It would have come as a surprise to no-one that Peter Fitzsimmons swept the awards at the Bathurst Bulldogs’ presentation night on Friday.
The Central West captain and barnstorming Bulldogs number 8 picked up the first grade player’s player plus best and fairest awards.
On top of that Fitzsimmons also picked up the Sandy Robinson trophy, awarded to the most successful senior player of the season – a prize renamed this year in honour of the Bulldogs club legend who died in June.
Fitzsimmons’ finally prize tally was brought up to four with his Harold Weal Memorial Trophy win.
Another renamed prize given out on Friday was the Ken Laird award for Clubman of the Year.
The renaming celebrates the life of the former Bulldogs president, who also died this year.
Bulldogs vice-president Greg Reid was the first person to receive the prize with its new title.
“Peter was Central West captain this year and has had such a strong season. He played consistently strong for us week after week,” Bulldogs president John Maynard.
“Greg has done an enormous amount of work this year. He helped us coach colts when they were lacking a bit of direction, and that was rewarded with a premiership. He did a lot of work with social functions and helped us run the canteen.
“I think the renaming of the awards has given them that extra bit of significance.”
The presentation night celebrated a remarkable year for the Bulldogs. They came away with two premierships (colts, women’s) and secured the club championship with a round to spare.
Only the first grade side missed out on a grand final spot, denied by just two points in the preliminary final against eventual champions Forbes Platypi.
“It was an inaugural premiership for our ladies side … and the third consecutive colts premiership, which is particularly impressive when you’ve got to go recruiting every year,” Maynard said.
“For us to only miss out on the one grand final – and that one on just a penalty goal – means we’ve had an amazing season.”
The Peter Richardson-Ross Turnbull Memorial Trophy for most successful junior player went to Felix Quinn.
Brad Glasson was named the best player from the colts squad to make the step up to first grade (David Sachs Memorial Trophy) and Harry Webber won Rookie of the Year.
Adam Miles (second grade), Mick Anderson (third grade), Quinn (colts) and Edwina Ulberg (women’s) were best and fairest winners.
Brendan Nelson won most consistent player, Sean Fogarty won the Tim Dunne Memorial Trophy for his leadership on and off the field, and the Club Encouragement Award went to Kirralee Burke.
“Kiralee stepped in and did all our functions this year. It’s added so much to our functions when you’ve got someone who is so passionate about it,” Maynard said.