Newman named Fothergill-Round Medalist
Frankston defender Nic Newman has been named the Fothergill-Round Medalist in the VFL for season 2014.
The promising former Dandenong Southern Stingrays player in the TAC Cup has had a standout second season in the VFL playing all 17 games for the Dolphins and averaging 23 disposals and seven marks a game.
The Fothergill Round Medal is presented to the most promising young talent in the VFL aged 23 or younger who has the potential to take his game to the AFL.
It is in recognition of Des Fothergill and Barry Round, the only players who have won a Brownlow Medal and Liston Trophy. Fothergill, a Collingwood player, won the 1940 Brownlow and ’41 Liston when he was playing for Williamstown. Round, a South Melbourne player, won the 1981 Brownlow and the ’87 Liston when he was a Williamstown player.
CLICK HERE to listen to Nic Newman on the VFL Podcast
Overlooked at TAC Cup level as a 17 and 18-year-old before playing as a 19-year-old for Dandenong Stingrays, Newman managed just three games last year for Frankston, and they were as the 23rd player.
During the off season, Newman went head first into giving himself every chance to capitalise on his ability. It has been a stunning turnaround with Newman playing every game for the Dolphins.
“Nick probably worked harder than anyone over preseason,” Frankston coach Goosey said.
“He was disappointed he didn’t get senior games, but he understood why and what he had to do and he took everything on board.
“He (Newman) just had to learn a lot, he always had the talent.
“When kids come out of the TAC Cup they have to get their heads around understanding the game. There’s more set ups, structures and more to do with a game plan.
“Even for kids who get drafted you see how big a jump it is. A lot of kids become really impatient.
“It’s really like an apprenticeship. You don’t become a tradesman after one year. The more we can do to educate the kids to the system it will ensure we don’t lose them.”
Newman said he worked really hard during pre-season so he could present himself as a viable senior selection from the opening round.
He added he set mini-goals from the time pre-season began.
“All I wanted to do was have a good preseason, impress the coaches, get a game in the first practice match in the seniors and from there it was to do enough so I stayed in every week,” Newman said.
“Then I tried to make sure I was in the seniors in Round 1. After Round 1, I set myself another goal of still being in the team for the ANZAC Day game.
“The more games you play the more comfortable you feel and the better player you are going to be.
“After Round 6 or 7, I started to feel comfortable being in the team and you don’t tend to stress too much about your form and it’s all about the team.
“The biggest thing was playing consistent footy over a period of time and getting that consistency into your game.”
Goosey noted how players like Sam Mitchell, Sam Dwyer and Tory Dickson had evolved into quality AFL players after learning the game at the VFL, even in the Development League.
The Frankston coach said players who do endure the hard yards appreciate the success more when it comes.
He believes there is untold upside to the 21-year-old Newman, a 187 cm, 81kg defender.
“Nick is a natural footballer. Last year he would zone off his man and we’ve worked with him about being on his opponent’s case,” Goosey said.
“He reads the play well, he’s a good mark and he sets up a lot of the play for us. He’s got football smarts.”
That talent is starting to shine through, as he joins former Dolphin and now Essendon player Michael Hibberd as the only other Fothergill-Round Medal winner from Frankston, and other winners such as Kane Lambert, Dean Towers, Michael Barlow, Robin Nahas and Aaron Davey.