Sebastian Matheson, a ruckman for the Bathurst Bushrangers Outlaws, was shocked to receive the award.
“It was definitely a surprise, we’ve got plenty of good players at our own club let alone in the league ...
"I didn’t think I was a chance really ... the best I’ve done previously was fifth so I went on the night and I was just hoping to get slightly better than that really,” he says.
Although being named best and fairest for the league is a great achievement, for Matheson the real prize came earlier in the day.
His Bathurst team had made it to the grand final five times and taken home the cup only once, so the final siren was a huge relief.
“I was just hoping that we weren’t going to lose another one, so it’s a real, I guess euphoric, sort of feeling, but also for me the overwhelming thing was like a release, just that we got there and we were able to do it,” he says.
“We went in as underdogs but then ... I think it was a six goals to one first quarter and we were just able to maintain pretty good intensity throughout.”
Since starting at the school two years ago, Matheson has helped establish an AFL foothold – deep in rugby league territory.
“Here in New South Wales they’ve got a primary school competition called the Paul Kelly Cup ... so since I’ve been at the school ... we’ve entered a boys’ team and a girls’ team in it both years.
"The first year both teams only won about a game each I think, and then last year both sides won four or five ... so we’re improving.”
Still basking in premiership and individual glory, the educator says he has no intention of hanging up his boots anytime soon.