CLAYTON Oliver’s charge towards the 2016 draft received another boost on Sunday afternoon.
The inside midfielder added the Murray Bushranger’s John Byrne medal for the ebst and fairest player to his growing mantle.
Oliver beat out Wangaratta’s Murray Waite and Corowa-Rutherglen’s Ryan Garthwaite to claim the award.
Hailing from Mooroopna, Oliver crossed to the Bushrangers from the Bendigo Pioneers before the season kicked off.
He was able to put some early injury woes behind him to put together a strong season, with the second half in particular proving eye-catching for a number of AFL talent scouts.
Now touted as a potential top-25 draft pick, Oliver said his sudden rise had come as a bit of shock.
“It's all been a but of a surprise, to be honest,” Oliver said.
“Murray (Waite) and Ryan (Garthwaite) both had really consistent seasons and deserved recognition.
“I didn't really think I was a chance of getting drafted at the beginning of the year.
“My fitness was an issue early on, but once I got through that I though I played some good footy.”
Oliver's close mate Jy Simpkin, also from Mooroopna, took out the under-17's award.
Simpkin impressed throughout the season as a bottom age player.
Wodonga Raiders’ Will Donaghey won the under 16's most valuable player award.
The Bushrangers’ presentation functions comes in the wake of several impressive performances from the National Draft Combine.
Oliver was again a standout in a number of fields, but he certainly wasn't alone.
Several of his teammates delivered top ten performances in the rigorous tests of football skill and physical prowess.
Albury's Lachlan Tiziani did his chances of being picked up by Greater Western Sydney as an academy selection no harm, registering the highest running vertical leap (97cm).
Fellow Albury representative Nick Coughlan also impressed in a number of tests, scoring 23 from a possible 30 in the kicking test, and 25 from 30 in the goalkicking test.
But Oliver was the clear standout.
Aside from booting a perfect score in the goalkicking test, Oliver also recorded a top ten finish in the agility test.
“Everyone did really well down there,” Oliver said.
“I know a few of the other guys like David Mennen have the state combines coming up as well, so hopefully all goes well for them.”
Wodonga’s Mitch King also enjoyed a strong combine, placing third in the relative vertical jump.
Injury kept likely top-five pick Josh Schache from participating in the combine.