Navarre senior football coach Jayden Fowkes has been recognised for an outstanding season, being named as the Maryborough Castlemaine District Football Netball League coach of the year at the 2017 Berry Powell best and fairest presentation night on Monday.
Fowkes led the Grasshoppers to a near perfect season, losing just one game on the way to a seventh consecutive grand final appearance.
Navarre will be vying for its fifth consecutive senior football premiership when it plays Carisbrook on Saturday.
The young coach said he did not expect to win the award.
“It was a bit of a chock and surprise I suppose,” he said.
“It was totally unexpected to be honest.”
Fowkes co-coached Navarre’s fourth consecutive premiership with team mate Ash Driscoll last season, but took on the role by himself this year.
Fowkes said the group he is in charge of makes his job enjoyable.
“The guys that I am playing with and coaching make it a lot easier,” he said.
Grasshoppers’ key forward Cody Driscoll’s standout season was also recognised on Monday night, picking up the Joe Parker Medal for leading the league’s goal kicking tally.
Driscoll booted 75 goals in the home and away season, two better than his 2016 tally.
Driscoll is on track for a career best tally of goals, with 81 majors to his name across both finals and the regular season.
He kicked 82 goals last season to record a career high.
Fowkes said it has been terrific being able to rely on a strong key forward all year.
“Cody has had a fantastic season,” he said.
“He is probably the best forward in the league now. He is a great overhead mark and a great kick at goal.
“He puts in the hard work at training and is the guy that always does extra to get ahead and be the best he can.”
Carisbrook’s Jackson Bowen dethroned 2016 Berry Powell medalist Josh Fowkes of Navarre, polling 24 votes to secure the 2017 best and fairest award.
Up and coming Grasshopper stars Mia Jensz and Brad Slorach were nominated for the netball and football rookie of the year shortlist respectively, but were edged out for the top award.
Navarre senior footballers Louis Hannett and Josh Fowkes finished in the top 10 of the Maryborough Advertiser Lyal Eales Stores footballer of the year award.
Hannett recorded 24 votes to finish in fourth place while Fowkes was not far behind, polling 21 votes in equal sixth.