Gault’s stel­lar year earns Swan Medal Kristie Lim

Eastern Reporter - - Sport -

FOR­MER Colling­wood Foot­ball Club ruck­man Corey Gault capped off a stun­ning re­turn to Swan Districts FC by win­ning the Swan Medal on Fri­day night.

In an emo­tional night of awards, tributes and farewells from re­tired league coach Greg Hard­ing and cap­tain Tal­lan Ames, the em­pathic end to the medal count drew even more ex­cite­ment from the au­di­ence.

Gault top-scored with sev­eral best-on-ground per­for­mances in the back end of the sea­son and fin­ished ahead of 2013 Swan medal­list Tony Notte and newlyan­nounced 2018 cap­tain David El­lard.

The 24-year-old av­er­aged 25 hit-outs and 18 dis­pos­als in 22 games, join­ing the club last Novem­ber af­ter his AFL re­tire­ment.

His sea­son was high­lighted with a se­lec­tion in the WAFL team of the year as the team’s start­ing ruck­man.

Gault said it felt amaz­ing to have made a great achieve­ment.

“You don’t go into the night ex­pect­ing any­thing, so it is a pretty good feel­ing to win it,” he said.

“Just get­ting back to en­joy­ing footy and to a lo­cal com­mu­nity club was just amaz­ing.

“This year has been al­most one of the most en­joy­able years I’ve had in my footy ca­reer.”

Gault said he met Hard­ing at 17 years when he was “re­ally skinny and short”.

“He saw some­thing in me and through­out the next two or three years he just put so much time and ef­fort into me,” he said.

“He gave me the be­lief that I could do some­thing with my footy and from then, all the con­tact he kept with me while I was at Colling­wood over the five years means a lot.”

Gault praised Ames and El­lard’s lead­er­ship.

“Amesy has had such an amaz­ing ca­reer and is so pas­sion­ate about the club, so if I can kind of im­part my lit­tle bit of pas­sion and be a lit­tle bit like him, the club will be a bet­ter place,” he said.

“Dave El­lard – just his lead­er­ship is awe­some, so I will just be try­ing to fol­low his foot­steps as well.”

Notte and two-time Swan medal­list Matt Rig­gio were recog­nised for reach­ing their 200th and 150th game mile­stones.

Other ma­jor win­ners in­cluded league lead­ing goal kicker Ricky Cary and rookie of the year Taryce Ste­wart.

Bayswa­ter re­serves and in­te­grated player Ja­son Bal­lard, in­te­grated coach Lexi Leonard and re­serves and in­te­grated player Daniel Myers.

Corey Gault.

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