Gault caps stun­ning year with top medal

Hills Gazette - - SPORT -

FOR­MER Colling­wood ruck­man Corey Gault has capped off a stun­ning re­turn to his orig­i­nal club Swan Dis­tricts 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 of the sea­son and fin­ished ahead of 2013 Swan medal­list Tony Notte and newly an­nounced 2018 cap­tain David El­lard.

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

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

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

“Just get­ting back to en­joy­ing footy and get­ting back 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 at the club this sea­son.

“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 on the club and be a lit­tle bit like him, the club will be a bet­ter place,” he said.

“Dave El­lard – just his lead­er­ship is awe­some.”

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

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

Swan Medal win­ner Corey Gault.

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