Geary marks historic victory

Updated November 7 2012 - 2:55am, first published August 23 2009 - 12:09pm
DETERMINATION: Kallen Geary in action for the Pioneers.
DETERMINATION: Kallen Geary in action for the Pioneers.

EAGLEHAWK’S Kallen Geary last night marked back-to-back wins as the Bendigo Bank Pioneers Football Club champion player.Geary polled 40 votes to again win the Neville Strauch Memorial Medal, which is proudly sponsored by The Advertiser.In a season which included representing Victoria Country at the AFL national under-18 championships, Geary became the first Pioneer since Nathan Brown to achieve consecutive club champion awards.Brown kicked on from his days as a Pioneers rover to star for the Western Bulldogs and now Richmond in the big league.At the end of last night’s vote count at The Bendigo Club in Strathdale, Geary was on 41, with Castlemaine’s Dustin Martin the runner-up on 39.The third placegetter was Golden Square’s Jack Geary on 33.For Kallen Geary, the best and fairest award capped another consistent season, but also plenty of work in pre-season and throughout the year.“To win the best and fairest is a great honour,” Geary said.A wingman for most of the 2008 campaign, Geary’s versatility was to the fore in this year’s TAC Cup action.“A goal for this year was to play more of a midfield or on-ball role.“Mark Ellis (Pioneers coach) and the coaching panel gave me that opportunity, and I worked as hard as I could on my strength, fitness and skills.”He also learnt a lot from the national under-18 titles, in terms of being able to play anywhere on the field.Whether it was back pocket, which is where Geary played his first match for the Pioneers late in the 2007 season, on a wing, flank, centre or roving, the young star from Eaglehawk kept on working - not just in racking up possessions, but one per cent plays.The Geary family has had strong links with the Pioneers for many years as Kallen’s older brothers - Daniel, Shannon and Jarryn - all played for the club.The Pioneers’ season wind-up included the presentation of life memberships to assistant coach Andrew McDougall, and trainer Kevin Evans.For many of the Pioneers the football season is far from over as they strive for finals success in leagues across central and northern Victoria.The Bendigo Pioneers major award winners for the 2009 season:Neville Strauch Memorial trophy for club best and fairest: Kallen Geary.Runner-up best and fairest: Dustin Martin.Goalkicking: Chris Prockter.Most improved: Rhys Ellis.Best team player: Jack Geary.Most disciplined: Matt Smith.Coaches award: Mitchell Bruns.Trainers award: Rhys Ellis.Best clubman: Pascale Craig.NSW-ACT under-18 representatives: Wade Hancock, Jordan Williams.Victoria Country under-18 representatives: Kallen Geary, Dustin Martin, and Shane Page.

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