Koroit footballer Finn O'Sullivan says he was "stoked" to be crowned the Kevin Sheehan Medallist after the under 16 AFL national championships concluded on Saturday.
The medal, named in honour of the legendary talent identification manager, is awarded to the best player at the championships.
If past winners are anything to go by, O'Sullivan who co-captained Vic Country, has a promising future in football.
Current AFL players to have won the award include Josh Rachele (2019), Noah Anderson (2017), Connor Rozee (2016), Adam Treloar (2009) and Tom Mitchell (2009).
"I felt like I've put in a lot of effort and I'm really appreciative of it," O'Sullivan told The Standard.
"I wasn't expecting that. I just tried to play my best footy and it turned out to go all to plan.
"I'm really happy with it."
The Championships finished on Saturday with Vic Country falling short against eventual premiers South Australia 14.15 (99) to 5.6 (36). Country finished the tournament without a win from three matches.
Following on from his earlier performances, O'Sullivan was dominant against South Australia, seeing plenty of the ball in the midfield and contributing a goal up-forward.
"It's pretty hard to defeat them in South Australia on their home turf," he said.
"We just ran out of legs I think everyone was very fatigued.
"A bit disappointing but the boys did well over the whole course of the carnival."
Vic Country assistant coach Eammon Gill praised the young midfielder for his skill and attitude, saying he was a "fantastic young man to work with".
"(He is) a great character and put everything into the program that he could, so therefore got some great reward out of it. He obviously played extremely well over the course of the three games," he said.
"As joint-captain his leadership and character was equally as impressive as his on-field performances.
"To be regarded as the best player across the course of the championship is a wonderful achievement and well-deserved. He certainly does have a bright future ahead of him."
Cobden's Flynn Penry also returned to the Vic Country side for the final match.
"Flynn, once again a terrific young character and a developing tall," Gill said.
"It will be exciting to watch him develop over the next two years."
O'Sullivan, who is a boarder at Xavier College in Melbourne, will now turn his focus to his other football commitments.
"Hopefully I'll return back to Koroit this week and hopefully be in the seniors against South Warrnambool which will be a good game," he said.
"After that I've still got a couple of weeks of APS footy and then I'll return back to NAB League at Oakleigh. With NAB League I've only played the 16s carnival earlier this year and hopefully I'll get a 19s game later this year."
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