Thunderbolts’ Under 18s Presentation Recap
By Matt Hughes (NRL Vic Media)
The Victoria Thunderbolts under 18s presentation took place last night at AAMI Park. The night capped off a good season for the boys which saw them finish a competitive 14th out of 17 teams. 5 awards were presented on the night.
Player of the Year – Dean Ieremia
Captain of the side, Dean Ieremia was rewarded for his standout season at fullback, by being voted the Player of the Year Award. Dean scored ten tries from his eight appearances and lead the team with distinction. His season for the Thunderbolts is not over yet as his form for the 18s led to him making his debut for the Under 20s Thunderbolts two weeks ago against the Roosters.
Coaches Award – Sione Finau
Centre Sione Finau was awarded the Coaches Award by Head Coach Janan Billings. Sione had an extremely consistent year, crossing the line in 5 of the eight games. He finished the season with eight tries, second to Dean Ieremia.
Best Back – Derek Iva
After missing the first game through injury, Halfback Derek Iva played in every other game. He is a well-deserved winner of the Best Back award and his work in the halves was crucial in setting up big wins over the Magpies and Pirates.
Best Forward – Brandon Pritchard
Second – Rower/prop Brandon Pritchard played in every game for the season and was rewarded for his offensive and defensive work as the Best Forward. The Thunderbolts defence was tested this year making less tackles than the opposition only once and Brandon was a big part of keeping opposition teams out. He also managed a try of his own against the Roosters.
ACE Performance Award – Poasa Telepe
17-year-old Winger Poasa Telepe worked hard all year and was awarded the ACE Performance Award. Poasa earnt his debut in the huge win over the Pirates and did not look out of place.