Honour for Nerimbera's MacKenzie
IT"S a bitter-sweet week for Nerimbera star Finnlay MacKenzie.
MacKenzie was awarded the competition's top honour yesterday picking up the Football CQ Premier League Player of the Year award.
The 22-year-old, who joined Nerimbera at the start of the season, finished the competition with 14 votes, two ahead of Clinton striker Tom Stephens and Frenchville young gun Jordan Miller.
Miller and Stephens are both in action tomorrow in the major semi-final at Clinton Sports Ground, Gladstone, while MacKenzie's former club Berserker tackle third-placed Centrals in Gladstone. The title came as a surprise to MacKenzie, in his first year at Nerimbera after five years at Berserker, with the Magpies finishing the season well out of the race for the Wesley Hall Cup.
“I came down to training three or four games before the end of the season and (coach) Tony (Zanda) said about me being in the running then, which caught me by surprise,” he said.
“I had no idea that I'd be up there. I thought I might've got a couple points here and there but it was more about enjoying playing.”
MacKenzie said his change in form this season came about thanks to a new-found hunger for the sport.
“Coming over from Berserker after five years I just needed to enjoy the game again,” he said.
“Everyone welcomed me and I just enjoyed playing this season. It must've come out in my game.
“I had the hunger again. I wanted to get up and go play and I was excited for it.”
While excited by the honour, MacKenzie said he joined Nerimbera with the ambition of playing finals football, and his hoping the club can figure in 2012.
“I had fun this year, but it would've been great to make the finals,” he said.
“I thought we had the team to but we just didn't get it on the scoreboard. We'll be back hungry for it next year.”
Clinton's Charles Keenan won the CQ Football Premier Reserves Player of the Year award.