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AFL's mid-year player awards

afl.com.au  June 13, 2018 12:08 PM

Wrighty's Mid-Year Review GM of Football Graham Wright gives his report on the season so far.

Adelaide Crows

Best and fairest 
1. Rory Laird 
2. Bryce Gibbs 
3. Daniel Talia 
4. Paul Seedsman 
5. Matt Crouch

Best 21 and under Tom Doedee

Recruit of the year Bryce Gibbs

Most improved Paul Seedsman

Most courageous Richard Douglas

Best team player Richard Douglas

Goal of the year Eddie Betts, round three v St Kilda, Etihad Stadium. The two-time Goal of the Year winner breaks his 2018 duck with a brilliant finish from the boundary after evading a Saints defender. 

Mark of the year Mitch McGovern, round seven v Carlton, Adelaide Oval. The high-flying forward takes a spectacular grab over Liam Jones. 

Game milestones David Mackay (200 games), round 17; Bryce Gibbs (250 games), round 20; Eddie Betts (300 games), if he doesn't miss a game and Crows play three finals. - Lee Gaskin

Brisbane Lions

Best and fairest 
1. Harris Andrews 
2. Darcy Gardiner 
3. Stefan Martin 
4. Charlie Cameron 
5. Dayne Zorko

Best 21 and under Harris Andrews

Recruit of the year Charlie Cameron

Most improved Darcy Gardiner

Most courageous Mitch Robinson

Best team player Nick Robertson

Goal of the year Charlie Cameron, round five v Gold Coast, the Gabba. Three or four efforts in 10 seconds and a sublime snap over his shoulder made this a goal to remember for Cameron.

Mark of the year Charlie Cameron, round nine v Hawthorn, the Gabba. Cameron jumped so high for this skyscraper, his foot hit the head of teammate Darcy Gardiner.

Game milestones Stefan Martin (150 games), round 15; Lewis Taylor (100 games), round 16. - Michael Whiting

Carlton

Best and fairest
1.
 Patrick Cripps
2. Ed Curnow
3. Kade Simpson
4. Charlie Curnow
5. Zac Fisher

Best 21 and under Charlie Curnow

Recruit of the Year Paddy Dow

Most improved Zac Fisher

Most courageous Patrick Cripps

Best team player Ed Curnow

Goal of the Year David Cuningham, round 10 v Geelong, GMHBA Stadium. A 60m bomb on the run after two superb pressure acts from Paddy Dow and a nice releasing handball from Sam Petrevski-Seton.

Mark of the Year Charlie Curnow, round eight v Essendon, MCG. A juggling contested mark at the top of the goal square over two Essendon defenders. 

Game milestones Matthew Wright (150 games), round 13; Kade Simpson (300 games), round 15; Aaron Mullett (100 games), round 18; Cam O'Shea (100 games), round 22; Sam Rowe (100 games), round 23. - Howard Kotton

Collingwood

Best and fairest 
1. Brodie Grundy 
2. Steele Sidebottom 
3. Adam Treloar 
4. Tom Phillips 
5. Jeremy Howe & Scott Pendlebury

Best 21 and under Jordan De Goey

Recruit of the year Jaidyn Stephenson

Most improved Tom Phillips

Most courageous Jeremy Howe

Best team player Lynden Dunn

Goal of the year Brodie Grundy, round four v Adelaide, Adelaide Oval. Brilliant long goal that showcased the big man's extraordinary running power and capped a best-afield effort in a monumental victory.

Mark of the year Mason Cox, round six v Richmond, MCG. Courageous, pack-splitting grab by the 'American Pie', who stood tall despite the desperate spoiling attempts of quality Tiger defenders.

