THE South Coast AFL’s best and brightest celebrated the end of the regular season on Saturday, August 24 with their awards night at the Kiama Leagues Club.
The Bomaderry Tigers were well represented, with star player James Miller taking out the Ray Turnbridge award for best and fairest in first grade.
About 150 people turned up for the event, with Ray Turnbridge’s son Geoff presenting Miller with his trophy.
Ulladulla Dockers’ Jamie Clough took out the Tom Smith best and fairest award for the second consecutive year.
It is Miller’s first season with the Tigers after moving to Worrigee for his navy career.
He had his first season in 1989 and played in the Sydney premier league for the Balmain Dockers, and in Tasmania, before moving to the Shoalhaven to play for Bomaderry.
Miller, 33, said he enjoyed his first year in South Coast AFL and the more relaxed approach to Australian football.
“The Bomaderrry club is a good family orientated club, which is a good aspect of it, and it was a really enjoyable league to play in,” he said.
Miller said he was surprised to take out the award as he struggled with a few niggling injuries in the second half of the season.
After racking up the votes at the start of the season, Miller was able to just hold on to win the award two votes ahead of the league’s leading goal kicker, Wollongong Bulldogs’ Andrew Barned.
“It was a nice honour to win an individual award, but like in most sports, it is all about the team, and any footballer is worth their salt. At the end of the day you would trade anything to have a chance at taking out the grand final,” he said.
“But once the season is over, it was nice to have some individual recognition.”
The Tigers had a disappointing end to the season last Saturday after they went down to Wollongong 89-78 in the preliminary final.
Wollongong will now play in the grand final this weekend against the Kiama Power.
Miller said the highlight of his season was when his team defeated Kiama 98-90 in round seven, and then Wollongong 99-97 in round 10.
“We might have peaked a bit early,” he laughed.