TWO former Horsham footballers capped off strong AFL season by polling well in their respective best and fairest counts at the weekend.
Seb Ross managed to take out the Trevor Barker Award at St Kilda’s best and fairest while Syndey counterpart Jake Lloyd was tied for second alongside Lance Franklin in Sydney’s top award.
Ross failed to poll in just two of his teams 22 games across the course of the season on the way to 159 votes for the season.
He finished 35 clear of runner-up Dylan Roberton.
Ross told St Kilda that it felt surreal after winning the award.
“I thought it would be a really close count because a lot of guys had quality years,” he said.
“Robbo (Dylan Roberton) and Gears (Jarryn Geary) finished second and third but Jake Carlise and Jack Billings also had great years. It’s pretty humbling to win.”
Ross averaged just under 30 possessions a game, up more than three a game on his 2016 numbers.
“It might sound silly but I can’t really believe that I’m up amongst those names like Robert Harvey and Lenny Hayes,” he said.
“These are the guys that I’ve come in as young feller and I’m looking up to thinking these guys are legends.
“These are guys I’ve watched as a young feller and if I could ever be as half as good as those guys I’d be happy.”
Ross credited the work of his coaches for his improvement after he finished sixth in the count last season.
“At the start of every year I sit down with them and talk about what I want to do with my football career,” he said.
“Those guys hold me to account and allow me to pester them because they are with me all the way.
“They allow me to improve my touch, my knowledge along with my teammates.”
Ross said he just loved going to the football club each day and getting to work with his teammates.
“I had a good year this year but you don’t want to rest on your laurels,” Ross said.
“I want to improve again next year and I think naturally as the group improves then I’ll also improve as a player and I think we are all ready to take that next step.”
On the same night as his former Horsham teammate was receiving the Trevor Barker Award in Melbourne, Lloyd was named the runner-up in the Skilton Medal in Sydney.
He said it was a surprise to do so well in the count but said it was a solid foundation built in pre-season that set him up for 2017. “I felt like in the first few weeks when we were struggling I was still personally able to contribute most weeks,” he said. “That’s probably the reason I am standing up here to be honest.”