Ferguson gets reward for a season of effort with Ararat Rats

Ferguson not only played a key role with the Rats' under 17s' team throughout the year, but backed up his performances each week in the reserves to ensure the club could field a side.

Andrew Louder, who coached the reserves this season and will share the senior duties with David Hosking in 2013, said Ferguson was part of a large group of kids coming through the ranks that are the future of the Ararat Football Club.

"He is a good kid and it was a well deserved win," he said.

"He pretty much played a full game in the under 17s and then a full game in the reserves each week, which is a top effort!

"He was a ferocious type of player. We played him as a rebounding player off the back-flank and that suited his style of football in the reserves."

Ferguson toped the vote count with 29 votes, while Jake Miocic finished runner-up with 22.

Louder said it was a remarkable achievement considering Miocic played just five games with the reserves.

"It was an enormous effort for a kid who wasn't going to play at all this year and just come across to help me out with numbers," he said.

"Jake always gives 110 per cent regardless of what grade he is playing and his leadership and encouragement on the ground was really appreciated."

Ferguson also won the players' award, which was voted on by the reserves' players after each match, while other awards were given to James Hosking (most improved), Corey Billett (most determined), Corey Bell (most consistent) and Sam Shalders (best team man).

The Rats' under-17 team had plenty to celebrate after going through the 2012 season undefeated and claiming their fourth premiership in as many years.

Young gun Zander Laidlaw capped off a top year in defence by comfortably winning the best and fairest award.

There were plenty of reasons to celebrate in the Laidlaw family with older brother James finishing runner-up to Zander in the vote count.

James dominated in the centre for Ararat this year and was rewarded for his efforts with six senior games.

Other under-17 award winners included Nathan Gannon (most consistent), Lachie Bond (most determined), Liam Cavanagh (most improved), Harry Ganley (most versatile), John Butler (best utility), Jack Robertson (best defender) and Gerard May (coach's award).

Jamie Whitehead, in his first year in the under 17s was the leading goal-kicker with 55 majors.

The under 14 Rats were also riding high after their premiership success and Tom Williamson established himself as a player to watch in the future after a dominant display in season 2012.

Along with being named best on ground in the grand final, Williamson added a best and fairest and leading goal-kicker to his name.

Williamson finished the year with 167 votes, ahead of runner-up Riley Taylor on 117.Other award winners included Pat Bell (most consistent), Tom Louder (most determined), Declan Roberts (best defender), Chris Wilson (most versatile), Will Taylor (most improved), and Liam Arnott and Tom Mills (coach's awards).

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