By ZAC MILBANK
North Adelaide midfielder Campbell Combe has won the 2020 Magarey Medal, becoming the 17th Rooster to win SANFL’s fairest and most brilliant individual award.
The unheralded left-footer polled a total of 19 votes to edge out Glenelg on-baller Matthew Snook on 17 and Sturt co-captain James Battersby on 16.
Combe, preparing to play in Sunday’s Statewide Super League Grand Final, attracted first preferences from the umpires in six of the seven matches he registered votes before finishing with his sole third preference in Round 14.
The 25 year old was among the front-runners during the count, banking six votes inside the opening three rounds before inching in front of Snook in Round 13 with a best afield performance against Sturt.
”I’m very, very surprised to be honest I didn’t expect this tonight,” Combe told Channel 7 after the virtual count.
”I’ve been fortunate to be in some successful teams and this year has been no different. I’ve been very luck in that regard.
”I can’t thank my family enough, particularly my parents who have been a great support to me over my whole career. Surj (coach Jacob Surjan) and the football club have been very supportive and accommodating so I’ve really enjoyed my football this year.”
Battersby was prominent early, leading the count at Round 10, before failing to register a vote after his second preference against South in Round 11.
Last year’s Magarey Medallist, Tiger Luke Partington, dual Magarey winner Joel Cross and retiring Double Blue Sam Colquhoun were all next on the leaderboard with 15 votes each.
Measuring in at 178cm and 84kg, Combe is the first North player to win the Magarey Medal since James Allan won his third in 2011.
The Crystal Brook product now joins illustrious Roosters such as Barrie Robran, Andrew Jarman and Brenton Phillips to win the coveted trophy.
Making his League debut as a teenager in 2014, Combe played 12 games in his first senior season before moving back home to work on his family’s farm in 2015.
It was at his beloved Crystal Brook Roosters where Combe developed a penchant for catching the attention of umpires with his prolific ball-winning and tough tackling.
North’s No.18 won three consecutive Northern Areas Football Association Mail Medals from 2016 to 2018 to underline his footballing talent.
Returning to Prospect in 2019, Combe has now played in 45 League games while forging a reputation as an incredibly consistent performer in the past two seasons.
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