Game milestones Steele Sidebottom (200 games), round 19; Brodie Grundy (100 games), round 19; Travis Varcoe (200 games), round 19; Lynden Dunn (200 games), round 21; Ben Reid (150 games), round 22. - Ben Collins

Essendon

Best and fairest 
1. Devon Smith 
2. David Zaharakis 
3. Dyson Heppell 
4. Tom Bellchambers 
5. Jake Stringer

Best 21 and under Andrew McGrath

Recruit of the year Devon Smith

Most improved Kyle Langford

Most courageous Devon Smith

Best team player Zach Merrett

Goal of the year Jake Stringer, round four v Port Adelaide, Etihad Stadium. The Essendon recruit sealed his team's win over the Power with a brilliant bouncing effort from the boundary line.

Mark of the year Matt Guelfi, round 11 v Richmond, MCG. Guelfi flew high from side-on to take a clean grab that saw it named the mark of the round.

Game milestones Dyson Heppell (150 games), round 22; Zach Merrett (100 games), round 20. - Callum Twomey

Fremantle

Best and fairest 
1. Nat Fyfe 
2. Lachie Neale 
3. Aaron Sandilands 
4. Ed Langdon 
5. David Mundy/Alex Pearce

Best 21 and under Adam Cerra

Recruit of the year Nathan Wilson

Most improved Ed Langdon

Most courageous Luke Ryan

Best team player Joel Hamling

Goal of the year Cam McCarthy, round one v Port Adelaide, Adelaide Oval. Jammed up on the boundary line at the intersection with the 50m arc, McCarthy gathers and throws it on the boot for an incredible goal.

Mark of the year Nat Fyfe, round seven v Richmond, MCG. Trying to lift the Dockers, the skipper flies over a pack on centre wing for a superb pluck.

Game milestones Nat Fyfe (150 games), round 13; Stephen Hill (200 games), round TBC (currently injured and on 197 appearances). - Travis King

Geelong Cats

Best and fairest
1.
 Tom Stewart
2. Joel Selwood
3. Tim Kelly
4. Sam Menegola
5. Patrick Dangerfield

Best 21 and under Jack Henry (Esava Ratugolea pre-injury)

Recruit of the year Tim Kelly

Most improved Jordan Cunico

Most courageous Tom Stewart

Best team player Mark Blicavs

Goal of the year Sam Menegola, round 10 v Carlton, GMHBA Stadium. Running away from goal, Menegola gathered and snapped off balance from the outside of the boot from close range while bracing for oncoming contact.

Mark of the year Esava Ratugolea, round eight v Collingwood, MCG. With the game needing someone to stand up midway through the final term, Ratugolea jumped over Jeremy Howe and Patrick Dangerfield to clunk a crucial mark in attack.

Game milestones: Chris Scott (400 games as player and coach combined), round 19. Joel Selwood needs four more wins to notch 200 career victories. -Mitch Cleary

Gold Coast Suns

Best and fairest 
1. Jack Martin 
2. David Swallow 
3. Jarrod Witts 
4. Touk Miller 
5. Rory Thompson

Best 21 and under Ben Ainsworth

Recruit of the year Charlie Ballard

Most improved Brayden Fiorini

Most courageous David Swallow

Best team player Touk Miller

Goal of the year Matt Rosa, round nine v Port Adelaide, Shanghai. After being a late inclusion to play in China, Rosa showed the locals how to thread the needle from the boundary line.

Mark of the year Jack Martin, round three v Fremantle, Optus Stadium. Not a lot to choose from so far, but Martin climbed high in a pack to pull one down. 

Game milestones Rory Thompson (100 games), round 15. - Michael Whiting

GWS Giants

Best and fairest 
1. Stephen Coniglio 
2. Callan Ward 
3. Phil Davis 
4. Dylan Shiel 
5. Lachie Whitfield

Best 21 and under Tim Taranto

Recruit of the year Zac Langdon

Most improved Jeremy Finlayson

Most courageous Phil Davis

Best team player Stephen Coniglio

Goal of the year Dylan Shiel, round five v St Kilda. The gun midfielder broke a tackle and sold some candy before slotting a cracker from a tight angle.

Mark of the year Jeremy Cameron, round four v Fremantle. The star forward showed enormous courage running back with the flight of the footy against the Dockers.

