After finishing third in Monday night’s Brownlow Medal count, Collingwood’s Dane Swan can console himself with the fact he is the most important player in the eyes of the coaching fraternity.

Swan won Tuesday night’s AFL Coaches Association player of the year award, with 114 votes, 26 votes ahead of Hawthorn’s Luke Hodge, who finished second.

Gary Ablett who won the award for three-straight years in 2007, 2008 and 2009 finished sixth in this year’s count, 10 votes behind teammate Joel Selwood who finished third.

This year’s Brownlow Medallist Chris Judd finished fifth in the voting behind Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands.

Each senior coach votes on a 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 basis on each of their games throughout the season to decide the player of the year award.

Swan’s player of the year award win comes on top of his All Australian selection last week and being named the MVP by the AFL Players Association a fortnight ago.

Also at the AFLCA’s award night, Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse was voted by his peers as the senior coach of the year, while Geelong’s Brendan McCartney was named assistant coach of the year.

Fremantle’s Stephen Hill was awarded the best young player award, which he won from Collingwood’s Dayne Beams and Sydney Swan Dan Hannebery.

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