Parkes’ Dwyer joins Group 11’s elite club

SIMPLY THE BEST: Sam Dwyer won the Group 11 player of the year award. Photo: NICK McGRATH

SIMPLY THE BEST: Sam Dwyer won the Group 11 player of the year award. Photo: NICK McGRATH

Neil Moy, Mark Frankel, Bruce Wilson, Dennis Moran and now Sam Dwyer.

The Spacemen’s representative fullback has joined some elite Parkes rugby league names by winning the 2017 Whitney’s Jewelers Group 11 player of the year award.

The young No.1 was brilliant for the Spacemen on their way to the 2017 preliminary final and polled strongly throughout the regular season.

At the Group 11 presentation night on Friday, Dwyer edged Dubbo CYMS pair Jarryn Powyer and Alex Bonham and Nyngan hooker Reece Goldsmith for the top gong.

Dwyer said he led by three points after the penultimate round and didn’t poll any votes in his side’s last game.

He’s just lucky his nearest rivals didn’t either.

“Surprised, I didn’t have any idea,” Dwyer said.

“I’m pretty proud. You look back through the list and heaps of good players that have won it.

“There’s a few NRL guys, it means a lot to have your name up there with Dennis (Moran), he’s coached me since I’ve come into senior footy. I’m proud to be up here with him and Jacko (Darren Jackson), who’s coached me a Group (11) and Western.”

Jackson has won five Group 11 player of the year awards with both Macquarie and Cobar.

While Moran claimed three medals in four years between 2009 and 2012 – Corey Stanley won the 2011 gong after a great year with the Cowboys.

Of the recent winners, Dwyer joins the likes of Wellington’s Justin Toomey-White (2013, 2015), Jyie Chapman (2014) and last year’s winner Luke Jenkins.

Obviously honoured to be now sitting alongside the top players in Group 11, Dwyer, though, said he would have given the award to either Powyer of Goldsmith.

“Just from the games I played, Jarryn, he was solid. Reece got the refs award too, they were great all year,” he said.

“I went over and watched (the grand final). Good game, physical, lots of banter between the two teams. Great footy played.”

Parkes’ Jack Elliot took home the Mark Murphy Trophy as reserve grade player of the year.

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