Tight contest for top award

Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association 2019 team of the year which was announced at the Schluter Medal count on Monday night. Back: Marc Borholm, Angaston; Leigh Westhoff, Tanunda; Steve Rusca, Angaston; Ryder Eberhard, Angaston; Brae McConnell, Barossa; Adam Cockshell, Freeling; Aisea Raikiwasa, Nuriootpa; Michael Howson, Willaston; Sam Gordon, Nuriootpa; Matthew Westhoff, Tanunda. Front: Leigh Ryswyk, Barossa; Dom Constanzo, South Gawler; Michael Clinch, Willaston; Steven Summerton, Angaston; Tyson Irlam, Willaston; Andrew Wright, Gawler Central. Absent: Dean Terlich, Tanunda; Todd Miles, Barossa; Jackson Baldwin, Nuriootpa; Michael O’Malley, Freeling; Josh Hand, Freeling; Riley McFarlane, Tanunda.

Tanunda Football Club’s Riley McFarlane was awarded the Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association’s Schluter Medal on Monday night.

In a close count, Riley topped the poll with 22 votes ahead of Angaston’s Steve Rusca, Steven Summerton and Barossa District’s Leigh Ryswyk all on 19 votes.

Accepting the award on his behalf was Tanunda Football Club president, Danny Westhoff.

Danny described Riley as a “great little chap” and added he’ll be rapt with the award.

Speaking to The Leader yesterday Riley said he was overwhelmed with the recognition.

Riley was being updated during the night by Tanunda officials and adds he was pretty shocked that he polled well throughout the count.

“I was in bed and the phone started going off and I didn’t know what was going on,” said Riley.

“I missed at least eight games with injury and didn’t expect to be that high up.”

A calf injury and concussion sidelined the 27 year old for a number of games during the season, but he’s all set to play in next Saturday’s grand final.

The former Glenelg footballer, who has won a Best and Fairest award at Reserve level for the club said the Schluter award tops it all.

“It is pretty overwhelming… it is a good feeling to be recognised throughout the league,” said Riley.

It’s Riley’s second season with the Tanunda Football Club and he predominately plays in the midfield but also spends time in the forward line.

While he’s had a mixed season, Riley says he’s looking forward to the grand final and acknowledges the side has come a long way as a team compared to last season.

“It is a great club to play for and I am enjoying the footy,” said Riley.

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