DESERVED WINNERS: Ipswich Eagles players Darrin Norwood, Keith Brick and Justyn Bilston were recognised for strong seasons at the AFLQ awards evening.
DESERVED WINNERS: Ipswich Eagles players Darrin Norwood, Keith Brick and Justyn Bilston were recognised for strong seasons at the AFLQ awards evening. Contributed

Eagles trio awarded for high-flying season

THE Ipswich Eagles may not have secured a grand final victory but three players were recognised for their stellar seasons at the AFLQ awards night.

Senior on-baller Keith Brick finished a narrow runner-up in the QFA Division 3 best and fairest count on Sunday night.

Justyn Bilston went one better to take out the Reserve Grade best and fairest honour.

Joining Bilston was Darrin Norwood, who led the competition with 47 goals to take the top goalscorer's gong in the Reserves.

Brick can consider himself unlucky not to have won the award, having led the voting until the final round.

Norwood praised his clubmate's ability to go forward from the midfield and kick crucial goals as a key reason why he polled so well this season.

"You always know what you're going to get from (Brick),when he takes a mark or has a shot at goal nine times out of 10 he's going to convert," Norwood said.

"His fitness and speed, and the way he reads the game are his key strengths. He's always a reliable kick, and he's such a class player."

On his teammate Bilston, Norwood labelled the midfielder as "not the flashiest player" but highly deserving of his award as the competition's best and fairest player.

"Justyn is just a solid player who gives everything he's got week-in, week-out," Norwood said.

"He goes in and gets the hard ball, which is what the team needs from him, and that was what got him the votes he needed to win (the award)."

Former elite masters athlete Norwood admitted to surprise at taking out the leading goalkicker award, having missed a handful of games at the end of the season, and credited the award to players like Bilston "always putting it out in front of me".

The full forward wished to shine a light on the efforts of club president Clint Bateman as a key reason for the Eagles' team and individual successes this season. He promised the club would be even better next year.



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