Best & Fairest Top 6 and Player Profiles – 2018
Best & Fairest Results
1st – Henry Thomas
2nd – Will Harrison
3rd – Charles Robertson
4th – Luke Webb
5th – James Paltoglou
6th – Will Saunders
Declan’s strong hands and great skills are sometimes overshadowed by the courage and toughness he shows every game.
He inspires his team mates with his willingness to put his body on the line regardless of the size of the opposition player and is although we don’t measure it would likely be one of the team leaders in contested possession and tackling every week- his determination and commitment evident on a number of occasions where he continued to play on despite losing his glasses in hard tackles. His commitment on the field is replicated at training where he is focused and keen to learn, and is always looking to contribute to the team!
Hugo has shown enormous improvement over the season, as he has got to know his teammates and become more confident in his own natural talent.
Wearing the number 5 jumper he showed Chris Judd like qualities late in the season winning the ball in tight and releasing payer outside him, and also showed great commitment in the tackle- again often against players much bigger than himself.
He trains as he plays- tough, competitive and with a focus on getting the ball and making a difference for his team
Christian’s game is at times reminiscent of a modern day great- Scott Pendelbury. His great awareness of space, prodigious boot and ability to appear to always have time made him an asset all over the ground, and his willingness to do what was needed to make a difference to his teammates is a feature of his game.
A great kick his capability was on display during the match against Beaumaris where he kicked 2 goals and was a thorn in their side all day.
A transfer from the round ball game Max grew in confidence as the year went on. A fantastic kick he also proved an amazing asset in defence with strong hands, spatial awareness and the ability to lay a tackle and clear the ball becoming a feature of his game late in the season. His combination with the other max was often evident at training where they would battle their way through the circle work and enjoy keeping the ball from the coaches and helpers. Sadly he isn’t here today but is recruiting additional Vampires players in Hungary for us, max was particularly strong in the games against Beaumaris and our final match against Hampton
Wills first season of Vampires was a revelation as the round ball talent quickly for that kicking between the posts was as fun as hitting the back of the net. His left foot was a threat to all teams- either kicking for goal or driving the ball downfield, and he kicked almost as many goals this year as he forgot mouthguards and jumpers. His moment to shine was undoubtedly when challenged by the coaches to deliver something special with the wind versus St Kilda city where he kicked 4 goals in a quarter.
A confident player Will is always happy to share his thoughts on the game, and enjoys a bit of banter, but also absorbs the wisdom passed to him by the coaches and put it to use on the field
Seb improved significantly this year as his focus on marking and creating space for his teammates was on display week in week out. Always looking for the ball in the air Seb took a number of strong marks in attack, and was committed to making a contest all around the ground to create crumbing opportunities for his teammates or disrupt the attack of the opposition. At training Seb was focussed on improving his kicking- and of course was the most passionate supporter of the marking contest- and the most committed to convincing Macca to give him another kick if he didn’t make the grab first time round
Will Church Became a regular fixture in best and fairest voting as his play developed through the year. Already a strong mark, maximising his height and great hands, Wills kicking became a real feature of his game as the year went on with perhaps his greatest match being the home game against the Waverley Hawks which featured a selection of marks, dashes from the back and a mighty goal- so much so even his Dad was impressed. Will was a quiet, but powerful presence at training- his energy possibly tempered by the thought of the bike ride home- but his impact this season made the number 13 unlucky for the competition
Despite a season interrupted by injury- Max “fingers” Frawley continued to show the commitment and toughness that has been his trademark since Under 8s. His ability to win the ball in traffic was only matched by his talent in sticking like glue in defence and the hesitation he created in opponents through his physical presence. A fair player, despite his father’s harsh judgement, he shone in the away match against Beaumaris where he created havoc across the narrow ground with his direct lines at the ball winning countless possessions and creating the audio highlight of the season. Max and his namesake could be tracked through practice as they competed without mercy for the ball every session
Some players have a skill for being in the right spot at the right time around goal and like Rioli, Betts and Jack Higgins, Connor Giles has a talent for finding space around the flying big men. Some time spent with our dedicated kicking coach, Harro, to work on his drop punts didn’t seem to matter as Connor’s second half of the season featured numerous highlights as that pick up and snap became a trademark like Buddy’s arc. Always one for a bit of Banter Connor was always in the thick of things at training- both in the drills and in the coaches ears keeping them sharp
Though his favourite player may be an NBA offence machine will Harrison proved himself to be a backline and midfield dynamo this season. His great skills, when combined with his superb reading of play made him an asset across the park with his accurate kicking evident in attack as a regular scoreboard contributor. His consistent performance was evident in a run of games since the July school holidays where he not only was able to display his skills but also his leadership and game knowledge as he started using his voice to help organise his teammates.
