Liston Medal Goes To Field VFL Best and Fairest an historic first for Roosters

NORTH Ballarat captain Julian Field won the Victorian Football League's Best and Fairest Award in an historic first for his club last night.
Field, 27, polled 16 votes in the J.J. Liston Medal to finish three votes clear of Sandringham's Adam Fisher, polling votes in seven of the 18 games this season.
"It's a great honour," he said before the audience at Moonee Valley Racing Club, admitting he had not prepared a speech.
"It's not something you set out to achieve.
"I love the club and the people in that club. It's something I never expected."
The prolific possession winner and reliable leader thanked his teammates, parents and the North Ballarat support staff.
He also said he was not concerned about getting votes last night but was going to "have a few beers" to celebrate.
Roosters coach Steve Wright applauded Field's effort in winning the club's first J.J. Liston Medal.
"It's just a fantastic reward for his efforts," he said.
Club chairman Peter Wilson said Field was a leading example of North Ballarat's player development system.
"It's thoroughly deserved. He's one of the most respected players in the competition.
"He's been a stellar player in the competition and it's a very well deserved honour."
Former coach Gerard FitzGerald, who now coaches Port Melbourne, said he had enormous respect for Field.
"He's had a sustained level of excellence for a very long time. I thought he represented his club very well tonight and he represented his family well.
"I also think it speaks well of the competition that a VFL player (not an AFL-listed player) wins the award."
Field, originally from Avoca, has played 116 senior VFL games with North Ballarat, and is in his second year as captain.
Last week Field said his season had been consistent, without being spectacular.
Still, Field polled more votes than pre-count favourite Jeremy Clayton of Port Melbourne.
Clayton, who played with the Roosters in the 2000 grand final, is considered capable of playing well at AFL level.
Also polling votes for North Ballarat was Andrew Eccles, with 10, and Nathan Saunders with seven.
Saunders was the Roosters leading goalkicker for the year but was ineligible due to suspension.

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