PIVOTAL: Warwick Cowboys five-eighth Matt Gainey is chasing premiership success.
PIVOTAL: Warwick Cowboys five-eighth Matt Gainey is chasing premiership success. Gerard Walsh

Team glory key for stars

MATT Gainey and Matt Duggan have won eight player-of-the-year awards between them but they stress it isn't about individual awards, rather a team performance.

Both won their player-of-the-year awards for their clubs last weekend.

For Duggan, winning a premiership for Wattles was much better than successive TRL and Wattles player-of-the-year awards in 2013 and 2014.

Gainey returned to the Cowboys this season to win the player-of-the-year award in A grade and said there was unfinished business.

"I have always said I would love to win a TRL grand final," the five-eighth said in the wake of the Cowboys' two-point loss in the preliminary final. Some players are not even lucky enough to play in a finals series," he said.

The player-of-the-year win for Gainey was his third in senior footy. He won an under-18 award with Wattles and the Border Rugby League Player of the Year award with Inglewood in 2012.

Gainey missed the first three games of the season before playing 18 straight, including three in the finals.

"You don't play to win awards, I never think about it," he said.

Duggan has won four of his major awards in his first two seasons with Wattles after winning one player-of-the-year award during his run of three A-grade premierships with Valleys. "Awards are not really what you play for, premierships are more important," he said.

After playing his early footy in Toowoomba, Duggan said it was great to play with Wattles.

"My dad is originally from Hendon so he is really happy we are playing with Wattles," Duggan said.

"It is great to be involved with the people from the club. I want to win another premiership next season."

Gainey was not surprised with Duggan's win.

"You can never stop Matt, just limit what he can do ... he is a fantastic footballer."

Duggan recalls playing against Gainey in the fixture game at Clifton. "He played well in that game which was a tight one and has obviously had a good year," he said.



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