One of the toughest positions to play in a Footy team is that of the Coaches son, but Luke has handled it better than the ball in the high marking contest. Luke took his game to a new level this year with his tireless running complimenting his great hands and kicking. Luke’s competitiveness and ability to create something special saw him often moved during a quarter to help solidify the defence, or create a marking target in the forward line. His ability to accurately find a target to make an opportunity for his teammates was evident throughout the season but he received great support from his teammates during the away game against the Beaumaris, where he kicked 4 goals on a cold windy day. Always with a lot to share with the coaches at training he was a fixture at the business end of the marking and goal kicking competitions
Nates development this year has been huge. Perhaps the first player to really embrace the handball out of the ruck, he was on show in Round 2 against St Kilda City , and in combination with Hayden against Waverley Hawks where they were able to shut down the Hawks attack and create space for their teammates. Nate worked hard on his kicking this year and was rewarded with a goal in the St Kilda game. As the season went on his ability to create a contest and get the ball out with a handball drove Robbo to nickname him the extractor, and the space he created for his teammates was enjoyed. Nate contributed strongly at training and his toughness and skill level improved as circle work became more contested, and the high marks got higher
The Dozer as he is known was a star all year with his strength on show in both attack and defence. His ability to get his hands on the ball and generate opportunities for his team mates was on show early in the season, when he created possessions out of every contested situation and his improved kicking was beneficial to all his team mates as he won the ball and created opportunities up forward. His strength in the tackle was important as he consistently won turnovers of ball ups with his strength or drove out of the contest. Some of his best games was against the Hampton Rovers where in a tight 1 point victory he was able to dominate in the middle, and in the windy match against St Kilda City where he was able to nullify the oppositions most dangerous forward after being asked to go back and help defend. His carefree approach to the game was a joy- and kept the coaches on their toes at training
Hayden is not one of the biggest players in the team but he plays well above his size, with his tackling and attack on the ball on display on every occasion. He started the year relatively quietly but exploded into the back half of the season, sparked by an amazing performance versus Waverley hawks, where he and Nate were instrumental in triggering the team to a big win, and culminating in a massive game against South Melbourne, where his brave and selfless play set the foundation for a great team win. Hayden’s confidence with his kicking and especially his hand balling was superb and he was in the middle of one of the most impressive handball chains in the south Melbourne game- with his hand balling and speed making the smooth moving Essendon Midfield look slow. Hayden is always 100% committed and none more so at training where he throws himself into every activity.
Jaz unlocked his potential this year as he went from strong player to game breaker. His Focus on kicking and marking was rewarded in the away game against Waverley Hawks when he opened his account for the season with 2 ripping goals. The home game against Waverley however was his crowning moment as for 2 quarters he was bursting from the pack at speed and driving the ball forward, the opposition unable to touch him let alone stop him. The Hawks will have sleepless nights thinking about his speed and power. Jaz trained hard during the season and his strong hands and speed in combination made him one of our most versatile players- able to play a key position or break games with his speed- he also was a strong contender in the high mark contest
The location of the Blue helmet of Sam Robertson was an indication of where the ball was all season for the Redbacks. Whether a ploy to grab votes or for extra protection Sam was constantly over the ball, fearless and tough he was one of our best inside ball getters, his tenacity and strength surprising many bigger opponents. Sam added to this strength during the year with his booming right foot frequently coming into play, as did his ability to arc back to make sure he didn’t have to kick with his left. Sam consistently was recognised with votes throughout the season but perhaps his finest game was the windswept day at St Kilda City where his relentless pursuit of the ball made him a standout on a tough day. Always up for a chat, and relentless in his sledging of Macca Sam’s energy was always evident on the pitch and at training
Charlie started the year with dominance, probably the best collector and user of the ball, especially in the early stages of the year. Reading the play and positioning himself well to slingshot the Redbacks up field Chucky’s speed, balance and right foot was a lethal combination, setting up so many forward entries for his team mates. On more than one occasion there were questions asked if the Robbo boys were triplets as Charlie was everywhere, tackling, picking up the ball below his knees, or scooting free of the pack. Charlie thrived in the tough games against Hampton rovers each time, including a 2 goal haul in the round 9 clash. Always dedicated to improving and with only one speed Charlie’s contribution at training was fantastic and his gut running in the practice games exceptional
Much like the Bont Henry is a player who delivers when it is needed and can pop up all over the field to make an impact. Often seen arcing around out of the ruck he seldom had a player near him as he took a bounce then kicked the ball into the forward line to create opportunities for his teammates. Henrys big improvements could be seen in his reading of the play and his communication, often positioning himself cleverly, and as the season went on being more confident in communicating and setting up positioning. Despite a tough end to the season when a virus stayed with him longer than any opponent could Henry continued to be a leader in his play, and a creator of opportunities for his teammates. Henrys diligence and focus at training is a good example of why he continues to improve each week.
A man of few words Matthew grew in confidence as the season went on, becoming adept at putting himself in the right place- with goals against St Kilda and Hampton being a great example of this. After a brief hiatus as he took a winters break Matthew was back into it and popped up again, in combination with Liam to create a tough to get goal against Hampton in the final round. Matthew grew in confidence as the year went on and by the end was reading the play at both ends of the ground and throwing himself into the game. Matthews worked hard at training to make sure he improved and his improved awareness of moving the ball in traffic was a great indication of his efforts in circle work
Liam has developed out of sight this year as he developed more confidence and got to know his teammates better. His combination with Matthew was on show when he scored his first goal in the home match against St Kilda, he and Matthew both goaling in the same quarter. His development as a player can be seen in the goal he created for Matthew in the final round when he read the ball in, created a contest and was able to bring the ball to ground. Liam’s impact at training also developed during the year and his development could be seen as the work he had done on his kicking was on display in the goal kicking competition