Norths Devils captain Jack Ahearn captured his third successive player of the year award for the club as the Devils continued their Intrust Super cup premiership celebrations with their annual awards dinner on Saturday night.
Ahearn was also named the Devils players’ player of the year and took home the Norths Old Boys’ player of the year crown.
More than 200 people attended the dinner held for the first time on the field at Bishop Park, creating a fabulous setting to mark the Devils’ first premiership in 23 years.
“It’s a great honour to receive these awards because we really approach our season as a whole-of-squad effort,” Ahearn said.
“We had 38 players represent the club this season and every one of them contributed.
“I’d like to thank all of the coaching staff and players for a year we won’t forget.”
Devils coach Rohan Smith told the crowd how he met with Ahearn within an hour of arriving in Brisbane in late 2017 to begin his coaching stint.
That meeting was the spark to a four-year campaign to return the Devils to the top.
Ahearn’s three-time feat as Norths player of the year leaves him one behind the last man before him to lead the Devils to a premiership – four-time winner Kevin Carmichael.
Devils hooker Danny Levi received the Old Boys’ best forward award on a huge day for the premiership winner – earlier on Saturday, Levi married his sweetheart Kimberley Goodearl and the pair celebrated with the Devils family at the awards dinner.
The Levis will head to the United Kingdom soon to take up a contract with Huddersfield.
“It’s been a huge week and today is just so memorable for us,” Levi told the audience.
“We’d been trying to organise this wedding for a while, but COVID had got in the way so today was our chance.
“It’s been a great year and to come here and play with these guys and win a premiership is something that I will never forget.
“The feeling in this club is special and it just made me feel as though I’d been here for a very long time because they boys made me feel so welcome.”
Lodoviko Cokanauto took out a double for the Hastings Deering Colts, winning player of the year and players’ play.
Ahearn and Cokanauto received large-screen televisions from Devils sponsor Harvey Norman Aspley as part of their prizes for the evening.
Jared Chambers joined names such as Cameron Smith and Billy Slater on the Bob Bax Award for the Devils’ most promising player.
A total of 22 players received medals for making their Devils’ Intrust Super Cup debuts in 2021, including 10 of those who played in the grand final win over Wynnum Manly the previous weekend.
Smith thanked his players and coaching staff for their efforts across a season in which the Devils won 18 of their 20 matches, including a clean sweep of their three finals games.
The Devils also acknowledged outgoing director Terry Reader, who departs as his work with the Redcliffe Dolphins’ NRL team ramps up.
Reader was the Devils’ CEO for 16 months from late 2017, arriving at the club at the same time as Smith. Reader and Smith helped to lay the foundations for the Devils’ premiership run before Reader departed as CEO and took a role on the Norths board.
Norths Devils 2021 award winners
Intrust Super Cup player of the year: Jack Ahearn
Intrust Super Cup players’ player: Jack Ahearn
Intrust Super Cup play of the year: Michael Molo’s try in the grand final
Intrust Super Cup Old Boys’ best forward: Danny Levi
Intrust Super Cup Old Boys’ best back: Connor Broadhurst
Box Bax Award for most promising player: Jared Chambers
Hastings Deering Colts player of the year: Lodoviko Cokanauto
Hastings Deering Colts players’ player: Lodoviko Cokanauto
Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup player of the year: Damascus Neemia
Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup players’ player: Ben Te-Kura
Kevin Carmichael club person of the Year: Siniva Chambers
*award winners submitted by clubs
Other Intrust Super Cup club award winners
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Siolo caps Sunshine Coast move with top award
Mam the man for Souths Logan Magpies
Bella the best from Mackay Cutters