"YOU’VE got to be joking?"
That’s the thought that popped into Dane Smith’s mind when he was announced as the Valleys Football Club Player of the Year.
The First Division side captain said he was quite surprised when he heard his name read out as the club’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Smith didn’t even think he went that well in his first season with the club.
"I don’t think I went overly flash," Smith said.
"I thought there were other better players," the 24-year-old said.
The MVP claimed a golden trifecta for his mantelpiece, claiming the Players’ Player and Best and Fairest.
Smith, a chemist at Callide Power Station, shifted from Toowoomba in November, where he played in the Brisbane competition.
He did some ladies women’s coaching in the garden city, and Valleys manager Col Nevell used Smith’s experience to name his captain.
The man himself said the captaincy was unexpected, but his tenure at the club may be short.
Smith told Central Telegraph he did not know how long his work would keep him in the Callide Valley, but he expected to be at the club for at least the first half of next 8 season.
He was Valleys’ Mr Fix-it, moving away from his preferred striker position to the midfield and even keeper for a few 8 matches throughout the season – wherever Nevell needed him to fill a gap.
On the pitch, it was a disappointing year for Valleys; all three grades failed to make the grand final and follow up on last year’s big success where they claimed the first and second division 8 premierships.
Smith backed this up, calling for more numbers to training to right the club’s 8 flagging fortunes.
"There was not enough heart and effort this year and we need more people at training.
"Next year, hopefully, we get older heads back with experience," he said.
Smith said he started playing soccer as a five-year-old in Cooch Crossing, on the North Coast of New South Wales.
"It was just across the road and the only sport we played in town," he said.
"It’s a game of skill rather than a game of brawn," Smith said of his love for the round ball game.
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