Ben Newson tops in Lions best and fairest

GREAT WESTERN - Ben Newson was officially crowned Great Western Football Club's Em Gibson Memorial Trophy winner for season 2012.

About 140 people packed the Mechanics Institution Hall for the Lions presentation night, with president Rodney Matheson speaking to the audience about the wonderful year the club has had.

Newson was a shining light in a tough first season for the Lions in the Mininera and District Football League and was duly rewarded with senior best and fairest player honours.

He also took home the coveted most valuable player award.

The talented Lion showed his versatility throughout the season, playing in both defence and onball to provide a bigger body around the ground.

James Gibson was on hand to present Newson with his best and fairest trophy.

Ben O'Neill finished runner up after a strong season in the midfield, while tough onballer Lachie Green received the most consistent senior player award.

Green was also rewarded with the Paul Grellet Memorial Player of the Year award.

Veteran Tim Shalders, who played his 150th match for the Lions in their maiden MDFL win against Woorndoo-Mortlake, was voted most determined senior player.

Most courageous senior player went to Nick McCartney, Sam Cocks showed great improvement over the year to take out best under 21 senior player amd Shannon Notting was named Lions' leading goalkicker for 2012.

Promising young ruckman John Gration took out Great Western reserves best and fairest as well as receiving the reserves coach's award.

Gration took home the Craig Elliott Memorial Trophy after a terrific debutante season where he stepped up and played a handful of games in the Lions senior side.

The Lions hope Gration continues to develop in the ruck and will also provide them with another option down forward.

Runner up in the reserves best and fairest was Andrew Beckwith.

Other reserves winners were Alan Murphy (most consistent player), James Gooden (most determined), Regan Hughes (most improved) and Bruce Williams (leading goalkicker).

Robert Gilbert was named the Lions under 16 best and fairest, taking home the Robert Sparrow Memorial Trophy.

Gilbert had a standout year and also took out Lions leading goal kicker award.

Jaidyn McCartney received runner up honours, with other awards going to Joshua Agius (most consistent and most improved), Zane Hall (most determined) and Tom Brady (coach's award).

The under 12s celebrated their inaugural season in the MDFL.

Great Western secretary Danny Hoare was pleased with the results.

"Despite the senior football side only having one win for the season, the 13 and under netball players had done us proud with several wins throughout the year," Mr Hoare said.

Mr Hoare said Mr Matheson spoke to the crowd about the difficulties of getting the club up and running again and how everyone should look forward to next year.

Mr Matheson thanked everyone for their hard work and handed out 12 certificates of appreciation to people who had put in a lot of effort to make the club work this year.

Neil McKenzie, Sharlene McCord, Diane Bullock, Narelle Trickey, Sonia Allen, Rosie Wilksch, Paul McCord, Evan Ray, Wayne Cameron, Kim Smith, Danette Salmon and Shannon Notting were recognised for their efforts.

Mr Hoare said the club remains upbeat and proud it their achievements.

"We are very proud of the way the club has finished this year. We believe that with some good recruiting in the next couple of months, we will be able to perform better in the 2013 season.

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