Gunnedah talisman Andrew George became one of only a handful of people to have won the AFL North West's most coveted prize twice when he was named joint Tony Gillies medallist at the competition's annual presentation night in Tamworth on Saturday night.
George and Tamworth Swans young gun Ed George couldn't be split in the best and fairest count after both polling 16 points for the season.
It came down to the final round with [Ed] George picking up the three points in the Swans' win over cross-town rivals Tamworth Kangaroos to draw level with [Andrew] George after he had kicked clear with the two points in their loss to Inverell the previous weekend.
Fellow Bulldog and 2017 winner Jacob Spackman was close on their heels with 14 points.
Due to work commitments George was unable to make it over for the night.
"It's the first one I haven't been to since I started playing," he said.
"At the same time I wasn't expecting to poll many votes."
"Last year I only got two votes all together."
It was a bit of an aberration with George regularly up there in the count.
One of the most revered players in the competition, he joins an elite class of now six to have been recognised as the league's best and fairest twice after winning the award in 2014.
"That (2014) was the year that I came back after having my knee done," he said.
"I'd busted me knee the year before that and I had the motivation of having something to prove to myself.
"I got really fit."
"This time round it was a bit more unexpected."
He said not having the burden of coaching had made a big difference to his game this season.
"Last year I don't think I played as well," he said.
"I was trying to think about coaching and trying to fix things for the team."
"This year I've been able to turn up and play and not have to worry about the tactical side."
"I've definitely enjoyed playing a lot more this year."
He has predominantly been playing in the midfield with "little stints forward", and is looking forward to ripping in against the Saints in the major semi-final on Saturday.
George expects them to be "a little bit stronger" than they were two weeks ago and is confident they can turn the tables and earn another home grand final.
"It's a 50-50 for who wins I reckon, it's anyone's game," he said.
"And with chance to host a grand final as a result there's plenty of motivation."
He spoke about taking their chances better than they did two weeks ago.
Shaking off the bus dramas, which saw them arrive late for the game, they started well and could have easily been up by six goals before the Saints had kicked one.
"We shot ourselves in the foot a bit," George said.
"(But) If we can get that jump on them I think we can stay on top."