Mark Rogers and Alana Simons named best and fairest as Strikers celebrate 25th anniversary

WINNER: Strikers midfielder Mark Rogers, pictured with co-coaches Brent Farnsworth and Adam McPhail, accepts the club's first grade men's Best and Fairest Award. Picture: Kelly Manwaring
WINNER: Strikers midfielder Mark Rogers, pictured with co-coaches Brent Farnsworth and Adam McPhail, accepts the club's first grade men's Best and Fairest Award. Picture: Kelly Manwaring

It was a memorable weekend of celebrations for the Cootamundra Strikers, the club holding a ‘past and present’ game in celebration of its 25th anniversary, followed by its presentation night.

Standout Strikers midfielder Mark Rogers headlined the presentations, taking out the first grade men’s Best and Fairest Award.

An unsuspecting Rogers, 21, was recognised at the Strikers’ presentation night at the Cootamundra Ex-Servicemen’s and Citizen’s Memorial Club on Saturday night.

Rogers, traditionally a centre-back who spent much of the season holding down the fort in midfield, said winning the award caught him completely off guard.

“I was actually very surprised to win it,” he said.

“I just didn’t think it’d be me, but I was very happy.”

Rogers attributed much of his recent success to the support he received from co-coaches Brent Farnsworth and Adam McPhail.  

“Brent and Adam have always pushed me to keep getting better and they really gave me more confidence than ever this year,” he said.

“They’re always pumping you up and giving you a real boost at trainings and at games.”

Alana Simons won the first grade women’s Best and Fairest Award. 

Earlier in the day, the club held it’s ‘past and present’ game, and while everyone was having too much fun to worry about the score - let alone any form of formal scorekeeping - it is believed the final score was 6-1 in favour of the present team.

McPhail led the scoring onslaught for the ‘present’ side with a brace, while former Strikers stars Shaun Dixon and Kirralee Cameron both scored for the ‘past’ team.

Strikers foundation member Mick Godbier said he was particular impressed with Dixon’s exploits.

“He’s about 40 now but really showed everyone that he hasn’t lost it,” he said.

“In my opinion he’s up there with Mick Simons as one of the best players we’ve ever had at the club and he came back and scored a very nice goal on Saturday.”

Godbier added that it was an extremely enjoyable day. 

“It was just great to be a part of, although winding the clock back 20 odd years can be a bit of a tough task,” he said.

“It’s a great concept and its always good to get some old faces together with the current guys and the new players coming through.

“There were lots of laughs throughout the weekend and a fair bit of trash talk as you can imagine.”