Manly’s superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic has been rewarded for his outstanding season by being named the Dally M Player of the Year in a gala ceremony in Brisbane on Monday night.
Trbojevic finished on 39 points, five clear of Penrith half Nathan Cleary and one more back to Souths five-eighth Cody Walker.
Trbojevic was simply untouchable at times for the Sea Eagles as he spearheaded their run to the preliminary finals, scoring 25 tries in just 15 games, including three hat-tricks.
Earlier in night, Roosters fullback James Tedesco was named captain of the year after he helped a club stricken by serious injury and retirement into another finals series. He would pay tribute to former captain Boyd Cordner, who retired midway through the year after multiple concussions.
“It was a crazy year for us with a lot of setbacks and disappointments but I couldn’t be prouder to lead the club,” Tedesco said.
“I want to thank Robbo for true leadership, he guided us through it all. To Boyd Cordner, I leaned on him in important times. His presence was awesome all year for us.”
His Roosters teammate Sam Walker was named Rookie of the Year after some eye-catching performances in the key playmaking role for the Tricolours, while yielded eight tries and 19 try assists. He was still making the highlight reel in the finals when he kicked the winning field goal against the Titans.
“The belief that was instilled in me through the club, Robbo and players this year was brilliant,” Walker said, “They allowed me to go out there and play my game. I would not be here without the club and what they’ve done for me the last two years.”
Craig Bellamy was Coach of the Year, having steered the Storm to 19 consecutive victories and the minor premiership. They would be knocked out by the Panthers in the preliminary final but it didn’t dimish their brilliant regular season.
“I know all our members in Melbourne have had it pretty tough not being able to watch live but they would’ve been glued to the television,” Bellamy said.
“I know it was a disappointing finish but what the boys did this year was quite incredible. The players did a great job being away for two years, sometimes we had our families with us and sometimes we didn’t. I’ve enjoyed what the players have provided for us.”
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