Myrtleford maestro Tom Youngs was crowned the 2018 AWFA senior men’s Star Player at the association’s senior presentation at the Commercial Club on Wednesday night.
The talented Englishman finished with 27 votes, despite starting the season late and missing a further four matches with a broken arm midway through the year – making it seven in total.
But he certainly made up for lost time with 19 of his votes coming in the final seven rounds, with five best on ground performances.
Youngs played a huge part in the Savoys’ unbeaten run of seven games to finish the season and secure back-to-back senior men’s league titles.
He also scored in golden goal in the cup semi-final against Melrose last Sunday to book the Savoys’ place in the final game of the AWFA season for a fourth consecutive year.
Youngs’ closest rivals were Albury United Caleb Martin (24 votes) and Myrtleford midfielder Jesse Stephens (22 votes), who were both ineligible due to suspensions during the season, while Albury City young gun Thorne Maw reached 21 votes.
Boomers’ star defender Dustin Patten (19 votes) and coach Andrew Grove (17 votes), Melrose winger Adam Waters (16 votes), Albury Hotspurs’ striker Jerome Dunphy (16 votes), Albury City midfielder David Samiec (15 votes) and Wangaratta’s Thomas Frawley (15 votes) made the top-10.
Youngs joins Will Dennis (2016) and co-coach Matt Park as the third Myrtleford player to win the award in three years and he was also the competition’s leading scorer with 27 goals.
An incredibly humble Youngs was honored to be recognised in his first season in Australia.
“To win both awards is a great feeling,” Youngs said.
“To be honest, I didn’t think I’d get Star Player after missing so many games, but I really appreciate it.
“I missed three from not being here at the start of the season and four through the broken arm, so seven in total.
“It’s a great achievement and I’m really proud.”
Youngs knew he saved his best for last after returning from injury, but was still shocked he ended up with so many votes.
Myrtleford takes on Boomers at Jelbart Park on Sunday where they will look to claim their third straight AWFA senior men’s cup.
While Youngs was grateful to be honoured individually, he knows there’s still work to be done against Boomers – the only side the Savoys haven’t beaten this season.
“They’ve been in it the last two seasons and won, so they know what to do,” he said.
“It will be a great day overall and hopefully we can get the win.”
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