Ward wins inaugural Kevin Sheedy Medal

Greater Western Sydney GIANTS Co-Captain Callan Ward has capped off an outstanding year by winning the inaugural Kevin Sheedy Medal for the club’s best and fairest player.

Ward was presented with the award by the GIANTS Head Coach Kevin Sheedy in front of more than 450 people at Waterview at Sydney Olympic Park tonight.

The 22-year-old midfielder played 20 games for the GIANTS in 2012 and averaged 24 disposals a game. He also kicked theGIANTS’ first ever goal in Round 1 against the Sydney Swans and helped lead the club to its historic first ever win against the Gold Coast Suns in Round 7.

Ward joined the GIANTS in September 2011 after playing 60 games with the Western Bulldogs and has quickly established himself as a leader at the club.

Head Coach Kevin Sheedy said the young captain had set a high standard in his short time with the club and was a wonderful role model for the rest of the young playing group.

“Callan has consistently been one of our best players all year. He is a tough hard midfielder who has shown strong leadership on and off the field to this young team. He plays with tremendous spirit and has a very big future ahead of him,” he said.

Eighteen year-old midfielder Toby Greene was runner up after a superb debut season, averaging more than 27 possessions in his 19 games. Nineteen-year-old Jeremy Cameron, who kicked 29 goals in 16 matches, finished third.

Sheedy praised the achievements of the young pair in their first AFL season. “For two first year players to finish in the top three of the club’s best fairest is an incredible effort. Toby’s ability to find the ball and take on the contest has been a real highlight while Jeremy has had one of the best debut seasons of any young forward I’ve seen in more than 40 years in the game.”

Midfielder Tom Scully and ruckman Jonathan Giles finished fourth and fifth respectively. There were 10 other awards presented to mark the GIANTS’ debut AFL season.

Toby Greene won the Rising Star Award for the best first year player and also took out the Members’ Choice award to mark a memorable debut season.

Jeremy Cameron was the leading goal kicker for the year and his pack mark against Richmond was awarded the mark of the year. Dom Tyson’s running goal against the Brisbane Lions was judged goal of the year.

Tough midfielder Jacob Townsend was recognised with the coaches’ award with Kevin Sheedy praising his work ethic and attack on the ball.

“Jacob is a young player that has come through the system right here in NSW. He never backs down from the contest and consistently demonstrates the tough brand of competitive football that we are establishing at this club,” Sheedy said.

“This is a very exciting group of young players with a big future ahead of them. We’ve had nearly half our playing group commit long term to the club, had a record eight NAB AFL Rising Star nominations and of course celebrated our first two wins in Sydney and Canberra.

“Off the field we signed up more than 10,000 members in our first year, averaged home crowds of almost 11,000 in Sydney and Canberra and opened a world class venue for sport in Skoda Stadium. There’s no doubt this club has a very exciting future and I can’t wait for 2013.”

Kevin Sheedy Medal Top 10

1. Callan Ward
2. Toby Greene
3. Jeremy Cameron
4. Tom Scully
5. Jon Giles
6. Phil Davis
7. Chad Cornes
8. Luke Power
9. Adam Treloar
10. Devon Smith

The Rising Star Award presented by HOSTPLUS
Toby Greene

GIANT Footprint Community Award presented by Lend Lease
Setanta O’hAilpin

Slater & Gordon Academy Player of the Year
Nick Coughlan

Workhorse of the Year presented by Trojan Tools
Chad Cornes

Best Defender
Phil Davis

Leading Goal Kicker
Jeremy Cameron

Goal of the Year
Dom Tyson (Round 8 v Brisbane)

Mark of the Year
Jeremy Cameron (Round 12 v Richmond)

Coaches Award presented by Programmed Integrated Workforce
Jacob Townsend

Members’ Choice Award
Toby Greene