By Gary Stocks
The curtain came down on one of the great eras in West Australian sport when revered coach Bill Duckworth stepped down as senior coach last Friday night.
The long-serving and admired mentor stepped down after an unprecedented run of success over 16 seasons as North Beach senior coach.
Duckworth, who assumed the mantle as A-Grade coach in 1996, won 10 flags for the club, including an Australian amateur record of seven in succession from 2004-2010.
A product of West Perth and a Norm Smith Medallist with Essendon, Duckworth has built an imposing record which is unlikely to ever be equalled. The straight-shooting mentor was able to adjust to the regular player turnover throughout his time, but announced at the club’s fairest and best presentation night that it was time to now step aside.
The sad news was greeted by a standing ovation at the Subiaco Football Club function hall, the popular sage suggesting it was time to hand over the reigns to someone else, having finished third in the last couple of seasons.
Duckworth will likely remain involved in the club in 2013 and beyond, but the search now begins for a replacement for the irreplaceable leader.
On a night of high excitement, one of Duckworth’s long-serving foot soldiers, Luke Smith was rewarded for his remarkable contribution to the club, with life membership. Smith played in nine of those premiership under Duckworth and was presented with the club’s highest honour by Chris Perkin, who played in all 10 flags.
The A-Grade fairest and best award, the Brian Kiely Medal was won jointly by irresistible co-captain Kyle Riemann and touch utility player Aaron Jarvis.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Fairest and Best – Kyle Riemann, Aaron Jarvis
Runner-Up Fairest and Best – Beau Witheridge
Player of the Finals –Kyle Riemann
Leading Goal-kicker – Jackson Harwood
Most Consistent – Mitch Dwyer
Coach’s Award – Alex Hack
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
F Fairest and Best – Simon Pearce
Runner-Up Fairest and Best – Josh Stott
Player of the Finals – Jake Robinson
Best Utility player – Jake Robinson
Most Determined – Tim Bowdell
Coach’s Award – Byron Boys
Nuchange Phil Scott ColtsFairest and Best – Michael Hutchings
Runner-Up Fairest and Best – Josh Horton-French
Best First-Year Player – Brendan Collins
Most Consistent – Kade Golisano
Coaches Award – Joel Gray
Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts
Fairest and Best – Tim Grapiglia
Runner-Up Fairest and Best – Jacob Fitzroy
Best Team Man – Max Forslind
Most Consistent – Jack Galvin
Most Improved – Leon Dott
Townley Group D1-Grade
Fairest and Best – Jarrad Venus
Runner-Up Fairest and Best – Jamie Cosgrove
Player of the Finals – Mark Langsford
Best Utility player – Kent Traeger
Most Consistent – Mark Foreman
Leading Goal-kicker – Jordan Kickett
Fairest and Best – Jack Collins
Runner-Up Fairest and Best – Ronald O’Neil
Best Utility Player – Kane Mahoney
Most Consistent – Chris Langsford
Best Team Man – Anthony Pope
Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade
Fairest and Best – Phi Li
Runner-Up Fairest and Best – Daniel Pike
Player of the Finals – Gus Barwick
Best position player – Brett Anthony
Most Consistent – Pierce Keating
Persistence and Courage Award – Jason Cole
By Gary Stocks