Game milestones Nick Haynes (100 games), round 20; Josh Kelly (100 games), round 23. - Adam Curley

Hawthorn

Best and fairest 
1.
 Tom Mitchell
2. Isaac Smith
3. James Sicily
4. Ben Stratton
5. Jack Gunston

Best 21 and under Harry Morrison

Recruit of the year Jarman Impey

Most improved Blake Hardwick

Most courageous Ben Stratton

Best team player Jarryd Roughead

Goal of the year Jaeger O'Meara, round 4 v Melbourne. A long clearing bomb from James Sicily landed in the centre and from the contest it was a race between four Melbourne defenders and O’Meara who scooted past them and soccered through the goal.

Mark of the year Luke Breust, round 7 v Essendon. James Sicily kicked the ball towards the goals, and in a one-on-one contest, Breust outmuscled Brendon Goddard reached low to the ground and plucked a one-handed mark.

Game milestones Shaun Burgoyne (350 games), round 13; Tom Mitchell (100 games), round 14; James Frawley (200 games), round 16; Burgoyne (200 club games), round 20; Cyril Rioli (200 games), round 23. Grant Birchall needs five games to play his 250th. - Ashley Browne

Melbourne

Best and fairest 
1. Clayton Oliver 
2. Max Gawn 
3. Nathan Jones 
4. Jesse Hogan 
5. Neville Jetta

Best 21 and under Clayton Oliver

Recruit of the year Bayley Fritsch

Most improved Jake Melksham

Most courageous Neville Jetta

Best team player Jake Melksham

Goal of the year Jake Melksham, round nine v Carlton, MCG. A clean pick-up in the wet leads to a brilliant left-foot snap goal.

Mark of the year Bayley Fritsch, round one v Geelong, MCG. The first-gamer pulled in a classic pack mark against the Cats.

Game milestones Jordan Lewis (300 games), round 17; Jake Melksham (150 games), round 18; Jack Viney (100 games), round 21; Dom Tyson (100 games), TBC. - Ben Guthrie

North Melbourne

Best and fairest 
1. Shaun Higgins 
2. Ben Cunnington 
3. Ben Jacobs 
4. Ben Brown 
5. Robbie Tarrant

Best 21 and under Jy Simpkin

Recruit of the year Billy Hartung

Most improved Jed Anderson

Most courageous Jack Ziebell

Best team player Scott Thompson

Goal of the year Sam Wright, round 11 v Brisbane, Etihad Stadium. Wright collected the ball, was tackled to the ground at the top of the goal square, then threw the ball onto his right boot - while still on his back - and kicked truly.

Mark of the year Majak Daw, round three v Melbourne, MCG. Daw sized up the incoming ball and read it better than everyone before placing his knees on Demon Bayley Fritsch's shoulders and clutching a skyscraping grab.

Game milestones Shaun Higgins (200 games), round 19; Brad Scott (200th game coached), round 22; Jarrad Waite (250 games), round 23; Ben Brown (100 games), week one of finals. - Marc McGowan

Port Adelaide

Best and fairest 
1. Tom Jonas 
2. Robbie Gray 
3. Ollie Wines 
4. Jared Polec 
5. Justin Westhoff

Best 21 and under Dougal Howard

Recruit of the year Steven Motlop

Most improved Jared Polec

Most courageous Tom Jonas

Best team player Travis Boak

Goal of the year Steven Motlop, round eight v Adelaide, Adelaide Oval. Motlop was the hero with the match-winning goal against the Crows in Showdown 44.

Mark of the year Jack Hombsch, round five v Geelong, Adelaide Oval. The defender shows courage to go back with the flight of the ball to take a strong mark. 

