Dean’s shock

TOP GONG: Dean Casey with his Player of the Year award.
TOP GONG: Dean Casey with his Player of the Year award.

The 23-year-old was rewarded for his whole-hearted effort with his Casino Cobras side by being named 2013 Player of the Year at the Football FNC annual presentation.

It was a bitter-sweet moment for the striker, though, with the Cobras relegated from the top tier after finishing bottom of the ladder.

Casey, who earned the honour despite battling a nagging ankle injury all season, admitted he had mixed emotions with the award.

"I was not expecting this one," he said.

"It was a bit of a shock.

"I was not expecting to get near the Team of the Year, so to get Player of the Year was unbelievable.

"It was pretty big to win it, but I would have given it away for a better season and better results for the team."

Casey, of Doubtful Creek, earned the honour after securing most points from the referees' 3-2-1 system in games this year.

Despite a battling effort from Casey and the rest of the squad, the Cobras were relegated after a disappointing season in the top tier.

Jason Lines's team started the season brightly with good performances in the pre-season Anzac Cup and Northern NSW State Cup but things went rapidly downhill.

Casey said the youthful Cobras had suffered from a lack of older heads.

"I think there were only two or three players in the team aged over 25," he said.

"You cannot teach experience.

"Everyone is feeling pretty low. Hopefully we can stick together and get back up next year."

The hard-working striker has been with the Cobras since he was five, apart from one season with Lismore Workers.



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