Matthew Pavlich has won his second The West AustralianFootballer of the Year prize.
He didn’t poll a vote in the last four rounds but his lead was big enough to drive away with WA football’s richest player prize.
The 30-year-old Freo skipper polled 26 votes to top the list of Fremantle and West Coast players.
He held off Eagle Daniel Kerr (22 votes) and teammate Michael Barlow, who was third with 18 votes.
Pavlich finished equal second in the Coleman Medal this season, kicking 62 goals, only three fewer than Jack Riewoldt of Richmond.
He also surpassed West Coast legends Peter Sumich and Glen Jakovich for most goals and games respectively by a WA-based AFL player in 2012.
Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich has tonight added to his growing legacy at the club by winning his sixth Doig Medal as Fremantle’s best player for 2011.
Pavlich finished on 144 votes, just ahead of Nat Fyfe on 141. It was a thrilling finish for the award between Fremantle’s greatest ever player and a youngster from Lake Grace who rose to prominence with a brilliant second season of AFL.
Greg Broughton finished third on 118 votes, while defensive lynchpin Luke McPharlin rounded off the top four on 108 votes.
Pavlich capped off a remarkable season of individual milestones in which he broke the club games record and played his 250th game. He also broke Peter Bell’s record of 107 games as Fremantle captain.
The captain has been the focal point of Freo’s attack throughout his career, but in 2011 he was called upon to play mainly as a midfielder because of the club’s injury issues throughout the season.
Nathan Fyfe has capped off a brilliant season by being named the AFL Coaching Association’s (AFLCA) Best Young Player of 2011.
The award, as voted by the AFL’s coaches, is given to a player in his first two years of AFL football.
The coaches’ nominations saw Fyfe win from West Coast’s Luke Shuey and Richmond’s Dustin Martin.
Fyfe said it was an honour to be recognised by the coaches for an award that has been won in the past by Brownlow Medallists Chris Judd and Adam Cooney, star players Scott Pendlebury, Joel Selwood and Cyril Rioli, and Fyfe’s teammate Stephen Hill in 2010.
“I’ve had a quick look through the previous winners and it’s quite an impressive list,” he said.
“It’s very humbling to have been chosen by the coaches, who are in a good position to see your value,” he said.
Livewire Fremantle forward Hayden Ballantyne has salvaged some reward for a disappointing Dockers season, tonight being awarded the AFL’s goal of the year award.
Ballantyne’s prize-winning goal came on a night when the Dockers were having little luck in front of goal, eventually losing to Geelong 13.11 (89) to 10.18 (78) in round two.
The Mandurah product gathered the ball from a Rhys Palmer handpass just behind the centre square before taking possession again off a spoil and finally kicking the goal from 45m on his third possession in the play.
Ballantyne wins the Phil Manassa Medal and a Panasonic Prize pack valued at $9000.
It almost seems a pre-requisite that modern-day draftees have a basketball history.
The phrase ‘basketball background’ appears in draft biographies almost as often as ‘hard-running’ midfielder or ‘strong-marking key forward.’
Fremantle’s Zac Clarke is the latest emerging star to step off the court and on to the footy field and admits he is still learning the game after coming to it relatively late.
“I did Auskick when I was a little tacker then focused on basketball most of the way through my childhood. I only picked it up when I was 15 again, just playing in the local junior footy team. I played a year or two then I went to Oakleigh under-18s,” Clarke said.
It was a promising sign that Fremantle’s future is looking bright, with four of the top 10 vote-getters from the club’s Doig Medal award being first or second year players.
Excitement machine Stephen Hill lead the charge of the young brigade, finishing fourth with 137 votes, behind winner David Mundy (190), 2009 Medallist Aaron Sandilands (171) and skipper Matthew Pavlich (160).
Greg Broughton (116 votes) and Hayden Ballantyne (103) capped off their excellent second seasons of AFL football, coming in fifth and sixth respectively.
Gun rookie Michael Barlow polled 97 votes to finish seventh despite not playing after round 14.
Fremantle midfielder David Mundy has tonight won the Doig Medal as Fremantle’s best and fairest player for 2010.
The 25-year-old polled 190 votes to edge out 2009 Medallist Aaron Sandilands (171) and five-time winner Matthew Pavlich (160). Stephen Hill rounded off the top four with 137 votes.
Mundy, who has recently signed on for a further four years at the Dockers, enjoyed his best season of AFL football in 2010, playing 22 games and averaging 22 disposals per game.
He was a vital cog in Fremantle’s engine room and one of Aaron Sandilands’ favourite targets at the stoppages.
His ball-winning ability and precision skills were highlights in a great year for the club.
Mundy was recruited in 2003 from Victoria’s Murray Bushrangers and has played 130 games for Fremantle.
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.
Aaron Sandilands has been selected as the ruckman in the 2010 All Australian team.
It’s the third time the Freo star has gained the honour, following his selection on the interchange bench in 2008, and as the starting ruckman last year.
Aaron averaged 35 hitouts and 16 disposals per game in 2010 and was recently crowned The West Australian’s 2010 AFL Footballer of theYear for the second year in-a-row.
He is the reigning Doig Medallist, and will be one of the favourites to take out the award again on 2 October at Freo’s best and fairest night.
Congratulations Aaron on a great season.
Aaron Sandilands has won The West Australian AFL Player of the Year Award for a second consecutive season.
Sandilands polled 20 votes to take out the award from teammate Michael Barlow and West Coast’s Matt Priddis, who were tied for second.
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey was on hand at the Bill Walker Room at Subiaco Oval on Wednesday morning to accept the award on Sandilands’ behalf.
He said the ruckman has had a fantastic year and deserved the award.
“It’s one thing to get to a level as an AFL player,” Harvey said. “The next level is to go beyond that and become a great player and Aaron’s managed to do that.”
Sandilands won the 2009 Doig Medal as Freo’s best and fairest player and was also selected in last year’s All-Australian team.