HOWLONG ruckman Peter Hancock says it was an unexpected bonus to claim the Azzi medal on Wednesday night.
Despite taking out the Spiders’ best and fairest, Hancock thought Billabong Crows ball magnet Dylan Kerr or Rand-Walbundrie midfielder Justin Gordon would take home the league’s highest individual honour.
“It was a bit unexpected,” Hancock said yesterday.
“I knew that the top-five players were invited and I got an invite so I kind of knew I would be up there but I didn’t think I was going to win it.
“I thought either Dylan Kerr or Justin Gordon would win it.
“I never knew what to expect being my first season in the Hume league.
“I just went about my business each week and tried to get a kick and really enjoyed the season.”
Hume league officials were left red-faced during the reserves count when the final leaderboard for the Azzi medal was accidentally flashed on the big screen.
“The top-20 flashed up on the screen for a split second,” he said.
“I didn’t see my name up there and I’m not too sure if anyone was quick enough to actually see who the winner was.”
Hancock joined Howlong this season after playing 60 senior games with Lavington in one of the biggest signings of the off-season.
Although the talented big man enjoyed a stellar season, the Spiders missed finals for only the second time since 1995.
He rated 2010 Azzi medallist Trent Storey and Henty young gun Isaac Muller as his toughest opponents.
“It was a good challenge and there is some top-liners running around in the comp,” he said.
“I was bit surprised how quick it is.
“Some of the sides playing finals were too quick for us and we need to inject some leg speed to get back in finals contention.
“Trent Storey is a good challenge to play against while Isaac Muller from Henty has got a bright future.
“Isaac could easily play at a higher level once he learns to use his body a bit better.”
Hancock has already recommitted to the Spiders for next season and rates Brock-Burrum as the best side he played against this year.
“I didn’t think Holbrook would get as far as they have,” he said.
“I still think Brock-Burrum will win it.”