WHEN Bathurst Bushrangers Outlaws ruckman Sebastian Matheson joined his team-mates in celebrating victory on Central West AFL grand final day, he thought season 2017 could not get any better.
But on Saturday night it did. He was named the league’s best and fairest.
Matheson polled 14 votes to take out the award ahead of Young’s Brad McKinnon (10) and Orange Tigers pair Dan Sadler and Josh Bubnich (nine each).
“It was definitely a surprise, I definitely wasn’t expecting it. I think the best I’d finished before was about fifth and that was two years ago, I think that’s the highest I’ve polled before,” he said.
“Matt Archer and Tim Hunter, I thought both of them would be up there and probably a few of the boys from the Rebels as well.
“It’s nice to be up there with a few blokes I’ve played with over the years, in the 90s my uncle [Sean O’Donnell] won it two or three times as well.”
Having begun his CWAFL career as a Bathurst Eagle, Matheson joined the ranks of the Bushrangers when the club formed in 2004.
He has been a consistently good performer, but feels the strong Outlaws midfield group he played alongside this season helped him to the top award.
“I think I was pretty lucky this year with the midfield group I had around me, we had myself, Nath Belbin, Michael Long and then Matty Archer as well,” he said.
“They were the main ones, a few others rotated through there as well, but we did have a pretty strong midfield this year.
“I think it [the count] was pretty close throughout it, definitely at the halfway mark it was very close.
“But I had some stronger games towards the end of the season, I typically do play better towards the end of the season.
“Winning the grand final, absolutely that was the highlight for me, it’s why we play and it was great we were able to finish the year well. I have played in six senior grand finals now and only won two of them, so it was really nice to get the win.”
Matheson was not the only Bathurst player to be acknowledged at the league’s awards evening.
Bathurst Giants Nash Hutchings (under 14s) and Nic Broes (under 16s) won best and fairest awards too.