By Tricia Mifsud
SEYMOUR Football Club’s senior coach Ben Davey and first-year Lions recruit Jack O’Sullivan have taken out top honours at the Goulburn Valley League, GVL, awards night on September 21.
The duo’s awards reflect the season had by the Lions, who were top of the league’s ladder until the last round where they then fell to a third-place finish.
Davey was awarded the league’s coach of the year while O’Sullivan, in just his first season with GVL, was awarded the Morrison Medal, the league’s best and fairest, and did so seven votes clear of Kyabram’s Zac Keogh.
O’Sullivan, 23, polled 22 votes in the Morrison Medal count and became the first Lion in 17 years to receive the award, and only the fifth in the club’s history.
Davey said that he was “rapt” for O’Sullivan, and the medal was an award for his efforts.
“He’s obviously a very talented footballer and he works incredibly hard,” Davey said.
“As a role model, what he provides for all the young guys is great, he sets such a great example on how to work hard. He’s not quiet, and he’s always willing to help.
“He’s been good for me too and suggesting new ways to help in the midfield and implementing different techniques he’s very good at.
“I would say he is one of the best recruits Seymour Football Club have had in a long time.”
For himself, leading up to the awards night, Davey said he hadn’t thought of the awards in the slightest, particularly the coach of the year award, and despite the way he led the side, wasn’t expecting his name to be read out on the night.
“I’ve been that focused on our teams and players, and been flat out resigning players, and having player meetings, that the awards didn’t cross my mind,” he said.
“I was watching the livestream, and I had it on mute because I had the TV on too, then I could see things rolling across the screen, and there I was.”
Davey said that the award recognises the amount of work that goes into being a head coach, but he’s more than willing to commit to a club like the Lions which he said has a talented young and exciting list.
“It’s such a cliché that you’re not trying to ever be rewarded something, but it was nice for that bit of recognition for your hard work.”
“I think until you coach a team or are involved in a team, you don’t realise how much time goes into it. You’re always on the phone to the players, having conversations, then the hands-on time, and so much time goes into game plan, selection reviewing of other teams and your own team.
“I think just being part of a young and exciting group has kept me going and you just feed off the enthusiasm that they bring and their hunger to be good and better.”
From when GVL announced the season’s cancellation, Davey and the leadership group set priorities to commence preparations for 2022.
Davey said this began by resigning all the club’s 2021 list and acknowledging that despite the season they had this year, they must begin preparations for next year from the “bottom of the mountain”.
“The leadership group really wanted to drive the direction of the club and as soon as the season got called off, we got with the team and reviewed what we thought went well and what didn’t,” he said.
“They were keen on getting resigning done, and we did that in three weeks, and everyone signed. Now we can focus on bring other talent in.
“We’re going to change quite a bit next year; we’ve got a good grounding but it’s going to be different.
“We’ve done really well and had a great year but now we’re back at the bottom of the mountain and it’s what we do starting now to get to the top again next year.”