'My most enjoyable year': Ross Elliott Medalist relishing team success

Steve Kenny's first five years at the Rockingham Rams were slim pickings in terms of team success.

No finals campaigns and the odd belting here and there made for a tough slog, as he arrived at the club during a stretch of losing seasons.

But times have changed for the newly-crowned Ross Elliott Medalist and his Rams.

Read more:

Kenny was announced as the league's fairest and best player for the season at the PFNL's annual awards function on Monday night, ringing him in as the top player in the competition.

It's the highest individual accolade the league can hand down, but the ruckman was quick to point to his teammates when attributing his success.

"It's humbling. I've got the best midfield in the competition at my feet so I feel like they're just as deserving, if not more," he said.

"They're a great group, and to be honest I thought one of them might take the medal."

Steve Kenny (middle) flanked by fellow Rams prior to the medal count. Photo: Caitlin Magill.

Steve Kenny (middle) flanked by fellow Rams prior to the medal count. Photo: Caitlin Magill.

It's that "great group" that has been the catalyst for Kenny's enormous season, which he claims is the most memorable of his footballing tenure.

The Rams co-captain left Victoria bound for the West the better part of a decade ago, first taking to the field with the Harvey Bulls in the South West Football League.

After one year with the former Peel Football League club he made the switch to Rockingham, where he was quickly embraced by what he describes as a tight-knit culture.

"Everyone at the club was welcoming, and I could just tell I was going to enjoy my footy here," he said.

"Obviously we weren't getting the results on the field at that time, but the club culture helped make that easier to stomach."

Those dour results turned around in 2018, when led by coach Scott Franklin and Ross Elliott Medalist Mitchel Curnow, the club broke a seven-year finals drought.

Not wanting to miss out on the fun after suffering through years of losses, Kenny played through a broken foot for almost the entire season to make sure he'd be part of the September action.

Steve Kenny played on a broken foot for most of the 2018 season. Photo: Justin Rake.

Steve Kenny played on a broken foot for most of the 2018 season. Photo: Justin Rake.

Their campaign ended in a preliminary final berth, a spot they've been able to surpass this season having just punched their ticket to the grand final over the weekend.

That team success is driving Kenny's good form.

"I'd say this is my most enjoyable season," he said.

"I had a lot of questions about myself coming in. My age is getting me close to the end of my footy days, and coming off the foot injury was a struggle.

"So to put that behind me and play the footy I've been able to play, it's been huge for me personally.

"But really I'm just focused on winning the grand final now. That's the medal I want."

Kenny's Rams will enjoy a break this coming weekend, as they wait to see if they'll meet Baldivis or Mandurah in the big game.