WEST Coast Eagles vice-captain Darren Glass grew up
supporting the side he now plays for, and on Friday night he took its highest
individual honour, winning the 2007 Club Champion award.
The two-time All-Australian defender played all 24 matches for the season, and polled 405
votes to win from fellow backmen Adam Hunter (369) and Adam Selwood (367).
Matt Priddis has been a revelation this season after West
Coast rookie drafted him in 2005, and he won the Rookie of the Year award and
finished fourth in the club champion, (355) just ahead of star midfielder
Daniel Kerr (340).
Injury-plagued skipper Chris Judd and another defender in
Brett Jones tied for sixth on 339 votes, All-Australian Dean Cox was one vote
further back, while Quinten Lynch and Tyson Stenglein rounded out the top 10.
Glass said winning the award was something he'd grown up
“How do I feel? I feel good. I feel great, actually,” he
said minutes after the presentation at Burswood's Grand Ballroom on Friday night.
“It's a terrific honour to win such a prestigious award. I
grew up an Eagles fan, so it really is a dream come true.
“It's very humbling.”
It's hard to back up a premiership, as anything less than
another flag is seen as going backwards, but after the turmoil of 2007, the
dual All-Australian said he and the team were both set to be better in 2008.
“It's always very difficult to compare season to season, but
I think I improved as a player this year, and I think I've still got room to
improve, so that's the goal now – I'm looking forward to commence training
already and start to work on the game.
“I think we're placed very well – I think we've got a
terrific list, a young list, we've got a lot of confidence and I think we're in
very good shape.”
West Coast champion Chris Mainwaring, who died at the start
of the week, had a significant presence at the night, despite his passing.
The evening began with a poignant video tribute from Channel
7 which was followed by a minute's silence, and the announcement that the best
clubman award would be named the Chris Mainwairing Medal.
Glass paid tribute to the inaugural Eagle who won two flags
with his beloved club.
“Mainy was … I guess we're all in shock and devastated. He
was so popular with the player group.
“He really was a champion player, but more importantly, what
he'll be remembered for was he was a champion bloke.”