Tom Dewhurst has been named the Cowra Eagles’ first grade Player of the Year after a season of stellar Blowes Clothing Cup performances.
Dewhurst received the top gong at the Eagles’ presentation night on Friday, September 1, with Cowra Mayor, Councilor Bill West presenting the trophy.
Dewhurst said he was honoured by the accolade.
“A lot of great players have received it (Player of the Year) in the past and I just enjoy playing good footy for the club,” he said.
Dewhurst was instrumental throughout the 2018 season, which is being hailed as the best in recent memory.
From fighting for a place in the Central West’s tier one competition to hosting their first semi-final in five years, Dewhurst credits a change in mindset as the reason behind the club’s success this year.
“The playing culture of the club has definitely improved this year, towards the back end of the season and into finals there was a lot more belief in our ability which showed,” he said.
“Our goal early on was to make finals and by making the preliminary final we definitely hit and passed our target.”
Dewhurst also paid tribute to the club's leadership for steering them to a finals appearance.
“Kilbs, Col, Rowan and Haysey did a great job throughout the season with the player base they had,” he said.
“With the club building hopefully they'll have more players to work with and we can go a couple of positions further at the end of the season.”
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On his own form, Dewhurst said his footy improved after chat with coach Col Jeffs.
“A few games into the season Col and I had a chat about not trying to think too much about what everyone else was doing and just focusing on my game,” he said.
“That seemed make a difference so hopefully I do that again next year.”
Dewhurst was also a joint winner of the players’ player award along with hard-runner centre Kali Nacina. Prop Tom Cummins won most improved and Joe Dakuitoga accepted the coaches award.
In second grade, Roy Koning won best and fairest, Will Turner got players’ player, Luke Smith took out the coaches award and Ben Eisenhauer won most improved.
In the women’s grade, Bec Eastaway and Anna Slaven were joint best and fairest winners.
First grade fullback Jack Thurtell won the Paddy Lamond Award, Tim Berry won the Jack Berry Award and Troy Jeffs and Nicole Spolding won the Graham Proctor Award for club person of the year. Colin Kilby received the Bill Rowlands services to rugby award and Sal and Chris Cummins were recognised as supporters of the year.