2019 has been a big year in the Bupa Tasmanian State League, Wrest Point TSLW and TSL Development League competitions; and the best of the best were recognised at last night’s State League Awards function at Blundstone Arena.
The night, headlined by the presentations of the Alastair Lynch and TSLW Best and Fairest medals for the best players in the Tasmanian State League Men’s and Women’s competitions, also saw a range of other dedicated, talented and passionate assets to the Tasmanian State League community recognised.
ALASTAIR LYNCH MEDAL
North Launceston midfielder Josh Ponting has capped off a remarkable two-year stretch with a second Alastair Lynch Medal as the Bupa TSL’s best and fairest player in as many years.
Ponting pipped Launceston co-captain Jobi Harper and Tigers’ ball magnet Kieran Lovell in a thrilling count, with Ponting polling back-to-back threes in rounds 19 and 20 to move into the outright lead, and hold on to claim the top gong despite not polling in the final round.
Ponting won his first Lynch Medal in 2018, and after winning the 2019 Bupa TSL Premiership (his fourth) – and the Darrel Baldock Medal as best afield in the Grand Final – the 25 year old has cemented his place as one of Tassie footy’s most accomplished players.
Ponting is just the second player to win multiple Tassie / Lynch Medals behind three-time winner Jaye Bowden.
Ponting polled maximum votes on five occasions, standing tall in a star-studded side that claimed the minor premiership. North Launceston’s strong finish to the home and away season was reflected in Ponting’s individual season, with the midfielder polling eight votes in a three-week stretch between rounds 18 and 20.
Ponting, Harper and Lovell swapped the lead for much of the evening, while ineligible Lauderdale ruckman Haydn Smith, Launceston bull Fletcher Seymour, Glenorchy clearance machine Ben Kamaric and Tigers leader Ryan Matthews also featured prominently in the votes throughout the night.
LYNCH MEDAL TOP 10:
|Josh Ponting||North Launceston||23|
|Kieran Lovell||Tigers FC||21|
|Ryan Matthews||Tigers FC||12|
|Brad Cox-Goodyer||North Launceston||11|
|Colin Garland||North Hobart||10|
TSLW BEST AND FAIREST
Launceston star Daria Bannister has been rewarded for her stellar 2019 Wrest Point TSLW campaign, claiming the competition’s Best and Fairest Award.
Bannister stormed home to finish the year with 27 votes – 12 clear of the closest eligible contender in Glenorchy’s Elise Barwick.
Bannister polled maximum votes in eight of her 13 games for the season, including consecutive best afield efforts between rounds 3 and 7 and 15 and 16 on the way to her first TSLW Best and Fairest Award.
The 20-year-old North Melbourne AFLW forward kicked 33 goals for the season to finish as the competition’s second-highest goalkicker in a year that saw her side finish the home and away campaign undefeated.
The ineligible Maggie Curthbertson (North Launceston) was the second highest vote-getter with 16, with Glenorchy trio Elise Barwick (15), Brieanna Barwick (14) and Sarah Skinner (12) and Launceston coach Angela Dickson (12) rounding out the pointy end of the leaderboard.
TSLW BEST & FAIREST TOP 10:
|Maggie Cuthbertson*||North Launceston||16|
|Marla Neal||Tigers FC||9|
|Jodie Clifford||North Launceston||7|
RODNEY EADE MEDAL
Tigers utility Edward Burrows-Cheng has taken out the 2019 Rodney Eade Medal as the TSL Development League’s Best and Fairest Player.
Burrows-Cheng, 24, only had one vote to his name after round seven and three after round 13, before storming home with 14 votes from the final eight rounds of the season, including best afield performances in rounds 20 and 21 to clinch his first Rodney Eade Medal.
The Tigers dominated the top 10, with Cooper Sawdy finishing in outright second and Jacob Banks-Balding and Jack Pearce in equal third.
Eventual premiers North Launceston also featured prominently, with captain Matthew Cossins and tall utility Cody Lowe both finishing in equal third alongside Banks-Balding and Pearce on 10 votes.
EADE MEDAL TOP 10:
|Edward Burrows-Cheng||Tigers FC||17|
|Cooper Sawdy||Tigers FC||11|
|Jacob Banks-Balding||Tigers FC||10|
|Matthew Cossins||North Launceston||10|
|Cody Lowe||North Launceston||10|
|Jack Pearce||Tigers FC||10|
|Jaidyn Harris||North Launceston||8|
A highlight of the evening is the awarding of Tasmanian State League Life Membership, with Glenorchy stalwart Jaye Bowden and AFL Tasmania administrator Wayne Povey both worthy recipients of the prestigious honour.
Jaye Bowden has been a stalwart of the Glenorchy District Football Club and Tasmanian State League for a decade, with the talented utility holding one of the most decorated resumes Tasmanian football has ever seen.
A three-time Alastair Lynch (Tassie) Medalist in 2012, 2015 and 2016, Bowden has claimed the RACT Insurance Player of the Year award three times (2014, 2016, 2017), the Hudson Medal (2015, 2016, 2017) and been named in the TSL Team of the Year on nine occasions (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019).
Bowden – a three-time Premiership player and six-time Glenorchy Best and Fairest winner – remarkably broke the 500-goal mark earlier this season, following the great Peter Hudson to become just the second Magpie to pass this milestone.
Renowned as being one of Tasmanian football’s ‘good guys’, Bowden’s awarding of TSL Life Membership is terrific recognition for one of the modern greats of the game in the state.
Wayne Povey has dedicated years of service to our great game in Tasmania, from heavy involvement in junior football to playing a critical role in the establishment of the Tassie Mariners in the TAC Cup and Tasmanian Devils in the VFL.
The last decade has seen ‘Pove’ work tirelessly in establishing and nurturing the growth of the Tasmanian State League competitions as the Operations Manager.
Renowned as being an encyclopedia of football knowledge, ‘Pove’ has built a reputation over a long period of time for being a reliable, passionate football person who will go above and beyond off the field to ensure the action on it runs smoothly.
Povey’s dedication, passion and service to the Tasmanian State League, is unrivaled, with the recognition of TSL Life Membership a well-deserved honour.
MATTHEW RICHARDSON MEDAL
The Matthew Richardson Medal, awarded to the Tasmanian State League’s Rookie of the Year, is named after champion Tasmanian footballer Matthew Richardson and has been awarded since 2010.
The 2019 winner of the Matthew Richardson Medal is Tigers defender Will Poland.
Poland played 17 senior games in 2019 after three in 2018 to emerge as one of the competition’s best key defenders. Poland has impressed with lockdown roles on the competition’s power forwards, while also providing a cool head in defence with his ball use.
Poland joins Jordon Arnold (Glenorchy – 2015), Toutai Havea (Lauderdale – 2016), James Holmes (Clarence – 2017) and Sherrin Egger (North Launceston – 2018) in taking out the prestigious award.
Peter Hudson Medal (TSL): Aiden Grace (Glenorchy) – 48 Goals
TSLW: Brie Rattray (Launceston) – 34 Goals
Development League: Cooper Sawdy (Tigers FC) – 42 Goals
COACHES OF THE YEAR
Bupa TSL: Mitch Thorp (Launceston)
Wrest Point TSLW: Angela Dickson (Launceston)
TSL UMPIRE AWARDS
TSL Umpire of the Year: Brayden White
TSL VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
TSL Volunteer of the Year: Dion Mead (Lauderdale)