Brewer claims Priest Medal

Stephen Brewer has won the Barry Priest Medal. Picture Damjan Janevski

Tara Murray

Caroline Springs gun Stephen Brewer is like a bottle of wine that keeps getting better with age as he claimed the Western Region Football League’s top honour.

While most people his age have retired from football, the 37-year-old produced one of his best seasons to claim the Barry Priest Medal for the best and fairest player in division 1.

The league hosted an online ceremony to announce the winners of the awards for the men’s competition on Thursday night due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Brewer polled in seven of the 12 games the Lakers played, finishing on 16 votes, two votes ahead of Deer Park’s Scott Greenhough.

Brewer took the lead in the count in the second last round and despite not polling in the final round, was able to hold on.

It’s the first time a Lakers player has claimed the Barry Priest Medal.

Brewer, a former VFL player, has starred since joining the club, including winning the club’s 2019 best and fairest.

It’s not the first time he’s been in contention for a league best and fairest. Back in 2014, Brewer, who was playing for Greenvale, finished second in the Essendon District Football League Reynolds Medal for the best player in premier division.

Brewer was named in the centre in the division 1 team of the year this year, with his Lakers teammate Max Tessari named on the bench.

Altona coach Corey McCall was picked as the coach of the team of the year while Hoppers Crossing star Ashlin Brown was selected captain.

Players from eight of the 10 division 1 teams were named in the team of the year, with Hoppers Crossing having the most representatives with five.

In other division 1 awards, Spotswood’s Nick Graham was voted the most valuable player by the coaches.

Altona’s Saad El-Hawli was named the rookie of the year.

Parkside’s Shaun Campbell won the Alan Smith Medal for the division 2 best and fairest.

Campbell polled 20 votes to finish four ahead of North Footscray’s Adam Petridis. Albion’s Cody Bench and Wyndhamvale’s Daniel Smith finished third.

Campbell dominated the division 2 awards, also being named the leading goal kicker and captain of the team of the year. He was one of four Parkside players named in the division 2 team of the year.

Wyndhamvale dominated the team of the year with five players, while coach Luke Wenlock was named coach of the year.

North Footscray David Battistella was named the overall WRFL senior coach of the year.

Wyndham Suns’ John Tomelty won the Ron & Thelma Angwin Medal for the best player in division 3.

Tomelty finished on 11 votes to finish two clear of Braybrook’s Aidan O’Rafferty, Albanvale’s Bobby Saric and Sunshine Heights Justin Zahra.

Tomelty, who was named at centre half forward in the division 3 team of the year, polled three votes in the final round to seal the medal.

His Suns teammate, playing coach Dean Cachia was named coach of the year as well as in the forward line, while Albanvale’s Brendan Cassar was selected as captain.

There were six Suns players named, while five Albanvale players also made the team.