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Harry Collier Trophy: Josh Smith

A kiss from mum Debutant Josh Smith's first senior match was capped off with a kiss from his mother mid-interview, which caught him off-guard. Smith made a fine debut, collecting 23 disposals, laying four tackles and kicking one goal.
Josh Smith played 18 games after an ANZAC Day debut for the Magpies.

Less than 12 months ago, Josh Smith had no idea the rookie draft was even taking place when his phone exploded with calls and messages.

The Queenslander was preparing for another day as a childcare worker when he learned he was now a Collingwood footballer.

In the time since, Smith has moved and Melbourne, debuted on ANZAC Day, played 18 senior games and now won an award on Copeland Trophy night.

A ‘mature’ recruit at 22 years old, the midfielder is a fitting winner of the Harry Collier Trophy for Collingwood’s best first year player.

Smith’s maturity and strong work-ethic quickly won him a position in the hearts of the coaches.

So much so that they chose to debut him on the biggest stage of the home and away season; an ANZAC Day clash with Essendon.

85,082 watched as Smith won 23 touches and looked at home as the Magpies beat the Bombers by 69 points at the MCG.

A 29-disposal game in Perth came the week later and consistent showings continued to follow as Smith cemented his place in the team.

Highlights outweighed lowlights as Smith played 18 games straight to maintain his position until the end of the season.

A rare moment of concern – having to abandon his car and run to Etihad Stadium to avoid being late to the Magpies’ clash with North Melbourne in round 18.

“It was my first time playing here tonight,” he sheepishly explained post-game.

“My girlfriend was driving my car but I just jumped out and quickly jogged the rest of the way here so I could get here on time.”

He’s ticked off playing at some of the biggest grounds in Australia, and now Smith has successfully completed his first season as a Collingwood footballer.

The way he’s played there may be bigger and better accolades to come in the years to come.

Harry Collier Trophy (Best First Year Player)
2016 stats

Games: 18
Goals: 4
Uncontested possessions: 285 (4th at Collingwood)
Marks: 85 (7th at Collingwood)
Disposals: 374 (8th at Collingwood)
Handballs: 176 (9th at Collingwood)
Kicks: 198 (10th at Collingwood)