“I’m a proud Hawkie now, I’m here to stay”.
Plenty of Orange Hawks fans will breathe a sign of relief after hearing Ethan McKellar say that, after the barnstorming back-rower claimed the two blues’ highest honour in his first season with the club this year.
McKellar was monumental during the 2017 Group 10 premier league season, most considered him the club’s best signing outside captain-coach Willie Heta and he was duly named Hawks’ most outstanding player at last weekend’s presentation night.
He was also named Hawks’ rookie of the year.
“I was very honoured to win both of those awards,” McKellar said.
“I didn’t expect it at all, obviously I just wanted to be here to have fun and enjoy my footy but came out with a couple of awards as well which is a big bonus.
“We did finish our season a bit earlier than we wanted to (coming sixth), but we’re already preparing for next year and we’re hoping we can achieve something big.”
McKellar linked with the two blues from the Parkes Spacemen and said, as far as he’s concerned, he’ll be a Hawks jersey for some time to come.
“I’ve settled into Orange really well and I really enjoyed the season,” he said.
“I’m a proud Hawkie now, I’m here to stay and I can see myself being here for the next couple of years, definitely.”
Of the club’s other major awards,El Barry Goodlock claimed Clubmanof the Year, Elijah Smyth won the Dave ‘Blacky’ Clifford Award, Kaitlyn Phillips won the Kathy Cooper Award and Bec Ford claimed the Roy Hurford Trophy for player of the year.
For each grade, in league tag Erin Naden won the coaches’ award and Lailee Phillips won best and fairest.
Smyth won the under 18s coaches’ award and Will Page sealed best and fairest, while Todd Morrissey and Nick Wilson won the first division equivalents, respectively.
In premier league, Heta presented Jake Blimka with his coach’s award and Nathan Potts claimed the best and fairest gong.