Sport

Silverware for Tigers' Mr Footy

Tigers Luke Stanford during the AFL North Coast Seniors Grafton Tigers and Byron Bay match at Ellem Oval Grafton on Saturday, 29th April, 2017.
Tigers Luke Stanford during the AFL North Coast Seniors Grafton Tigers and Byron Bay match at Ellem Oval Grafton on Saturday, 29th April, 2017. Debrah Novak

NORTH COAST AFL: Picking up three major awards and missing out by one vote in the best and fairest, while playing in a modestly performing team, is a good indication why Grafton Tiger Luke Stanford is known as Mr Footy.

Stanford, the runner-up to Luke Matthews in the Brian Saville Medal at the AFL North Coast presentations on Saturday night, picked up the Paul Sheldon Medal for the best on ground in the rep game against AFL North West.

He was also named the League Volunteer of the Year and North Coast Auskick Co-ordinator of the Year.

AFL North Coast development manager Matt Crawley said Stanford put in equally on and off the field.

"On the field he really limited the damage for the Tigers,” Crawley said.

"He played in the middle of the field, but with the year the Tigers had, he just turned up where he was needed.

"He was just the same off the field. He was everywhere.

"He was club secretary, player-coach, Auskick Co-ordinator and bus driver for away matches which saw him dubbed Mr Footy in the club.”

Crawley said winning best on ground for the rep game against AFL North West at Inverell was reminiscent of his efforts for the Tigers.

"It wasn't a great game for us, but Luke just popped up everywhere. It was a well- deserved award,” he said.

He said Matthews and Stanford were locked in a close battle for best and fairest.

"He beat Luke by just one vote, with the result not being decided until the final round of the season when Matthews polled a single vote,” Crawley said.

"They set set the pace from the start of the season and were never more than a couple of votes from each other.

"Matthews had a tremendous back half of the season, polling votes in each of the last seven matches to claim the medal by the smallest of margins.”

Jackson Terley of the Port Macquarie Magpies has completed a rare double by claiming Best & Fairest awards in both the Under-18 and Under-15.5 age groups in the same season.

In an almost carbon copy of the Senior award, Terley and Brandon Dorta- Fernandes of Sawtell went head to head across the season with the award being decided by just two votes.

The two players were locked together after the penultimate round.

Terley polled in the last round where Dorta- Fernandes missed to claim the prize.

In reserve grade, Pat Myles (Sawtell) capped an outstanding season with a convincing win in the Best & Fairest. He polled 11 votes to comfortably eclipse the tally of runner-up and clubmate Lachlan Draper-Bell.

For the first time an award was presented for women's footy, with the players asked to vote in each of the five matches played across the 2017 season. The winner of the Players' Player Award was Maggie Mills (Coffs), with Alana Hanson (Coffs) and Jordan Speechley (Grafton) being joint runners-up.

Goal-kicking awards were claimed by Daniel Pritchard (Sawtell) in Seniors, Lachlan Draper-Bell (Sawtell) in Reserves, and Mitchell Napier (Sawtell) in Under-18s.