IF Parkes captain Johnny Rathbone thinks 2012 was one of his worst seasons, imagine one of his best.
The judges disagreed with Rathbone and awarded him the Central West Rugby Union player of the year on Saturday.
The Parkes scrumhalf, who captained the team to the 2011 premiership, helped his side to third this year.
When he was called out to accept the trophy at Saturday’s grand final presentation, Rathbone was caught off guard.
“I was getting ready to go home,” Rathbone said.
“I’m shocked. I definitely didn’t expect this one.”
Rathbone said his surprise came from what he considered a bad season.
“I’m probably my own worst critic. I thought this year was one of my worst,” he said.
Still, Rathbone’s pride in winning the gong lifted when he looked at who has claimed it before him.
“There’s some good names on there,” he said.
“That name there (Tonga Folau). I grew up watching him so it’s great to be on here.”
Rathbone will take his skills overseas when he heads to the Netherlands next week.
He will join the Waterland Rugby Club for their season but should pull on the boots for Parkes next year.
“I’ll probably be back later in the year. Hopefully I’ll be back towards the back end of the season,” Rathbone said.