HARROW-BALMORAL’S playing coach Nick Pekin has won the 2018 Horsham District league Dellar Medal as the league’s best and fairest.
Pekin was also awarded the 2018 senior coach of the year after his side lost just one game during the regular season.
Pekin polled 19 votes, ahead of Natimuk United coach Sam Anson who polled 15.
Anson missed quite some time during the season with multiple injuries.
Edenhope-Apsley ruckman Jak Ryan finished equal third with last year’s winner Scott Carey of the Swifts and Laharum’s Angus Martin on 14 votes.
Martin was awarded the best under-21 player after a solid season for Laharum in a side that just missed out on finals.
The Dellar Medal win caps off a memorable season for Pekin – the Southern Roos playing coach led his side to a minor premiership and a grand final berth.
Pekin was also the Horsham District league’s interleague coach and was named best on for the league’s side in May.
He said he was overwhelmed to win the Dellar Medal.
“It is a bit overwhelming and totally unexpected,” he said.
“We are a quality side at Harrow-Balmoral and I thought a few of my teammates would take some votes off me. I think if Simon Close had have played a full year he would have been in my position.
“After round 13 there were a few guys on 13 votes so it wasn’t the highest vote-getting year, but I’m still happy to be in this position, for sure.”
Pekin said a premiership in Saturday’s grand final against Kalkee would cap off a great season.
“You have to be confident going into the grand final and we just hope the boys get the job done,” he said.
“The guys really deserve the win. They have put so much effort in this season.
“If we can apply that pressure and keep doing what we have been doing, I’m sure we can get over the line.”
Pekin switched to the Horsham District league two seasons ago from the Horsham Demons.,
“Coming out last season the league had quite a big spread from top to bottom but this year it could have been anyone in the top six – you just have to look at Edenhope-Apsley and Natimuk United going into finals,” he said.
“I hope it stays that way and it’s easier to draw in players when it’s even.”
Pekin attributed his individual success to the support he has on and off the field.
“My success is down to the support I’m surrounded by – I’d have to thank my wife Sarah and my kids for helping me,” he said. “In terms of team success we won’t know until this weekend whether we can gauge if we are up there or not.”