Sam Fisher featured heavily throughout Friday night’s best and fairest. (PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Murdoch)
The Bullant Players’ Player of the Year award and a second-placed finish in the Laurie Hill Trophy capped off Sam Fisher’s maiden year at the Northern Blues.
Fisher went into Friday night’s vote count as one of the favourites for the best and fairest award, but was pipped by Tom Wilson’s 40-disposal performance in the final round.
It was still an outstanding year for Fisher, who finished the season as one of the key reasons behind Northern’s late resurgence.
The respect from his fellow teammates was made evident as the Players’ Player of the Year: in the past two years, the winner of that award has gone on to win the Laurie Hill Trophy.
We couldn't have been more impressed with Sam Fisher in his first year.
— Northern Blues FC (@NBluesFC) September 14, 2018
Fisher said he was honoured to be acknowledged by coaches and teammates alike.
“To be acknowledged by my peers is pretty special, they’re the people you line up next to each and every week,” Fisher said.
“‘Frase’ and the other members of the coaching staff were also extremely influential in my growth over the course of the season. I’m extremely honoured to have received both awards.”
From Round 9 onwards, Fisher averaged just shy of 25 disposals per game, while also adding nine goals in 11 games.
Fisher said his improvement was due to a number of reasons, while praising the influence of midfield coach Brent Stanton.
“I probably learned the most off ‘Stants’ — he performed for a long time at a high level and he was able to give me advice in areas of my game,” Fisher said.
“Growing relationships within the playing group and feeling comfortable within my role helped. Allowing myself extra time pre-training to improve my craft and review my game went a long way.”
After playing every game for the Blues in his first season, Fisher — who is still just 20 years of age — had already set his sights on a big 2019.
“A lot of the boys seem to have re-committed to 2019, which gives us a strong core group heading into next season,” Fisher said.
“The back half of the season gave the playing group a lot of confidence… Consistency was an issue for myself and the team in the first half of the season, but we learnt quite a bit in that space.
“Our main focus is to keep the momentum rolling over the summer and into next season and give ourselves the chance of finals.”