Young Lismore player Sam Elliott has been awarded the prestigious Mat Rogers Medal as the best contributor to Gold Coast junior representative football.
It’s the third time the medal has been awarded to the player judged the best and fairest, on and off the field, from the Coast’s two Cyril Connell Cup (under 16) and two Mal Meninga Cup (under 18) representative squads.
Sam, 17, a front-rower like his older brother Max who plays for the Titans under-20s, was presented the medal by Titans head coach Neil Henry at the junior representative presentation evening before an audience of 250.
Unfortunately it was the first time Mat Rogers was not there to present the award because of a pre-booked engagement.
Elite Player Development Manager Jamie McCormack said the award was an appropriate reward for the efforts of Sam, who is a member of the Titans High Performance Unit which provides specialist training and assistance to the elite players from ages 16 to 18.
“Sam is a worthy winner as he was an outstanding contributor to his side over the eight weeks of competition and his attitude and dedication off the field was as good as it was on,” he said of the Woodlawn College student.
“He has been in our program for several years and hopefully has a bright future ahead of him.
“Even though we are only one of five stakeholders overseeing the Cyril Connell and Mal Meninga Cups, they play an important role in the development of young players in our catchment area in giving the best possible competitive environment in Queensland.
“They also provide a strong pathway into the National Youth League (NRL under-20s competition). For us the two competitions give us a good vehicle to test and monitor our High Performance Unit members and also watch the performances of many good players in the region.”
Neil Henry gave the players and their families a good insight the Titans’ developments and the importance of the pathway program.
The Gold Coast Connell White side finished the competition undefeated in the southern pool of the Connell Cup but was beaten by Sunshine Coast 32-22 in the state semi-final. The Green Connell side finished third in the southern pool.
Both Meninga Cup teams finished equal third in the southern pool so just missed a semi-final spot (the top two from the northern and southern pools go through).
PICTURED: Back row (from left): Luke Mastrianni, Lochlan Sheldon, Ben Thomas, Sam Elliott, Jai Whitbread, Jack Peacock. Front row: Brock Hamill, Taine Tuaupiki, Brent Woolf, Tom Plater.
Titans head coach Neil Henry with Mat Rogers Medal winner Sam Elliott.
Previous Mat Rogers Medal winners:
2013 – Daniel Schwass.
2014 – Samuel Swift