Club stalwart Brendan Hlad capped a wonderful career when he was given life member honours at the Cessnock Goannas presentation awards on Saturday night.
He also received the prestigious Mark Watson achievement award.
Hlad who has had an outstanding career for the Goannas as well as representing Newcastle and Country numerous times announced his retirement citing ongoing work commitments and wanting to spend more time with his young family as the main reasons for his decision.
He said the club was in a good position to remain a contender in the coming years with numerous youngsters getting a taste of first grade in the past couple of years as well as a very strong squad coming through the under 19s.
Brent Mendyk was named player of the year in first grade.
Mendyk had a tremendous duel with Kori Barber for the award and just outpointed him in the last game of the season.
Jade Jones-Antcliff was named rookie of the year, Josh Dimmock recieved the coach’s award, Cal Orchard most dedicated and Sam Apthorpe most improved.
Players’ player honours were shared between Dan Metcalf, Dimmock and Hlad.
Reserve grade player of the year was shared between Sam Wilson and Sam Apthorpe, players’ player went to Jai See, while See and Apthorpe split the coaches award.
The most improved award went to Nick Pringle, best back was Fabian Dunstan and best forward Sam Wilson.
Open age player of the year was Ben Rose, players’ player was awarded to Ethan Tibbits.
Will McCormack claimed them coach’s award and best forward.
Will McGarry was named most improved.
The Under 19s player of the year went to Harry O’Brien, while Nick Lawrence was the players’ player and coach’s award .
Brandon Bendeich was named best forward and Sean McLennan received best back and most improved.
Club person of the year went to the tireless Merv McLennan.
Goannas president David Woodbury thanked the club’s sponsors for their support throughout the year.
Woodbury said the club could not function without its great volunteers and paid tribute to Goannas supporters for cheering the team on.
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