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July 14th, 2018 by admin

Western Bulldogs best and fairest award won by Marcus Bontempelli

Bontempelli celebrates with the premiership cup. Photo: AFL Media/Getty ImagesAged just 20, Marcus Bontempelli has won his club’s best and fairest in a premiership year.
Nanjing Night Net

The Western Bulldogs youngster concluded a dream season by claiming the Charles Sutton Medal, easily winning Wednesday night’s count at Crown Casino. He is the youngest winner of the award since David Thorpe in 1968.

The honour is yet another feather in Bontempelli’s increasingly impressive cap.

It came after the former No.4 draft pick was last month named All-Australian for the first time.

He was also named in the AFL Players’ Association’s “22 under 22” team for the third straight year, and even briefly stepped in as the club’s captain mid-season after injuries to Bob Murphy and Easton Wood. In just his third season at the elite level, Bontempelli played all 26 games, averaging more than 24 disposals and exactly one goal.

He led the club in tackles, contested possessions, inside 50s and clearances, and was the Dogs’ equal leader in goal assists. The midfielder was a solid performer in his side’s unlikely finals run, most notably in the upset semi-final win over Hawthorn, in which he was arguably best afield.

Bontempelli finished with 319 votes,  clear of veteran backman Dale Morris (248) and emerging midfielder Lachie Hunter (246).

Morris, 33, was rewarded for a fine season in defence. He is one of several veterans at the club to have thrived since the arrival of coach Luke Beveridge two years ago.

Hunter, 21, had been a fringe player during his first three seasons at the Whitten Oval, but enjoyed a breakout year in 2016, averaging nearly 28 disposals as he built a reputation as one of the competition’s most consistent midfielders.

Having missed all of last season due to a serious knee injury, 2014 best and fairest Tom Liberatore bounced back to finish fourth in this year’s count with 218 votes.

Former captain Matthew Boyd came ninth after his All-Australian effort, while rebounding defender Jason Johannisen – who won the Norm Smith Medal in last Saturday’s grand final win over Sydney – finished 10th on Wednesday night, despite missing nine games during the year with a hamstring injury.

Liam Picken was rewarded for an outstanding finals series in which he averaged more than 23 disposals and kicked eight goals – named the club’s best finals player in addition to finishing fifth overall.

Josh Dunkley – overlooked by the Swans as a father-son selection in last year’s draft – won the Chris Grant best first-year player award after playing 17 games this season, including the grand final victory over the club of his father Andrew.

Bontempelli

Charles Sutton Medal Top 10

1. Marcus Bontempelli (319 votes)

2. Dale Morris (248)

3. Lachie Hunter (246)

4. Tom Liberatore (218)

5. Liam Picken (214)

6. Luke Dahlhaus (201)

7. Jackson Macrae, Caleb Daniel (185)

9. Matthew Boyd (184)

10. Jason Johannisen (165)

Award Winners

Charles Sutton Medal (first place): Marcus Bontempelli

Doug Hawkins Medal (second place): Dale Morris

Gary Dempsey Medal (third place): Lachie Hunter

Best in Finals: Liam Picken

Chris Grant Best First Year Player: Josh Dunkley

Tony Liberatore Most Improved Player: Jordan Roughead

Brad Johnson Best Team Player: Matthew Boyd

John Van Groningen Domestique Award: Dale Morris

Scott West Most Courageous Award: Tom Liberatore

John Schultz Community Award: Marcus Bontempelli

Victoria University Education Award: Mitch Wallis

Footscray Best and Fairest: Jordan Russell

Footscray Best and Fairest runner up: Mitch Honeychurch

Footscray Best and Fairest third place: Lukas Webb

Bulldogs Taskforce VFL Coaches Award: Anthony Barry

Susan Alberti Award: Jaimee Lambert

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.