THE Warrnambool and District league reserves football best and fairest count was a tale of two ruckman.
Kolora-Noorat big man Warren Attrill claimed successive Mike Hamblin Medals when he snatched a two-vote win from veteran Deakin University tall Peter Hobbs.
Attrill, the Power playing coach, polled 21 votes compared with Hobbs’ 19. Panmure’s Murray Ellerton was third with 18 votes.
The count came down to the final round, with all three attracting votes.
Hobbs was best afield against Allansford, momentarily drawing level with Attrill. Ellerton earned one vote for his efforts against the Power, while Attrill polled two in the same match.
Attrill, 32, said the award came as a surprise considering he took on the coaching job this season — a role which can sometimes distract from on-field performance.
He polled three votes in round one but didn’t add to his tally until round seven, another best-on-ground performance.
The votes came regularly after then. Attrill polled in 10 matches, earning three votes on three occasions.
“It was probably more challenging this year being the coach,” he said.
“When I first started, I can’t remember who gave me the piece of advice but they said as a playing coach, especially last year having such a good year, I couldn’t let the on-field stuff slip.
“This is a bit of justification that my form didn’t really slip.”
Attrill said the work of assistant coach Eddie Kenna and bench managers Jack Kenna and Tim Scroggie was crucial in allowing the freedom to concentrate on his performances.
“It was good to get a bit of old and young knowledge on the bench,” he said.
“I do what I need to 10 or 15 minutes before the game, then I take off and do my own thing.
“Sometimes I don’t warm up with the other boys. I need to clear my head, put on the playing cap and take off the coaching cap.”
Attrill believed he played better in 2013, although he acknowledged he had more support around him, with Kolora-Noorat winning the reserves premiership.
To that end, he said the achievement of finishing fourth and winning the elimination final against Panmure last Sunday was worth celebrating.
The Power has used about 50 players this season. Attrill was occasionally hunting for players when he turned up to the ground on a Saturday morning.
“We’ve had that core bunch of eight or 10 blokes and even a few of them were going up to the seniors when they were short,” he said.