Dale Finucane has been recognised for his hard work and talent in rugby league.
At this year’s Melbourne Storm Player of the Year Awards on October 3, the Bega-born footballer was named best forward.
It was a clear win for the 27-year-old, who also came close to taking out the top prize on the night.
The Storm’s fullback Cameron Munster was crowned Player of the Year after receiving a total of 32 votes - just edging ahead of Finucane who was on 27 votes.
When Finucane took to the stage to accept the award on the night, he said the award was “actually unexpected” for him.
“I’m very proud and honoured to receive this award,” he said.
“I’d just like to thank the coaching staff, they do what they do to make our jobs easier for us in the playing group throughout the year that we’ve played all our games with.”
He wanted to acknowledge the Melbourne Storm players who were leaving this year, such as Billy Slater, Ryan Hoffman, Adam O’Brien and Lachlan Timm.
“You have been a big part of my career to date so far,” Finucane said at the event.
“I remember watching Hoffy and Billy growing up when I was a lot younger.
“Some of the guys in our team were probably only in nappies still when those guys were running around!
“But even though we play in different positions, Billy’s such a student of the game,” Finucane said.
“Even though I play in the middle I’ve learnt so much through him throughout the year and in the years gone by.
I just want to acknowledge all those guys and all the other recipients that won the awards tonight.Dale Finucane
“And obviously Tim Glasby, it’s well-known around the club that we’re really good friends.”
He said a friend had described the connection between him and Glasby as “there’s a rope between us wherever we go”.
Finucane said Glasby and his wife had been a big part of his and his fiancee’s lives for the last four years he had been at the club, and the couple would “really miss” them when they moved on.
“I just want to acknowledge all those guys and all the other recipients that won the awards tonight,” he said.
In a later post on social media, he said he was “very humbled to receive the best forward award”.
“Could not have done any of it without wife to be @maddelynkennedy being so supportive and putting up with all the travel and routines,” he said in the post.
“Time to relax. Wedding then Europe!”