Clark claims Mail

A premiership player across all four levels at the RSMU Hawks, Patrick Clark further added to his impressive resume with a 2017 North Eastern Football League Mail Medal on Monday night.

The count was held at the Redhill clubrooms and hosted by the BSR Tigers, and saw Clark charge away with 18 votes by round eight.

He would finish with an impressive 33 votes, 10 ahead of the runner-up BS Cats captain Gareth Ottens.

“It has been my most consistent year,” Clark told the Northern Argus.

“I played my 150th senior game in the second semi final.

“I’ve had a number of good mentors along the way including my father, Andrew, one of the assistant coaches at RSMU Grant Griffiths and earlier on, Shayne Willmott.

“Zack Hier’s attitude that he’s brought to the group has also been a contributing factor.”

Clark, who works as a sports physiotherapist in Unley, missed the 2014 premiership season after injuring his ACL in the 2013 NEFL preliminary final.

The 26-year-old, 191-centimetre, 92-kilogram utility has been used in a diverse set of roles since coming back to the game after spending the 2014 season as the team’s runner.

In the 2015 Hawks title, Clark played at centre half back, while in last year’s flag winning team he was used in a variety of roles and also pinch hit in ruck.

This year he has played in an on-ball roll and has dominated the competition with his run and skill.

Clark was runner up to the NEFL Senior Colts Best and Fairest association medal twice and in the 2010 reserves premiership at Clare Oval, he produced a best on ground performance.

Ottens was runner up to Clark with 23 votes, while North Clare recruit Cohen Pettitt finished third with 21 votes.

Last year’s winner, BSR’s Sam Heinjus was fourth with 18 votes – despite missing six weeks.

Clark’s team mate in the midfield, Josh Vater, finished with 17 votes, in outright fifth place.

Three players, the BSR Tigers pair of Phil Raymond and Will Hennessey, along with Min-Man’s Steve Rusca, came in one vote behind them.

Hawks veteran Kimberley Hart won the reserves best and fairest award, returning to the game after a year off at 37.

He won the A Grade NEFL Mail Medal back in 2002.

“What Kim brings is a lot of experience to our young group,” RSMU coach Matt Norman said.

“The young lads can watch him play and learn from him.

“So it’s been the biggest asset to have ‘Hucker’ on the field in this special role.”

Hart won with 21 votes, two ahead of BSR big man Alex Smart. Smart’s team mate Sam Weckert was third, one vote behind Smart on 18, Alex Falconer was fourth with 17, while Roger Logan fifth on 16.

Liam Whitwell in his first year as senior coach of the BSR Tigers received the NEFL Coach of the Year award.

Gareth Ottens was presented with the 2017 Clare Financial Services Coaches’ Footballer of the year, while Craig Mullins collected the A Grade and Ben Seymon the B Grade goal kicking awards.

Team of the year

After extensive consultation between Peter Argent, NEFL president Peter Meyer and the NEFL A Grade coaches, the official 2017 NEFL/Northern Argus Team of the Year was revealed on Monday night.

This year’s line-up is:

Forward: Craig Mullins (Hawks), Damian Hynes (Hawks), Boh Wall (Rams)

Half For: Phil Raymond (Tigers), Sam Heinjus (Tigers), Billy Nicholls (Hawks)

Centre: Steve Rusca (Eagles), Josh Vater (Hawks), Ben Plueckhahn (Hawks)

Half Back: Sam Martin (Tigers), Adam Mackenzie (Tigers), Tom Connell (Hawks)

Back: Lachlan Jaeschke (Roosters), Gareth Ottens (Cats), Matt Allen (Demons)

1st Ruck: Will Hennessey (Tigers), Patrick Clark (Hawks), Ryan Mcdermid (Eagles)

Interchange: Dean Cutting (Saints), Brodie Murphy (Demons), Cohen Pettitt (Roosters), Nathan Zweck (Cats)

Captain: Gareth Ottens