Young guns win prestigious medals

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Powerful Albany midfielder Bryce Blaszkow and classy ball winner Harry Crane capped terrific seasons by winning the Rod Gillies and Warrick Proudlove medals respectively on Tuesday night.

The Rod Gillies Medal for the fairest and best colts player in the Great Southern Football League was a tight count throughout but the dominant Sharks player polled best-on-ground performances in round 14 and 15 of the regular season to stitch up the award.

Blaszkow hit the front by the end of round 10, sharing the lead with Royals’ Rivah Bocian with five games remaining. However, seven votes in those final five rounds were enough for Blaszkow to prevail, polling 22 votes to win by four.

Lions big man Jaike Dale finished in second place on 18 votes, while hard-nosed Railways midfielder Rory Gibbs was third on 16.

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Bocian failed to poll in the last five rounds and was fourth with 15 votes, followed by teammate Shane Buss (13 votes), Sharks’ Zainel Bin Busu (11), North Albany’s early leader Ted Batchelor (10) and Zamahl Bin Busu (10).

Blaszkow played under-17s for the Sharks in 2015 and made his league debut that year before playing six league games last season.

He played all 15 colts games this season and kicked eight goals.

Meanwhile, Lions youngster Crane polled consistently in the Warrick Proudlove Medal count to win the sixteens fairest and best award.

Crane led after five rounds and was just two votes clear of a chasing pack that included Poch Amores, Mitch O’Neill and Liam Park with five rounds to play. However, he finished the season in brilliant fashion, including best-afield efforts in rounds 11, 12 and 14.

Crane played in 10 of a possible 12 regular matches and collected 23 votes to win the award from teammate Amores, Tigers midfielder O’Neill and agile Denmark-Walpole tall Park, who all polled 14 votes. Sharks duo Tristan Loo (38 goals) and Kieran Gowdie (20) were presented the colts and sixteens goal- kicking awards respectively.

Great Southern Storm announced Hamish McMorran as their Great Southern player of the carnival at the Landmark championships, while Brandon Woods was player of the carnival at the Great Southern Colts Carnival.

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