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Tough-as-nails fullback Lachlan Coote displayed great courage during a difficult 2017 in which he was plagued by a series of minor injuries, the most significant of which was a calf tear that sidelined him for a total of six weeks.

In all, the savvy custodian played 20 games and emerged as a key playmaking option for head coach Paul Green, complementing Michael Morgan and later Te Maire Martin beautifully during the team’s golden run to the grand final.

Regarded as one of the game’s best positional fullbacks, Coote’s playing-above-his-weight defence was a highlight of his year, the diminutive No.1 time-and-again saving tries at the death by putting his body on the line.

He also developed a knack for game-sealing field goals, snapping back-to-back one-pointers in wins against the Raiders and the Rabbitohs.

2017 STATS:

Played: 21
: 2
Field goals: 2
Average run metres
: 76
Tackle breaks
: 47
Try assists: 8
Line-break assists: 10
 The club’s 2017 Ken Stephen Medal Nominee for his work in the community, including being an ambassador for Ronald McDonald House.