Thrilled to be top of heap - September 12 2012
Thrilled to be top of heap
September 12 2012
A new league has a new star, as Manchester maestro Danny Heffernan took home the inaugural Regional Premier League best-and-fairest award at Shepparton’s Cellar 47 last night.
The 25-year-old Shepparton striker polled 22 votes to win the award from last year’s joint winner Phil Doran of Shepparton United.
In a league dominated by high-profile imports, it was no surprise to see one such player take home the major prize.
Heffernan, or ‘‘Heff’’ as he is known to teammates, arrived at the Reds this season and quickly became a fan favourite.
His goal-scoring exploits, coupled with an unwavering belief in his ability to score at every opportunity, drove one teammate to coin the term ‘‘Heffortless’’ to describe his prowess in front of goals.
Heffernan said while he was happy with his season, he was surprised to win the award.
‘‘Tom and Stefo have mentioned it to me, but there was a lot of talent in the league and to come out as number one it was a nice achievement,’’ Heffernan said.
‘‘It was a bit of a shock really.’’
One of the big talking points prior to the season was how Shepparton would replace outgoing reigning league medallist and leading goal-scorer Carl Lamb.
Heffernan filled the void in both cases, having also claimed the Golden Boot award, with 24 goals for the season.
As well as possessing a good first touch, Heffernan is strong on the ball, making him adept at holding the ball up when isolated in attack.
This was key to Shepparton’s style of play this season.
Five goals against Tatura was his personal highlight of the season, as it put him in prime position to win the Golden Boot.
Heffernan made a fairly successful transition to his new club, but the arrival of former Salford City teammate Adam Morning to the club in round 11 coincided with a boost in form, as the pair formed a lethal partnership in attack.
However, he said it was not from playing up front together.
‘‘I would say he was my strike partner, but that’s not it,’’ he said.
‘‘Back home I was used a lot as a centre half, so getting a lot of games up front this year was great.’’
Reds supporters will be sweating over the summer as Heffernan admitted he was not sure if we would return to the club next year.
However, there is one more game to be played yet and he is determined to sign off on the best possible note.
‘‘We’re going in confident, we saw what they (did to United) on the weekend, but we’ve got a solid defence and it’s going to be a tight game,’’ he said.