At just 20 years of age, South Augusta midfielder Aziel Stuart has fulfilled his dream of wearing the Madigan Medal.
After back-to-back premierships, one could forgive the young Bulldog for taking his foot off the pedal in the 2018 Spencer Gulf Football League season.
But that’s not Stuart’s style.
“I set a goal in pre-season to get close to the (Madigan) Medal and I’m happy that I got it,” he explained.
Named in the best players in eight out of 15 matches, Stuart chalked up 20 votes at the medal count on Monday night, August 13.
The livewire pipped his teammate Matt Downey and West’s Nick Collins to the medal, who both scored 16 votes.
Stuart was stoked to be recognised as the league’s best, dedicating his success to his late uncle.
“There are a lot of words to describe this, but I’m just over the moon that I’ve been able to achieve this at such a young age,” he said.
“I dedicate this to my uncle who I lost a couple of years ago, my mum’s big brother. This is for him.”
Reigning champions South Augusta have gone through the minor round undefeated in 2018, recording a perfect 15 wins from 15 games.
Stuart said it was special to win the prestigious medal in such a dominant era for the Bulldogs.
“There are a lot of extraordinary football players in our team and any of them could have won the medal tonight,” Stuart said.
“There are a lot of good players that stepped up and made each other better.
“I dedicate this to them as well, there’s no I in team. There’s 18 guys on the field, all your brothers, and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Stuart is known for his pace through the middle of the ground, eye-catching skill set, and ability to both create and finish attacks.
While honoured to collect the league’s top gong, Stuart has his sights firmly set on adding another SGL premiership medal to his growing collection.
“This is just another medal and there’s another one I want to get for the ‘three-peat’,” he said.
South take on Solomontown in the semi final on Saturday, August 18 at Central Oval.
Stuart was named the 2018 Port Augusta NAIDOC Sportsperson of the Year last month.