McCarthy looks back on season with Pride
WESTERN Pride captain Niall McCarthy probably reflects the feeling of his teammates when he said he's going to "hit the beach and relax".
Three nights training a week from November and playing intense games to September are big asks for amateur or self-professional footballers.
However, McCarthy was delighted with Pride's first season in the National Premier League state conference.
Pride's encouraging eighth-place finish was capped with the inaugural presentation function at the Ipswich Turf Club on Friday night.
Popular striker Peter Drager received the Players' Player honour with goalkeeper Steve Purdy collecting the prestigious Player of the Year Award.
"They both deserved it, no doubt about that,'' McCarthy said, having enjoyed the awards night.
"I think they were one and two for both the awards either way.''
McCarthy was also pleased to see exciting prospect Daniel Kleinhans win the under-20 Best and Fairest and Players' Player double. He helped the senior team cover for injuries this season.
As head coach Kasey Wehrman reviews the season and Pride's player personnel for next season, McCarthy is keen to play again next season.
"I know he wants to freshen up with a few faces and hopefully local or boys originally from the area,'' the skipper said.
"If we bring in three to five players of super quality, I think we can really be looking to push on even further next year.
"I think a lot of us are looking forward to a couple of months off and then kick back off in probably December.''
About 200 guests attended the Pride's first awards function.
"In my speech, I said it was pretty special,'' McCarthy said.
"A new club and being as successful as we were in the first year.
"A lot of people wrote us off even before we kicked a ball.
"It was a good night all round. There was a very good vibe in the air for the whole evening.''
Western Pride senior presentation awards.
- Senior men: Player of the Year - Steve Purdy. Players' Player: Peter Drager.
- Under 20 men: Best & Fairest and Players' Player - Daniel Kleinhans.
- Under 18 boys: Best & Fairest - Jamal Ramzy. Players' Player: Nathan Kissell.
- Under 18 girls: Best & Fairest - Megan Hellmuth. Players' Player: Brooke Nielsen.
- Clubperson of the Year: Under 18s girl team.