Maguire claims 2018 NEAFL Rising Star Award
Canberra Demons midfielder, Mitch Maguire has claimed the 2018 Tribal Sport NEAFL Rising Star Award after a stunning breakout season.
The 20-year-old Riverina product was a heavy favourite to claim the award after a season where he averaged 27 disposals and five clearances per game.
As well as claiming the Rising Star Award, Maguire also polled the most MVP votes for his club and was a key instigator in Canberra sealing a maiden finals berth in 2018.
Aspley’s Matthew Payne stormed home to claim an unprecedented third NEAFL MVP trophy and further strengthen his incredible legacy in the competition.
Payne sat second on the leaderboard behind Maguire at the end of Round 16 when voting became withheld from the public. He polled four votes in Round 17 to assume the lead again, but he certainly had some competition.
Another twist came the following round when Southport midfielder, Josh Clayton hit the lead for the first time after polling the maximum 10 votes against Canberra. But Payne hit back with 17 votes in the next two weeks, sealing his fate with one round left to play.
He added six more votes in the final round against Canberra to add icing on the cake, becoming the first player in NEAFL history to surpass 400 career votes at an impressive average of 3.2 per game.
Sydney Swan, Darcy Cameron, whose dominant NEAFL form earned an AFL debut this year, made a stunning run for the award in the final rounds, polling 39 votes out of a possible 40 in the final four weeks to finish runner-up on 87 votes.
The coveted NEAFL Team of the Year was also announced at the awards ceremony held at Sydney’s Shangri-La Hotel, with Sydney University and Aspley leading the way with four players from those clubs included.
From the New South Wales and ACT teams, Ryan Hebron, Adam Gulden, Tom Young and Craig Bird (Sydney University), Colin O’Riodran and Darcy Cameron (Sydney Swans), Mitch Maguire and Mitch Hardie (Canberra Demons) and Aiden Bonar (GWS GIANTS), all made the 2018 NEAFL Team of the Year.
Sydney University forward, Damien Bonney claimed the 2018 NEAFL Goal of the Year for his huge bomb against Sydney at the SCG in Round 9, where he played on after earning a free kick for holding ball, and letting go from 60m from the boundary.
The NEAFL Umpires of the Year were awarded to Taylor Mattoli (goal), Alex Donoghue (boundary), and joint field umpire winners Andrew Adair and Nic McGinness.
2018 NEAFL MVP FINAL LEADERBOARD
95: Matthew Payne (Aspley)
87: Darcy Cameron (Sydney)
84: Josh Clayton (Southport)
80: Mitch Maguire (Canberra)
76: Craig Bird (Sydney Uni)
76: Andrew Boston (Southport)
57: Michael Barlow (Gold Coast)
56: Andrew Swallow (Aspley)
55: Abraham Ankers (NT Thunder)
50: Alex Smout (Canberra)
2018 NEAFL Team of the Year
B: Ryan Hebron (Sydney University) Adrian Williams (Redland) Colin O’Riordan (Sydney)
HB: Cameron Ilett (NT Thunder) Liam Dawson (Brisbane) Adam Gulden (Sydney University)
C: Josh Clayton (Southport) Matthew Payne (Aspley) Ben Warren (Aspley)
HF: Mitch Hardie (Canberra) Jackson Paine (Redland) Michael Manteit (Southport)
F: Tom Wilkinson (Southport) Matt Hammelmann (Redland) Tom Young (Sydney University)
Foll: Darcy Cameron (Sydney) Andrew Swallow (Aspley) Mitch Maguire (Canberra)
Inter: Jake Spencer (Aspley) Abraham Ankers (NT Thunder) Jacob Dawson (Gold Coast) Aidan Bonar (GIANTS) Craig Bird (Sydney University)
Coach: Stephen Daniel (Southport)
Captain: Matt Payne (Aspley)