Thursday 24 February 2011

NT Thunder utility James McNamee rebounded from being savaged by a dog late last QAFL season to win the NT News-Sportingbet NTFL player of the year award this week.

In his third season with the Wanderers club, McNamee polled 19 votes to beat Tiwi Bomber Ross Tungatalum (17) and Southern Districts’ Mark McLean and St Marys’ Iggy Vallejo, who both tied for third on 16.

McNamee (pictured courtesy NT News) almost lost his life 10 months ago when attacked by a group of dogs while jogging near Wadeye, 400km southwest of Darwin.

But he has joined the likes of Jarred Ilett, Heath Culpitt, Iggy Vallejo and Linc Withers as one of the premiers players in the Top End, winning a prestigious $1000 award.

“I’m pretty rapt. It’s certainly an honour and a big surprise,” McNamee told Grey Morris from the NT News.

“It’s been a bit of fun getting out of the community and into Darwin on the weekend for a bit of a kick.

This season was always going to be different for the former Maryborough, Victoria, goalkicker, who is employed as an AFLNT development officer at Wadeye.

A regular forward, he was played off a half-back flank this summer with outstanding results.

“I’ve played a different style of footy, not as much hard running, being smarter and getting to the right spots at the right time,” he said.

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