Rabbitohs players have swept the North Sydney Bears’ 2015 awards by winning six of eight gongs on offer – Cody Walker picking up two awards including the Club’s Best and Fairest and Players’ Player awards.
Walker enjoyed a break-out first season under Coach, Ben Gardiner, at Norths alongside halves partner and Captain Darren Nicholls – who was awarded the Best Back award.
The halves combination of Walker and Nicholls helped to orchestrate a number of North Sydney wins after a slow start to season 2015 that had the red and black’s languishing at the bottom of the NSW Cup ladder.
But with renewed enthusiasm, coupled with some stand-out performances across the park, the Bears fought back strongly to book their place in the competition’s Finals Series in what was a true show of character, grit and belief by the side.
While Walker and Nicholls picked up awards in the backs, Jack Gosiewski was rewarded for his solid 2015 season by being named Best Forward. Gosiewski was an integral part of North Sydney’s run to the Finals. Meanwhile, Ed Murphy also picked up the Most Improved player award on the night, while Tulsa Saumamao was rewarded for his value as a utility.
For Head Coach Gardiner, seeing the side’s young contingent come into their own was a highlight as he gave his review to Rabbitohs.com.au.
“What was really pleasing was having a couple of young fellas in Jack Gosiewski and Tulsa Saumamao who came up and won awards,” said Gardiner.
“These guys came up through the 20s and just really proved to be consistent and hungry throughout the season and they deserved to be rewarded for that.
“Then you had guys like our Captain, Darren Nicholls and then Cody Walker – who just had an outstanding season and I would rate among the top-two or three players in the competition for the year.
“Cody took out the top award and he was thoroughly deserving of it for the quality that he showed throughout the year.”
The Bears finished in eighth position on the NSW Cup ladder on 26 competition points and nine wins – a result that seemed distant during the early stages of the 2015 season.
The side was ultimately knocked out of the Finals Series in Week 1 despite a courageous showing against the Bulldogs.
“It was pleasing to get the Club back into a good position again and to now be considered among one of the better Clubs in the NSW Cup,” said a proud Gardiner.
“It certainly was disappointing to make the eight only to go out the way we did, but I think we’ve laid a good platform this year for where we want to be next season. We took some giant steps forward this year and that work continues now.”
Congratulations to all the award recipients of the North Sydney Bears for their 2015 efforts.
The North Sydney Bears’ 2015 NSW Cup Award Winners are:
Best and Fairest – Cody Walker
Players Player – Cody Walker
Best Back – Darren Nicholls
Best Forward – Jack Gosiewski
Utility Players of the year – Tulsa Saumamao
Most Consistent Player of the Year – Ed Murphy
Most Improved – Bernard Gregorius
2015 North Sydney Bears Clubman of the Year – Trent Bowden