By Jackson Russell
Whittlesea’s Xavier Dimasi capped off a stellar year by winning the Northern Football Netball League division two best and fairest in a three-way tie at the Rosbrook Medal night at the MCG on Wednesday.
Dimasi finished on 14 votes along with Banyule’s Riley Loton and Eltham’s Brent Macaffer despite a back injury in round nine keeping him out for two weeks and likely out of the umpires’ votes for a few more.
The award comes on top of being named best on ground in the Eagles’ premiership win over Banyule last Saturday.
Dimasi said it was humbling to win the competition’s highest honour.
“Especially to win it with two great players who have had really good years so I was pretty lucky,” he said.
Dimasi scored one vote in the Eagles’ round 18 victory over Watsonia to nab him a share of the best and fairest.
“Going into the last round, I thought maybe if I could pinch one it would be nice but I’m very happy to get a best and fairest. It was very unexpected,” he said.
“To win this is just a bonus. The main medal was won last Saturday afternoon with the boys.”
Dimasi rated 2019 as probably his most consistent year said there are always improvements to be made.
“I just go out there and Stinger [coach Blair Harvey] gives me a bit of a role to do every week and I just try to do that the best that I can,” he said.
“To get noticed by the umpires and people on the outside is nice as well but as long as I’m doing my part for the team, the boys have my back and they’re happy with my performance, that’s the main thing that counts.”
“I would’ve like to have hit the scoreboard a bit more. Stinger is probably going to kill me because I missed too many set shots but we’ll do a bit more work in the offseason and come back bigger and better for next year.”
An Assumption College alumnus, Dimasi has taken on a leadership role within the club both on and off the field.
“I really pride myself in my leadership role. Ever since I came up as a junior and through school, I used to thrive in leadership roles,” he said.
“Especially with the young group we’ve got, we’ve got a lot of kids coming through so I’m trying to help them in any way I can. If they listen to me, it would be nice.
“I just trying to help them and give them as much of the experience I have and share with them and help us get better together.”
Whittlesea coach Blair Harvey said Dimasi’s season was much like Dustin Martin’s 2017, with the midfielder winning a slew of awards.
“He’s been really important. Especially when our captain Riley Dyson was out and he stepped up and held the captaincy for 14 games. He took that role on and held the team together for most of the year,” he said.
“He plays in the middle and we like to go through the middle and he sets himself up well. We know we have a strong body who’s a good mark and a great ball user who can deliver the ball to our forwards exactly how we want it.”