CLUB champions, coach of the year, player of the year and leading point scorer – while the Blowes Clothing Cup premiers are yet to be decided Bathurst Bulldogs have already enjoyed a brilliant 2018.
While Bulldogs are still intent on adding multiple premierships to their list of achievements for the season, on Friday at the Central West Rugby Union’s presentation breakfast, the club was recognised for what it has done thus far.
Having qualified all five teams – firsts, seconds, thirds, colts and women – for the finals, the Bulldogs were crowned club champions.
First grade coach Dean Oxley was named coach of the year, half Brad Glasson was crowned the 2018 Blowes Clothing Cup player of the year and fullback Josh Weekes picked up the competition’s top point scorer award with 143 points.
Bathurst Bulldogs president Greg Reid was delighted with the recognition his club received at the Central West Rugby Union presentation breakfast.
“The club is going really well, there’s a good vibe around the club at the moment, the players are very happy on and off the field,” he said.
“The club championship is a reflection of the club’s depth, we are going well in all grades.”
Glasson edged a monster field of representative calibre players, including team-mate Harry Webber, Emus Jack Marchinton and hooker Tom Goolagong, Cowra prop Joe Dakuitoga and mercurial Forbes halfback Mahe Fangupo.
“It was a definite surprise,” Glasson said.
“The club president rang up on Monday to let me know, I really didn’t expect to win it, not when considering the calibre of names in the running and their talent.
“Most of the credit has to go to the team, without them don’t I don’t rate a mention.”
And that’s where Glasson’s focus now lies – with the team.
Bulldogs have a chance of winning a home grand final if they can knock off minor premiers Orange Emus at Endeavour Oval next week.
“Personal awards aside, we’re focused on the major semi and getting the biccies there and then on to the home grand final, which was a goal of ours at the start of the year,” he added.
Reid pointed out the Glasson and leading point scorer Weekes were ‘home grown’ talent.
“I am particularly pleased this year to see those young blokes do well, they were playing for our colts a few years ago,” he said.
As for the Bulldogs’ first XV coaching staff, Reid said not only was Oxley “high quality”, but that Col Kemp and Pip McIntosh were worthy of praise as well.
“Dean, he’s a level 3 coach … he’s really lifted the standard at the club. His passion and enthusiasm are second to none,” Reid said.
“But also Col Kemp, our forwards coach and man manager, he’s certainly been a good foil to Dean. He’s an old boy, he’s been around the club a long time and the boys love him. He’s a real calming influence to have around.
“Pip McIntosh as well, the work he does really makes a difference too.”
Meanwhile, Narromine’s George Hancock was named the New Holland Cup player of the year and CSU’s Claire Woolmington the Ferguson Cup’s best.