GAVIN Knee polled a total of three votes in the final round to pip Ross Fraser by a single vote in the count for the Tamworth Swans’ 2012 best and fairest award, presented at the Oxley Bowling Club last Saturday.
Knee’s total of 36 votes saw him win the Swans’ major gong for the second time after also being judged the best in 2008.
Fraser, runner-up with 35 votes, was a runaway winner in the player’s player count despite missing a month of football at the end of the season.
William Priest’s strong finish to the season saw him third in the best and fairest on 31 votes.
A strong tally of 33 goals playing from the centre of the ground saw Knee also claim the leading goal kicker award, with Paul Tapper next on 22.
The coach’s award went to Priest for his consistency and determination each week, and Ian Roberts was given the president’s award for commitment shown through the year.
Scott Nowland, who applied himself impressively and was rewarded with a four-goal haul in the second last match, was awarded the rookie of the year.
Mark Verrall was named the best backman, and was also the winner of the “Green Ant” for his off-field performances through the year.
In another close poll, Josh McKenzie just edged out Paul Kelly to be named club person of the year.
A special presentation was made by captains Andrew Donohue and Gavin Knee to Rick Watt, who has left an undeniable impression at the Swans in his time as coach.
The respect in which he is held by the players and the club as a whole was evidenced by a standing ovation as he accepted a gift from Donohue and Knee.
The Swans will next gather for the AFL grand final at the Oxley Bowling on Saturday week.
Any person interested in watching the match is encouraged to attend, with pools on the day for first goal kicker, Norm Smith medallist and winning margin.