JORDAN Dillon scoffs at suggestions he is one of the Maskell Medal favourites.
In fact, he laughs at the notion.
“That is a pretty stupid thing to say,” the ruckman said.
“There are a lot of better players than me.”
The speculation about his standing in the league’s best and fairest award has been generated by some high profile judges — his coach David Haynes and club president Michael Harrison to name just a few.
He said some of his teammates had been talking about it but he chose to ignore it.
“I don’t listen to them,” he said.
“I reckon (Cobden ruckman) Levi Dare is the man to beat.”
The unassuming Dillon was unaware of his impressive record in his first 15 games with the Eagles. He has played every game this season since crossing from South Warrnambool and has been named in the Eagles’ best contributors 12 times.
“I’ve surprised myself a bit,” he said.
The third-year commerce student at Deakin University said playing consistently and doing his bit for the team was his role.
Today he has a big game. Not only will he have to shoulder the ruck duties but he faces his old side in a blockbuster that will have significant ramifications for both teams’ finals aspirations.
Dillon said he had left South on good terms, having spoken to the Roosters at the end of last season about his chances of playing regular senior football.
He was on VFL club North Ballarat Roosters’ list and had managed five games with South Warrnambool seniors in 2011, including its victorious second semi-final side, but was dropped for the grand final.
While he got to play in the reserves premiership win, it was senior footy he craved.
“I didn’t know if I was going to be able to stay. There were three ruckmen there. I didn’t know Tom Crosby was going to go, but with him and Mick (Havlin) there, I just wanted to play seniors,” he said.
It was a tough decision. Dillon, who grew up with cricket his number one love, had started his career at South Warrnambool as a junior, playing footy to fill in time before summer.
“I was more into my cricket until I got to 16 and I started to grow into my body,” he said.
Despite the Eagles languinshing as low as seventh at one point this season, he said he had never doubted his choice to switch clubs.
“I was pretty happy with my decision to go. It was the right decision in the end.”
His form and standing with the Eagles underline it.
Dillon said the belief Haynes had in him and his ability to have a say in set-ups around the stoppages had helped him and the Eagles surge in recent weeks.
The fifth-placed Eagles enter today’s match against the fourth-placed Roosters on a four-game winning run, including victories over top sides Warrnambool and Camperdown.
Dillon said he placed no added importance on the game because it was South, saying the Eagles’ finals hopes were far more important.
“It’s just another game,” he said.
“I’ve already played against South twice this year, so I’ve got over that.
“I was a bit nervous the first time. It wasn’t too bad. I had gone away on good terms.”
He will find himself pitted against friend Mick Havlin today in the ruck.
“It’s always good to play with some of your mates,” he said.
But a win is what’s driving him and his teammates.
The Eagles could climb as high as third with a win today.
“That would be good, but we have to get over the line,” Dillon said.