Beau O’Connell from Wanderers and Mattea Breed of Darwin Buffettes have been crowned the best up and coming juniors from the Top End in front of their families and 160 other people at Darwin Waterfront this afternoon.
At just 16 years of age O’Connell’s 16 votes saw him awarded the Abala Medal for being the standout player in the Boys Under 18 division. After beginning the transition to Under 18s in January 2017, he consolidated his place this season, playing 14 games for the Eagles and helping his team to victory on 10 of those occasions.
Breed is no stranger to success, and for the second season running has been awarded the best and fairest in the Under 18 Girls competition. Playing two fewer games than last season she managed a staggering 31 votes (30 last season), from 16 appearances for the Buffettes. There’s no doubt she will be looking to repeat last year’s Grand Final success and best on ground performance on Saturday when Darwin meet Southern Districts in the Under 18 Girls Grand Final.
Lining up beside Breed next weekend is her cousin, Martha De Santis who had an impressive crossover from Tiwi Bombers, where she was best on ground in the Under 15 premiership team last season. De Santis booted 42 goals in her 14 games for the Double Blues to take home the Under 18 Girls leading goal kicker award.
Meanwhile, Nightcliff’s Wade Derksen started to make the transition to men’s senior footy this season, playing one game in each of the Premier League, Division 1 and Division 2 competitions but with 32 goals in the Under 18 Boys there was no halting his rise to goalkicking glory.
In the other awards presented at the NTFL’s inaugural Youth Presentation, nothing separated Palmerston Magpies duo, Clarence Baird and Jonty Patrick from Wanderers Mark White in the Under 16 Hickman division. All three players finished in equal first with 16 votes apiece, while Mark White kicked 36 goals for throughout the season to be the division’s leading goal kicker.
At just 15 years of age, Pavlo Kalitsis played six senior men’s games for Tracy Village in the Division 1 and two competitions, but it was his 12 games in Under 16 Leverence that saw him awarded the best and fairest, finishing with 26 votes. The only Bushpig to pick up an award at today’s event the Leverence leading goal kicker went the way of Jack Newman from Darwin Buffaloes, who finished the season with 30 majors from his nine games.
In the Under 15 Girls, Zoe Larkins kicked an impressive 56 goals in 10 games for grand finalists and ladder leader’s, Palmerston. Her feat included a haul of 13 goals in the Magpies Round 5 win over Tracy Village, and another nine when they played Waratah.
It was her Waratah opponent from yesterday, Chloe Everingham who was awarded the Sharyn Smith Medal for being the standout performer in the division. In 10 games for the Tahs, Everingham was on the winner’s side six times and picked up 21 votes for the season.
Under 14 Gundersen best and fairest, Tom Demamiel started playing for Southern Districts as a 10–year–old and just over three years later has taken home the best award in the Under 14 divisions. In 2017/18 he played 11 games and finished the season with 20 votes.
The leading goal kicker in Gundersen was St Mary’s Beau Tedcastle. In his first season for the green and gold, Tedcastle kicked a remarkable 55 goals from 11 outings.
The first awards of the afternoon went the way of Banks, with the Under 14 Lew Fatt best and fairest and leading goal kicker coming from the Bulldogs. In his first season of NTFL, Landan Edwards was a consistent performer, collecting 15 votes from the nine games he played.
Meanwhile, at 12 years of age teammate, Edrick Lane was the youngest award winner of the afternoon. In his nine games, he kicked 24 goals and played a big part in securing second spot on the ladder for Banks. Both boys will be hoping Friday night’s win can be backed up over the next two weeks as they aim for premiership success.
AFLNT congratulates all winners on their outstanding performance in the 2017/18 TIO NTFL season.
The Nichols Medal for the senior divisions will be held next Sunday 11 March.
Winners at 2017/18 NTFL Youth Presentation:
Under 14 Lew Fatt
Lewfatt Medal – Landan Edwards – 15 votes– Banks Football Club
Edrick Lane – 24 goals – Banks Football Club
Under 14 Gundersen
Gundersen Medal – Tom Demamiel – 20 votes – Southern Districts Football Club
Beau Tedcastle – 55 goals – St Mary’s Football Club
Under 15 Girls
Sharyn Smith Medal – Chloe Everingham – 21 votes – Waratah Football Club
Zoe Larkins – 56 goals – Palmerston Football Club
Under 16 Leverence
Leverence Medal – Pavlo Kalitsis– 26 votes – Tracy Village Football Club
Jack Newman – 30 goals – Darwin Buffaloes Football Club
Under 16 Hickman
Hickman Medal – Clarence Baird – 13 votes – Palmerston Magpies Football Club
Hickman Medal – Jonty Patrick – 13 votes – Palmerston Magpies Football Club
Hickman Medal – Mark White* – 13 votes – Wanderers Football Club
Waylon Walters – 29 goals – Nightcliff Football Club
Mark White* – 36 goals – Wanderers Football Club
Under 18 Youth Girls
Mattea Breed – 31 votes –Darwin Buffaloes Football Club
Martha De Santis – 42 goals – Darwin Buffaloes Football Club
Under 18 Boys
Abala Medal – Beau O'Connell – 16 votes – Wanderers Football Club
Wade Derksen – 32 goals – Nightcliff Football Club
*Mark White made two club changes during the 2017/18 TIO NTFL season and his award was inadvertently missed off the original presentation, but he later had his awards presented to him at the AFLNT Life Members function on Wednesday 21 March, 2018.