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They’re the leaders of pack

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October 12, 2017

Simon Buckley secured Echuca's best-and-fairest award for a fourth time in five seasons.

The football and netball season is never complete until each club has recognised its individual champions.

All Goulburn Valley League teams have now crowned their best players, with some winning a best-and-fairest for the first time and others cementing themselves as legends of their organisations.

BENALLA

Brody Webster is now a Benalla best-and-fairest winner.

The defender claimed his first John Martiniello Medal ahead of fellow backman Tom Bennett after an extremely consistent season which had him named in the club’s best players 11 times in 19 matches.

Webster is one of a plethora of young Saints who have risen up through the junior ranks of the club, and even snuck forward for 15 goals during this campaign.

ECHUCA

Simon Buckley wins medals for fun.

The superstar of the Goulburn Valley League claimed yet another club best-and-fairest medal for the Murray Bombers, his fourth during five years at the club.

The win adds to back-to-back Morrison medals for the former AFL player, but he will be hoping to add a premiership medallion to his overflowing war chest next season.

EUROA

Euroa playing coach JD Hayes capped a great season on the field with his club’s best-and-fairest award.

Hayes looked likely to make a charge for the Morrison Medal this season until injury cruelled his chances, but there was no repeat at the Magpies’ night of nights.

Promising young key position player Will McFarlane was named runner-up, a nod to his outstanding contribution when more senior teammates went down with injury or suspension at various points of the year.

KYABRAM

They say winning your club’s best-and-fairest award in a premiership season is one of the highest individual accolades in the game.

Jordan Williams has now done it twice.

Williams etched his name into Kyabram’s history books for the second straight year with back-to-back Ron McRae and Alan Vick Memorial awards, polling 237 votes to finish ahead of Liam Ogden (215) and Billy Burstin (210).

It caps a magnificent year for the midfield star, who won the AFL Victoria Medal on grand final day after playing every minute of the match and came second in this year’s Morrison Medal count.

MANSFIELD

The Eagles’ count was one of the earlier ones to be held, with Brett Mahoney saluting as red-hot favourite to win the award with 127 votes from Tom German (111) and Ben Fagan (98).

In what was a great night for the Mahoney family, Brett’s brother Adam was also recognised with the reserves gong to complete a double for the sibling duo.

MOOROOPNA

Tasmanian recruit Clint Riley won the hearts of his coaches and teammates in his first season at Mooroopna.

The inside midfielder, who led the Cats’ engine room from the coalface for the entire year, not only won the best-and-fairest award but also the club’s MVP gong, which is voted on by the players.

Riley, who appeared in Mooroopna’s best players list 14 times in 18 games, led the count ahead of Dean Smith.

ROCHESTER

Nathan Marrone capped a breakout season, which included a best-on-ground in the Goulburn Valley’s interleague game and 13 Morrison Medal votes, by winning his club’s best-and-fairest award.

The running defender and damaging midfielder stood out in almost every match he played for the Tigers this year, especially when his side was struggling for form early in its campaign.

Marrone was crowned club champion ahead of Nick O’Connor.

SEYMOUR

Harry Wheeler polled in 10 of his 14 matches during the season to take out his first best-and-fairest for Seymour.

Wheeler pipped Lions gun Ben Clifton by just three votes in the Mark Cox Medal count, with outgoing coach Brent Colbert finishing third.

A member of Seymour’s midfield brigade who can often slip under the radar, Wheeler’s best performance came in round 11 against Shepparton, where he polled the maximum 15 votes.

SHEPPARTON

Dynamic midfield duo Ben Davies and Nik Rokahr spent most of the season in each other’s pockets in Shepparton’s engine room.

That did not change at the Bears’ presentation night, with Davies winning the best-and-fairest and Rokahr following him closely in second.

Davies left the field with leather poisoning many times during his maiden Shepparton campaign, with the award great recognition for his consistent form.

SHEPPARTON SWANS

Departing Shepparton Swans gun BJ Squire was never challenged during the club’s best-and-fairest count.

Squire completed a three-peat of Swans individual honours with 232 votes, remarkably polling in every match of the season.

The young star is headed to Congupna next year, and in worrying signs for the club runner-up Andrew Riordan (156 votes) is also on his way out of Princess Park.

SHEPPARTON UNITED

Following in the footsteps of their AFL counterpart, the Demons will hold the final presentation night of the season this Saturday night.

Recruit Luke Lowden starred when his club won matches this year, while young Jye Chalcraft has been a revelation at senior level, and will poll plenty of votes in his nine games.

TATURA

Mitch Elliott won his first best-and-fairest for Tatura with 45 votes.

Affectionately known around Tatura Park as ‘‘Shoulders’’, Elliott secured the Freddo McMahon Perpetual Trophy ahead of recruit Andrew Ciavarella (35 votes) and James Wall (34).

Elliott booted 10 goals in his 18 games this year, being named in the best for his side 11 times.

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