BOTH of VB Gold Group 2's major 'player of the year' award winners have expressed pleasure at having their efforts recognised.
Sawtell lock forward Darren Horne received some compensation for missing the Panthers' grand final triumph due to injury by being named The Coffs Coast Advocate's best player of 2011.
And veteran halfback Michael Ronan of Nambucca Heads was able to celebrate with the Rex
Hardaker Memorial Award despite the Roosters finishing runners-up for the title.
"The award was a surprise and thanks to all," Horne said.
"It would have been great to be on the field with the boys but at least we got there and it all turned out well in the end."
Ronan's achievement caps a career that's now stretched through 16 seasons of senior rugby league.
He has won and lost a plethora of grand finals, made hundreds of first grade appearances with Nambucca Heads, Macksville and Bellingen clubs, and scored thousands of points by kicking goals with that magical boot.
VB Gold Group Awards of 2011
Rex Hardaker Memorial Award - Michael Ronan (Nambucca Heads)
Coffs Coast Advocate Player of the year - Darren Horne (Sawtell)
John Mackay Medal for player of the grand final - Geoff Batten (Nambucca Heads)
Bowen Family Trophy (club championship) - Nambucca Heads
Best and fairest - Callin Tapine (Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo)
Highest points scorer - Anthony Cowan (Macleay Valley) 14 tries, 58 goals - 172 points
Most tries - Darren Byrne (Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo) 15 tries
Best and fairest - Ben Gorman (Woolgoolga)
Highest points scorer - Dave Angus (Sawtell) 9 tries, 48 goals - 132 points
Most tries - Jason Jarrett (Nambucca Heads) 14 tries
Best and fairest - Lachlan Miller (Coffs Harbour)
Highest points scorer - Lachlan Miller (Coffs Harbour) 10 tries, 43 goals - 126 points
Most tries - Brandon Lee (Coffs Harbour) 11 tries
Durbidge Family Trophy for most improved - Jake Fuller (Macksville)