A SIGNIFICANT change in on-field roles has been instrumental in Louis Herbert landing the Adam Goodes Trophy as North Ballarat Rebels’ best and fairest for 2013.
The shift from up forward last season to a spot across half-back saw him clinch a convincing victory in the vote count at St Patrick’s College yesterday.
Herbert, 19, polled 237 votes from 12 matches during the Rebels’ under 18 TAC Cup campaign.
He finished clear of runner-up Lachlan Cassidy (212 votes) and Josh Webster (183 votes).
Herbert, originally from Warrnambool, said the move down back, with stints in the middle, helped him show his best form.
“I was a bit up and down and a bit inconsistent last year,” he said.
“I had some really good games and some really poor games, whereas this year it has been more consistent.
“I played as a forward last year so to make the move this year has been good.
“I can display my attributes better on the half-back flank rather than playing deep forward, like my pace and foot skills and stuff like that.”
Herbert, who is studying teaching at University of Ballarat, earned TAC Cup team of the year selection on a half-back flank.
The former South Warrnambool junior was one of four Rebels who took part in last week’s AFL draft combine in Melbourne.
He joined teammates Sam Bennett, Matt Crouch and Dallas Willsmore at the four-day camp, which included testing and interviews under the eye of AFL clubs.
Herbert was eighth overall in the repeat sprints test, finishing the six 30-metre sprints in 24.38 seconds.
His leap also would have caught the attention of club scouts, scoring top-10 finishes in the standing and running vertical jump tests.
Herbert said he had his sights set on getting picked up by a club at the AFL national draft on November 21.
“I think I have a chance, but then again I am not going to get my hopes up like I did last year,” he said.
“I’ll be going to the night free-minded and hopefully my name gets called out.”
Rebels coach David Loader said Herbert’s move from forward to defence had just shown prospective AFL clubs that he could play all over the ground.
“He turned into a backman predominately this year and found his feet probably two or three rounds in and played great footy,” Loader said.
“He has certainly been a massive success as a 19-year-old.”
In other awards presented yesterday, North Warrnambool Eagles’ Mitch Bowman was a joint winner of the coach’s award.
Bowman was the only Rebel to play in all 17 matches during the campaign.
with BALLARAT COURIER
n Watson, Youl earn VFL club honours, page 19.