NPFL’s fairest and best take honours

David EckhartPilbara News
The 2018 NPFL fairest and best winners, Brendan Blizzard (Reserves winner) and Ben Main (League winner).
Camera IconThe 2018 NPFL fairest and best winners, Brendan Blizzard (Reserves winner) and Ben Main (League winner). Credit: NPFL

Players and officials from all six clubs of the North Pilbara Football League gathered at Wickham’s Rambla Bar on Friday to recognise the competition’s fairest and best players and other top contributors at the annual De Grey Medal awards ceremony.

The 2018 De Grey Medal for the league’s fairest and best player was won by Karratha Kats’ on-baller Ben Main, who collected the bulk of the votes in the Kats’ matches this season, in his inaugural win at the overall league level.

Asked about he felt about his success this season, Main said it was great to be recognised for individual success, but noted he was most focused on trying to help the Kats win a premiership double at their Millars Well home ground this weekend.

The runner-up for the league honour was six-times De Grey winner Michael Formanczyk, from the Karratha Falcons.

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The count for the reserves’ fairest and best award, the Colin Matheson Medal, was an even closer affair with about 100 players recording at least one vote in the reserve-grade season.

Ultimately the Kats made it a double win when ruckman Brendan Blizzard polled a total of twelve votes to win the medal, three votes clear of South Hedland’s Scott Bedford and Falcons’ Danny Formanczyk.

The top goal kickers of the season were also recognised on the night.

Falcons’ Sheldon Nelly (40 goals) was the winner of the league best goal kickers’ award, beating runner-up Jeremy Regan of the Wickham Wolves (30 goals) by ten majors.

Among the reserves, it was a back-to-back win for Kats’ Shaun Derschow (31 goals) who took the title three goals clear of South Hedland Swans’ Renan Eaton.

Umpires Rodney Barden and Corey Russell were recognised with trophies for their outstanding seasons with the whistle, with Barden collecting the golden whistle award and Russell claiming most improved.

Dampier Sharks’ Grant Theelen received recognition from the WA Football Commission for his commitment to coaching, while Swans’ Josh Nannup was named the Pilbara finalist for the Sunday Times WA football volunteer of the year award.

NPFL registrar Peta Mott was also acknowledged with a WA Country Football League volunteer of the year award for her years of voluntary service to the competition.

League president Greg Braithwaite said the 2018 season had been a successful one.

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