When 16-year-old Cats footballer Adam Street was knocked out in a thirds match, it looked like a season-ending disaster.
But Street bounced back in his role as full-back because “he bleeds blue-and-white”, according to his coach “Joel" Head.
“He has a ton of courage,” the coach said.
Adam won the Solomontown Football Club’s Wilfred Brown Memorial Trophy for Most Courageous thirds player.
The trophy was donated by The Recorder’s Greg Mayfield in memory of his late grandfather who played for Sollies and was an umpire.
After retiring from football many years ago, Wilfred Brown showed he was a battler when coping with the impact of having a lung removed because of tuberculosis.
The trophy was presented at the club’s awards night on September 28.
Adam thanked his coach and the rest of the players for “backing me up on the oval when it gets hectic.” “Earlier this season, I had an incident and got carried off to an ambulance. As soon as the doctor said I was okay, I was keen to get back,” he said.
He said that at full-back he often stood bigger and taller players. Adam is a cook at KFC in Port Pirie.
His coach praised thirds’ best-and-fairest winner Joel Baker as a “contested-ball beast with great aerobic capacity” who was a pleasure to coach. Midfielder Baker thanked "all the boys who came out during the year”.
Veteran ruckman Dion Eldridge won the seconds’ best-and-fairest award.
Club champion is midfielder Jonathon Hayes who notched up 101 votes in the senior best-and-fairest count.
Jonathon, 22, is the son of David Hayes who played in the 1990 and 1998 club premierships on a wing.
“This is a fantastic club. The mateship is unbelievable,” he said,.
“It is one of the best blue-collar clubs going around. I have played since I was young.”
Asked why he liked football, he said he liked the “freedom” to get away from his working week.
“You can go out for two hours and play,” he said.
“Even though we didn’t win the premiership, we got to the grand final. It was a really successful year without winning.”
He dedicated his award to his parents and two sisters and his team-mates.
Jonathon also received the Ray Rawlins Memorial Trophy presented by club legend Larry Rawlins.
Larry Rawlins said the recipient was a “fantastic” player
“Thanks for allowing the family to continue presenting the trophy,” he said.
Forward-line player Lindsay Bearman thanked outgoing coach Chris Pollard, saying “we have gained a great friend in the past five years”.
“You were always part of that friendship group,” he said.
Club president Robert Boothby said Pollard had been his friend since they were 15 years old at school.
He presented him with a plaque marking his time with the club.
In response, Pollard said the the future was bright for the players.
He thanked former secretary Jarrad Curnow for “tapping me on the shoulder” to see whether he was interested in the coach’s job.
He conceded that he had a “dream debut” with a premiership in his first season. “It will live with me for the rest of my life,” he said. “For Solomontown to give me the opportunity to do that, I thank you very much.”
Long-time supporter Babs Bickley was named most dedicated clubperson.