by Aden Stokes
SPRINGSURE star recruit Ray Ebsworth has won the 2017 Jim Gallagher Medal at the Central Highlands Rugby League Presentation Luncheon held last weekend.
The Springsure Mountain Men fullback polled a total of 25 votes to claim the prestigious award, edging out Bluff Rabbitohs seasonal campaigner Chris Conway by just one vote.
Speaking after accepting the medal, Ray Ebsworth thanked his team mates and club for the year and looked forward to the 2018 season.
"Thanks everyone for a great year,” Ebsworth said.
"A special thanks must go to Warren Sullivan for coaching me at Springsure, Matt Pacey for his coaching at Central Highlands level and especially my other half, Miranda Bartley for putting up with all my injuries and being so supportive throughout the season.
"Congratulations to those who have won awards and I wish everyone all the best for next year's season.”
Ebsworth also won the Central Highlands Referees' Best and Fairest with a total of 18 votes, only a point ahead of Conway.
He said when he won the medal he felt overwhelmed and believed it was his competitive edge that got him over the line.
"To be honest, I didn't think I was going to win it,” he said.
"I was quite surprised when they started counting the tallies.
"Being named the best player in the Central Highlands is a big thing, it's nice to see all the hard work you have put in throughout the year has paid off.”
Ebsworth plans to spend a lot more time with his family now the season is over.
"My son will be at that age next year where he will start playing in Rugbytots or a little league, which will be exciting,” he said.