Jaden Kelly has again been crowned the best and fairest in the Group 20 competition after taking home the Ray Thorpe Medal for a third time at the Group 20 presentation night on Friday.
Kelly, who is not very emotional, held back tears upon accepting the trophy named after a man who had a massive impact on his life.
“Ray was a very important man for me growing up, and I spent a lot of weekends with him,” he said.
“He is a very special man to me, and Nathan his son and their family are very special people to me.”
It was a tight race with Kelly fighting for top spot with teammate Brent Pike for most of the night before he picked up an unassailable lead heading into the final round which gave him the win.
The Tullibigeal Lake Cargelligo coach felt having two players up the top shows the club is heading in the right direction.
“I was actually hoping that we could have tied,” he said.
“It would have been special to do it with Pikey but for him to get second is really good to show where the club is heading into the future.”
Kelly felt he was the lucky one in a year when there wasn’t a clear standout.
“I thought I played ok, it was just one of those years where no one really stood out,” he said.
“ I was probably lucky in that sense because no one polled hugely in the votes. You need luck to win these things, and luck was on my side.”
While the Sharks missed out on playing in the grand final this season, Kelly was still happy with how the season played out.
“We had our ups and downs,” he said.
“For what we had I think we competed fairly well and I'm happy with how we went. We probably weren't expected to lose to Yanco but full credit to them they were just too good for us on the day.”
In the lower grades, it was a good night for TLU with Sinell Thorpe picking up the Player of the Year for the reserve grade competition.
It was a good night for Leeton Shire as well with Tess Staines from Yanco-Wamoon taking home the Player of the Year in League Tag while Leeton’s Elwyn Ravu shared the under 18s title with Thomas Fattore from DPC and in the under 16s Leeton’s Harrison Rudd was the standout.