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Mascitti receives Box Hill's top honour

Damian Mascitti has capped off another terrific campaign with the Box Hill Hawks after being crowned the 2021 Col Austen Trophy winner as the club's best and fairest player. 

Rewarded for his stellar season, where he averaged 22.9 disposals a game, the Hawks captain was recognised at an online awards ceremony on Thursday night.

The 29-year-old impressed with his constant ability to impact the game this year, stringing together several strong performances during a disrupted season.

He played 10 VFL games in 2021 and featured among the best players on seven occasions.

Arriving at Box Hill City Oval in 2019 after seven seasons at Port Melbourne, Mascitti immediately made a strong impression on those around the club.

In his second season at the Hawks, he finished with six goals from his 10 matches and collected 20 or more disposals in eight games.

Aside from his noteworthy on-field performances, Mascitti's leadership also helped to propel his team to a third-place finish and a finals berth before the 2021 season was abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Set to lead the side into the 2020 season before its cancellation also due to COVID-19, the Hawks again entrusted Mascitti to take the reins for this year.

Young gun Emerson Jeka finished second in Box Hill's best and fairest count following his brilliant season.

Forging a strong year up forward, Jeka finished with 23 goals from his eight outings and became one of the most in-form players in the VFL competition.

He kicked the second-most majors for his team this year, with his speed and agility enabling him to present strongly as a leading forward target.

He was named within the best on ground on four occasions, including in Round 2 when he kicked five goals against the Northern Bullants.

The 20-year-old also made his debut in Hawthorn's senior side this year, earning the call-up to AFL level on four occasions in season 2021. 

Rounding out the top honours was Vincent Adduci who finished in third place.

In his fifth year in the VFL, the small forward developed into a top-line player as he arguably played the best football of his career during 2021.

The 23-year-old averaged 17.3 disposals across his nine matches and kicked 13 goals for the season. One of his best performances came in Round 6 when he had 22 touches, kicked five goals and took six marks as the Hawks triumphed over Carlton by 84 points.

Meanwhile, Hawthorn-listed player Jai Newcombe was named Best First Year Player following a terrific debut season. Across his seven matches he played this season with Box Hill, Newcombe averaged 23.1 disposals and seven tackles a game.

One of the best performances from the 20-year-old came in Round 5 against North Melbourne when he recorded 21 disposals while also slotting two majors. Aside from his damaging performance's at the VFL level, Newcombe was also able to breakthrough to Hawthorn's senior side, making seven appearances for the Hawks at the top grade.

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Fergus Greene earned the title of the club's Leading Goal Kicker and was also named the Most Outstanding player.

The 23-year-old had a stunning year finishing with 30 goals from nine matches - which was also the third-highest in the league.

Rounding out the other award winners was Charlie Beasley who received the David Banfield Development Award.

Stuart Horner landed the AP Dickinson Trophy for best clubman, while photographer Kadek Thatcher took home the Ron Gibbs Memorial Trophy for her volunteer work with the club.


2021 Box Hill Hawks award winners

Damian Mascitti - Col Austen Trophy

Emerson Jeka - Col Austen Trophy runner-up

Vincent Adduci - Col Austen Trophy third place

Charlie Beasley - David Banfield Development Award 

Fergus Greene - Paul Bolton Leading Goal Kicker

Kadek Thatcher - Ron Gibbs Memorial Trophy

Fergus Greene - 3WBC Most Outstanding

Stuart Horner - AP Dickinson Trophy

Jai Newcombe - Best First Year Player

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