SHEPPARTON United’s Angus Hicks has won the Murray Bushrangers TAC Cup Best and Fairest, and was awarded the John Byrne Medal with the presentation held at the weekend. Ben Paton (North Albury) and Jordon Butts (Shepparton Bears) were equal runners up.
Hicks enjoyed a consistent year polling votes in all but three of his games played. What made the achievement even more significant was the fact that Hicks joined the squad in 2017 as a top age player for the first time. Both Jordon Butts and Ben Paton also performed well considering they missed a block of four matches due to the U18 NAB National Championships representing Victoria Country.
The presentation evening also saw Lachlan Ash (Shepparton Bears) take out the U16 Most Valuable Player, Zane Barzon (Shepparton United) take out the Trainers Award, Tom Boyd (Nathalia) take out Most Improved, Daniel Johnston (Barooga) take out the Leading Goal Kicker, Kyle Clarke (Shepparton United) take out the Ashley Cox U17 Award and Daniel Bond (Wodonga Raiders) take out the Coaches Award.
Murray Bushrangers team manager and stalwart volunteer, Greg Laidlaw was Master of Ceremonies for the event which included interviewing past player and current North Melbourne footballer, Jy Simpkin.
Simpkiin highlighted how the Murray Bushrangers supported his development despite missing most of 2016 from injury during his draft year. He also gave an insight into the discipline and sacrifice that AFL listed player require to achieve success at the elite level.
The commencement of awards began with the Murray Bushrangers awarding Robert Ryan with the first ever life membership. Ryan has been a sports trainer with the club since 1994. During his 24 years at the Murray Bushrangers he has seen many players progress through to AFL level. Steve Johnston, Justin Koschitzke and Steele Sidebottom have benefited from Rob’s professional and caring support. A registered nurse, Rob plans to continue to support the club and enjoys seeing the players develop, not just as footballers but also as people.