Diarmid Cleary claims CSU Bushpigs best and fairest as top players commit for 2018

Bushpigs best and fairest, Diarmid Cleary (left), with runner-up Rob Herzfeld at the club's presentation night.
Bushpigs best and fairest, Diarmid Cleary (left), with runner-up Rob Herzfeld at the club's presentation night.

Charles Sturt University have moved to shore up their playing list for 2018, as their search for a coach continues.

The Bushpigs’ three best performing players this year have all signed on again, with backmen Diarmid Cleary and Jack Thompson-Gardener and midfielder Rob Herzfeld committing to another season.

Cleary was rewarded for his consistent season, claiming the club’s best and fairest at their presentation night last Friday.

Cleary (89 votes) polled six in the final round to beat Herzfeld (83), who didn’t play in round 18.

Thompson-Gardener was third on 69 votes.

It was a remarkable effort from Herzfeld who played just 11 games due to injury and university commitments. 

CSU’s new president, Harry Unthank, said the club is excited to have the trio headline their retention.

“Definitely, it’s great going forward,” Unthank said. 

“They’re great leaders around the club and it’s great to have them around again next year.”

Unthank said the Bushpigs are in talks with potential coaching candidates as they seek the right replacement for Farrer League coach of the year, Daniel Athanitis, who steered CSU to competitiveness.

Unthank replaced Tristan Robinson, who stood down after three years as CSU president. Robinson and Paul Anderson were both awarded life membership of the club for more than a decade’s service.

Reserve grade ruckman Brandon Emmerson won the twos’ best and fairest.

The A Grade netball best and fairest was taken out by Sarah Hooper for the second year in a row.

Mel Gutler (A Reserve), Jayde Black and Aleksandra Vasic (B Grade) and Annie McMahon (C Grade) were the other netball winners. 

Laura Skipworth was club person of the year.