SEASON CELEBRATION: Biloela Panthers enforcer Shane Carter was awarded A-Grade Player of the Year.
SEASON CELEBRATION: Biloela Panthers enforcer Shane Carter was awarded A-Grade Player of the Year. Contributed

League presentation

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Biloela Panthers RLFC celebrated the end of another long and successful footy season at their annual club presentation late last month.

In a major coup for the Panthers' awards night, Yeppoon Seagulls coach, former Brisbane Broncos winger and living legend Scott Minto - somewhat of a folk hero in rugby league circles - attended as MC.

Club secretary Jacy Barron said it was a fantastic way to send the players out on high.

"Dad (club president Pat Barron) would see Scott at games and they get on like a house on fire,” she said.

"It was really cool to have him there. He was probably the best guest speaker we've ever had.”

Front row enforcer Shane Carter took home the top gong, voted as the Panthers' most valuable player after taking the A-grade side to the semi-finals.

Carter, 28, made it his mission to improve his defence this year and said it was pleasing to win the award.

"I set myself a goal at the start of the year to work on my defence and fitness,” Carter said.

"I wanted to play longer minutes and make sure I was winning the contact in the tackle.

"It was a good season, even though we battled with numbers due to some of the boys being shift workers in the mines.

"Hopefully we can go a couple of steps better next year.”

It was an up and down year for Biloela who, like most clubs in the bush, were stretched for numbers at times because of the players' work commitments.

Barron praised the "huge achievement” of the Panthers' three sides in season 2018 and said there were positive signs for Biloela next year.

"We had some struggles with numbers and getting players to commit to the full season but we're looking really strong for next year,” she said.

"A grade had been operating with a player-coach scenario but we've got an experienced coach coming on next season.

"It will be good to have someone solely dedicate their time to coaching.

"They can sit back and watch the game unfold and identify areas where we're falling short.”

A GRADE

Player of the Year - Shane Carter

Best Forward - Emiel Tea

Best Back - Phil Futi

Most Improved - Dylan Chittick

Rookie of the Year - Nathan Walker

RESERVE GRADE

Player of the Year - Billy Johnstone

Best Forward - Brad Smith

Best Back - Jacob Whiley

Most Improved - Jarrett Weeks

UNDER 20s

Player of the Year - Guthrie Maynard

Best Forward - Bailey Nairn

Best Back - Quinn Nancarrow

Most Improved - Zac Baldwin


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