Medallist's team-first focus

IT will be a team-first approach for Wandella's Justin Robinson in tomorrow's Golden Rivers Football League grand final, despite winning the league's top individual accolade on Monday night.

The utility became the first Bomber since Will Callow in 2008 to win the league's E.G. Hunt Medal, and will be the fifth consecutive winner to feature in a grand final five days after being presented with the accolade.

The count came down to the final round of the season, with Robinson one of four players able to win the award.

Simon Bunyan – who had amassed 20 votes after 12 rounds and led Robinson by five votes – failed to gain any votes in Hay's loss to Ultima, whilst Nullawil coach and the GRFL senior coach of the year, Grant Ford also missed out on getting the umpires' attention in the Maroons' win against Macorna to remain on 18 votes.

These results left Robinson and defending medal winner, Bryden Morison in contention with the votes from Murrabit's one-point win against the Bombers left to be read out.

Morison – who had 19 votes after 17 rounds – needed to be best on ground to gain the lead, but failed to receive any votes as Robinson snared his seventh best on field effort to finish with 24 votes.

"I certainly did not expect that. I tend to come out each year and watch," Robinson said. 

"It's nice to be recognised, especially in a grand final team." 

The 25-year-old's stellar start to the season set up the win, with best on ground performances in the opening three games of the year helping Robinson, Bunyan and Ultima's Joshua Stone all lead with nine votes after six rounds.

Bunyan collected best on ground votes in three consecutive rounds after round nine to lead with six round remaining, but did not receive any recognition after the Lions' round 12 win against Quambatook.

Despite the win, Robinson – who played 14 out of a possible 16 matches during the home and away season, kicking 27 goals – will turn his attention to tomorrow's grand final, with the Bombers to play in their first decider since 2012.

"I'm excited for Saturday. I hope for a beautiful day and hope Ultima put up a good fight," he said. 

"I don't feel any pressure, I will do what needs to be done for the team." 

In other senior football awards, Macorna's Ricki Waters was adjudged to be the league's most valuable player, with Nullawil's Kal Heslop receiving the goalkicking title after booting 77 goals.

OTHER AWARD WINNERS

A POTENTIAL undefeated season will be the best finish to the year for Nullawil reserves coach, Jeremy Vearing. 

The midfielder claimed the competition's best and fairest award with 33 votes - eight more than the league's most valuable player, Ultima's Daniel Bolton.

Best on ground performances in nine of the Maroons' 16 wins of the season – including three consecutive matches between rounds 13 and 15 – ensured Vearing became the first Nullawil player since Matt Haywood in 2013 to win the honour.

* HAY centre half-forward, Ben Arandt will look to add a Golden Rivers Football League under 17.5 premiership medal on Saturday to his growing list of season accolades. 

The 17-year-old claimed the competition's best and fairest and most valuable player titles, edging out Nullawil's Rylee Smith in a tense count. 

Arandt was deemed to be the best player on the ground in nine games, which helped amass 31 votes - four more than Smith. 

* Ultima forward, Callan Farrell won the Keith den Houting Rookie of the Year Award ahead of four other nominees – Ben Arandt (Hay), Zac Kelly (Nullawil), Bailey McNeil (Murrabit) and Laing Whinfield (Macorna).

* Ultima stalwart, Dwayne Grey became the second 'Roos representative to win the Golden Rivers Football League Les Pay Memorial League Identity Award since its inception in 1996, joining past winner, former 'Roos and Kerang District Football League president, Gavin Polinelli.

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