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Clubs with a Bye

Jake Bartholomaeus (centre) with his Driscoll medal and trophy. Photo: SUANFC

Best of the Best: Every club's major award winner

The awards season is done and dusted with all clubs crowing their best NEAFL players in season 2019.

Take a look at the full list of winners from each club below.

Aspley Hornets – Carl Herbert Medal: Matthew Payne

Winning his sixth Carl Herbert Medal this year is the evergreen Matthew Payne, who remained at the top of his game in 2019 to claim yet another club best-and-fairest in a season where Payne earned an unprecedented eighth NEAFL Team of the Year selection. Ranked No.1 in the competition for contested possessions, fourth for disposals, third for inside 50s and third for clearances, the 34-year-old beat defender Gavin Grose and ruckman Jake Spencer to win his 11th senior club best-and-fairest across four clubs in the past 15 years.

Brisbane Lions – Neville Fallon Award: Ryan Bastinac

NEAFL premiership captain Ryan Bastinac was one of the big stars for the all-conquering Brisbane Lions this year, and was duly awarded the Neville Fallon Award for the Lions best NEAFL player. It was the 28-year-old’s second consecutive Neville Fallon Award after a four-way tie in 2017 alongside Claye Beams, Ben Keays and Corey Lyons. Bastinac consistently performed at a high standard and was damaging anywhere he went on the field, averaging 30 disposals, six marks, five inside 50s and six clearances. He also was ranked No.1 in the competition for score assists.

Canberra Demons – Best-and-Fairest Award: Angus Baker

NEAFL Rising Star winner Angus Baker claimed his first Canberra best-and-fairest award in yet another accolade to come from a sensational breakout NEAFL season. Baker, 21, had a year to remember for the Demons, winning the competition’s Rising Star Award and being named in the NEAFL Team of the Year. He was ranked No.1 in the league for Champion Data ranking points and second for disposals, and averaged 30 disposals, seven marks and five rebound 50s playing off half-back in 2019.

Gold Coast – NEAFL Player of the Year Award: Tom Nicholls

Gold Coast ruckman Tom Nicholls was a worthy winner of the SUNS NEAFL Player of the Year Award following a fantastic season which also saw Nicholls earn his place as ruck in the NEAFL Team of the Year. His presence in the middle of the ground was a huge asset to the SUNS in 2019. Nicholls was ranked No.1 in the league for hard ball gets and was the only key position player in the top 10 for contested possessions – an outstanding achievement whilst playing as his side’s No.1 ruck option. Nicholls was ranked fifth in the competition for total Champion Data ranking points, also making him the highest ranked key position player.

GIANTS – NEAFL Development Award: Connor Idun

GIANTS defender Connor Idun capped off a terrific first season at the club by winning the NEAFL Development Award. A developing key defender who thrives in one-on-one contests, Idun is a versatile player who played 18 NEAFL games and one AFL game in 2019. Averaging 14 disposals, four marks and four rebound 50s per game in the NEAFL, Idun showcased his bright future and will be one to watch in the coming years.

Redland Bombers – Dowling Medal: Clay Cameron & Craig Malone

Redland crowned dual Dowling medallists this year with forward Clay Cameron and ruckman Craig Malone sharing the club’s top honour after both had dominant seasons. Cameron was ranked third in the competition for marks and sixth for score assists, and averaged 18 disposals, eight marks and two goals a game whilst also setting up his teammates in the forward line on numerous occasions. Malone was the hit-out king in 2019 to find himself in the NEAFL Team of the Year alongside Cameron. Ranked No.1 for hit-outs and hit-outs to advantage, it was a breakout season for Malone where the 115kg and 198cm giant had several best-on-ground performances.

NT Thunder – Ilett Medal: Abraham Ankers

NT Thunder star Abraham Ankers rarely put a foot wrong in 2019 to earn his second consecutive Ilett Medal. Named captain of the NEAFL Team of the Year, Ankers was without a doubt one of the most damaging midfielders in the competition. He was ranked No.2 in the NEAFL for contested possessions and No.1 for inside 50s. An Alice Springs local, Ankers’ ability to perform at the top of his game after getting on a plane nearly every week is a testament to his leadership qualities, and why he is also highly regarded amongst his peers.

Sydney Swans – NEAFL Player of the Year Award: James Bell

Swans Academy graduate James Bell’s shining season culminated in the 20-year-old being crowned NEAFL Player of the Year as reward for his outstanding work in 2019. The Shellharbour product played two AFL games off the back of his dominant NEAFL form, where Bell averaged 19 disposals and 5.6 tackles per match. A talented soccer player in his youth, Bell had a storied journey to his AFL debut after being drafted in 2017, and is no doubt a young player Swans fan should be excited about. 

Southport Sharks – Doc Mackenzie Medal: Andrew Boston

2018 premiership captain Andrew Boston was back at the peak of his powers in 2019 to claim the Doc Mackenzie Medal over fellow midfielder Tyler Roos. In a year where Boston notched up game 100, the former Gold Coast SUN was named best-on-ground for the Sharks multiple times, leading the NEAFL in clearances to also be awarded a spot in the Team of the Year. Although the Sharks couldn’t claim back-to-back flags, Boston was still unstoppable to also be awarded the club’s Best Player in Finals Award.

Sydney University – Driscoll Medal: Jake Bartholomaeus

2019 NEAFL MVP Jake Bartholomaeus capped off a stellar season by adding the Driscoll Medal to his list of achievements. In what was a stunning season from the 21-year-old, Bartholomaeus was awarded the club’s best-and-fairest ahead of Lewis Stevenson and Bailey Stewart. He was ranked fifth in disposals, third in contested possessions, second in clearances, fourth in tackles and second for inside 50s in the NEAFL this year, as Bartholomaeus flourished in a new-look Students side and was named among his side’s best the most times of any player.


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