Medal a surprise for young Tiger

Colac Tigers young gun Kody Spokes says an injury-free season was the catalyst behind winning his first Ted Parker Medal.

Bill Parker, right, presents Colac footballer Kody Spokes with the Colac Tigers’ Ted Parker Medal named in honour of his brother for the club’s best-and-fairest player. Runner-up Lochie Veale is also pictured.

Spokes claimed the Tigers’ best-and-fairest award in a thrilling count on the weekend, narrowly edging out two-time winner and champion ruckman Lochie Veale by three votes.

Key tall Zach Zdybel, ex-AFL jet Joffy Simpkin and defender Jack Melican rounded out the top five.

The 23-year-old midfielder said the award had come as a surprise despite his consistent season, ranking among the Tigers’ best players 10 times in 19 games.

“It was very unexpected, I thought Vealey had a great year as did Jack Melican, they were my picks to take it out,” Spokes said.

“I didn’t think I’d get anywhere near it but I won’t complain,” he said.

“But it’s very humbling, I don’t really rate myself in the same class as the guys on that honour board.

“It’s a massive honour to get a medal named after Ted Parker, it’s sometime I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”

The former Colac Imperials junior, who crossed to Colac with Luke Cardinal in 2009, said staying injury-free had led to his consistent season.

Spokes has battled a host of injuries in the past five years, including a broken wrist, strained medial ligament, torn meniscus which resulted in surgery, and last year battled an ankle syndesmosis injury.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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