SEASON’S BEST TO BE HONOURED
GOULBURN VALLEY LEAGUE’S BIG NIGHT ONE WITH A DIFFERENCE WHEN THIS YEAR’S BEST ARE DECLARED
Goulburn Valley League officials will crown a new Morrison Medal and Wellman Family Medal winner tonight.
After back-to-back cancelled campaigns, league players, supporters and clubs are looking forward to having some excitement in their football and netball ranks as awards across the grades are handed out and the hard work required from all and sundry to get 11 matches in this year is celebrated.
But the shortened and interrupted season is sure to throw up some leftfield results in the online ceremony, which will be broadcast from 6pm at https://vimeo.com/event/ 1177744 and include interviews with players, officials and club stalwarts.
The reigning Morrison Medal winner — Kyabram’s Mick Mattingly in 2019 — is out of the running this year following a season-ending knee injury early in the campaign.
The task of picking who will step up in his place is a tough one though.
A quartet of clubs won at least eight senior football games this season, gapping the rest of the competition by at least three matches. Vote count logic dictates that the winner of the Morrison is likely to come from one of those top teams: Echuca, Euroa, Seymour and Kyabram.
Murray Bombers skipper Kane Morris had an outstanding year and is hard to miss in the ruck or up forward, while Ben Reid was in his side’s best players list eight times in nine games.
Jett Trotter only played seven games for the Magpies, but most were of extreme quality and could give him enough votes to lead his side’s tally. Tristan Davies was unstoppable early in the campaign. Consistency was key for the Lions across the year, and midfielder Jack O’Sullivan and dashing wingman/ half-forward Josh Alford were among the side’s most reliable performers.
It could be all the Zacs for Kyabram tonight. Zac Keogh stepped up magnificently in the Bombers’ midfield brigade — landing in the best players’ list seven times — while the man feeding him the football in Zac Norris was in the best eight times.
Rochester, Mooroopna, Benalla, Mansfield and Shepparton United made up the middle part of the table, but could still have players poll near the top of the rankings.
Logan Austin was a clear standout for the Tigers, in the best seven times and playing in almost every position on the ground. Mooroopna is a tougher outfit to pick, but Chris Nield’s solo goalkicking prowess — booting 28, 21 more than his closest teammate — should have him impressing weekly.
Callum Crisp was second best or better five times for the Saints this campaign, while for Mansfield perennial vote-getter Brett Mahoney is always a chance to poll well. Defenders do not usually win Morrison medals, but Mitch Cleeland could change that after a stellar year for the Demons.
Tatura’s Tom Sullivan was ultraconsistent for the Bulldogs this season, taking out The News Award for his efforts.
BJ Squire always garners votes in red and white, and the Swans will be watching his results closely during the count. Shepparton’s young guns led the way this year, and of those Bryce Stephenson is likely to poll the most votes.
On the netball courts of the region, Shepparton United’s Jessie Barnes is again in the hunt for A-grade’s top individual honour after taking out the award in 2019.
Barnes had another ripping season for Shepparton United, but could the addition of Zoe Davies to her side’s ranks serve to split the voting? The Demons won 10 out of 11 games this season, so there will be plenty of votes to go around. Echuca and Mooroopna also snared 10 wins in what was an even season of A-grade netball.
The Cats can look to stars Maddi Wong and Bree Hanslow to be catching the eye of those doing the voting, while for the Murray Bombers Sheridan Townrow and Belinda Lees were key pillars of the best attack in the league.
Seymour also had a great season, with Nakita Singe one of the players leading the way.
The Shepparton Swans were an even outfit in terms of individual performance, but Sophie Atkinson could poll well.
Laura Ryan was the standout for Tatura in its late-season surge up the ladder.
Among the other chances could be Euroa’s Ellie Warnock, Benalla’s Bridget Hill, Shepparton’s Erin Scott, Rochester’s Teal Hocking, Mansfield’s Grace Hood or Kyabram’s Caddison Mulholland. Some of the sports team at McPherson Media Group have tried their respective hands at picking a top three and a unique selection in each of the awards.