CHAMPIONS: The Whitsunday Brahmans with their winners' medals and cup after winning the the 2019 Mackay District Rugby League A-grade grand final.
CHAMPIONS: The Whitsunday Brahmans with their winners' medals and cup after winning the the 2019 Mackay District Rugby League A-grade grand final. Contributed

Game changer takes top spot in influential season

THERE is momentum for prosperity and success after the Whitsunday Brahmans celebrated one of their most influential seasons yet.

The Brahmans ascended to become 2019 Mackay District Rugby League A-grade premiers, with finals appearances in Reserves and strong development seen in the Under-19s.

Premiers or not, the Brahmans commended each player during their club presentations at the weekend, rewarding their outstanding players for the season.

Taking out the club's top awards, the Paul Bowman Medal and Player of the Year, was powerhouse Clint Broomham.

Club manager Bryce Fraser said Broomham was a standout player at both the club and in the league.

"With the ability to change the game with his attack as well as damaging defence, Broomham has certainly been an asset in the Brahmans squad," he said.

 

Whitsunday Brahmans' Clint Broomham was the 2019 winner of Players Player and the Paul Bowman Medal.
Whitsunday Brahmans' Clint Broomham was the 2019 winner of Players' Player and the Paul Bowman Medal. Contributed

"As well as being voted the best player by his peers, Broomham was named man of the match in the Brahmans' grand final defeat of Wests Tigers.

"Broomham went above and beyond to play for the Brahmans, often putting football before work commitments."

Fraser said the club's trajectory towards victory, as well as a proud and supportive club culture, was set the moment A-grade coach Tye Ingebrigtsen landed in Proserpine in January.

"From the first week he was there, his enthusiasm for the game and for coaching, it started to rub off with the players straight away," he said.

"We had people competing for their spots in the team for the first time ever, whereas before people took their spots as a given.

"It certainly helped with bringing depth to our club because people had to train hard to get their spot in the A grade."

 

Awarded Whitsunday Brahmans life member, Bill Lade celebrates with the winner trophy at the 2019 Mackay District Rugby League A-grade grand final.
Awarded Whitsunday Brahmans life member, Bill Lade celebrates with the winning trophy at the 2019 grand final. Contributed

A club member since 2007, Fraser has seen the at-times tumultuous development behind the Whitsundays club.

The Brahmans continue to prove they are a club worth fighting for after this year's win brought their third premiership in five years, following victories in 2015 and 2017.

"I've definitely seen the low points of going to away games and being beaten by 100 points in the mid-to-late 2000s," Fraser said.

"The last five to seven years there has been a big change in the club - structurally, culturally, attitude wise, we've had to step up our game to match the money clubs in Mackay.

"With the success of the last five years, people have taken notice of us when looking to move to a club; they've seen we're competitive against the bigger clubs."

2019 Whitsunday Brahmans award winners:

Under-19s awards:

Best Forward: Lachlan Tait

Best Back: Ben Van Veen

Outstanding Sportsmanship: Reagan Knight

Players' Player: Campbell Cross

Best and Fairest: Campbell Cross

Reserve grade awards:

Best Forward: Xanthe Power

Best Back: Anselam Tabua

Players' Player: Matt Kennedy

Best and Fairest: Wendell Querro

A Grade awards:

Best Forward: Ash Little

Best Back: Rainer Power

Players' Player: Clint Broomham

Best and Fairest: Darcy Wright

Club awards:

Rookie of the Year: Fletcher Turner

Club Person of the Year: Reagan Knight

Life Membership: Bill Lade

Paul Bowman Medal and Player of the Year: Clint Broomham