East Wagga-Kooringal midfielder Harry Fitzsimmons completed a remarkable breakout season with victory in the Gerald Clear Medal on Thursday night.
Fitzsimmons produced a finish for the ages, landing three best-on-ground performances in the final three rounds to storm to a two-vote victory.
Fitzsimmons finished on 17 votes, two ahead of Northern Jets midfielder Mitch Haddrill (15), who went voteless in the lsat five rounds.
Haddrill had 15 votes after 13 rounds to lead EWK's Nathan Scott (13) and Marrar forward James Lawton (12).
But Scott was the only one of the trio to poll again, scoring one vote in round 17, as Fitzsimmons finished like a house on fire to score a memorable win.
The 22-year-old watched the online count unfold alongside his Hawks teammates at the Gumly clubrooms and was taken aback by the win.
"The round 10 leaderboard came up and I wasn't even close to it," Fitzsimmons said.
"When they put the leaderboard up, I wasn't on it and then I saw Mitch Haddrill and Nick Molkentin polling good. I was pretty nervous to start with but then I lost all hope.
"It feels pretty good. A lot of good players have won it. It surprised me more than anything. I left it to the last minute. Very Elleegant they're calling me, come home strong."
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Fitzsimmons put his big year down to an off-season chat with Hawks coach Matt Hard.
"Matty sat me down at the start of the year and said where I'm at this age where I can take my footy to the next level, and life, or I can keep coasting along," he said.
Fitzsimmons, a junior at The Rock-Yerong Creek and Wagga Swans, made his debut under Hard at Coolamon as a 16-year-old and has played under him ever since.
Hawks teammate, Scott, North Wagga's Ben Alexander, Marrar's Zach Walgers and Coleambally co-coach Luke Hillier shared third on 14 votes.
It was a good night for the Hawks with Luke Adams taking out the Alan Carroll Medal for best and fairest in reserve grade.
Adams polled 24 votes to win easily by 11.
North Wagga's Mitch Mattingly (17 votes) won the David 'Sandman' Oehm Medal for best and fairest in under 17.5s, from Northern Jets' Luke Cameron (15) and Marrar's Wilbur Moloney (14).
17 - Harry Fitzsimmons (EWK)
15 - Mitch Haddrill (Northern Jets)
14 - Ben Alexander (North Wagga), Luke Hillier (Coleambally), Zach Walgers (Marrar), Nathan Scott (EWK)
12 - James Lawton (Marrar), Chris O'Donnell (Marrar), Jackson Moye (Marrar)
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