Game milestones Steven Motlop (150 games), round 16; Jared Polec (100 games), round 17; Robbie Gray (200 games), if he plays every game and Port plays one final; Chad Wingard (150 games), if he plays every game and Port plays three finals; Justin Westhoff (250 games), if he plays every game and Port plays two finals. - Lee Gaskin

Richmond

Best and fairest 
1. Trent Cotchin 
2. Dustin Martin 
3. Alex Rance 
4. Josh Caddy 
5. Jayden Short

Best 21 and under Dan Butler

Recruit of the year Jack Higgins

Most improved Jayden Short

Most courageous Nick Vlastuin

Best team player Shane Edwards

Goal of the year Jack Higgins, round three v Hawthorn, MCG. The exciting young forward got his boot to a mid-air ball that came off hands to ram through a goal from point-blank range.

Mark of the year Jason Castagna, round 12 v Port Adelaide, Adelaide Oval. The small forward almost plants his knees on the shoulder of Tom Clurey, who is 12cm taller. 

Game milestones Dustin Martin, 200 games; first week of finals. - Jennifer Phelan

St Kilda

Best and fairest 
1. Jimmy Webster 
2. Jack Steven 
3. Jake Carlisle 
4. Seb Ross 
5. Jarryn Geary

Best 21 and under Jade Gresham

Recruit of the year Hunter Clark

Most improved Bailey Rice

Most courageous Jimmy Webster

Best team player Jack Steven

Goal of the year Ben Long, round five, Greater Western Sydney. With the Saints trailing by 12 late in a match that ended up being a draw, Long began walking in for his set shot but instead cheekily ran around and snapped home a pearler.

Mark of the year Jack Newnes, round two v North Melbourne, Etihad Stadium. The wingman leapt for a nice mark on Good Friday. 

Game milestones Seb Ross (100 games), round 20; Josh Bruce (100 games), round 22. - Dinny Navaratnam

Sydney Swans

Best and fairest 
1. Jake Lloyd 
2. George Hewett 
3. Jarrad McVeigh 
4. Isaac Heeney 
5. Luke Parker

Best 21 and under Oliver Florent

Recruit of the year Tom McCartin

Most improved Oliver Florent

Most courageous Luke Parker

Best team player George Hewett

Goal of the year Luke Parker, round one v West Coast. The star midfielder's bicycle kick screamer capped off an outstanding win in Perth.

Mark of the year Robbie Fox, round six v Geelong. The young forward soared to take a brilliant grab and kicked an important goal in the Swans' amazing comeback win.

Game milestones Heath Grundy (250 games), round 13; Harry Cunningham (100 games), round 20; Kieren Jack (250 games), round 23. - Adam Curley

West Coast Eagles

Best and fairest 
1. Andrew Gaff 
2. Jack Darling 
3. Shannon Hurn 
4. Elliot Yeo 
5. Jeremy McGovern

Best 21 and under Liam Duggan

Recruit of the year Liam Ryan

Most improved Tom Cole

Most courageous Brad Sheppard

Best team player Chris Masten

Goal of the year Liam Ryan, round two v Western Bulldogs, Etihad Stadium. Ryan taps the ball to Chris Masten, receives the handpass back and slots a cool checkside in just his second AFL game.

Mark of the year Jack Darling, round seven v Port Adelaide, Optus Stadium. Towering pack mark against three Power opponents at the top of the goalsquare capped a huge individual performance.

Game milestones Josh Kennedy (200 games for West Coast), round TBC; Eric Mackenzie (150 games), round TBC (needs three more) - Travis King

Western Bulldogs

Best and fairest 
1. Jack Macrae
2. Toby McLean
3. Lachie Hunter
4. Marcus Bontempelli
5. Bailey Williams

Best 21 and under Bailey Williams

Recruit of the year Aaron Naughton

Most improved Toby McLean

Most courageous Toby McLean

Best team player Jack Macrae

Goal of the year Tory Dickson, round four v Sydney. Remarkable banana goal on the run and under pressure, from the boundary. 

Mark of the year Aaron Naughton, round two v West Coast. The contested-mark specialist crashed a pack to pull down a beauty. 

Game milestones Marcus Bontempelli (100 games), round 17; Luke Dahlhaus (150 games), round 14; Liam Picken, TBC (200 games), Dale Morris (250 games), round 20. - Ryan Davidson