Ultimate parting gift for Brahmans captain
PHIL Ramage has received the ultimate parting gift for his legendary career as coach and captain of the Whitsunday Brahmans.
One week after the Brahmans claimed the Mackay Rugby League premiership over Wests Tigers, Ramage claimed the "Player of the Year” award and the Bill Paton medal at the Mackay and District Rugby League Awards Night last night
He was joined by fellow A Grade stars Byron Taylor and Isaac Richardson who were both named in the top 10.
Reserve Grade player Brett Murphy and U-19 star Lee Murphy also won top ten status, while Cadell Schlenner won "Player of the year” for the U-19 competition.
Ramage said he was humbled by the impressive accolade and was proud of how he has wrapped up his time with the Brahmans on a high.
"Hearing my name read out was a very proud moment for myself and a great way to finish my time up here as my first year as captain and coach while (also) getting the premiership and Man of the Match,” he said.
"I worked very hard through training... even though I'm barking orders on the field, I'm there leading from the front and gaining the respect of the other plays.
"Hopefully I can be remembered as a person who tried to lead by example.”
Well known for his half time pep talks, which often marked the turning point for many games throughout the season, Ramage shone light on his approach to coaching the Brahmans to victory.
"There is nothing said at half time that's special its just about reinstating the need to get ourselves focused on where we want to be and what we want to do,” he said.
"You can't go in there and rattle of 9-10 things you want to work on because you just lose the group, hearing the same voice over and over gets mundane so we go through 2-3 things and really focus on what needs to be done.
"I tried to do that and from the outside looking in, it worked.”
The champions welcome by the crowd at Les Stagg Oval on Saturday nights is the one thing Ramage will miss more than anything as he moves on to the next chapter of his life.
"It is easily the best country rugby league ground to play at, and that comes down to the atmosphere you get and the supporters that come in for every home game,” he said.
"Everyone is there yelling at you and giving you encouragement and you can just see the passion and pride in their eyes from being former players there for 15-20 years while supporting the Brahmans, which is the main thing I will miss.”
As the Brahmans look to step into the future, Ramage said there was no reason why the side shouldn't feature as semi-finalists for the next ten years.
The Whitsunday Brahmans will be holding a presentation night at Magnums next Saturday night from 5.30pm which will cost $30 per head.