Wallace wins top Coffs Coast Advocate award

AN outstanding season from Sawtell captain-coach Craig Wallace has been rewarded with the prize of the Coffs Coast Advocate's Group 2 Player of the Year award.

Leading from the front to take an injury ravaged Panther line-up to the semi-finals, Wallace had an outstanding season not only for Sawtell but was close to receiving selection in the NSW Country team this year due to his efforts playing in the North Coast team.

The award was announced on Sunday during the presentation ceremony after the grand final where many were pleased to hear Wallace's name read out as the victor.

Throughout the year, two players from each team were awarded points each week as judged by sports writers Brad Greenshields and Greg White as well as opposition club officials.

Wallace's victory was by a small margin ahead of Orara Valley's Matt Donovan, Coffs Harbour's Dave Geary and Macksville prop Troy Grace.

"I thought I had a good season but when I was told that I'd won the award from the Advocate, I was pretty surprised," Wallace said.

"There are so many good players in the Group who could've won this ahead of me so it's a bit of an honour.

"While it's good to receive individual awards, at the end of the day it's a team game and its team success that you play for.

"Without the help of all the players that pulled on a Sawtell jumper this year and dug so deep when our backs were to the wall nearly every week, there is no way that I would've been able to receive this award."

Along with the honour of being named as the top player of the 2007 season by the Coffs Coast Advocate, Wallace also pocketed $500 for his efforts.

The family already had a holiday to Bali booked and the unexpected victory has now given the Wallace clan a little extra spending money for their trip.

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