Carlton star Patrick Cripps has well and truly entered the debate for the 2018 Shadforth Financial Group AFLCA Champion Player of the Year award.
Cripps polled maximum coaches to surge to second place on the leaderboard, only three votes behind Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe following his 29-disposal, three-goal effort against the Magpies on Sunday.
Of the Blues’ midfielder’s 29 possessions, 20 of those were contested, the 13th time in his 72-game career he’s had 20 or more in a single match.
Collingwood midfielder Steele Sidebottom stayed within arm’s reach of top spot, polling six votes from the coaches for his 31 touches and eight clearances against the Blues to maintain his third place, while Hawthorn midfielder Tom Mitchell dropped two spots despite polling two votes against the Suns.
North Melbourne’s hot streak of form has resulted in veteran Kangaroo Shaun Higgins joining the leaderboard after Round 14, collecting 10 votes for his 32 disposals, eight clearances and two goals against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night.
Four players received maximum coaches votes for their efforts in Round 14, including Cripps, Higgins, Adam Saad (26 disposals and six bounces) and Liam Shiels (33 touches and one goal).
The AFL Coaches’ Association votes for Round 14 (see every vote from all the rounds so far at AFLCoaches.com.au):
west coast v essendon
10 Saad (Ess), 8 Smith (Ess), 5 Bellchambers (Ess), 3 Heppell (Ess), 3 Hooker (Ess), 1 Stringer (Ess)
port ADelaide v melbourne
9 Jonas (PA), 9 Viney (Melb), 3 Westhoff (PA), 3 Wines (PA), 2 Brayshaw (Melb), 2 T. McDonald (Melb), 2 Jetta (Melb)
hawthorn v gold coast
10 Shiels (Haw), 7 O’Meara (Haw), 6 Breust (Haw), 4 Sicily (Haw), 2 Mitchell (Haw), 1 McEvoy (Haw)
brisbane v gws giants
8 Hodge (BL), 8 Kelly (GWS), 5 Whitfield (GWS), 3 Coniglio (GWS), 3 Rich (BL), 2 Shiel (GWS), 1 McCluggage (BL)
western bulldogs v north melbourne
10 Higgins (NM), 7 Cunnington (NM), 6 Brown (NM), 3 Adams (WB), 3 Crozier (WB), 1 Goldstein (NM)
collingwood v carlton
10 Cripps (Carl), 6 C. Curnow (Carl), 6 Sidebottom (Coll), 4 Pendlebury (Coll), 2 Howe (Coll), 1 Grundy (Coll), 1 Phillips (Coll)
59 — NAT FYFE (FREM)
56 — PATRICK CRIPPS (CARL)
53 — STEELE SIDEBOTTOM (COLL)
50 — TOM MITCHELL (HAW)
45 — TRENT COTCHIN (RICH)
45 — MAX GAWN (MELB)
42 — SHAUN HIGGINS (NM)
42 — JACK DARLING (WC)
40 — JACK MACRAE (WB)
37 — BRODIE GRUNDY (COLL)
37 — JAMES SICILY (HAW)
37 — OLLIE WINES (PA)