Donnybrook stars

Top player: Curtis Guglielmana was named SWFL player of the year. Jeff Smith won the Hayward medal

IT has been a big week for a couple of Donnybrook Football Club’s biggest stars when two of the South West Football League awards were presented recently.

Curtis Guglielmana was named the Slater and Gordon SWFL Player of the Year after the reigning Donnybrook Fairest and Best produced another stellar season.

The midfielder was presented the award on Sunday at the SWFL headquarters of Hands Oval.

On Tuesday night the SWFL held its annual Hayward Medal count at Vat 2 in Bunbury and once again it was a Donnybrook player that walked away with the honours.

Dons co-captain Jeff Smith took home the medal polling 29 votes to win from Eaton Boomer Jye Cormack (23 votes) and Matt Giacci from South Bunbury on 21.

It was the second time Smith has won the Hayward Medal after he also won the award in 2009.

It is the seventh time a Donnybrook player has won the award with Smith joining Craig Chiswell (1997 and 2002) as the only dual winner to come out of VC Mitchell Park.

Other Dons winners include Keith Bedford (1971), John Awcock (1979) and former Brisbane Bears and South Fremantle player Peter Worsfold in 2000.

Smith shot out to a massive lead in the first half of the season and was never seriously threatened.

“I was surprised to poll 18 votes in the first ten rounds. Especially with us losing five games in a row from rounds three to seven I didn’t think I would get that many.”

Smith, who played as a ruckman and forward in 2013 said he had to work a lot harder this season than he did in his win four years ago.

“I was a bit of a lone ranger back then and I guess I stood out a little more.

“This season there were a lot of good players surrounding me so I had to work extra hard to be noticed.”

The 31 year old is keen to kick on again next year and remains desperate for team success.

After playing at Donnybrook in 2009 and 2010, Smith spent two years with Railways in the Great Northern Football League before returning to the Dons at the start of 2013.

“I noticed quite a lot of changes since I have come back.

“The club ethics have improved 100 per cent and there is a lot more respect around the place.

“We are slowly growing a culture here which is something that won’t just happen overnight.”

Smith has also noticed that the club has got its act together off the field which he believes will translate into on-field results.

“We probably haven’t capitalised on that good work on the field as quickly but at least now we are all moving in the same direction which is great.”

Next season Smith would like to play as a permanent forward and believes with some targeted recruits playing “specific roles” that the club could again reach the dizzy heights it experienced at the turn of the century.

Donnybrook will hold their annual awards night on Saturday October 12 at the Memorial Hall on Bentley Street.

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