DANGEROUS Albury Thunder five-eighth Willie Heta believes he has played better this season than last year.
Heta has stepped up brilliantly since the departure of premiership teammates Matt Rose, Brett Biles and Henry Heta.
He is among five contenders released by Group 9 to win tonight’s Eric Weissel medal.
Kangaroos hooker Glenn Dumbrell, Young coach Luke Branighan, Temora’s Scott Matthews and Gundagai captain-coach James Smart are also in the mix.
But Heta still doesn’t expect to take out the medal.
“I’m not sure how I will go,” Heta said.
“It’s an honour to be nominated for the award, but there are a lot of good individuals in the competition.
“Even though I think I have played better this year, you never know how things will go.”
Heta is chasing back-to-back premierships for the first time in his decorated career that started in New Zealand and will lock horns with Smart in Sunday’s grand final.
“I thought he played well last week,” Heta said.
“He’s a good player.
“Our preparation has been really good and we’re all fresh for the grand final.”