WAUBRA onballer Nick Sullivan has put the disappointment of last season’s serious knee injury behind him with an emphatic victory at last night’s Geoff Taylor Medal count.
Sullivan was crowned the Central Highlands Football League’s best and fairest after collecting 27 votes throughout the home and away rounds, a staggering eight more than joint runners-up Tyrone Ross, from Skipton, and teammate Dean Kelly.
His success follows a horror 2012 campaign, which ended after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in the round six clash with Hepburn.
After surgery and extensive rehabilitation, the tough, in-and-under onballer was back bigger than ever this season, polling in 13 separate rounds, including five best-on-ground performances.
His 27-vote return is the highest since Daylesford champion Luke Adams’ back-to-back wins in 2006 and 2007, when he returned 29 votes on both occasions.
Sullivan is a two-time senior premiership player in the league, with his first flag coming with Daylesford in 2009 before the 2011 triumph with Waubra in his first year at the club.
He also becomes just the second Waubra player to win a CHFL senior best and fairest, joining Chris Parker, who won in 1992.
“I think I learnt a lot watching the game last year. The frustrations of not being able to play helped me a lot with my football this year. It has made me become a more consistent footballer and to never give in,” Sullivan said.
“My rehab I did to 120 per cent, I did it as much as I could to try and get back to not only play footy, but to get back to everyday life and do the things I used to do before my injury.
“I never aim to win something like this. It’s always been the end of the year stuff that you can enjoy with your close mates.”
Sullivan’s sights remain focused on winning this year’s flag, with Waubra progressing through to the preliminary finals following the weekend’s victory over Bungaree.
More on the CHFL best and fairest pages 38