By JESS WEBSTER
Aspley defender Daniel Joseph has done his AFL Draft chances no harm, claiming the Carl Herbert Medal only days before attending the AFL’s ‘Rookie Me’ Combine in Melbourne.
The 24-year-old half-back starred in his first season at the Hornets, earning NEAFL representative honours against his home state Tasmania, to win the club’s best-and-fairest award on Friday night by 16 votes over Ed Barlow.
Joseph said he never expected to win the Carl Herbert Medal, in what was his first club best-and-fairest victory of his career.
“I was a bit gobsmacked, to be honest, but I am very honoured to win it,” he said.
“I’ve been a bridesmaid a couple of times, and had never taken it out. It was really overwhelming and I wasn’t expecting it. But to win it, and beating some of the other senior guys at the club, was good.”
A Glenorchy premiership player and former Tasmanian Under-18 representative, Joseph played in every NEAFL game this year, averaging 18 disposals, five marks and 3.5 rebound 50s per match.
His efforts were rewarded with an invite to the Rookie Me Combine, a new concept this year where players had to receive two nominations from AFL clubs in order to attend, which was held on Sunday.
Joseph said he was surprised to earn an invite, but was pleased with his consistency in season 2017.
“It was a good experience (at the combine). I was definitely surprised to get an invite, I was never expecting it. It was a big privilege to go,” he said.
“I played a lot more consistent footy this year. Once I made the move down to half-back about midway through the season, I found some rhythm and managed to string a few good games together.
“I was probably a lot more footy-focused this year. Moving up to Brisbane, I became a lot more professional in the way I went about it.”
After an up-and-down season for the Hornets, culminating in an Elimination Final loss to Sydney University, Joseph said he is looking forward to what lies ahead.
“We still played finals footy but I still thought we could have gone a lot further,” he said.
“We are obviously going to turn over a few players so I think it will be a younger and exciting group next year.”
Carl Herbet Medal Top 5
151 votes: Daniel Joseph
135: Ed Barlow
131: Reece Toye
114: Matt Payne
111: Gavin Grose
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