Brilliant Brygel bags top cricket gong

Maccabi AJAX Cricket Club’s premiership-winning skipper Sam Brygel capped off a season to remember by winning the Ray Saffer Medal. Photo: Peter Haskin

CLUB legends and emerging stars were recognised at Maccabi AJAX Cricket Club’s awards ceremony last week at Caulfield Park Pavilion.

While the event is typically a celebration of individual feats during the season, it also served as an appropriate occasion to unfurl the Third XI’s premiership flag. 

Central to the victorious team’s successes this season was skipper Sam Brygel, who took home a swag of awards including the coveted Ray Saffer Medal as the club’s cricketer of the year. 

Brygel’s leadership skills were more than matched by his exploits with the willow, churning out 769 runs at an average over 50. 

The unorthodox right-hander also collected the club and third XI batting award, a century award for his swashbuckling unbeaten knock of 140, the Ernie Adler award as the most improved, as well as the nod as captain of the team of the year. 

Speaking to The AJN, Brygel reflected on his stellar season. “I began playing for the senior club as a 12-year-old all the way back in 2009, so to win the ‘Ray’ 10 years later is just an enormous honour.

“My grandfather Phillip Brygel played for the club in the late 1950s, so to continue the name and his legacy is pretty special.

“Last year I could barely score a run and we just couldn’t win a game. This year I think I probably got dropped 10-15 times, we won 4-5 games that we shouldn’t have and everything just fell into place – it was one of those years.”

Club veteran Simon Fisher capped off his record-breaking year by winning the Les Kausman most consistent award in addition to being crowned the Leonard Burman First XI Club Champion. 

Late in the season Fisher claimed his 304th wicket for Maccabi AJAX, surpassing Craig Woolf’s club record.

Fisher was touched to receive the prestigious Club Champion award, as Leonard’s son Phil has been a mentor and enormous influence on his cricket career. 

A host of contributors off the field were also recognised, and for the first time, the Paul Fink Best Clubman award was presented and awarded to Zak Pollak.