Brothers fullback Reece Baker with coach John Jenkins after winning the club’s A grade Best and Fairest award.
Brothers fullback Reece Baker with coach John Jenkins after winning the club’s A grade Best and Fairest award. Contributed

New stars capture awards

LAST weekend's NRL grand final all but signalled the end of the rugby league season for another year.

The four Rockhampton regional clubs wrapped up their season last weekend with their annual presentation evenings and there wasn't too many surprises.

In a boost for the future of the competition, all but one of the top awards was won by 20-year-olds.

Reece Baker, Simon Gregory and Daniel Pickering won their respective club's Player of the Year awards while the elder statesman of the quartet, Tim Harlow, was declared Yeppoon's best this season.

For Rockhampton Brothers it was Baker that took the club's top honour after the dynamic fullback starred for the Brethren this season on their way to both the Rockhampton Rugby League and Challenge Cup premierships.

Along with his integral role in Brothers' success this season, Baker made a handful of appearances for the Central Comets in the Intrust Super Cup – something Comets fans will be hoping to see more of in 2011.

In a side boasting a players with a wealth of Comets experience, including Gerard Parle, George Tuakura, Chris Gesch, Kam Wilkinson and Cooper Nobbs, Baker's win is an indication of the talent the 20-year-old possesses.

Corey Milburn won the Rookie of the Year award after his first full season in A grade.

Milburn's impact off the bench was a key part of the Brethren's surge at the end of the season.

Yeppoon Seagulls front-rower Harlow capped off arguably the best season of his career winning the Seagulls' A grade Player of the Year award.

Harlow consistently worked hard for the Seagulls on their way to both minor premierships, and the 35-year-old's win comes as no surprise after he picked up the top gong at the Rockhampton Rugby League awards night.

On that evening, Harlow was awarded the 57th Ollie Howden Medal after the front-rower was one of the standout performers for the Seagulls this season.

In his first season in the top grade, teammate Sam Madden was justifiably awarded the Rookie of the Year prize.

The Comets under-18 star easily made the step up into the A grade competition after some impressive performances in the under-20 side at the beginning of the season.

Fitzroy Gracemere fullback Pickering picked up his club's top honour after bursting onto the scene in 2010.

Playing at fullback for the Sharks, Pickering was the competition's highest pointscorer and was rewarded with a number of appearances for the Comets.

After a number of awards at the Rockhampton Rugby League awards night in September, the Chargers' Simon Gregory won both his club's Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards.

2010 award winners

Brothers

Player of the Year:

A grade – Reece Baker

Under-20 – Kayan Davis

Reserve grade – Blake Perkins

Rookie of the Year – Corey Milburn

Yeppoon

Player of the Year:

A grade – Tim Harlow

Under-20 – Billy Grant

Reserve grade – Joel McLellan

Rookie of the Year – Sam Madden

Fitzroy Gracemere

Player of the Year:

A grade – Daniel Pickering

Under-20 – Damien Mossinger

Reserve grade – Bill Weder

Rookie of the Year – Justin Thaw

CQU Norths

Player of the Year:

A grade – Simon Gregory

Under-20 – Chris Saunders

Reserve grade – Neville Blake

Rookie of the Year – Simon Gregory



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