Carey Makes GWS History
Victor P Taffa
Eighteen year old South Australian Recruit Alex Carey has capped off an impressive year, making history as the club’s first ever Best and Fairest winner.
Carey, who was anointed as the club’s inaugural captain earlier this year, had an outstanding season dominating through the midfield before succumbing to a hip injury and missing the final four games.
His early form however proved strong enough to earn the points needed to edge out runner up Jacob Townsend.
GWS Head Coach Alan McConnell said Carey was a clear stand out and a deserved winner of the award.
“Alex started our season as our best player, and as captain he took responsibility for the team, playing to his full capacity every time he ran out.”
“He demonstrates the values that will hold him in good stead throughout his football career and throughout his life, which is a great attribute to have and he deserves this award after a Great year of football.”
Carey was thrilled to take out the award, crediting the hard work of the coaching staff across a difficult season.
“It was really surprising to hear my name. I did manage a lot of games early on so that was obviously helpful, but I certainly didn’t expect it after I missed the last few games.”
“I think I’ve matured both on and off the field. Living away from home has certainly impacted on that and taking on a few extra responsibilities.”
“I really enjoyed taking on the captaincy role this year and the challenges that came with it, but I most enjoyed working with Al and the coaching staff. I’ve really just learnt so much from them.”
“I’m just looking forward to getting into next year now, hopefully I can have another strong season and cement a future with GWS. It’s an exciting time to be around the club.”
Leeton teenager Jacob Townsend took out the runners up award capping off a remarkable year for the hard working talent, after being selected in the AIS AFL Academy just earlier this month.
Townsend commitment this season has been second to none, travelling countless kilometres from Leeton to Sydney and Melbourne every week.
McConnell said that Townsend has demonstrated tremendous qualities that hold his football in good stead for the future.
“Jake’s performance on the field has been phenomenal, his use of the ball is strong and he has demonstrated an increased level of awareness and skill.”
“Jake has continued to perform well at school, despite his huge travel commitments demonstrating his passion and attention to detail in his life.”
The Coaches Award was presented to 16 year old NT talent Jed Anderson, who showed fantastic leadership qualities throughout the season and demonstrated immense focus and effort resulting in a significant improvement throughout the year.
McConnell described Anderson as an extraordinary character who has the capability to do anything he puts his mind to.
“He demonstrates remarkable leadership qualities and has fantastic attack on the football. As the second youngest player at the Club, he showed great determination leaving home and pursuing his life in Sydney, which is an amazing achievement.”
Josh Bruce, who earlier this year was signed to the club’s inaugural AFL list, was also recognised on the night for his All Australian selection following the National Championships.
McConnell spoke of the improvements Josh has made throughout the year.
“The start of the season, Josh would not have been considered All Australian selection. By taking a more consistent approach and a greater attack on the ball he gained the qualities he needed to impress at the National Championships.”