The Central Australian Football League's (CAFL) night of nights has just concluded, with fearless Fed Abraham Ankers picking up his second TIO Minahan Medal. And there were equally deserving joint-winners for the Yeperenye Margaret Liddle Medal; Janaya Kopp (Pioneer) and Kristin Remfrey (Rovers).
The 2020 TIO CAFL's best and fairest players and leading goalkickers came together with umpires The Gap View Hotel in Alice Springs to be recognised for their achievements over the past few months.
For 25-year-old Ankers, who collected his first Minahan Medal in 2016, this year's honour comes off the back of seven games where he was named amongst his team's best on five occasions and kicked 10 goals from the midfield for Federal. He finished the count with 12 votes, one clear of second-placed Nigel Lockyer from Rovers. While last year's winner, Darren Abbott and Rovers' Dylan Barry tied for third with nine votes.
It is an achievement that further certifies his status as one of the most prolific footballers currently running around in the NT.
Pioneer young-gun, Kopp has backed up her 2019 Women's Leading Goalkicker Award by sharing the top prize with Remfrey, who less than a fortnight ago collected her first CAFL premiership medal.
The duo collected 12 votes, three votes ahead of Elizabeth Taylor from Rovers who was next closest.
Both women have only been playing footy in the last four-five years, and each played all eight games of the home and away season; Kopp booting eight goals and Remfrey three.
It wasn't the only draw of the night, with 11 votes enough for the TDC Refrigeration Reserves Patrons Medal to be awarded to another Pioneer-Rovers combo in Ryan Blue and Liam Cooper.
Blue played all eight games for Eagles while Cooper played seven for the 2020 premiers. They finished three votes clear of Federal's Benjamin Semmler.
The other big news is the remarkable achievements of 16-year-old Tyrell Martin, who picked up three individual accolades. Hailing from Harts Range, the outside midfielder who is also prolific in front of goal played both juniors and seniors across town and community divisions.
In the AJ Servies Under 17s he collected the Muldoon Medal after seven big games and 15 votes with South Alice. James Bruce of Pioneer was in second-place with nine votes.
In the Mac Regional Under 18s, Martin was awarded the Wenton Rubuntja Medal with 10 votes from his five games for Plenty Highway, with Papunya’s Shane Inkamala and Lindsay Rowe in equal-second on eight votes apiece.
To top it off, Martin, who also impressed at the NAB Under 18 All-Star game in Darwin last Friday, was awarded the TIO CAFL Rising Star for his senior games representing South Alice Springs in 2020.
In the other community division, the Central Desert Regional Council Williams/Pareroultja Medal went to a player who is no stranger to success and another of Plenty Highway's success stories; Toshie Kunoth.
Collecting 14 votes from only five games, he finished five votes ahead of Jasper Wheeler from Western Arrernte and can now add this achievement to his list which includes this year's Everingham Medal for being best on ground in the CAFL Men's Grand Final and the 2018 Minahan Medal.
Kunoth's list also now has the 2020 Central Desert Regional Council Leading Goalkicker Award with his 50 majors from those five games.
The other goalkicking awards of the night went to Joshua Dixon from Federal in the TIO Senior Men's division. Dixon booted 28 goals in eight games, which included two single hauls of five goals that helped his team win those games.
In the Yeperenye Women's competition, Alkamilya's Kaitlyn Armstrong finished the season with the most goals. Armstrong, a dual Margaret Liddle Medallist herself and a past winner of the Bev Ellis Medal for best on ground in a grand final, kicked 24 goals; 18 of them coming from two games.
The TDC Refrigeration Reserves Leading Goalkicker was Rovers' forward, Damien Wells who kicked at least one goal in every game of the home and away season to finish with 14.
Jayden Reiff from Plenty Highway was the Mac Regional Council Under 18 Leading Goalkicker after he booted 19 goals this year.
The AJ Services Under 17s Leading Goalkicker was the little pocket rocket from South Alice, Alonso Nelson after his 23 goals in six games.
The umpiring award, the Golden Whistle, was awarded to 17-year-old Bailey DeGraaff. In only his third year of field umpiring, De Graaff was recognised for his best on-field performance.
Winners at the 2020 Minahan Medal Best and Fairest
TIO Minahan Medal – Abraham Ankers – Federal Football Club – 12 votes
TIO Seniors Leading Goalkicker – Joshua Dixon – Federal Football Club – 28 goals
Yeperenye Women's Margaret Liddle Medal – Janaya Kopp – Pioneer Football Club & Kristin Remfrey – Rovers Football Club – 12 votes
Yeperenye Women’s Leading Goalkicker – Kaitlyn Armstrong – Alkamilya Football Club – 24 goals
Senior Men Reserves Grade
TDC Refrigeration Reserves Patrons Medal – Ryan Blue – Pioneer Football Club & Liam Cooper – Rovers Football Club – 11 votes
TDC Refrigeration Reserves Leading Goalkicker – Damien Wells – Rovers Football Club – 14 goals
Rising Star Award – Tyrell Martin – South Alice Springs Football Club
Central Desert Regional Coucil Men's Community Competition
Central Desert Regional Coucil Williams/Pareroultja Medal – Toshie Kunoth – Plenty Highway – 14 votes
Central Desert Regional Coucil Leading Goalkicker – Toshie Kunoth – Plenty Highway – 50 goals
Mac Regional Council Under 18 Boys Community Competition
Mac Regional Council Under 18 Wenton Rubuntja Medal – Tyrell Martin – Plenty Highway – 10 votes
Mac Regional Council Under 18 Leading Goalkicker – Jayden Reiff – Plenty Highway – 19 goals
AJ Services Under 17 Boys
AJ Services Under 17 Muldoon Medal – Tyrell Martin – South Alice Springs Football Club – 15 votes
AJ Services Under 17 Leading Goalkicker – Alonso Nelson – South Alice Football Club – 23 goals
TIO Golden Whistle Award – Bailey De Graaff