LAST time Springbank had a Geoff Taylor Medallist, the club went on to win the premiership.
James Hall won the medal as the Central Highlands Football League’s best and fairest player in 2000 before Springbank clinched the first of its back-to-back flags.
On Monday night, Luke Fisher etched his name alongside some of the competition’s great players – past and present – winning his fourth league medal at the age of just 23.
Three of those came during his early days in the Mininera and District ranks while playing with SMW Rovers, including two in the under-16s and one at senior level when just 18.
Fisher then moved into the Ballarat league, playing with the Ballarat Swans, before signing with the Tigers in coach Sam Giblett’s first year at the helm in 2012.
And the electric onballer has barely taken a break from the game since arriving at Tigerland.
Fisher has played two seasons with Nightcliff – also the Tigers – in the Northern Territory Football League during the summer months, which had him rock hard fit for the 2014 campaign with Springbank.
So it was no surprise to see him land best-on-ground honours in four of the opening five rounds en route to a seven-vote victory in the Geoff Taylor Medal count.
“When I went up to Darwin last year, you lose a few kilograms running around, just from sweating and stuff like that,” Fisher said.
“I got myself really fit for the second season in Darwin.
“I did the whole pre-season so I came back as fit as I’ve ever been this year.
“I came to the pre-season and felt like I was ahead of everyone, with fitness and just having that touch.
“I know everyone might lose it over the four or five months that they stay away from footy, (but) I hit the ground running because I’d only just come off a season in Darwin.”
Fisher said the standard of football up north was the best he had played, with the game style much different to that seen in Victoria during winter.
“There are no ball-ups there, no stoppages, it is just play-on all the time,” he said.
“Obviously there is a massive indigenous population up there so it’s very quick footy.
“There’s barely any contact, unless they are tackling you, of course.
“I was only a fringe player up there most of the time.”
Fisher has never played in a premiership, but did play in the Swans’ losing grand final to Lake Wendouree in 2010, when the Lakers featured his now-teammates Paul McMahon and Tim Malone.
The trio is part of a formidable outfit that Springbank has assembled this year, one that is feared right around the competition.
“Even though we finished sixth, I feel like we did under-achieve,” Fisher, a teacher at Caledonian Primary School, said.
“It seemed to be a long middle part of the year where it was fairly muddy and wet and we took a while to get going, but I don’t think there would be a side above us or that has to come up against us that wouldn’t fear us with the forward line we have and some of the firepower we have from higher levels.
“I think we are much more suited to the conditions that are coming up into September and there is no doubt we can give it a big shake.
“I hope teams are pretty fearful of what we can do in the next few weeks.”