Smallwood makes history with medal win

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Such was the performance of Royals midfielder Tyron Smallwood, the highly talented teenager became the first player in Great Southern Football League history to win the Alan Barnett Medal in a losing side after Sunday’s brilliant grand final.

Since 1991 when the GSFL was established, no player has been awarded the prestigious medal as the best player on the ground, as judged by the umpires, from a side that has lost the grand final.

However, Smallwood’s exceptional performance in the Lions’ midfield, minus key member Dave Parker for the past few weeks and then in the second half of the decider without speedster Michael McGlade, was simply top class.

The 17-year-old was a dejected figure after the match after his side were overhauled in the final minutes by North Albany and said he would swap his Alan Barnett Medal for a premiership medallion in a heartbeat.

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“I’m pretty humbled, but I would much rather win a premiership than get best on,” Smallwood said.

“Mickey went down and after that, I had no one to change with in the middle.

“I thought I went alright but it would have been better if I got my team over the line.”

2017 Alan Barnett medallist Tyron Smallwood.
Camera Icon2017 Alan Barnett medallist Tyron Smallwood. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Smallwood, who won best on ground in Albany’s 17s premiership in 2014, will move to Perth to pursue his football dream with Claremont next season.

The star midfielder impressed for WA at the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships last year and will aim to play for Claremont colts next season and hopefully be chosen in the WA under-18s side to boost his chances of being drafted.

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