Meet the Gympie AFL player judged better than 268 opponents
Who will win the AFL Wide Bay Grand Final?
This poll ended on 01 September 2018.
Hervey Bay Bombers
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
AUSSIE RULES: The Gympie Cats have received a huge boost before their miracle grand final berth this weekend, with versatile midfielder Scott Stiefler awarded the 2018 Stedman Medal as the AFL Wide Bay's best and fairest player.
'Gunny' fronted up for all but one game of his first season in Cats colours, ranking equal-second on the club goalkicking list with 33 and consistently landing in coach Courtney Findlay's weekly best players list.
3 SLEEPS TO GO BEFORE THE CATS PLAY IN THE AFL WIDE BAY GRAND FINAL
The 24-year veteran polled 22 votes in Sunday night's count, tying with Bay Power star Marcus Dyson to share the league's top award.
Stiefler said the "huge honour" and had taken "a couple of days to sink in".
"It's a bit surreal, it's the first time I've won something like this in my career so it's still hard to explain how it feels," he said.
"As a footballer the ultimate goal is winning the premiership with your teammates, that's the number one goal, but individual accolades are a bonus reward for hard work.
"I'll cherish this for the rest of my career, without a doubt."
Playing for Gympie would have been unthinkable for the ex-Pomona star last season, but a strong friendship forged with Findlay had Stiefler reflecting proudly on a standout year so far.
He said the presence of his young daughter Skye-Lisa capped off a "special" night.
"Having my old Pomona coach Paul Murphy was great, and 'Courto' has become a good mate of mine now too.
"The Gympie/Pomona rivalry was fierce before the clubs merged, but hearing the direction (Findlay) wanted to go in made it too hard to refuse.
"Seeing my daughter clapping me was one of the best moments of my footballing life."
Cats skipper Lanze Magin (17 votes) finished fourth to join Stiefler in the Top 10 overall vote-getters, and dangerous forward Jack Cross (10) came eighth.
Magin was ineligible for the medal due to his three-week suspension earlier in the year.
After beating the Hervey Bay Bombers and booking an automatic grand final spot a fortnight ago, the Cats enjoyed a week off while the Bombers thrashed Bay Power by 58 points to set up a rematch on the biggest stage of all this weekend.
We'll have more coverage of the Gympie Cats grand final chances this week in The Gympie Times.