Monday, 6 September, 2010

Inspirational Southport skipper Danny Wise went one better than last year to cap a stellar QAFL career by winning the JA Grogan Medal for the best and fairest player in the competition tonight.

The 28-year-old led throughout the second half of the count but had a nervous wait with three other players in contention going into the final round of voting.

It was especially nerve-wracking considering he led at the same stage of last year’s count but was overtaken by Mt Gravatt’s Nathan Gilliland on the last card of the night.

“I was wondering if it was going to be a case of déjà vu,” Wise smiled.

There was no such heartache this time, however, with only joint runner-up Jason Howard from Labrador polling a single vote in final round, while Wise received one for a strong effort against Aspley.

In a low count, Wise finished with 15 votes to win by two from Howard, Southport teammate Darren Pfeiffer, and Redland skipper Phil Carse.

Carse polled five votes in the last two games but was out of contention going into the final match.

Remarkably, a third Southport player – full-forward Cleve Hughes – could also have won going into the final round.

He polled four best afield votes for a total of 12 over the season.

“We were hoping for a three-way tie going into the last round,” admitted Wise, who was flanked at the Southport table by Pfeiffer and Hughes.

“I feel very honoured but I don’t think it will sink in until a couple of weeks when the finals are over. We’ve still got a job to do.” 

The surprise leader after eight rounds was former Brisbane Lion Tim Notting, who polled nine votes after a string of energetic displays roaming the Labrador forward line. He didn’t poll another vote.

NT Thunder star Cameron Ilett, who was ineligible due to accepting a points penalty for a minor indiscretion late in the season, finished three votes behind the winner.  

Wise’s class was reflected in the fact that two of his three best-on-ground votes came against top sides Labrador and Morningside.

He and Carse polled votes in the most games – seven each.

The early bolter was Broadbeach midfield utility Jesse Derrick, who attracted eight votes in the opening four matches but, like Notting, failed to catch the umpires’ attention again.

It was a richly deserved victory for Wise, having finished a close second in the Syd Guildford Trophy voting for the QAFL Record player of the year as judged by independent observers.

The diminutive onballer also captained Queensland for the first time in the Maroon’s crushing 79-point win over Tasmania on the Gold Coast in June, where he was one of his side’s best players.

So good was Wise’s 2010 season that he became the first QAFL-based player to earn selection in the Queensland Team of the Year, which has traditionally honoured only AFL players. Wise was born and bred on the Gold Coast.

There could yet be more glory in store for Wise, who celebrated his 100th game for the Sharks early in the season.

He still has the chance to lead Southport to a premiership after the Sharks rediscovered their best form last weekend to demolish Mt Gravatt and set up a preliminary final showdown with traditional rivals Morningside at Giffin Park, Coorparoo on Sunday.

Wise debuted with Southport as a 17-year-old and won a premiership in his first season. He was immediately offered a summer trial with the Brisbane Lions but was overlooked, with Woodville-West Torrens then luring him to the SANFL.

He played 60 games in six seasons with Woodville and North Adelaide, appearing in two grand finals and finishing third in Magarey Medal voting during his best season.

That prompted a courting from the Adelaide Crows, although he name was again overlooked at draft time.

Wise returned home in 2006 and finished fourth in the Grogan Medal. He had finished equal runner-up in 2008 and 2009 before finally breaking through tonight.

Grogan Medal Voting:

15: Danny Wise (Southport) 3-3-3-2-2-1-1
13: Phil Carse (Redland) 3-3-2-2-1-1-1
13: Jason Howard (Labrador) 3-3-2-2-2-1
13: Darren Pfeiffer (Southport) 3-2-2-2-2-2
12: Cleve Hughes (Southport) 3-3-3-3
*12: Cameron Ilett (NT Thunder) 3-2-2-2-2-1
11: Jamie Sheahan (Aspley) 3-3-3-1-1
*11: Dayne Zorko (Broadbeach) 3-3-3-1-1
10: Scott Clouston (Redland) 3-3-2-2
10: Shane Paterson (Redland) 3-2-2-2-1

Club Leaders


11: Jamie Sheahan
8: Sam Carpenter, Tyson Hartwig

Brisbane Lions

6: Claye Beams, Aaron Cornelius


11: Dayne Zorko
8: Jesse Derrick


12: Jason Howard
10: Shane Paterson


9: Damien Bonney, Jacob Gough, Mark Kimball

Mt Gravatt

9: Josh Vearing
7: Michael Hamill

NT Thunder

12: Cameron Ilett
9: Jake Dignan, Brett Goodes


13: Phil Carse
10: Scott Clouston


15: Danny Wise
13: Darren Pfeiffer

Western Magpies

2: Chris Judson  

Our Supporters