Williamson boasts strong Clune claims
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.
Railways’ Mitch Boyle is a contender.