HASTINGS Valley Viking Gil Hopley was on Saturday night rewarded for his dedication to the green and yellow jersey as the club celebrated a fantastic season.
Hopley picked up Viking of the Year at the presentation night at Port City Bowling Club.
Hopley started the season as reserve grade skipper before being picked in firsts and then going back down again just before the grand final.
He suffered a broken finger in the second last round of the season, but Hopley returned for the decider, helping his reserves team to an historic maiden premiership.
It was a huge honour for Hopley to be recognised. “It’s awesome to win an award like this,” he said. “It caps off a great year for the club in general.”
Hopley didn’t care which grade he took to the field with, such is the quality of the Vikings’ outfit.
“It’s a great club to be a part of,” Hopley said. “No matter what grade you play, it’s all the same.”
Hopley put in plenty of work off the field, too. He was instrumental in the club’s involvement in the wider community.
“I decided it was time to get on the committee,” he said. "There’s great support from the committee and president David Barnes.”
Barnes said 85 people turned out on the night to help the club celebrate.
“It was a very good night,” he said. “There were a fair few tears but they were tears of joy.”