Phelps fo­cus­ing on ti­tle plans

Tweed Daily News - - SPORT - – Chris Kim­ball

HE WAS named the best player in North­ern Rivers AFL in his first sea­son, as well as the lead­ing goal kicker, but there’s only one medal that means some­thing to gun Tweed Coast Tigers for­ward Glen Phelps.

Af­ter more than a decade of elite foot­ball in Vic­to­ria, in­clud­ing five grand fi­nals, Phelps has never claimed a premier­ship win.

He’s been a stand-out on and off the field since join­ing the Tigers this year, and a premier­ship against the odds, fac­ing an un­beaten By­ron at home on Saturday, would cap a dream year.

“It was a to­tal sur­prise to win the league’s best and fairest, I only found out at train­ing this week,” Phelps said. “I’ve been play­ing se­nior footy since I was 16 and I’ve never won a grand fi­nal in six at­tempts so, this one means a lot.”

Fill­ing the huge shoes of de­part­ing Tigers’ leg­end Ash Gem­mell up for­ward this sea­son, Phelps has pro­vided a tar­get in front of goals and an ex­am­ple with his in­ten­sity and class on the ball.

Since mov­ing up from Bal­larat, Phelps has kicked some 70 goals this sea­son at an av­er­age of more than four per game.

“I was re­ally sur­prised at the skill and pres­sure of the footy up here on the coast which shows how far AFL has come,” Phelps said.

The Tigers were sec­onds away from earn­ing a place in the North­ern Rivers women’s AFL grand fi­nal as well in their de­but sea­son.

De­spite con­fu­sion in the goal square and a con­tentious hand­ball, a Lis­more goal just sec­onds be­fore the fi­nal siren against Tweed gave them a spot in the de­cider against Bal­lina. ■ The Tigers play By­ron Mag­pies in the grand fi­nal at By­ron Bay Sports Com­plex at 2.15pm. Bal­lina plays By­ron in the re­serves grand fi­nal.

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