Canberra's Mr Consistent
Raiders two time best and fairest winner Shaun Fensom. Photo: Colleen Petch COP
What do Ricky Stuart, Laurie Daley, Ruben Wiki, Chris O'Sullivan, Gary Belcher and Shaun Fensom have in common?
They're the only Raiders players to win back-to-back Player-of-the-Year awards, now known as the Mal Meninga Medal.
That's esteemed company by anyone's standards, but when asked if his feat had sunk in yet, Fensom nonchalantly shrugs his shoulders.
"Getting an award judged by the players each week, I think that's the highest accolade in football, and I'm humbled to get it twice in a row," Fensom said.
"But I've got to put those years [2011 and 2012] behind me, they don't mean much now if I don't start this season well.
"As long as I get out there and don't let my teammates down, that's my main priority."
The statement sums Fensom up. He remains the laidback, humble country kid from Urunga that joined the Raiders five years ago.
He's Mr Consistency in a team renowned for its inconsistency.
Fensom's a tackling machine, a $1.01 lock on Sportsbet to top that statistic this year for the Raiders.
It's now up to his teammates to display the same reliability that is the cornerstone of his game.
Fensom, who captained Canberra to the inaugural Under-20s title, has been promoted to the Raiders leadership group this season.
Fensom called for the Raiders to play dirty, to grind out games and not rely on the tired excuse they're a 'young team'.
"We've said that the last two years, a lot of the players are getting up toward 30 or 40 games of NRL experience, so there's no excuses not to be consistent," Fensom said.
"We've got to start the season strongly and carry it through the campaign.
"It [last year's mid-season form swings] was frustrating, we'd have a good win one week against Melbourne, then come out the next week and get pummelled.
"I hate losing and so do all the other blokes here but it was a learning experience, you have to drive for that winning attitude every week.
"I think it might have been a mental thing. They got it in the back of their heads they beat Melbourne the week before, and it's going to be a bit easier this week."
The Raiders underwent a military-style training camp at Kangaroo Valley in December, designed to test their physical and mental strength to the limit.
From hiking waist deep through mud lugging heavy bags of supplies and logs, to sleep deprivation and surviving on rations, it put their resolve under the blow torch.
"We learned a fair bit about teamwork, it only takes one bloke to let the team down and everyone suffers," he said.
"We're a very tight playing group as it is, and that just brought us even closer together."
The 24-year-old plays every game like it's his last for a reason.
During a 2010 finals match against the Tigers, the lock suffered a three centimetre kidney tear early in the match, but played on courageously until half-time.
Despite being in excruciating pain, Fensom was desperate to play on, but his pleas to medical staff fell on deaf ears.
Doctors later told him he may not have played football again had he ignored that advice.
But while it's a moment which could have ended his career, it could also perfectly define it.
Fensom hates idle time off the much as much as on it. He spends around 25 hours a week completing a building apprenticeship
"Carpentry's a passion I've always had, everyone needs something other than football to get away from it," Fensom said.
"I enjoy getting out there and it keeps me active, it's too boring sitting at home."