Flinders student Luke Partington has become the first Glenelg Football Club player in 13 years to win the prestigious Magarey Medal.
The Education and Health Sciences student is the first Bays player to win SANFL’s illustrious best-and-fairest trophy since Brett Backwell in 2006. Partington is also the 10th in club history to earn the League’s coveted individual honour.
With dreams of furthering his footy career, Luke, 22, is also studying a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) and Bachelor of Health Sciences at Flinders University.
The Immanuel College graduate returned to Flinders today before going back to Glenelg Football Club to take more media interviews.
Luke’s passion for the sport started at an early age in the Auskick competition growing up at Roxby Downs and then on the Eyre Peninsula at Tumby Bay where his parents came from.
Accepting his SANFL awards in a gala ceremony on Monday night, Luke paid tribute to his family including his mum and late father, sporting career supporters, and also Flinders University for providing him with the start of a career path beyond football.
“I feel like I’ve had a reasonable good year and as a footy club we finished at the top of the ladder,” he said, despite a loss over the weekend to take Glenelg into this Sunday’s preliminary final against Adelaide.
Joining Glenelg greats such as Tony McGuinness, Fred Phillis and Kym Hodgeman, Partington polled 26 votes to finish ahead of Adelaide’s Patrick Wilson on 21 and Norwood’s Lewis Johnston on 17.
After polling a vote in Round 1, Luke has slow out of the blocks having missed Rounds 2 and 3 with a minor hamstring strain.
But the hard-running midfielder sprang to life from Round 7, as he attracted maximum votes from seven of eight matches, with Round 11 the only game he didn’t poll in during the two-month period.
In this time, Partington – who has previously played with West Coast Eagles – landed a staggering 21 of his total votes, which proved to be enough to hold off early pacesetters Wilson and Port Adelaide’s Jack Trengove.
Sturt pair Sam Colquhoun and Zane Kirkwood also earned top five placings while South’s Abe Davis, Woodville-West Torrens Eagle Jordan Foote and Central District’s Travis Schiller were inside the top 10 vote-winners.
Measuring in at 181cm and 79kg, Partington averaged 29.5 disposals, five tackles, five clearances and a goal as he quickly cemented himself as one of SANFL’s premier midfielders this season.
Glenelg’s No.10 also claimed SANFL’s inaugural Digital Pass Player of the Year Award as well as the R.O. Shearman Medal as voted by the competition’s coaches.
The tenacious onballer had been drafted early in his playing career by AFL club West Coast, where he played six games at the highest level in 2017, including the dramatic elimination final victory against Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.
With the high-flying West Coast Eagles boasting a supremely strong midfield division, Partington returned to Adelaide to resume his SANFL career with Glenelg, having previously represented Port Adelaide at junior level and Norwood in 2015.
Now preparing for Sunday’s SANFL game, Partington has been a major catalyst in reviving the Bays’ fortunes this year, which culminated in the minor premiership.
Not surprisingly, he has again attracted the attention of AFL scouts, and has received an invitation to the State Combine that will be held in Adelaide on October 12.