As far as winners go, Harry Wheeler was as popular as they come on Saturday night.
When Wheeler was declared the winner of Seymour’s senior best and fairest for 2017, the room erupted with applause for the hard-nosed, yet supremely quiet, midfielder.
Wheeler polled 90 votes to pip fellow midfielder Ben Clifton by three.
Coach Brent Colbert was full of praise for Wheeler, who he described as ‘‘a coach’s dream.’’
‘‘The best thing about it is Harry has been playing this sort of tough, hard footy for two or three years now, but he tends to go under the radar a bit,’’ he said.
‘‘He’s a bit of an understudy to (Brett) Meredith and (Jason) Cole in the midfield there, and understandably so because they’re two of the best mids in the league, but Harry is as good as any in my opinion.
‘‘He just goes out there and gets the job done. He’s low maintenance, you don’t hear much out of him, but the boys just love him. He’s seriously one guy you just love having around.’’
Wheeler’s season was consistent, polling in 10 of the 14 games he played — including the maximum 15 votes for his polished performance against Shepparton in round 11.
He wasn’t far off a perfect score in round seven either, claiming 14 votes in the Lions’ match against Euroa.
‘‘He’s very underrated around the league, but internally we rate him so highly,’’ Colbert said.
‘‘This season he’s able to generate a lot more interest and his name is probably out there a bit more.’’
Clifton polled the perfect 15 votes in three of his 12 matches for the season, and polled in eight games in total.
Clifton has been pivotal to the Lions’ success in the past two seasons, since returning to the club from VFL club Coburg.
‘‘He’s been a great inclusion for us. His onfield work is superb and he’s been an excellent leader on the field for a lot of our younger guys,’’ Colbert said.
‘‘His pressure is amazing. and he’s the best tackler I’ve seen. When he tackles someone they stay tackled.
‘‘He’s not a high possession getter but when he gets it he’s very influential and lifts the whole group.’’
Colbert finished third in the count in what was his last season as a playing-coach.
Jay Eager and Joel Durham tied for the win in the reserves’ count, while thirds captain Dan Fisher claimed the honours for his side.
Meg Grbac was a runaway winner in the A-grade netball count, polling 32 votes for the season — including nine best-on-courts.
In what was somewhat of a rebuilding year for the Lions, the lofty defender was an anchor for her side in defence in her first season at the club.
Grbac was noted for her outstanding ability to read the play and cause turnovers in the defensive third, while her outstanding leap netted plenty of rebounds for the Lions when opposition sides missed goals.
Grbac finished well ahead of playing-coach Laura Carland (16 votes) while Alana Mascitti (15 votes) was third.
The trio is new to the club this season, but had an immediate impact on and off the court for the young Lions.
Like Grbac, Andrea McKenzie also claimed a comprehensive win in the B-grade title.
Sophie Gregson took out the B-reserve best-and-fairest, while Rani Curry claimed the under-17 honours.