WEDDERBURN’S Jordan Hargreaves has claimed the Feeny Medal in a dramatic finish to the Goldacres North Central Football League’s senior fairest and best award for the 2021 season.
A key position player for the Redbacks, Hargreaves polled 16 votes in a season shortened by Covid lockdowns.
Runner-up for the medal was Wade Donnan from Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers on 15 votes.
The Tigers achieved a win-loss record of 10-1 in their pursuit of back-to-back premierships, but the finals series was never played.
Charlton’s Thomas Finlay capped a great season for the Navies by polling 13 votes to be third in the Fenny Medal and also earned the NCFL president’s award sponsored by Tooleybuc Sporting Club.
As a Feeny medallist, Hargreaves is the fifth from Wedderburn FNC to earn the honour and the first since Mark Lloyd did so in a premiership-winning season in 2014.
Other medallists from the Redbacks are Brett Strange, Ben DeAraugo, Glenn Hanley and Shayne Ward.
Hargreaves marked his senior debut for the Redbacks in 2012 and also played for the Bendigo Pioneers in the TAC Cup under-18s competition, now NAB Cup under-19s.
A career high for Hargreaves was Wedderburn’s one-point victory against Charlton in the 2014 grand final.
In the race for the James and Jenny Goldsmith trophy for the league’s reserves best and fairest in 2021, Jack Ryan from Birchip Watchem Bulls charged to victory on 16 votes.
Runner-up was St Arnaud’s Nathan McNally on 12 votes. A long-time player at Bears Lagoon Serpentine, McNally earned the Frank Harding Medal as the Loddon Valley FNL senior best and fairest in the 2006 season.
The third placegetter in the Goldsmith trophy duel was Tyson McKenzie from Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers on 11 votes.
A great season for Sea Lake Nandaly’s young gun Thomas Cox was capped by earning the Jeff “Woofa” Guild trophy as the league’s under-18s champion player.
The top three was Cox, 19 votes, from St Arnaud’s Tom Myers, 13; and Boort’s Tom Potter, 12.
The under-16 Team Player of the Year was Wedderburn’s Robert Whyman.
Senior goalkicking, Richmond family trophy: Billy McInnes, SLN, 28
Reserves, Ivan Leader award: Daniel Needs, St Arnaud, 41.
The NCFL Rookie of the Year was Charlie Cox from Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers.
Rookie of Year nominees:
Birchip Watchem: Patrick Hogan, Patrick Sheahan, Cormacc Wilson, Tadhg Lowry.
Charlton: Mason Heenan, Patrick Soulsby, Jackson Zagame.
Donald: Hayden Geddes, Tom George, Tom Letts, Patrick Morgan.
Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers: Charlie Cox, Cooper Roberts.
Wedderburn: Isaac Holt.
A finals series was not played because of Covid lockdown, but the NCFL board decided it would recognise teams which finished on top of the ladder as minor premiers.
Sea Lake Nandaly was number one in the seniors, and St Arnaud led the way in the reserves.
Boort was minor premier in under-16s, and Donald earned the tag for the under-13s.
The Feeny Medal was first presented in 1947 to Gary Melican from Laen/Litchfield.
Many years later and Litchfield has strong links to the AFL through Port Adelaide’s games record-holder Travis Boak and Sydney Swans’ young gun Lewis Melican.
The districts of Laen, Cope Cope and Litchfield are within 15 kilometres of Donald.
The L-C-L teams included the Boak brothers, Alec and Reg.
It was Alec’s son Roger who left farming to run a hardware store in Torquay.
Roger and Chicki Boak raised son Travis in Torquay.
Runner-up for the Brownlow Medal in 2020, Travis Boak played another key role in Power’s run to another finals campaign.
A 306-game player for Port Adelaide, Travis Boak earned this year’s Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award for his work with the Childhood Cancer Association.
Written by Nathan Dole.