JACK Robertson and Hayden Rodgers are this year’s Central Highlands Football League best and fairest winners.
Robertson, from Buninyong, claimed the under-17.5 award while Hepburn’s Rodgers won the under-14.5 honours at the vote count in front of a packed crowd at the Bungaree Football Netball Club last night.
Robertson polled 32 votes in a stunning season as Buninyong’s ruckman, including maximum votes in the final three home-and-away games to oust Beaufort’s Lachlan Pfeifer on 26 votes and Creswick’s Peter Griffin on 25.
“It was really surprising to win – I didn’t think I had a great year and missed a few games,” Robertson said.
“It’s only my first year in the league after playing in the Wimmera Football League last year.”
Robertson’s form was so impressive that he also had a significant effect on several of Buninyong’s senior matches.
“Playing senior footy definitely helped me, it’s a lot quicker and the bodies are bigger, so under-17s seems a bit easier after a week in the seniors,” Robertson said.
Earlier in the night Rodgers polled 40 votes to stay clear of Daylesford’s Cameron Lovig and Beaufort’s Joel Chester, who each polled 37 votes for equal third.
“I started the season off slowly but finished it fairly strongly,” Rodgers said.
“I had a lot of support from my teammates – we have a pretty solid top-four squad.”
Both Robertson and Rodgers are now gearing up for the first week of CHFL finals, after Buninyong and Hepburn enjoyed strong seasons in the under-17.5 and under-14.5 divisions.
Robertson will lead Buninyong, which finished second, into the second qualifying final against Springbank on Sunday, while Rodgers will be a key player in third-placed Hepburn’s qualifying final against Creswick.