Andrew Ireland Medal

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The Andrew Ireland Medal is presented to the player judged best-on-ground in the NEAFL Grand Final.

From 2011-2013 a player received the award during the Cross-Conference Grand Final before the league merged the Northern and Eastern Conferences into a single league in 2014.

The award was named after Sydney Swans Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Ireland, who was instrumental in the AFL’s push to develop football in the QLD and NSW/ACT regions. Among his many achievements, he was the architect of the first premierships for both the Brisbane Lions and Sydney Swans which stimulated stronger interest in the code.

Ireland played 110 games with Collingwood in the VFL, including the 1977, ’79 and ’80 Grand Finals. He later played for Mayne in the QAFL and was the State Director of Coaching before becoming General Manager of the QAFL.

In 1990 he was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the then Brisbane Bears FC and was a key instigator in bringing the Bears from the Gold Coast to Brisbane and the Gabba in the early 1990s. He was CEO at the Lions in their first premiership year in 2001.

In 2002 Ireland was appointed General Manager of Football Operations at the Sydney Swans and helped guide the club to its first premiership in over 70 years in 2005. At the end of 2009 he was appointed CEO of the Sydney Swans.