THERE were plenty of good players running around in the Wimmera Football League this season. The Wimmera Mail-Times spoke to the senior coaches to get their thoughts on the best players in each area of the ground.
It was hard for the coaches to go past naming Saints’ Jacob Cooke-Harrison as the best forward in the competition based on his form as the leading goalkicker this season. Nhill coach Alan Bennett said Cooke-Harrison was just very difficult to match up while Minyup-Murtoa’s Jaye Macumber described his reflexes as extremely quick.
It was a battle between Saints’ Sam Clyne, Stawell’s Tom Eckell and Demons’ coach Nick Pekin for the title of the league best midfielder.
“Sam Clyne and Tom Eckell read everything so well,” said Pekin.
Warrack coach Ryan McKenzie, also mentioned in the category, said Pekin had a lot of running power and continued to be dangerous when moved forward.
Demons’ Rhona Conboy was a popular choice in discussions about the league’s best backs.
Pekin, Bennett and McKenzie all said he was a smart footballer who could take on many different challenges.
Stawell coach Brad Thomas said he was a proper country footballer.
“He’s a good hard worker who always seems up for a challenge,” he said.
Others to be mentioned in the category were Saints’ Alexander McRae, Miyip-Murtoa’s John Delahunty and Stawell’s Tom Taurau.
There was a few different name tossed around in the ruck department with each coach having different expectations of a ruckman.
Macumber said he was happy with the way his ruck combination of Warrack Stone and Kieran Delahunty had performed during the year while rotating through the back line.
Pekin also got behind Delahunty. “I loved having him pummel the ball down to me during the inter league games,” he said.
McKenzie threw his support behind Warrack ruckman Matthew Rix.
This category addressed what players the coaches would like to have on their team instead of playing for the opposition.
McKenzie and Pekin each said they would like to have a player like Cook-Harrison on their side. Thomas did not think that was the type of player Stawell would need.
“I’d take Clyne or Conboy,” he said. “Clyne breaks the lines and is an 80 metre ball carrier. I really rate him highly.”
Macumber said Pekin was the sort of player he’d love to coach and have run through the midfield.