KOROIT forward Tim McIntyre says winning his first premiership at any level is reward for the commitment he put into his knee reconstruction rehabilitation.
The Saints assistant coach received the Ron Hoy Medal for his five-goal heroics on Saturday.
His x-factor in the Saints’ front half proved the difference in a low-scoring Hampden league grand final against Port Fairy at Reid Oval.
McIntyre, 28, said he was humbled to be a part of the 9.8 (62) to 6.5 (41) win.
He was one of three Koroit players, along with former Terang Mortlake leader Damian O’Connor and teenager Lachie Rhook, to play in their first flags for the successful Victoria Park club.
The former Adelaide Crows-listed footballer missed the entire 2016 season with a knee injury.
“I obviously can’t describe the moment right now but I suppose with all the stuff I have been through over the last few years to finally get one is unbelievable, so I’m pumped,” McIntyre said.
“It was tough because I’d been through one (an ACL injury) before and knew what was in front of me but I didn’t sit there and sulk, I just went on with it and put the hard work in.
“I wanted to win a flag, I’d never won one.
“My last granny I played in was 2007, that was TAC (Cup), so to play in a senior grand final and win one is unbelievable.”
McIntyre, who kicked the sealer deep in the final term to send the Saints’ faithful into raptures, said he had enjoyed his two seasons at Koroit.
“The culture is just unbelievable, the love they have for each other, just how they bond with each other, on and off the field, is just second to none,” he said.
“I just love the place that much and the blokes are sensational.”
McIntyre praised first-time premiership coach Chris McLaren for his efforts in delivering a fourth straight flag.
“Adam Dowie set the stepping stones about the hard work and the foundations and Chris has taken that on,” he said.
“We’ve kept the game plan pretty similar and the boys just love the hard work.
“They love putting in over the summer and love doing extra sessions because something like this you can celebrate at the end of the year.”