2016 Brad Fittler Medal Awards Night - Ron Massey Cup Player of the Year
Last night I was fortunate to attend the 2016 Brad Fittler Medal Awards Night. The night was made even better with my brother, best mate, and THP athlete Brendan Waters winning the 2016 Ron Massey Cup Player of the year award.
Unfortunately Bren couldn’t make it as his wife Jess was having some treatment done and he had to take care of his newborn baby Halle. For us family always comes first. Due to this I had the honour of receiving the award on his behalf. It was a simple thing to do but something I was so proud to do for him as I feel he really deserved this award. Normally I would be nervous and shy if it was for me but this time I wasn’t at all, I was just really happy.
Bren came back to the Western Suburbs Magpies to play with us this year after having spent many successful seasons at Wentworthville, where he was fortunate enough to win a couple of competitions. We had played together up until the 2010 season and we both enjoyed this time in our lives. Leaving to try and progress his career was one of the best things I think he could have done as I have seen him mature as a player and develop areas of his game he may never have if he would have stayed at wests and us playing together. He has always been a strong runner of the football, had a good passing game, and a decent kicking game, but what improved the most is his ability to ball play at the line and create opportunities for his teammates. His leadership also improved and is one of his main attributes now.
Before Bren signed with us this year we sat down and had a talk and discussed some areas of his game that we thought were lacking or dropping off and how we should go about improving his game and taking it to another level. He felt he was slightly dropping off the past season and really wanted to improve his performance. He felt I was the person who would be able to help him do this.
We have always talked footy our whole lives. We can’t go to dinner or have a family gathering without it turning into footy talk. Bren and I would sit around talking about plays, players, ways of defending certain situations, and all sorts of things ever since we were just kids. We would play one on one games in the front yard every single day and as we got older we played some school footy together and then we were lucky enough to play NSW Cup together. I now coach Bren but nothing has really changed. We just talk about our games as we always have. I do a video review of the games and put tags for all my players to watch on their own individual performances but Bren is the one who will call and discuss any that he is unsure of or thinks there may be a way to do something better. After identifying something I can see him implement it on the training paddock the following session and we talk and discuss it on the run to tweak things and make it better.
Bren has been great for us this season as a player and I feel what he does off the field has been just as valuable. He gets along great with all the players, has a joke with everyone, and genuinely cares about all the boys, he is really good at keeping everyone tight and helping everyone feel a part of the group.
Awards don’t mean much to us and I know Bren would much rather win the competition than this award but I feel it is nice to be recognised for your efforts from time to time so that is why I highlighted his achievement. In saying that, it isn’t possible for anyone to win an award if they don’t have a great bunch of teammates and that is definitely what we have at wests. So this award is really for everyone’s hard work this season.
It’s back to work now as we have a grand final qualifier this weekend against St. Marys who are a good team and are in great form. The hard work doesn’t stop.