SPRINGBANK'S Joel Maher is the Central Highlands Football League rookie of the year.
Maher received the award at a Sportsmen's Association of Australia Ballarat branch dinner last night.
Maher was one of 12 nominees.
The 18-year-old had a standout year for the Tigers - his first full senior season.
Maher made his senior debut two years ago and backed up with another five last year while also playing under-17.5s.
He capped of his junior career with Springbank as captain, and CHFL and club best and fairest.
Maher played in all Springbank's 19 games as a midfielder, including two finals.
He led the team's one-percenters, with a season-high 18 tackles against Skipton - a feature which reinforced his toughness.
Maher is known around the club for his commitment to improving his fitness and strength.
He was named Springbank's better players in 14 home and away games.
2011: 1 game (1 goals)
2012: 5 (3 goals)
2013: 19 (10 goals)