Langdon keeps award in family
■ Midfielder and forward Zac Langdon has gone one better this year in the annual Dampier Sharks Green and Gold Ball by winning the top gong.
Last year Langdon lost out to his brother Guy for the league best and fairest, but bragging rights went to the youngest this year.
League coach Kristian Dicton spoke of Zac’s toughness in playing through the pain of a back injury in this year’s grand final.
The Dampier Mermaid function room was decked out with green and gold streamers and balloons for the evening.
Premiership winner and barbecue king “Rocket” Rod Nicholl and fellow big man Mick Turner were given life memberships for their dedication to the club.
A relative newcomer was named the best club man of the year. James Forrest has run the can bar, runs water, cleans up at the club and does every other little job you can think of week in, week out.
True to form he let out a cry of “go Sharkers” after a speech.
This year’s North Pilbara Football League De Grey medal winner Dylan McCutcheon also polled well for votes in the Sharks league medal count, finishing runner-up.
The midfielder epitomised toughness this season and also received the most courageous league player award.
Reece Stewart’s growing leadership skills and role on the league side were rewarded with the league coach’s award.
Youngster Jack Cronin was named the player of the future. Dicton said Cronin had played well all year, was always available for road trips, and stepped up week in, week out while also playing in under-18s games, usually on the night before a league match.
However, his form in the last few rounds of the competition was spotty and it looked as though he would miss out on playing in the grand final.
He wore it on the chin, but when injuries struck he got the call up the day of the biggest match of the year.
Half-back Owen Cross was a well-deserved winner of the reserves best and fairest.
A relentless tackler, Cross’s physical play was at times his biggest opponent on the field as he earned a few concussions on the way.
The young footballer is now known for wearing safety headgear.
Last year’s winner and reserves captain Brent Ebert was the runner-up; one of his highlight plays of the year was a 55m goal in the semifinals.
Most courageous reserves player went to Daniel “Kebab” Francesconi, whose late-season form earned him a call-up into the league side and the grand final line-up.
Soccer player Harrison Weeding was given the coaches award, possibly as encouragement to give up the round-ball code.
Most improved reserves player was Peter de Kruijff.
Dicton paid tribute to all the volunteers, canteen helpers, club president Russell Turner, sponsors, and supporters.
League best and fairest Zac Langdon and reserves coach Doug Holt.
League runner-up best and fairest Dylan McCutcheon and reserves best and fairest Owen Cross.