The setting was Doltone House on Monday night, 15 September 2014. The event was AFL Sydney’s night of nights, the Phelan Medal awards. The room was filled with a mix of current players and old men who (I assume) had once played. Our own Cameron “Fossil” Roe wouldn’t have looked out of place1.
The Southern Power tables took a little time to warm up. Evidently there were some sore heads and tired eyes after just getting back from footy trip earlier that afternoon. Some boys were struggling so much that they didn’t make it to the event (*cough* Gooba *cough*).
Have you heard of Gillon Maclachlan, the Chairman of the AFL? Well, the MC for the night was his younger brother. I forget his name, so let’s call him Younger Gill. Young Gill was pretty funny. Although everything he said struggled to cut through the obvious fact that he would always be the less successful sibling.
Without too much ado, YG kicked off the night with the naming of the AFL Sydney Women’s Team of the Year. It went something like this: “Back Pocket: some chick, Sydney University. Full Back: someone else, some other university. Back Pocket: Kathryn Hull, Southern Power.” The cheers erupted. It was loud. I honestly didn’t hear the rest of the team, I assume it consisted of the remainder of the Southern Power women’s team, because the cheering was so loud and sustained. At the end of the naming, YG came back on the mic and said: “Which one is Kathryn Hull’s table? *big cheer* Righto, table 33 currently have a $5K tab at the Star for making the most noise, and any other table can get involved in that competition to try to beat it.” Needless to say, it was never beaten. Young Gill seemed to disappear very quickly at the end of the event. I assume the cheque is in the post. Keep an eye out for that cheque, Milky.
The night progressed to handing out the AFL Sydney women’s coach of the year. YG must be illiterate because in naming the coach of the year, he seemed to mispronounce the name “Matt Crowe” and accidentally said some other name. The room seemed confused, given that Crowe had coached the Southern Power women’s team to win the 2014 premiership, undefeated. Anyway, we moved on.
Out came the entrées, which were some weird lasagne thing with too much egg, and the consistency of jelly. Mmmmm….. Egggg jellllyyyyy…….
Next came some plugs for sponsors. It was a good plug, except that I don’t remember who the sponsors were. One thing I do remember is the plug for a great charity, White Ribbon, Australia’s only national, male led Campaign to end men’s violence against women. Get around them.
A few videos were played, and other awards given, although it all seemed like “filler” on the way to one of the highlights of the night, the naming of the Hart Medal. This medal is awarded to the best and fairest player in the under 19s competition.
“And the winner of the 2014 Hart Medal is Andrew Denoon, Southern Power.”
They say the proudest moment a man can have is when he looks into the eyes of his first born child. Now, I don’t know exactly what that feels like, but I now have an idea. We all do. Because hearing the name of our boy Denoon named as the best and fairest player in the competition brought such a sense of pride to all of our hearts that I don’t think will ever be topped. It brought tears to glass eyes all around the room.
As humble as he is, Denoon managed to look genuinely shocked when his name was read out (even though we all know that he dominated the competition all year). He had even taken his jacket off shortly before so that when he walked to the stage he could be seen to be putting his jacket on, shaking his head and saying “I had no idea”.
Young Gill called Denoon to the stage to accept his award, and what followed was one of the best interviews to ever take place (perhaps only rivalled by this one2):
YG: “We’ve got a new top of the leader board for the loudest table.”
Come on Young Gill, it’s the same club you muppet. You should know by now, Southern Power support our own, LOUDLY.
You can watch the interview in full here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8r_ZeTQE4U starting at about 1hr 20 min. Needless to say, the young backstreet boy did us all proud, and the future of our great club is in very capable hands.
Again, I don’t remember what happened next. I think some other nipsies were given some other awards.
The main meals came around. Steak or chicken. Dicko let me have my choice, what a great guy. Milky was given chicken He looked confused and I think he even asked the waiter why he didn’t get steak? Feed. the man. meat.
Anyway, shortly after the dishes were cleared, we reached the next best moment of the night, the naming of the AFL Sydney women’s rising star award. I don’t know who won the final award, I stopped listening after I heard3:
“Round 14, Bianca North, Southern Power.”
A well-earned nomination, Anca! This young woman found her way into all of our hearts in 2014. With the effort with which she trains, and then the way that she is able to produce on game-day, we know that she’s got a huge career to come. Well done Bianca!
The night moved on, a few more awards were given, and we arrived at the Best and Fairest of AFL Sydney Women’s Division 2. Congratulations to our own Kathryn Hull, who came in 4th place in the league best and fairest. Huggies, you are our Captain Courageous!
Next came the Snow medal. The Power has a strong history in this medal count. Again in 2014 we were well represented by Liam Davis. Tongsy came equal 3rd in the count with an impressive 20 votes. It’s arguable to say that he was bumped up to equal 2nd after the leading vote-getter was ineligible due to suspension. Well done mate on a great result!
I think there might have been another award on the night. I can’t be sure. No one really paid much attention, as the highlights had already happened. Well done to Huggies, Denoon, Anca and Tongsy. We are all very proud of your efforts this year, and I’m sure you will all feature at the Power Presentation Awards Dinner (Gymea Bowling Club 18 October 2014, get your tickets now).
1 Because he’s a current player. Did you think I meant because he’s old? You are an unkind person.
2 Funny interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSFWgKl-O-A
3 I stopped listening, and Young Gill stuffed up by reading the winner of the award before he had read the nominations. Nailed it mate.