Swan Ed George wins 2018 Tony Gillies Medal | Photos, video

Leading into Saturday’s AFL North West Gillies Medal count, members of the Tamworth Swans were getting in young Ed George’s ear.

“A few people were saying ‘you’ve got a chance, you’re up there’,” George said of winning the Tony Gillies Medal for AFL North West’s best and fairest player.

The 17-year-old glazed over the praise, he went into the night with “no expectation whatsoever”.

However, as the night wore on, it became more and more apparent the Swans midfielder could take out the award.

“I came in expecting nothing but as the night went on, it [his chances], sort of, built and I dared to believe, I guess,” George said.

It built alright. Right to the point that George won the award to much jubilation from the Swans faithful at the presentation night.

“[I was in] shock when it happened. Everyone was on their feet and I’m just amazed,” George said after claiming the award.

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George has grown up on a diet of AFL.

He’s followed in his father Brendan’s footsteps who plied his trade in the Riverina before linking up with the Tamworth Swans.

“He played 50-odd games for the Swans back in his day and I play with his number now, number 49,” George said.

George added: “Hopefully I do him proud.”

George thanked both his parents after the win along with Swans coach Paul Kelly.

Kelly has led the chorus of praise for the young footballer this season.

Ed George with Swans coach Paul Kelly.

Ed George with Swans coach Paul Kelly.

“He’s really stepped up,” Kelly said earlier this year.

“He was pretty good last year, played in the middle and was only 15-16. That was a good learning curve for him and this year he’s stepped up to another level.

“He’s one of the best juniors I’ve ever seen play.

“He runs back, cuts the ball off and pushes forward with a big kick.

“When he hits the ball hard, he can just break away from anyone on. He’s a superstar.”

George also made mention of his teammates. Many of which stuck it out after a tough 2017 campaign.

“The rest of the team makes each week so much fun. When the losses are hard, going to training the next week can be hard but with such a good group, it makes it easier,” he said.

AFL NORTH WEST PRESENTATION NIGHT

Volunteer of the year

Annette Hadley (Moree Suns)

Golden Whistle

Robert Smith

Rising Star

Juniors: Jordan Sue-Fong (Inverell Saints)

Women: Kyla Hamilton (Inverell Saints)

Men: Marli Gobbert (Inverell Saints)

SportsTG Coach's Awards

Juniors: Dylan Moore (New England Nomads)

Women: Shannon Campbell (Tamworth Kangaroos)

Men: Matthew Hall (Tamworth Kangaroos)

Leading Goal Kickers

Juniors: Daniel Brown (Moree Suns)

Womens: Shannon Campbell (Tamworth Kangaroos)

Men (Gerry Griffiths Medal): Marli Gobbert (Inverell Saints)

Best and Fairest

Juniors: Daniel Brown (Moree Suns)

Womens: Katherine Penberthy (Inverell Saints) and Lisa Raymond (New England Nomads)

Men (Tony Gillies Medal): Edward George (Tamworth Swans)

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