18-year-old young gun and season debutant Max Tiernan, has claimed the Cootamundra Blues 2020 Best and Fairest after an inspirational season for his boyhood club. According to The Blues Co-Captain Joel Pearson, young Tiernan has plenty of class and skill, that he is “well beyond his years to claim the top prize”. For Max, he was humbled to be the recipient of the honours, he said he went in each weekend just wanting to contribute in getting his side over the line.

“Each week I just went out and did my best for the team and tried to play a role to ensure we won,” he said. “It wasn’t really about individual effort on my behalf, I wanted us to win so this is just an added bonus.” This season, Max moved to town from East Wagga to play in a new competition and he was accompanied by his brother Jacob Tiernan as well as former team mate Joe Scott in the side. “It was good having JT and Joe who have played at the same level and are used to playing a similar style of football to me,” Max said.

“Hopefully we can help younger players learn and improve their own games.” This season, Max has been working on improving his game, since returning from a serious knee injury. “It was hard initially, being told that straight after the surgery, I would be out for 18-months. I just wanted to get back to playing footy as soon as I could,” he said. “Watching East Wagga have success on the field made it even harder. “[But] it also made me even more hungry to work my way back and have an impact on the game.”

Blues Coach Joe Scott has watched Max nurtured since junior footy and has earned full marks for being a complete player at such a young age. “Max has size, strength, aggression, skill and smarts. All the abilities a footballer dreams of,” Coach Scott said. “For an 18-year-old kid to take on much older and more experienced opponents and consistently beat them, is amazing.” The Blues have managed to sneak into the top four to play finals footy this road if they were to make the grand final. This season, they have shown flashes of competitiveness and resilience against top sides, but are yet to pull off a complete performance.

When Best and Fairest Tiernan was asked about his side’s chances at going all the way, he said he is confident the boys have the ability to get the job done. “We can beat every team in the competition,” he said. “It’s just going to take a four-quarter effort from everyone. “We have a chance to win this year, so I’m determined to make the most of this opportunity.” Max Tiernan would like to thank his Dad, JT, Matty Hard from East Wagga and Blues club president Todd Basham for pushing and improving his game, and giving him the opportunity to play footy.