2018 Best & Fairest Winner: Nick Lewis
AJAX’s 2018 Best & Fairest night saw club captain Nick Lewis take out the prestigious Michael Ritterman Seniors Best & Fairest award, edging out prolific midfielder Kane Nissenbaum in a tight contest.
With just two rounds of voting remaining, Nissenbaum lead Lewis by a single vote. However with Nissenbaum sidelined for the remaining two games due to a hamstring tear, Lewis was able to accrue 12 votes in the remaining two matches for a grand total of 77 votes, a 27-vote improvement on his 2017 tally.
The Best & Fairest award was the pinnacle of a succesful night for Lewis, who took out the Best Clubman award, Lionel Rosenberg Senior Coach’s award, and the Daryl Cohen Seniors Most Courageous award.
Speaking afterwards, Lewis emphasized his desire to gain team success over individual accolades.
“To win the Best & Fairest means a lot to me. It means joining a group of Jewish footballers that have ultimately achieved the highest individual accolade that you can win playing for a Jewish club.”
“I’m much more orientated around team goals. As cliché as it sounds I really would trade it in for a premiership, so whilst it is a nice feather in my cap I’m looking forward to getting team success in the coming years,” Lewis said.
Jess Marget was awarded Best & Fairest for the Jackettes, with last year’s winner Chelsea Fisher finishing 3rd, having missed a large portion of the 2018 season. Isi Burstin capped off an impressive season, finishing second in the Jackettes Best and Fairest count.
Justine Gabriel and Daniella Abraham shared the Coach’s award, while Maddy Smart took out the Most Courageous and Determined award.
The Reserves Coach’s award was presented by coach Ash Shenker to young-gun Nico Cohen, who impressed in season 2018, earning himself a few appearances in the seniors team. Reserves stalwart Dylan Rothschild deservedly took out the Barry Linde Reserves Best & Fairest award.
While the thirds were unable to complete the entirety of season 2018, there were nonetheless outstanding performances- none more so than Eli Adelist, who won the Best & Fairest award for the Thirds.
Recognition was also paid to individuals off the playing field, for their contribution and services to the club over the years. Both Andrew Shenker and Mark Mitchell received awards for ‘Outstanding and Invaluable Service,’ Mark Williams was thanked for his incredible contribution to the club over the past two seasons, and two stalwarts of the club were honoured for their enduring commitment to the AJAX footy club.
Wednesday’s AJAX Best and Fairest night saw the induction of two new members to the Hall of Fame. Jack Chrapot and Lionel Rosenberg became the 9th and 10th members of the prestigious list.
Rosenberg, who was pivotal in the establishment of the club back in 1957, was also the first captain of the club when it began in E-grade 61 years ago. He then went on to coach the Seniors, leading the Jackas to their first ever premiership in 1966, defeating Old Ivanhoe Grammarians by a whopping 71 points.
Speaking to the AJAX Media, Rosenberg explained how far the club has come from its humble beginnings back in 1957.
“It actually feels unbelievable that the club has come from such humble beginnings to what it is today. 700 kids in the juniors…its an unbelievable story,” Rosenberg said.
The night’s second inductee was Jack Chrapot, who began his involvement with AJAX in the early 1980’s as part of the junior club setup. Chrapot served both AJAX and the MSJFL for two decades, before he joined the AJAX senior committee. He currently sits as the chairperson of the match committee for the junior club.
“I was really honoured because unlike everybody else [on the Hall of Fame], they were players and I’m an administrator. Just to be in that company… its fantastic.”
He continued “I get a lot of enjoyment from watching kids grow up from five-year-olds when they can’t do up their own shoelaces to being young men and women, leaders of our community, not just in sport but in the general community.”
Mark Feldy Best Clubman Award: Nick Lewis
Seniors Most Improved Player: Justin Berkowitz
Lionel Rosenberg Senior Coach’s Award: Nick Lewis
David Merkel Most Determined Player: Kane Nissenbaum
Daryl Cohen Seniors Most Courageous Player: Nick Lewis
Seniors Best First Year Player Award: Cam Nankin
AJN & Pratt Family Trophy- Supporters BNF: Kane Nissenbaum
Coach’s Award: Justine Gabriel and Daniella Abraham
Most Courageous and Determined Award: Maddy Smart
3rd BNF: Chelsea Fisher
2nd BNF: Isi Burstin
Jackettes Best and Fairest: Jess Marget
Reserves Coach’s Award: Nico Cohen
3rd BNF: Benj Michelson
2nd BNF: Jacob Teperman
Barry Linde Reserves BNF: Dylan Rothschild
3rd BNF: Levy Teleshevsky
2nd BNF: Elliott Debinsky
Thirds BNF: Eli Adelist
Jeffrey Jankie President’s Award: Peter Berkowitz
In Appreciation of Outstanding and Invaluable Service: Andrew Shenker and Mark Mitchell
Hall of Fame inductee: Lionel Rosenberg
Hall of Fame inductee: Jack Chrapot
AJAX Media and Communications Manager