Western Shamrock’s won yet more acclaim for the 2014 season, with Limerick native Chris Hayes landing the prestigious, Men’s Western Australian “Best & Fairest” award on Sunday afternoon.
Since its inauguration in 2009, Shamrock’s players have dominated the state player of the year award, with no fewer than four out of the five recipients, all hailing from our club.
Regular subscribers to the Sham Sports News app, will be familiar with the significant contribution Hayes has made in the recapturing of this years Senior league title.
Hailing from the St. Senan’s club, a Senior amalgamation of North-Western towns Foynes & Shanagolden along the mouth of the river Shannon, this is a truly well deserved accolade for the former county minor & u-21 player.
After suffering a serious ankle injury in June of 2013, it was looking unlikely that Hayes (26) would play any part this year at all.
Furthermore, his Doctor’s gave him “sometime in August” as a realistic date to be back playing competitively, after he had undergone a double operation to fix his crooked ankle.
After sitting out both warm-up competitions in the Autumn, Hayes defied his medics to resume full training and lined out for the clubs intermediate side in the opening round of fixtures.
Following a string of impressive performances, the fabricator was recalled by Senior Manager Ray ‘Bishop’ Reilly, initially taking his place at wing-forward, before graduating to center-forward and eventually ending up in his most natural position at midfield.
He steadily improved as the games amassed. Mentally stronger from the journey that brought him to this point, his fitness was now as good as any of his colleagues and with the help of Shamrock’s strength & conditioning coach Mark Campbell, physically, he was in better shape than ever.
This award, is the fairytale ending to a year that might not have been, only for all his hard work, endeavor and “never say die” attitude to get back in the famous green & white jersey.
Who would have forgotten his match winning performance and three monstrous points against eventual championship winners St. Finbarr’s in the opening game of round three? After which, I famously invited the part-time Hollister model on a date at a local Perth hotspot.
He never did show up, but Chris, the offers still there lad…
Or his superb leadership, when victory was looking unlikely, in what turned out to be the league title clincher against Morley? Not to mention, practically taking the whole of Morley on by himself in the disappointing championship semi-final defeat a fortnight later.
It was for these performances and more, why Hayes was voted by the WA Referee’s as the outstanding player in the state this year.
From everyone here at Sham Sports News..(do you like the way I pretend there’s more people than me behind these reports?! As if there’s a few dozen of us sitting in an office block in the city somewhere, dressed in shirts and ties siting behind computers?!) ..and the Shamrock’s club as a whole, we say a huge congratulations to you Chris.
I’m sure all of your former mentors at the St. Senan’s club in Co. Limerick will be gleaming with pride aswell.
I bet you would only love to have him back! (Not Happening)