HUGH Goddard capped off an exemplary season at VFL level by winning the 2019 Laurie Hill Trophy.
Goddard arrived as a Carlton rookie just under 12 months ago, making the most of his second chance after spending four seasons at St Kilda.
The key defender was a brick wall in defence for the Northern Blues all season, leading the competition for marks per game as an intercepting backman.
Polling 93 votes in the VFL’s best-and-fairest award, Goddard outlasted midfielders Sam Fisher (78) and Frank Anderson (76) to win the Laurie Hill Trophy.
Goddard became the first Carlton-listed player to be crowned the Northern Blues’ best and fairest in four years.
The 23-year-old started the VFL season in outstanding fashion, named in the team’s best in eight of his first 10 games.
Over the course of the year, Goddard averaged nearly 18 disposals and over eight marks per game as one of the standout defenders of the competition.
Northern Blues Senior Coach Josh Fraser said Goddard’s recognition was just reward for a campaign where he embraced the Club and everything it stood for.
“Ever since stepping foot into Ikon Park, Hugh has been so invested in not only the culture of the Carlton Football Club, but also at the Northern Blues,” Fraser said.
“We saw his performances on the field, which saw him rewarded with a chance at AFL level. What’s been understated is the leadership he provides and the genuine care he has for his teammates.
“We’re delighted for Hugh and it’s much-deserved. We’re looking forward to seeing what he can achieve from both an AFL and VFL point of view in 2020.
“It’s also important to acknowledge the seasons of Sam Fisher and Frank Anderson. Both of them have been outstanding young players for us this year and we’re thrilled to have them at our football club.”