Roosters fullback James Tedesco hailed Trent Robinson as "the best coach I've ever had" in thanking the master mentor for helping him win the coveted Dally M Medal.
Tedesco recorded 34 votes to edge Melbourne's Cameron Smith (31) and Eels playmaker Mitchell Moses (29) for the game's most prestigious individual award at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion on Wednesday night.
Tedesco's tally of 34 votes was the highest since Johnathan Thurston polled 36 votes to take out the game's top honour in 2007.
While some may have been swept up in the buzz, the composed Tedesco insisted his focus is on Sunday's grand final against Canberra at ANZ Stadium as the Roosters strive to become the first team to win back-to-back premierships since Brisbane in 1992-93.
"[I'm] relieved a bit. Everybody was telling me I was a big chance to win it and I was a bit nervous at the end, to be honest," Tedesco said.
"Obviously it's a huge achievement to be named as the best and fairest for the year. The Roosters team have been so good for me, it's brought out my best footy.
"The chance to win this medal is a pretty humbling experience... It's all done now and I can focus on Sunday."
2019 Dally M team of the year
The 26-year-old Australian international credited club coach Robinson for moulding him into the world's premier player over the two seasons they've worked together.
"I trust Robbo with everything. He's the best coach I've ever had, he's so detailed. He's made me a better player so anything he has to say I listen very intently," Tedesco said.
"I can't think him enough for the influence he's had on my career and I know it's only going to get better and better."
Tedesco referenced Robinson's decision to rest him for two games around the State of Origin period as a key to his sizzling second half of the season.
Tedesco wins 'Chippy' Frilingos headline moment of the year for Origin series winner
Alongside the champion custodian at the NRL's night of nights was his mother Rosemary, who was justifiably proud of her boy after the tense finish to the countdown.
"I sort of told her, 'Don't get your hopes up, I might not win. Don't get too excited'," Tedesco said.
"Obviously she gets a bit emotional and proud of where I am at the moment and where my career is going."
He added that his growing collection of awards will decorate a spare room at his parents' house.
Having also picked up the Peter Frilingos Headline Moment award for his series-sealing Origin III try, there aren't many solo feats that Tedesco hasn't ticked off.
Collecting the Clive Churchill Medal for best on ground in the grand final would just about complete his list - but it's not a priority for Tedesco.
"Our one goal is to win the game and then congrats to whoever wins that award," he said.