time is very much appreciated by all.