The Blackchrome Player of the Day is awarded to the player adjudged best afield in the SFNL’s Match of the Round by the SFNL Radio Team. The weekly winners will receive a Blackchrome Sportswear prize pack.
SCOTT LAWRY (Bentleigh)
This is Lawry’s second award in as many weeks, after another sparkling performance in Bentleigh’s Preliminary Final win over Oakleigh District. Again, Lawry was the driving force off half back and through the centre of the ground, winning plenty of ball and using his blistering pace to break the lines. The Demons captain rarely wasted a disposal, and a repeat performance may see him hoist aloft the premiership cup this Sunday afternoon.
SCOTT LAWRY (Bentleigh)
The Bentleigh superstar was at his explosive best on Sunday and helped his side to a thrilling win over East Malvern in the cut-throat Division 1 Semi Final. Lawry used the vast expanses of Springvale Reserve to his advantage and found plenty of room to showcase his trademark run and carry. He cut a swatch through the centre with his blistering speed and was a vital link as Bentleigh launched attacks off the half back line. He won a heap of possessions and also kicked a telling goal in the third term that swayed the game in the Demons’ favour.
JAYME LAWSON (Port Melbourne Colts)
The Colts midfielders ran rings around the Bears in their Second Semi Final clash on Saturday, but none were more damaging than Lawson. Despite missing two months with hamstring injuries, the skilful onballer didn’t miss a beat in his return game, winning plenty of the footy around the ground and using his clean disposal to great effect. Lawson also made an impact in the front half, capping his day with two important goals. It was a complete performance from the star mid, who looms as a key player for the Colts as they chase a maiden SFNL premiership.
TIM BARR (Skye)
Barr has long been a favourite of the SFNL Radio Team, but his outstanding performance in his 150th game on Sunday saw his stocks rise in their estimation. As Highett kept pumping the ball inside 50, it was Barr that was continually bringing it back out again. The veteran’s speed and decision making rebounding out of defence set up teammates further up the ground and helped the Bombers claw their way back into the contest.
RYAN PEARSON (Oakleigh District)
The Districts were a dominant force on Saturday in their convincing Qualifying Final win over Bentleigh on Saturday, and leading the charge was midfielder Ryan Pearson. The electric speedster was seemingly everywhere, winning plenty of footy all over the ground and was strong at every contest. He used the footy magnificently by foot, and was particularly damaging bringing the ball through the centre.
Despite his side going down to Ashwood in Saturday’s Qualifying Final, Hidgcock received two votes from each member of the SFNL Radio team to claim this week’s award. While others floated in and out of the game, Hidgcock was super consistent through all four quarters, working hard on the ball and finding plenty of it. He toiled hard all afternoon and did the basics right, exactly the sort of player you need in a big final.
LUKE BEHIN (Chelsea Heights)
It was a match in which the Heighters had few passengers, but Behin was one of the clear standouts in the ruck. The big fella clearly got the better of his two opponents on the day, with his deft tap work feeding the ball to his damaging midfielders in space time and again. A member of the successful Oakleigh District team last year, Behin’s big-game experience may prove pivotal to this Chelsea Heights side come September.
ANDREW WALSH (Bentleigh)
Two radio broadcast games for Bentleigh, two Blackchrome Player of the Day awards to Andrew Walsh in 2016. The towering Demons ruckman again controlled the game in the air, allowing his followers first use of the pill around the stoppages, which prove a decisive factor in his side’s upset victory over ladder leaders Dingley. Walsh has been a dominant force around the ground in his first season at Arthur Street and is fast becoming a key piece of Bentleigh’s premiership puzzle.
The lion-hearted Beena skipper put in a phenomenal captain’s game on Saturday as his side held off a fast finishing Hampton. He was colossal in numerous positions, including the ruck, and also added two vital goals to his side’s tally. But his leadership was simply extraordinary, and Walder inspired his teammates to lift when challenged in the frantic last quarter, which ultimately helped the Beena over the line.
MATT THORNEYCROFT (Cheltenham)
After being dropped to the reserves the previous week, the second-year Rosella responded with a dominant performance in the ruck to help orchestrate his side’s upset victory over Mordialloc on Saturday. Thorneycroft competed hard in the air all afternoon, monopolising the hitouts to allow players like Jackson Barclay and James North to win plenty of the ball around the ground. This was a welcome return to form for the big fella, who is a key part of the Rosellas’ structure.
AARON PACEY (Skye)
Since making his return from a knee reconstruction back in Round 6, Pacey has slowly gone about regaining the sparkling form that has made him such a key weapon in the Skye line up. On Saturday, the Bombers skipper played his best game for the year and led from the front in the side’s upset victory over Caulfield. Pacey won plenty of the footy and finished with a crucial goal, while his defensive efforts were also vital in the hard-fought and low-scoring contest.
NICK SCANLON (Clayton)
The Clays were red hot from the get-go on Saturday against local rivals Oakleigh District, thanks in no small part to the efforts of their coach Nick Scanlon. He was a dominant force in the Clayton front half, bagging goals from everywhere and clunking a few towering grabs to help his side to an insurmountable halftime lead. A supremely talented player, Scanlon finished with a game high six goals and was the clear standout for the Clays.
MITCH SAUNDERS (Ashwood)
Midfield maestro Mitch Saunders was in the thick of the action from the get-go on Saturday, booting the Woods’ first goal in the opening minutes of his side’s clash with Endeavour Hills. From there, he was unstoppable, adding a second goal to his tally and dominating possession through the centre of the ground all day. His contributions helped Ashwood secure a handy away victory against a possible finals opponent.
