Strong field to battle for AWFA’s Star Player award

COBRAM duo Bill Puckett and Will Marshall, Wangaratta’s Adam Burchell and Albury United’s Caleb Martin have been tipped to poll well in Wednesday night’s Star Player count.

Several of the league’s coaches have backed Cobram’s attacking duo of Puckett and Marshall to poll well, while Burchell’s record 51-goal season means he is likely to have attracted the eyes of the referees.

Reigning Star Player Matt Parks has also been tipped to poll well, but a few observers believe his chances of going back-to-back will be hurt by strong performances from teammates such as Will Dennis.

Roar coach Adam Gatcum also shapes as a smokey chance, despite strong seasons from the aforementioned Puckett and Marshall.

Albury City coach Matt Maw said Marshall’s technical prowess set him apart from many of the competition’s other forwards.

“Bill’s class really makes him stand out, his technical ability and his finishing,” he said.

“He’s got a really good partner in crime with Bill Puckett as well.

“He is one who tends to stand up in those tough games when you need someone to take a half chance.

“The semi-final on the weekend was a perfect example of that.

“He did a similar thing to us in the quarter-finals, we made one mistake and he took full advantage of it.

“Adam Burchell had a fantastic season at Wangaratta but I think Connor Heffernan might take a few too many votes off him, same with Matt Park in Myrtleford.” 

Albury United co-coach Matt Campbell had a similar assessment to Maw, backing Burchall to nab his second Star Player award in three years.

The Wangaratta striker’s mark of 51 goals for the season eclipsed the previous record of 50, which was set by then Twin City star Zac Walker.

“Kicking more than 50 goals is sure to attract a few votes for Burchall,” Campbell said.

“He’ll poll well, especially in those games where he’s kicked more than one goal.

“Bill Puckett and Bill Marshall are certainly going to be up there as well, Will Dennis from Myrtleford gets plenty of the ball as well.

“Caleb Martin is always one who stands out for us, Josh Mulcahy has played some pretty good games for us as well.” 

In the senior women’s competition, Wangaratta’s Bianca Mulqueen is expected to poll well in a season where the Red Devils surged into the Cup semi-finals for the first time in more than a decade.

Last year’s winner Claire Mahoney maintained her form in 2016, while another former winner, Boomers Maddy Harris, also expected to feature prominently in the count.