Group 11 2019: Progressive tallies for player of the year awards revealed

PRESENCE FELT: Ben Marlin is firmly in the running for the Group 11 player of the year prize in first grade. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE
PRESENCE FELT: Ben Marlin is firmly in the running for the Group 11 player of the year prize in first grade. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE

The battle for the top individual awards in Group 11 is "going down to the wire", with player of the year contests too close to call with just three rounds remaining.

The progressive tallies in all four grades were released to Australian Community Media during the weekend's general bye.

The count now goes behind closed doors again before being the honours are awarded at the annual Group 11 presentation night.

Group 11 secretary Paul Loxley released the top five point-scorers in each grade, in no particular order, and while he wouldn't give away who was leading he did say the prizes are in no way certain in any grade.

"It's great," he said.

"They're all close and still wide open. It's going to go down to the wire."

Despite having not been in the country since round five, the strong early season form of Dubbo CYMS prop Ben Marlin still has him in the running for the top prize.


Marlin was playing some of the best footy of his career prior to jetting off and he's one of the five leading point-scorers in first grade, with Wellington star Will Lousick also there despite not re-joining the club until round four of this season.

Lousick was still in Queensland at the start of the 2019 campaign but after scoring a hat-trick in his first game back at the club he's been among the best each week.

Lousick is joined in the top five by Wellington teammate Tristan Lumley, who has made his impact felt in his first season with the Cowboys, and the pair are out to win the award which was claimed by current Cowboys coach Justin Toomey-White for a third time last year.

As well as Marlin and the Cowboys duo, the current top five for this year also includes two of the competition's most reliable performers.

Forbes' Ben Maguire and Jacob Neill of Nyngan have been stalwarts for their respective sides again this year and those efforts have not gone unnoticed.

The battle for the first grade prize is a hotly-contested one but, according to Loxley, it's the league tag which features the most tight race.

Dubbo CYMS has been a dominant unbeaten leader up to this point and their results have Alahna Ryan and Cassie Toomey in contention, but Parkes stars Tyannua Goolagong and India Draper are also in the running, along with Forbes' Amelia Davis.

CYMS, Forbes, and Parkes are again the ones represented in the top five under 18s up to round 11.

Magpies pair Campbell Woolnough and Isaac Nash are there, while Ben Lovett has been flying the flag for Parkes and CYMS' strong form has seen it have Kyjuan Crawford and Kalolo Uele in contention.

Forbes' impressive representation continues in reserve grade, with Corey Hurford and Taylor Krause among the top five point-getters, alongside Charles Martin of Parkes, Nyngan's Matt Sheather, and CYMS forward Lee Price.

The winners alongside Toomey-White last season were Parkes' Sally Dwyer in league tag, Macquarie's Craig McLean in reserve grade, and another Cowboys player in Brock Naden in the under 18s.