So on Saturday 12th April, the end of season awards were announced for Minety Rugby Club! A chance to celebrate some of the standout contributions this season!
To kick off this series of posts it felt appropriate to re-share the success of the whole team this season that ended with recognition from @tribute_ale as we were awarded their Team of The Month award due to our undefeated run, our discipline, and reports from the referees.
A season that wasn't without it's difficulties; a lot of injuries picked up a long the way and we wish a speedy recovery to those still suffering from them. But a season with a lot of positives to use as a building block for this coming season.
There's a lot to be excited about at Minety Rugby Club right now!
First up - Player of the Season: Andrew Hibbard (a.ka. Wallace)
It's tough to summarise Wallace as an overall clubman due to his vast contributions that have been consistent across so many years - but it could easily be said that Wallace played some of his very best rugby this season.
Now whilst Wallace isn't the oldest player in the squad, he definitely isn't one of the youngest either! However that didn't stop him from equalling the top number of appearances made, and topping the list in number of tries scored.
However, with Wallace it's not just about the stats, it's the example he sets for players round him, on and off the pitch.
Captain's Player: Kieran Tillotson.
Awarded by the Captain, Captain's Player is an award that can be given for numerous reasons that can otherwise be unseen, or sometimes under appreciated.
Well this year this award has been given to Kieran Tillotson - who, on game day, is king of the unseen or under-appreciated work.
Tackles, turnovers, the motivation he gives to others, the calm head he approaches situations in, stepping up as captain when needed.
Kieran equalled the top number of appearances this season - and the only reason he didn't complete all games played was due to a concussion meaning he missed 1 game.
Sadly Kieran now leaves us to pursue his dreams of working in the RAF - something that the club supports him 100% in, but acknowledges is a huge loss as Kieran has become a pillar of the team in recent seasons.
Next up - Players' Player: Hugo Beanland.
Arguably the most important award a player can receive, the Players' Player award is testimony of a players impact and contributions over the season recognised by their fellow teammates.
This year that award deservedly goes to Hugo Beanland.
Hugo is one of the most committed players on the training field and on game day, never one to shy away from fronting up in contact or pull away from a 50/50 ball on the ground, he sets a fine example for players around him.
Over the second half of the season Hugo's form hit another level - scrum dominance was achieved most games, some huge hits made, powerful ball carrying in the midfield, line breaks, assists, and a mentality towards games that all players around him fed from.
Hugo was 3rd in terms of total appearances made, only 2 behind Wallace and Kieran, but for a player of Hugo's physical commitment, this is a huge testimony to his love of the club and love of the game.
We're lucky to have such a player and we're looking forward to seeing what he can go on to achieve this coming season!
Most Improved Player: Anton Sieluzycki.
What a character and what progress made.
This award is there to recognise the individual progress a player has made at improving their skills and rugby ability.
Anton's background was American Football - and when he joined Minety a few seasons ago, he did so as our team physio! However we quickly decided that Anton (even though he was very good in this role) should instead start playing.
His initial season went sideways quickly in preseason when he injured his knee trying to sidestep someone (at this point no one had told him that front-row players don't sidestep), and so this season just gone was Anton's first full season as a Minety player.
Having started the season with limited rugby knowledge and next to zero game experience - Anton has gone on to feature 14 times in the Green and Purple getting better every single game in terms of defence, ball carrying, scrummaging.
Ultimately, the way his rugby trajectory is going, we are incredibly excited about seeing what he can achieve next year for Minety.
Young Player of the Year: Hamish Brook.
What an impact this man has had in his first season in senior rugby.
Hamish in total appeared 13 times this season, scoring 3 tries, getting 2 POTM awards, and making countless line breaks and huge tackles along the way.
We didn't get to see as much of Hamish as we'd have liked - classic youth of today wanting to travel and see the worl;, Costa Del Minety not having the same draw as Barcelona..
But needless to say Hamish has been a huge addition to the team, fitting in nicely at 10, 12, and 13, and we're looking forward to seeing more of Hamish to see how far he can go.
Chairman's Cup: Pete McAllister
Keeping a rugby club going takes a collective effort from numerous people in the background, most of which do it without the levels of recognition they deserve, and the Chairman's Cup is an award designed to allow our Chairman to highlight these people for their contribution to the club.
This year the deserved winner is Club Secretary Pete McAllister, who has been pivotal over many seasons now at Minety in terms of his commitment and love of the club, and his documentation of all things club-related.
He is a prime example of someone in which the club would struggle to run without, and is vastly better because of having.
We thank you Pete - it's hugely appreciated what you do for the club and we know we could never fully show our levels of gratitude for everything you give to the club.