Wil­liamson boasts strong Clune claims

Geraldton Guardian - - Football - Vic­tor Tanti

There are sev­eral chal­lengers for the Great North­ern Foot­ball League’s high­est in­di­vid­ual honour, the JJ Clune Medal, to be an­nounced tonight.

The an­nual event at the Queen Eliz­a­beth II Cen­tre starts at 6pm is the per­fect grand fi­nal ap­pe­tiser.

There’s no hot tip but one who does shine is Dale Wil­liamson. Mov­ing him down­field was a mas­ter­stroke by Brigades coach Peter Wat­ters and cen­tremen in­evitably have more op­por­tu­nity to shine.

It was a brave move as Wat­ters slot­ted 331 goals in four sea­sons from 2013 but hav­ing said that he still scored 33 this year as well as be­ing in his team’s best nine times.

An­other contender is Rail­ways’ Mitch Boyle. He tal­lied 17 goals and nine best player list­ings.

He was in­jured early in the Blues’ sec­ond-last qual­i­fier but even then was so dom­i­nant he could ac­tu­ally pick up a vote, though miss­ing the last game might cost him.

Mullewa work­horse Leed­ham Papertalk has a chance. Much of what Mullewa does right starts with him. He was in the Saints’ best eight times de­spite miss­ing four games.

Rovers’ Jamie Koric landed 16 goals and was a best player eight times and aside from Karl Zis, few of his team­mates will pinch votes off him. Gus De­vitt, like Koric also a first-sea­son GNFL player, is in the mix.

He was best at coun­try week which shows his class as does nine best-player list­ings for Towns.

All the above bar Wil­liamson are from top-four clubs. While the 5-43-2-1 sys­tem has good points, it makes it harder for a player from a lesser club to win the Clune.

But if there’s a bolter from the bot­tom three clubs, Brad Cooper (Brigades), Ai­den An­thony, By­ron Wright and Nathan Gray (Chap­man Val­ley) and Tyler Hall and Jamie Williams (Northamp­ton) it could be him. If there is an un­ex­pected win­ner from a fi­nals team, a host of Rail­ways play­ers, Kim Schofield, David Crudeli, Dil­lon Prater, Nathan Tubby and Drew Tun­bridge, could get up.

There’s also Zis (Rovers) and from Towns, Wil­liam Thorne and, though miss­ing six games makes him un­likely, Liam Car­lyon will get votes in most games he did play.

The night fea­tures a host of other awards in­clud­ing the Mau­rie Dren­nan Ris­ing Star and hon­ours for the lower grades, rep­re­sen­ta­tive play­ers and for of­fi­cials and um­pires.

Brigades’ Dale Wil­liamson, front, is a JJ CLune fron­trun­ner. Mov­ing him down­field was a mas­ter­stroke.

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Rail­ways’ Mitch Boyle is a contender.

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