17 September 2018

Namibia: Wilson Is Suburbs' Player of the Year

National winger Gino Wilson won the Player of the Season trophy at Western Suburbs Rugby Football Club's prize giving awards on Saturday night.

Wilson, who was quite a surprising choice since he missed half of the season due to a knee injury, said he didn't expect to win the award.

"I'm overwhelmed; I didn't expect to win this trophy, because I only played a few games at the beginning of the season for Western Suburbs. I want to thank the almighty for giving me an opportunity to play rugby as well as the guys who saw my potential and helped me to win this trophy," he said.

Wilson, who beat two other Suburbs stalwarts, winger Nikin Cloete and lock forward James Kisting to the award, only played in Suburbs' first three matches of the season, before he was called up to the Welwitschias squad for the SuperSport Challenge and the national squad for the Africa Cup.

He played for the national side in their record 118-0 victory against Tunisia but ruptured his knee ligaments, which put him out of action for the rest of the season.

Wilson has since had knee surgery and is now recovering, but he hopes to be back in the Namibian squad in time for the Rugby World Cup in October next year.

"It's going to be a mental challenge to get back, I first need to get my knee to function properly and to get back into the squad again, so I'm just hoping for the best. Knee surgery normally takes nine to 12 months so I'm hoping to be back in action by mid-April next year," he said.

Suburbs were knocked out in the semifinals of the Premier League when they lost 47-21 to eventual champions Wanderers, but Wilson said he expected them to do better next season.

"There were some new guys in the team, but I think they gained a lot of experience, so I hope and trust that we can do better in the league next year," he said.

The other award winners were as follows:

Player's player of the year: Nikin Cloete.

Top try scorer: Nikin Cloete.

Best backline player: Nikin Cloete.

Best forward: James Kisting.

Golden boot: Justin Nel.

Junior rugby player of the year: Dumarcho Hartung.

Most improved player: Jean Claude Winckler.

Comeback player of the year: Ricardo Swartz.

Second team best backline player: Nathan Goliath.

Second team best forward: Jarren Koning.

Second team golden boot: Dylan Izaaks.

Second team top try scorer: Adriaan du Plessis.

Fitness and conditioning coach: Sergio de la Harpe.

Senior and u20 national coach: Roger Thompson.

Volunteer of the year: Hilda Bock and Yvonne Bock.

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