Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues superstar Tom Trbojevic has put an exclamation point on a remarkable season after being crowned the Brad Fittler Medallist for 2021 in front of 330 guests at The Star Event Centre.
Trbojevic was judged to be the best player by his NSW teammates after a memorable Ampol State of Origin series which saw the Blues win 2-1 after all three games were played in Queensland due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was also was named the fans’ favourite after taking out The Daily Telegraph People’s Choice Award while centre partner Latrell Mitchell took out the True Blue Award, which is judged by the coaching staff and goes to a player who displays qualities upon which the team culture is built.
“I've always admired Brad Fittler; he's a legend of the game and has done it all for NSW and now to be coached by him and win an award named after him is something special,” Trbojevic said.
"It's pretty surreal, I'm very honoured."
The NSW centre had an outstanding series for the Blues after running for an average of 187 metres across all three games. He scored a hat-trick and set up another try in Game I in Townsville and scored another try in Game II in Brisbane to help seal a historic series win.
The Brad Fittler Medal adds to a burgeoning trophy case for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles fullback in 2022 after he collected the Wally Lewis Medal, Dally M Medal, and The Players’ Champion by the Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA).
He also took out at the Sea Eagles presentation night the ‘Roy Bull’ Best and Fairest Player award, the Players’ Player, Leading Try Scorer and the ‘Gordon Willoughby’ Medal as the Members’ Best Player’; the NRL and RLPA’s Academic Player of the Year; and was also named at Fullback in both the Dally M and RLPA Teams of the Year.
Other major award winners tonight included Isabelle Kelly, who took out the Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues Player of the Year after a spirited performance in the narrow 8-6 loss against Queensland in which she showed great determination to power her way over the line for the Sky Blues’ only try.
The night also featured a State of Origin panel discussion with Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues captain James Tedesco, hooker Damien Cook, NSW Blues assistant coach Craig Fitzgibbon and advisor Greg Alexander.
Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler and True Blues Nathan Hindmarsh and Ian Schubert also spoke to the guests about their upcoming tour (December 2-8) around Regional NSW which will focus on promoting Junior Rugby League registrations for the 2022 season.
The annual Brad Fittler Medal recognises and celebrates the achievements of players across all NSWRL teams and competitions, from Origin to seniors, juniors and women, as well as the contributions of referees, club officials and volunteers.
Other players to have won the Brad Fittler Medal include True Blues Steve Menzies (2006), Danny Buderus (2008), Paul Gallen (2011), Robbie Farah (2012), David Klemmer (2017), Tedesco (2018-19) and Nathan Cleary (2020).
2021 BRAD FITTLER MEDAL AWARD WINNERS
NSWRL "Gordon Lowrie" Community Rugby League Volunteer of the Year: Theresa Tasaico (Riverwood Legions)
Ray Stellar Club Person of the Year: Ian Robinson (Penrith Panthers)
Ron Lanesbury Medal for Andrew Johns Cup: Braye Porter (Western Rams)
Tom Nelson Medal for Laurie Daley Cup: James Miller (Central Coast Roosters)
Junior Representative Referee of the Year: Brendan Mani
Country Women’s Player of the Year: Chantelle Graham (Newcastle Maitland Region Knights)
Country Men’s Player of the Year: Jake Goodwin (Riverina Bulls)
Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership Player of the Year: Jessica Sergis (Helensburgh Tigers)
Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues Player of the Year: Isabelle Kelly
The Daily Telegraph People’s Choice Award: Tom Trbojevic
True Blue Award: Latrell Mitchell
Brad Fittler Medal: Tom Trbojevic