Sydney University midfielder Jake Bartholomaeus has conquered all to be crowned the 2019 NEAFL Most Valuable Player in a thrilling count at the Sofitel Brisbane Central on Sunday night.
No less than four players had the chance to win the competition’s highest individual honour in the final round, but it was the 21-year-old Students midfielder who rose to the top, winning by five votes over Canberra defender Angus Baker.
Bartholomaeus was 16 votes behind leader Matthew Payne at the end of Round 18, but the young gun stormed ahead by the end of Round 20 with a combined 18 votes against NT Thunder and Redland in consecutive weeks.
Just four votes separated the top four heading into the final round with Bartholomaues on top (68 votes), followed by NT Thunder’s Abraham Ankers (67), Aspley’s Payne (66) and Baker (64).
Both Ankers and Payne failed to poll in the last round, with Baker attracting four votes in Canberra’s loss to Redland and Bartholomaeus polling five after 30 disposals and seven clearances in the Students’ loss to Southport.
Earlier in the count, Sydney draftee James Rowbottom led the voting when it became withheld from the public at the end of Round 12, but didn’t play another NEAFL game for the rest of the season with his dominant form rewarded with AFL selection.
Payne, a three-time NEAFL MVP winner, hit the lead in Round 14 and maintained his position at the top until Bartholomaeus overtook the 33-year-old in the penultimate round.
A former Swans Academy member, Bartholomaeus has flourished as part of a new-look Students squad in 2019, transforming from a NEAFL Rising Star nominee in 2018 to earn the competition’s highest individual honour 12 months later.
Bartholomaeus averaged 27 disposals and six clearances per game and was ranked in the top five in the league for total disposals, clearances, tackles, contested possessions and clearances.
In other awards, Baker won the NEAFL Rising Star Award after an outstanding season, having been named in Canberra’s best 14 times from 17 games and leading the NEAFL in Champion Data ranking points.
Ankers was named captain of the NEAFL Team of the Year, with Brisbane the best represented side with five players plus coach Mitch Hahn named NEAFL Coach of the Year after guiding the Lions to a historic first ever undefeated home-and-away season.
Lions Academy member Keidean Coleman created history as the first academy player to ever be selected in a NEAFL Team of the Year.
Aspley’s Liam Dawson was Mark of the Year for his spectacular effort against Redland in Round 5, and Rowbottom won Goal of the Year for his long-range goal in Round 2, getting boot to ball just forward of the interchange on the wing before it rolled through.
Redland’s Matt Hammelmann won his second consecutive NEAFL Leading Goalkicker Award after kicking 66 majors.
2019 NEAFL MVP – TOP 10 LEADERBOARD
73: Jake Bartholomaeus (Sydney Uni)
68: Angus Baker (Canberra)
67: Abraham Ankers (NT Thunder)
66: Matthew Payne (Aspley)
65: Ryan Bastinac (Brisbane)
61: Andrew Boston (Southport)
59: Jake Spencer (Aspley)
57: Corey Lyons (Brisbane)
55: Alex Smout (Canberra)
53: Mitch Maguire (Canberra)
2019 NEAFL MVP AWARDS CEREMONY AWARD WINNERS
NEAFL Most Valuable Player
Jake Bartholomaeus (Sydney University) – 73 votes
Mark of the Year
Liam Dawson (Aspley)
Goal of the Year
James Rowbottom (Sydney)
NEAFL Leading Goalkicker
Matt Hammelmann (Redland ) – 66 goals.
NEAFL Rising Star
Angus Baker (Canberra)
NEAFL Team of the Year
B: Brodie Murdoch (Southport) Mathew Eagles (Brisbane) Tom Highmore (Canberra)
HB: Angus Baker (Canberra) Gavin Grose (Aspley) Ryley Stoddart (Sydney)
C: Nick Shipley (GIANTS) Matthew Payne (Aspley) Alex Smout (Canberra)
HF: James Rose (Sydney) Clay Cameron (Redland) Ryan Bastinac (Brisbane)
F: Ben Keays (Brisbane) Matt Hammelmann (Redland) Mitch Hardie (Canberra)
Foll: Tom Nicholls (Gold Coast) Abraham Ankers (NT Thunder) Andrew Boston (Southport)
Interchange: Jake Bartholomaeus (Sydney Uni) Adam Gulden (Sydney Uni) Corey Lyons (Brisbane) Keidean Coleman (Brisbane) Craig Malone (Redland)
Coach: Mitch Hahn (Brisbane)
Captain: Abraham Ankers (NT Thunder)
NEAFL Umpires of the Year
Field - Andrew Adair
Boundary - Ty Duncan
Goal - Jesse Baird
Field - Nic McGinness
Boundary - David Wood
Goal - Dale Puren
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