Max Tiernan has capped off an outstanding debut season for his boyhood club, claiming the Cootamundra Blues best and fairest.
Despite only turning 18 a few weeks ago, Max has showed class and skill well beyond his years to claim the top prize.
When asked for his reaction to winning Max said he was shocked.
"Each week I just went out and did my bit for the team and tried to play a role to ensure we won, it wasn't really about individual effort on my behalf, I just wanted us to win so this is just an added bonus".
Moving across from East Wagga to play in a new competition this season has been made easier with Tiernan having former teammates Joe Scott and brother Jacob Tiernan lining up alongside him.
"It was good having JT and Joe who have played at the same level and are used to playing a similar style of football to me, hopefully we can help younger players learn and improve their own games".
The Blues have managed to sneak into finals this season but face a long road to get to the grand final. They have shown flashes of competitiveness against the top sides so far this season but are yet to put together a complete performance.
When asked about his sides chances at winning the premiership, Max was confident the squad had the ability to get the job done.
"We can beat every team in the competition, it's just going to take a four quarter effort from everyone".
Max's accomplishment is made even more impressive when you take into consideration that he's still working his way back from a serious knee injury.
"It was hard initially being told that straight after the surgery I would be out for 18 months, I just wanted to get back to playing footy as soon as I could".
"Watching East Wagga have success on the field made it even harder, but also made me more hungry to work my way back and have an impact on the game".
"I was lucky enough to earn a spot in first grade halfway through last season and managed to hold my spot and play in the grand final which we unfortunately lost".
"The emptiness of losing that final is what drives me to keep pushing.
"We have a chance to win this year so I'm determined to make the most of this opportunity".
Blues coach Joe Scott has been able to watch Max develop from a promising junior into the talented senior footballer he is today. When asked what makes Max so special, Scott was glowing with his praise of the youngster.
"Max has size, strength, aggression, skill and smarts, all the abilities a footballer dreams of."
"For a 17-18 year old kid to take on much older and more experienced opponents and consistently beat them is amazing".
When questioned as to who he credits for his success, Max wasn't shy about sharing the praise. "Without the influence of my dad and JT teaching me little things about how to be a better footballer I wouldn't have the things I have". "
Matty Hard from East Wagga has always pushed me to push myself to improve my game for the benefit of the team".
"I'm also very grateful to Todd Basham and the Blues for giving me the opportunity to play this year and develop my game, I can't thank them enough".
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