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National League - Player of the Season 2023/24

Published - 1 June 2024

The club is delighted to share the news that our very own Craig Shepherd won the prestigious National League Player of the Season Award at the recent Community and Recognition Awards Dinner hosted by the SRU at Scottish Gas Murrayfield.

Craig joined the club at U13s level from local club Aberdeen Wanderers and since then has worked his way up to be Vice Captain of the 1st XV.

On receiving the reward Craig shared his thoughts below:

"It's really humbling and I'm very appreciative to be recognised for my efforts this season. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who have helped me over the years and who are still actively in developing young players in our region.

Rugby is an elitist sport primarily focused on public schools, so it is key we continue the great work the club does taking rugby to local state schools. These schools don't always have the fortune of committed rugby focused volunteers like I was lucky enough to have.

I attended the state school Westhill Academy and all of the Westhill Academy rugby teams were coached and managed by one exceptional volunteer. This volunteer was also a teacher at the school and their efforts in nurturing the youth at this school through sport cannot be praised enough. Westhill Academy has produced a number of talented rugby players with numerous former pupils going on to achieve great accolades in the sport. This teacher has since moved on from Westhill Academy and sadly rugby has subsequently ceased at the school.

Without the passion and commitment of this one volunteer at Westhill Academy, I would not share their similar passion for the sport and would likely have not won this award.

I want this award to be testament to the often overlooked sporting talent that resides in state schools, and be an example of how this sporting talent should be nurtured just as much as it is in public schools in order for the sport to grow.”

Aberdeen Grammar Rugby was also delighted to see former player Johnny Sim gain recognition for his efforts as a match official by being awarded ‘Community Match Official of the Season’. Johnny bought into the club ethos and was an integral member of the 2nd XV for a number of seasons while in Aberdeen studying and it’s great to see him flourish after moving into officiating.

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