IT’S been a good week for Phillip Island ruckman Cameron Pedersen.
His former AFL side, the Melbourne Demons, won their first premiership in 57 years last Saturday, and he collected his second West Gippsland senior football league best and fairest on Thursday night.
The winners were announced in an online event hosted by the league, with COVID-19 restrictions ruling out an in-person event for this year’s vote count.
The 34-year-old polled 16 votes from 10 games, beating out Phillip Island skipper Jaymie Youle and Cora Lynn sharpshooter Nathan Gardiner by three votes.
Despite winning one game, Koo Wee Rup’s Tim Miller finished fourth on 12 votes, with Nar Nar Goon’s Brendan Hermann and Kilcunda Bass’ Darcy Atkins behind him on 11 votes.
Surprisingly, Mitch Cammarano – another Demon – finished alongside Hermann and Atkins on 11 votes.
Pedersen arrived at the Kennel after he retired from the AFL at the end of 2018, playing 16 games for North Melbourne and 64 for Melbourne across eight years.
He had no issues adjusting to the standard of country footy in 2019, polling a whopping 38 votes from 18 games to win the league best and fairest from teammate Brendan Kimber on 23 votes.
The two powerhouses would lead the Bulldogs to their second flag in a row later that week, defeating Kimber’s former side Cora Lynn by four points.
After the cancelled season in 2020, opposition ruckmen would’ve been hoping Pedersen, now 34, was slowing down a bit, but it didn’t take long for him to get back to his best.
He was still able to put the ball down his midfielder’s throats, take big grabs and kick goals, and in the end, he was rewarded with another league best and fairest.
Gardiner was recognised as the league’s leading goal kicker, finishing on 50.
In the reserves, Ben Miller from Koo Wee Rup won the league best and fairest from Phillip Island’s Noah Bee-Hickman on 12 votes.
Cora Lynn’s Duoth Jock won the thirds’ vote count on 12 votes with Inverloch Kongwak’s Mitchell Hewitson coming in third on nine votes. And in the fourths, Garfield’s Ben Tenace-Greenall took home the award, beating out IK’s William Turner by one vote.