A change in attitude bought Australian footballer Mal Bryant the highest possible reward. The South Mount Barker centerman won the G.S.F.L's highest individual honour, the Henry Kleeman medal for 1994.

He also fought off other fancied contenders to win footballer of the year, an award determined by votes cast by each home team at ever game.

He said that an injury to regular centerman Jamie Back had given him the opportunity to prove himself in one of the most demanding positions.

But Bryant had already done the hard work before the ball had even been bounced.

His off season Basketball and beach work had him in peak physical condition.

His increased fitness and change of attitude was the key to winning the award.

" I used to be the kind of the player who"d hit hard then go for the ball, but this year I led straight for the ball and made my own options.

"I just went out to play footy the Kleeman Medal wasn't something I thought about".

He also added that 1994 was the first year he had been physically and mentally prepared while accompanied by his excellent form.

Another personal achievement was his selection in the Westfarmers combined side for the country championships in Perth, in which he rubbed shoulders with some of the other better players from around Australia. .

He stated that playing Westfarmers was an incredible experience and that playing with better quality players can only improve your game whilst gaining experience at a higher level.

1994 was a dismal year for his home side, the Hawks, who had to cope with major loses of key players, most noticeably the death of former Kleeman Medallist Russell Jones and current captain Jamie Back. Bryant said that hopefully his medal win would attract some younger players and bring the club back to its former glory days of 1992. .