Sam Anders, Alex Ridsdale win HDFNL under-17s football best and fairest

KALKEE'S Sam Anders and Natimuk United's Alex Ridsdale shared in the spoils at the Horsham District Football Netball League's under-17 football best and fairest vote count on Monday night.

The pair was the clear front-runner, winning by nine votes from Ridsdale's Natimuk United team-mate Jedd Ombega.

It was the second straight year Anders and Ridsdale polled the same number of votes.

The pair was equal eighth at last year's under-17 vote count with 11 apiece.

Both players made their senior debuts this year.

Anders played three senior matches and 13 reserves games in addition to his 15 appearances at under-17 level.

Ridsdale played seven senior games and also had 15 in the under-17s.

Despite spending most of their time in the midfield, both finished second in goal-kicking on their respective teams.

Anders said he was surprised to grab a share of the award.

"Seeing as Kalkee has lots of top players, I didn't think I would get many votes, but I guess I went alright," he said.

"I've got to thank my parents for their help this year."

Ridsdale led the award by five votes with three rounds remaining before Anders finished strongly to tie him.

He said he wasn't trying to do the maths in his head as the vote count finished.

"I wasn't expecting to win it, but I hoped I might poll a few votes," he said.

Ridsdale said his win and Ombega's second-place finish was a good sign for Natimuk United.

"It's good that we have a lot of depth in the team," he said.

"I was expecting Jedd to get a few votes as well."

Ombega said he was happy to improve after finishing third in last year's under-17 count.

Swifts' Seth Blake was too strong for the competition in the under-14 vote count, polling 40 votes at an average of more than two per game.

Edenhope-Apsley's Corey Williams was not far behind on 36 votes, and there was a three-way tie for third place.

Pimpinio's Oscar Cosgrove, Harrow-Balmoral's Matt Jones and Blake's Swifts team-mate Sam Raeck all finished with 32 votes.

Blake said his height allowed him to spend time in both the midfield and at centre half-forward, where he booted 27 goals this season.

"I've got a big kick on me so if I play centre I can kick it forward, and I'm pretty tall so if I play centre half-forward I've got a good reach on me for a mark," he said.

"I thought I might be up there in the voting, but I thought Oscar Cosgrove would win it because he is a really good player."

Raeck topped the league with 48 goals, although the tally is not official due to the introduction of the mercy rule.

Blake said having another Swifts player in the top three was good for the team.

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