Gentile, Ramsay share spoils
By Jarryd Barca
For the first time in the club’s history, the Calder Cannons have celebrated two joint Robert Hyde Medal winners as 2019’s best and fairest players.
Both Ned Gentile and Sam Ramsay rightfully couldn’t be separated following two stellar campaigns, polling in 14 and 12 games respectively.
Gentile led the count for much of the night, before a fast-finishing Ramsay ensured the honour was eventually shared with 99 votes.
Eighteen-year-old Gentile, who averaged more than 19 touches and nearly four tackles and inside 50s per game, also took home the club’s Most Courageous award.
“It’s an extremely fair result that they shared the honours together,” football operations and admin coordinator Matthew Burton said.
“The word I use to describe Ned’s year is consistent.
“His ability to continually perform week in week out both on and off the field is a true credit to the hard work he put in. He’s definitely a deserving winner.”
Ramsay took his game to a new level in the later stages of the season, averaging a mammoth 31.4 disposals in his final eight matches.
“Sam faced some adversity – missing Vic Metro selection and missing games due to concussion – (he) probably didn’t have the front half to the year he would’ve liked, but he really knuckled down in the second half of the season and had an outstanding back end to the year,” Burton said.
Also finishing on the podium was gun midfielder Daniel Mott after another impressive NAB League season, complimenting his 2018 where he finished runner-up to Mitch Podhajski.
“For Daniel to back up a really solid 17-year-old year where he finished second and step into the role of being our premier midfielder – and missed some games through Vic Metro – to be able to finish in the top three again is a credit to the body of work he has put in over two years with us,” Burton said.
“We’re hoping he is able to reap the ultimate reward for it, like all our players.”
Mott averaged 26 disposals, 12 contested possessions and six clearances per outing in 2019. Captain Brodie Newman (58 votes) and Harrison Minton-Connell (56) rounded out the top five.
Among the other award winners were Newman (coaches award), Ben Overman (Neil Wood Most Improved) and Ben Bozinovski (Phil Dunk Best on Track).
“All award winners on the night were all thoroughly deserving. I’d like to congratulate them all and everyone from players to staff and parents for creating a terrific environment in season 2019,” Burton said.
“It was also great to acknowledge Ann steel as our club person of the year for all the amazing selfless and hard work she puts in to not only the girls program but the boys program. She does a lot of work that isn’t seen or heard but we’ve thoroughly appreciated having her around in 2019.
“Obviously we’re going through our exit review period at the moment and we wish our 18 and 19 year olds the very best in the next phase of their footballing pathway. Hopefully they’ve enjoyed their time at the Cannons as much as we’ve enjoyed having them here,” he added.
Both Mott and Harry Jones are this week undertaking a trial under the watchful eye of recruiters at the NAB AFL Draft Combine which runs until Friday.
On Saturday the club will have a further seven Cannons – Curtis Brown, Brodie Newman, Sam Ramsay, Jeremy O’Sullivan, Nathan Stewart, Lachlan Gollant and Francis Evans – showcase their mental and physical abilities at the State Combine.
“Hopefully the boys headed to the combines are able to put their best foot forward and enjoy the experience,” Burton said.