A fantastic season for our Sydney University NEAFL and Colts squads came to an end in style on Friday 16th October with the naming of the club’s best and fairest at the inaugural 2015 SUANFC Driscoll Medal Night. The players, sponsors, coaches, supporters and guests arrived in style on the red carpet at The Refectory as anticipation grew for the awards of the evening.
Tori Clark and Paul Markou were the first award winners on the night with 2015 Outstanding Contribution Awards for their services to SUANFC. Over her eight years of service at the club, Tori, now our head NEAFL Trainer, started across our lower grades and has worked tirelessly across all levels of the club during her time with us. In receiving his outstanding contribution Paul Markou was honoured for his contribution to the development of local junior club football programs.
The volunteer efforts of our junior clubs were recognised during the evening with the inaugural awarding of the SUANFC Junior Club Volunteer of the Year. The inaugural winner of this award was Don Chudleigh of the Glebe Greyhounds. Don is a tireless volunteer of the Greyhounds and has given selflessly to his junior club, leading initiatives that have allowed his club to provide sustainable income streams and at the same time, build a vibrant volunteer environment.
The terrific season of the U19 SUANFC Colts was honoured as the count for the best and fairest McLennan Medal began. Sam Clark took out the award for the Best First Year Colt and the Players’ Player as Nick Dale celebrated a great year in front of goal to receive the Colts’ Leading Goal Kicker award. Sean Stokoe’s consistent form across the year was recognised as he took out the Coaches Award, while talented youngster Daniel Black took out the runner-up best and fairest. In a year which saw him play half a season as a Sydney Swans’ Reserve grade footballer, Andrew Sierakowski capped a sensational year of football being awarded the McLennan Medal as the best and fairest Colts’ player.
MC Francis Leach took great joy in bringing Sydney Swans premiership players Mike Pyke and Lewis Roberts-Thompson to the stage to take part in a player’s panel, along with 2015 NEAFL MVP Tom Young and club captain Tim Barton. All four players spoke about football, their successes and their studies at Sydney University.
The professionally produced medal count presentation provided a positive addition to the night with season highlights packages and an innovative leader board that had the attendees glued to the three big screens as it updated the count across the night. Gabe Orr impressed many this year and was rewarded by picking up the Coaches’ Award, while Allister Clarke was rewarded for his great year of academic and football results as the 2015 Scholar of the Year, picking up the Cole Medal. The Players’ Player award was close with many showing great leadership and form this year, the result, a tie with both Tim Barton and Tom Young taking home their peers’ plaudits.Our NEAFL squad’s younger members were also recognised with Mitch Mahady winning the SUANFC Rising Star and Nick Foster claiming the Development Squad Player of the Year award.
Rounding out the night to a great rendition of the club song, the attendees welcomed in the 2015 Driscoll Medallist, Matthew Rawlinson, who finished just four votes clear of 2015 NEAFL MVP Tom Young.
SUANFC thanks all sponsors, supporters, players, coaches and award winners for a fantastic evening and a brilliant 2015 season.