Despite making the State League team of the year, North Launceston's Michael Stingel had no idea he had won the Matthew Richardson Medal until the man himself told him.
Receiving a video from the Tigers great, 18-year-old Stingel was named the competition's rookie of the year after averaging 17.6 disposals, 3.5 marks and four tackles per game.
"I'm really grateful to be honest, it's not everyday you get a message like that so I will cherish that," he said.
Making his debut in round one, Stingel is one of only five Bombers alongside Jay Foon, Tom Bennett, Nathan Pearce and Braden Van Buuren to have played every game this season, securing his spot across half-back.
"I played a bit of DLs last year trying to get a few games under my belt, it was good to get in with a couple of the older boys as well but also a few of the younger players," he said.
"Having a few boys similar to my age or even a little bit younger definitely helped, especially with the bonding."
The St Patrick's College student credited the likes of skipper Foon and coach Brad Cox-Goodyer for taking him under their wings, with Foon putting the praise straight back on Stingel.
"He's been massive, he's able to play every game this year and his first final on the weekend, so he has the taste in his mouth now of what it's like to win a final," he said.
"Hopefully next week he can do what he's done all year and play a really good game for us."
The skipper-and-rookie duo were two of seven North Launceston players named in the team of the year, which was also announced on Wednesday.
Corey Nankervis, Jack Avent, Cox-Goodyer, Tom Bennett and fellow first-year star Brandon Leary joined the pair in the top-tier side, something Stingel described as "an honour".
"It's good to get recognised a bit. For a few years I've been under the radar a bit so just to get out there it's pretty nice."
Stingel is the third Northern name to win the Richardson Medal after ex-Bomber Sherrin Egger (2018) and former South Launceston player Thane Bardenhagen (2013).
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.