SCOTT Carlin's maiden J.A. Esam Medal is the product of keeping things simple.
The silky half-back, who was a boom recruit at Warrnambool and District league club Nirranda for 2021, capped a standout season with a six-vote triumph over Merrivale youngster Tate Porter on Thursday.
Carlin was instrumental in the Blues' undefeated season but adopted a modest tune, heaping praise on teammates on the back of accepting the award.
But there's no hiding the fact the 21-year-old was head and shoulders above the rest. Carlin featured in Nirranda's best no less than nine times in his 13 games, clocking up four best-on-ground results in the all-conquering outfit.
They say there is a little bit of a step down (to the district league) but I didn't really notice that too much.- Scott Carlin
"It feels pretty good. It's a bit overwhelming and that," he told The Standard.
"The team really did have a good season. It was just a shame we couldn't sort of go on and finish it off like we wanted to (with a premiership)."
The secret to his success? Just playing his natural game. Carlin spent his junior career at Hampden league club Terang Mortlake before ascending to NAB League footy at Greater Western Victoria Rebels.
He represented Victoria Country at under 16 and under 18 level and was mooted as an AFL draft chance before shifting to Ballarat Football Netball league outfit Lake Wendouree.
"They say there is a little bit of a step down (to the district league) but I didn't really notice that too much," Carlin said.
"I wasn't too worried about that. I just went out there and played normally and tried my best.
"I didn't really think too much of it or of what people thought."
Carlin heaped praise on coach Brayden Harkness and his professional approach.
"He's a great coach, you learn a lot from him," the builder said.
"He is professional in what he does. He just strives to get the best out of us." Carlin said he'd make a decision on his playing future in coming months.
Porter said he'd relished the chance to play more midfield time under Josh Sobey at Tigerland and was buoyant for next season.
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