Matt Orford capped off a stellar season tonight by claiming the Storm?s coveted Player of the Year Award at the 7th annual Melbourne Storm Presentation Ball in front of over 600 guests at Melbourne?s Crown Entertainment Complex.
Orford was named Player of the Year after an outstanding season that saw the 26-year-old earn representative honours for the City State of Origin side and lead the Storm to the second week of the NRL finals.
Orford also claimed the Greg Brentnall Trophy as the Storm?s Club 18 Coterie Group Player of the Year ? named after former Australian fullback and current Storm football manager Greg Brentnall ? as further reward for his career-best season.
Other winners on the night included winger Matt King, who was named the Storm?s 2004 Rookie of the Year from a strong field of nominations, while retiring veteran Rodney Howe was crowned Clubman of the Year.
Storm captain Stephen Kearney, who will join English Super League club Hull next year, was presented with the Michael Moore Award for outstanding contribution to the organization as a whole. The Moore Award is named in honour of the Storm?s former football manager Michael Moore who tragically died in Auckland four years ago.
Centre Steven Bell received the Storm?s 2004 Top Tryscorer Award after scoring 18 tries in a breakout season for the 28-year-old.
Forward Dallas Johnson collected the Storm?s Hit of the Year Award for his outstanding defensive effort against the Warriors at Olympic Park in Round 16 earlier this year.
The night also saw a special farewell presentation to four stalwarts departing the club. Stephen Kearney, Robbie Ross, Rodney Howe and Danny Williams were all recognised for their tireless service to the club over the past six to seven seasons.
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