Mooroopna's Ben Meates and SYC's Aimee Willmott have won this season's Goulburn Valley Hockey Association's A-grade best-and-fairest awards.By Matthew Galea
Ben Meates never expected to be named Goulburn Valley Hockey Association A-grade men’s best-and-fairest on Saturday night.
‘‘I was completely shocked, to be honest,’’ Meates said.
‘‘I’m playing in a real even team, with a lot of good players and I didn’t think that I would get more votes than them.
‘‘There were plenty of players I thought who would do better than me, like Ben Coe, Luke Rankin, Tom Davey .
Having just played in Mooroopna’s losing grand final against Echuca-Moama, the award was a welcome one in any case.
‘‘I’ve never won a league medal before,’’ Meates said.
‘‘I’d won some club best-and-fairest awards before .
Meates said he felt his form mid-season was where he was at his best, finishing the season with nine goals in 14 games and 12 votes in the count.
Shepparton Youth Club’s Matthew Irwin was second with 10 votes and Echuca-Moama’s Chris Matthews and Mooroopna’s Tom Davey tied for third with nine.
SYC’s Aimee Willmott won the women’s A-grade medal, beating her sister Molly by one vote.
Eleven votes was enough in a tight count, where there was a three-way tie for third with Mooroopna’s Lyn Berry, Echuca-Moama’s Renee Davison and SYC’s Sue-Ellen Russell on nine votes, ensuring the top-three sides were well represented.
Like Meates, Willmott never expected to leave the presentations with the best-and-fairest.
‘‘It was a huge surprise, because I felt like I had an all right season without having a really good one,’’ Willmott said.
Willmott said she was proud to win her first league medal in a season where so many players had staked such a strong claim for it.
‘‘There are some really good players throughout the comp and I was really surprised at some of the other players who didn’t get votes,’’ Willmott said.
‘‘It’s all about the team for me, though, I don’t play to win awards, I play because I love it.’’
The B-men’s best-and-fairest medal was won by first year star Brodie Price from Benalla, who polled 15 votes, while the B-women’s award was won by Echuca-Moama-Kyabram’s premiership-winning playing coach Kim Broadhurst.
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