by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Several clubs, not in Finals, have already held their club champion awards.
Shane Mumford has won the 2014 Kevin Sheedy Medal in his first season with the Giants. The former Sydney premiership ruckman was presented with the medal by its namesake, inaugural coach Kevin Sheedy who has remained at the club as a coaching director. Mumford, 28, crossed from the Swans at the end of 2013 and took out the club champion award despite missing five games through injury. He polled in 13 of the 17 games he played to finish with 81 votes. Co-captain Callan Ward and small forward Devon Smith were equal runners-up on 72 votes. Midfielder Adam Treloar finished fourth on 62 votes and vice-captain Heath Shaw fifth with 56 votes.
Mumford averaged the second most hit outs in the AFL this season with over 36 per game, including 60 against Melbourne in Round 3, the third highest ever recorded in the AFL. Coach Leon Cameron congratulated Mumford on his win saying Mumford was instrumental in a leadership role on and off the field and helped set standards for the playing group.
Source: Leigh Meyrick, GWS Media Release
Daniel Talia has won his first Malcolm Blight Medal. Talia shared the lead with Patrick Dangerfield heading into the final round, but the defender’s efforts against St Kilda star Nick Riewoldt in Round 23 gave him the award. Only nine votes separated the top five, which also included Rory Sloane, Brodie Smith and Sam Jacobs.
Talia, 22, is the second-youngest winner club legend Andrew McLeod, who achieved the feat in 1997 aged 21. Talia, who took out the 2012 Rising Star Award, was a rock in Adelaide’s inexperienced backline this season, enhancing his reputation as one of the premier defenders in the competition. Still in only his fourth season, Talia conceded an average of only 1.4 goals per game and didn’t allow any goals to his direct opponent in seven matches. He has played 76 career games, including the last 44 without missing a game - a testament to his professionalism and meticulous preparation.
Source: Ian Shuttleworth, Adelaide Media Release
Nick Riewoldt has won his sixth best and fairest award. Riewoldt, 31, won the Trevor Barker Award ahead of retiring veteran Lenny Hayes and reliable defender Sean Dempster, while Leigh Montagna and Luke Delaney rounded out the top five.
Riewoldt last won the Trevor Barker Award in 2009, having previously won in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007. He now has two more than any other Saint in history. The win places him level with Nathan Buckley, Matthew Pavlich and Jack Dyer on the all-time list of club best and fairest winners. Only seven players in the history of the game have won more club titles than Riewoldt.
Coach Alan Richardson paid tribute to the St Kilda captain, saying “This award is a tribute to the season Nick has had. He’s obviously been really impressive in terms of the way that he’s played and the impact that he’s had ... What’s been more impressive has been his leadership. It’s one thing for him to perform well, but it’s the performance and the uplift of others that will get us heading in the right direction."
Riewoldt booted 49 goals in 2014 and took 191 marks, more than any other player in the competition. For the first time since 2006, Riewoldt played every game for the year. He was one of just four Saints to do so, with Jack Newnes, Dempster and Delaney also rewarded for their consistency with top ten finishes in the best and fairest.
2014 was also the eighth time he’s finished in the top two in the Trevor Barker Award and the fourth occasion in which he’s led St Kilda’s goal kicking. His 178th game in Round 19 put him ahead of Danny Frawley ads the club's longest-serving captain. it also puts him equal seventh (182 games) with former Swan Paul Kelly on the all-time list for games as captain
Source: Luke Holmesby, St Kilda Media Release
With captain Gary Ablett sidelined with a shoulder injury, David Swallow has won his first best and fairest award to be the first player other than Ablett to win the award. Swallow and Ablett regularly traded the lead throughout the count, with Swallow trailing by just six votes heading in to the Round 16 match against Collingwood, the game in which Ablett was injured. While it took a bit of time for others to find their way in the absence of Ablett, Swallow continued to blossom, polling votes in 21 of 22 games. Performing consistently, he exceeded 25 disposals in 11 games. Swallow’s season included inspirational performances against the Adelaide Crows in Round 11 where he collected 37 disposals, four inside 50s, two goals and 22 votes. Against Collingwood in Round 16 he excelled with 31 disposals, eight clearances, four inside 50s and 23 votes.
Second place winner Tom Lynch also had a consistent season, especially in the second half of the year, polling in every match after round 11. Lynch was ranked second overall in the AFL for contested marks (43) and regularly kicked multiple goals, kicking five against the GWS Giants and four against St Kilda (twice), the Western Bulldogs and Essendon. Third placed Dion Prestia's continued improvement didn't go unnoticed by the match committee. He picked up in excess of 25 disposals in 15 games, while in the final three rounds he showed he could break opposition tags, averaging 28 disposals, seven clearances and four inside 50s. Prestia polled 17 more votes than he did in last year’s count.
Source: Stephen Wilson, GC Media Release, AFL Record Season Guide
Article last changed on Friday, September 12, 2014 - 9:43 PM EDT