TONY LAVARS (Dingley)
The Dingley skipper celebrated his 250th game with a starring role in his side’s 12-point victory over Mordialloc. The rebounding defender was at his exceptional best in marshalling the troops, directing traffic from the back half and controlling the play inside defensive 50. His footy smarts saw him get in to the right spots time and again, winning plenty of the footy and spotting up teammates across the ground or further afield with supreme accuracy. A complete performance from the consummate professional.
CALLUM CATHCART (St Pauls)
Cathcart was an unstoppable force through the midfield on Saturday, winning possessions at will and was one of the key influences in St Pauls’ midfield momentum. The Oaks had no answer to his dominance around the ball, and consequently the livewire simply did what he liked all day. After missed 18 months of footy following a serious knee injury suffered in Round 1 of 2014, the 22-year-old is now back in peak form and displaying the type of scintillating footy the SFNL world knows he can play.
RHYS PIERCE (Hampton)
Pierce helped orchestrate the Hammers’ victory over the Tonners with a strong game through the midfield. A powerfully-built midfielder, Pearce covered a lot of ground and had the ball on a string all day, helping to control the play in the centre. A vital cog in the Hampton engine room, Pierce is key to his side’s chances of a finals berth in 2016.
RICKY JOHNSON (Doveton Eagles)
In just his third game of senior football, the diminutive 16-year-old showed he will be a player of the future. Johnson stood out with his pace and ability to find himself in acres of space, which allowed him to win plenty of the footy throughout the day. He showed exactly why he was selected in the SFNL Under 18 interleague team last month, with his class and poise while in possession a feature of his game.
ALEX CABLES (Caulfield)
Wet, muddy and slippery conditions at Turner Road made it difficult for many players to exert an influence on the match. However, these conditions were tailor-made for a bigger-bodied player such as Cables, who used his strength around the contests to win plenty of possessions. Rather than over-finesse the footy, Cables went back to basics, kicking the ball long at every opportunity and giving his forwards every chance. A smart, strong and versatile utility, Cables again underlined his importance to this Caulfield side.
CHRIS BROOKING (Mordialloc)
Saturday wasn’t much of a day for standout performers. Many players played well in patches, but Mordialloc’s Chris Brooking was one of the very few to consistently contribute across four quarters. He certainly wasn’t flashy, but his hardness at the contest was paramount in the clinches of what proved to be a congested and hard-fought encounter with St Kilda City.
NATHAN ROBINSON (East Malvern)
A gut-running midfielder with an elite tank, Robinson worked incredibly hard all over the ground against the Dogs last Saturday. His incredible work rate saw him cover a lot of ground and get to right spots, allowing him to accrue a multitude of possessions. He also managed to push forward on several occasions, jagging a couple of goals for his efforts. A new recruit to the Zoo this year, Robinson has quickly established himself as a vital cog in the powerful East Malvern engine room.
JORDAN PERYMAN (Chelsea Heights)
There is not much of him, but what Jordan Peryman lacks in size he more than makes up for in heart. The tenacious midfielder again won plenty of the footy and would have topped all comers in the metres gained statistic. He dazzled with his blistering leg speed, finding open spaces time and again and looking to run with the footy at every opportunity. He also bobbed up with two goals in the last quarter to help snuff out the Highett challenge and steer his side to victory.
JARROD WILKIN (Mount Waverley)
Although he spent much of 2015 in defence, Wilkin has returned to ruck duties in the absence of the underdone Ben Beecroft. And like Bentleigh’s Andrew Walsh last week, Wilkin won almost every single hitout and was a massive factor in his side’s win over the Doveton Eagles on Saturday. His influence on the contest was at its most obvious when he was green-carded in the second term, allowing the Eagles to work their way back into the contest. But when he returned after the long break, his dominance in the air provided the impetus for the Mountain Lions’ devastating 10-goal third term, which ultimately sealed a resounding victory.
ANDREW WALSH (Bentleigh)
The giant Demons ruckman stood head and shoulders above all others on Saturday – both figuratively and literally – and was a dominant force in his side’s win over Cheltenham at Jack Barker Oval. Walsh monopolised the hitouts, giving his midfielders first use of the pill at almost every stoppage. He moved well for such a big man, and contributed around the ground as well. If Bentleigh are to challenge for the flag this year, you can expect Walsh to play a major role.
MITCH CLARKE (Port Melbourne Colts)
Colts live wire Mitch Clarke proved more than a handful at the Hanger on Saturday, running rings around the Skye defence. The teenager made things happen whenever he got near the footy and booted four goals for the second week in a row. He won a fair bit of ball up the ground too and impressed with his poise and precision under pressure. An exciting young player with terrific leg speed, Clarke is certainly a player to keep an eye on in 2016.
DANIEL FARMER (Dingley)
Dingley had few passengers on Sunday, but Farmer looked a cut above the rest. He was in absolutely everything both in the midfield and in attack, and simply did as he pleased for most of the day. The strong-bodied Dingo racked up plenty of disposals on the ball and didn’t waste any of them, while also showing his opponents a clean set of heels on multiple occasions. Farmer also proved a handful up forward, clunking marks and impacting on the scoreboard with four goals.
ANDREW DALY (Hallam)
The pint-sized pocket rocket was a live-wire up forward, finishing the day with five goals. He continually bobbed up when required, and his last-quarter heroics helped snuff out the Lyndhurst challenge. He also pushed further up the ground and won lots of the ball on the wing and half-forward, further underlining his verstility.