Moree Boars Rugby League Club have capped off a stellar centenary year with three players recognised in Group 19’s end of season awards.
Stan Swan cleaned up the A grade awards, being named the A grade best and fairest and top try scorer, while Aaron Annis-Brown was named reserve grade best and fairest and Lena Smith was the league tag highest point scorer.
Meanwhile Adrian Smith was among the finalists for highest point scorer in the under 18s competition.
Swan, who has been playing for the Boars for the past nine years, scored a total of 17 tries throughout the competition to earn him the A grade top try scorer title.
“I was pretty happy, although my kids are more proud than I am,” the hooker said.
“It means a lot, it means that people out there in the Group recognise someone who plays good footy. It does boost your confidence.”
Moree Boars president Mark McGrady said Swan is consistent every year, usually collecting a number of awards at the club’s own presentation night, however these were his first Group awards.
“Last year he was up there as well with the highest point scorer and best and fairest,” he said.
Aaron Annis-Brown was another consistent player for the Boars, and despite missing a few weeks with a fractured eye socket, still managed to earn enough points to come away with the best and fairest honour.
Finally, McGrady said Lena Smith had a top year with the league tag side, which finished the season as minor premiers.
“She was well up there in the highest point scorer tally,” he said.
With all four Boars sides finishing in the top four and making finals in their respective competitions, McGrady said these awards topped off a fantastic 100th year for the club.
“It’s good to see the season we had in all grades, and with a few of our players picking up Group awards, it’s a big plus for the club,” he said.
“And being the 100 year anniversary for the club, that’s something that’ll be remembered forever.
“At the start of the year, as president and coach of the league tag, my goal was to get all four grades playing finals footy, so that was a big achievement on its own.
“It shows how strong the club is – in the four years we’ve been in the Group 19, all grades have played finals football. The girls are the only team to achieve two grand finals in four years.
“We compete with the Boomerangs, which just shows Moree as a whole is very strong. And when you factor in the other football codes in Moree – the union and AFL – also had teams in the finals, that shows the sporting talents we have here. For a town our size, we boast so many talented players in a lot of codes.”
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the club, which began in 1918, the Boars changed their uniform back to the traditional white and blue colours, had a pop-up museum on the corner of Balo and Heber streets which was run with the help of Moree and District Historical Society, and held a centenary ball which saw a number of old players return, including two 10-year reunion sides.
“It’s been a big year and playing finals football made it even better,” McGrady said.
“Thank you to the committee and supporters, everyone behind the scenes and our sponsors who support us year in, year out.”
The Boars’ big year will boil down to this Saturday’s end-of-season presentation night to be held at Moree Services Club from 6pm.
A special addition to this year’s awards will be the introduction of a centenary award, awarded to the player of the day in all four grades from the Boars match against Inverell on the day of the centenary ball.
“Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those people to get that award,” McGrady said.