CALDER Cannons defender Bruno Laguda’s consistency across the 2015 TAC Cup season was recognised with the club’s best and fairest award on Friday night.
The 18-year-old, who was named in Calder’s best players 11 times from 17 matches, held off a late surge from Essendon father-son prospect Tom Wallis to claim the Robert Hyde Medal.
Last year’s winner Nick O’Kearney finished third in the count.
Calder talent manager Ian Kyte said Laguda had left no stone unturned to impress AFL recruiters.
“I think Bruno is a rookie (draft) chance,” Kyte said.
“His ability to judge when to mark, when to spoil (and) to play on a player slightly taller or smaller, his pace and size given him both those options.
“There was a small query on his kicking … but he’s done some work on that and improved.”
The former East Keilor and Essendon Doutta Stars junior was the hard luck story of Calder’s 2014 finals campaign after being squeezed out of the grand final side which lost to Oakleigh.
But he showed no sign of ill feeling this year, taking his game to another level as a dashing half back flanker.
“His consistency was something that was extremely pleasing,” Kyte said.
“He rarely played a poor game, he probably only had one bad game for the year. It’s certainly reward for that.”
Laguda is likely to play for Victorian Football League outfit Coburg if he is overlooked in the AFL national and rookie drafts.
The Moonee Ponds resident averaged 20.3 disposals, 4.3 marks and four tackles per game this year.
Karl Brown received the club’s leading goalkicker award after finishing the campaign with 36 majors, while captain Matt Stillman (Coaches Award), Wallis (Most Improved), Joe Tobin (Academic Achievement Award) and Jack James (Best on Track) were also recognised.
Sunbury winger Mitch Conn received the coveted Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG Award, recognised as the club’s most courageous player.
Football manager Meg McArthur, Jake Williams and Gary Dwyer received life memberships.
Meanwhile, Callum Moore, Hisham Kerbatieh and O’Kearney took part in the AFL Draft Combine earlier this month.
Moore impressed in the standing and running vertical leap tests, as well as the 20m sprint test, while O’Kearney’s kicking rated highly.