Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn has had his lead in the 2018 Shadforth Financial Group AFLCA Champion Player of the Year award cut to just two votes despite a near best on ground effort in Round 19.
The Demons big man led by three votes over Carlton’s Patrick Cripps and Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell heading into the weekend’s action before collecting a monstrous 66 hit outs against the Crows on Saturday night, polling nine votes from the coaches.
But Cripps and Mitchell slightly pegged back Gawn’s lead after both midfield stars received maximum votes from their respective coaches in Round 19. Cripps collected 37 disposals, 11 tackles and kicked a goal in the Blues second win for the season, while Mitchell registered 47 touches, seven clearances and kicked two goals — the 10th time this season he’s collected 40 or more disposals in a game.
Gawn’s teammate, Clayton Oliver, moved into fifth place on the leaderboard, after also polling nine votes from the coaches for his 31-disposal and 14-clearance effort on Saturday night. Oliver, who also received eight votes in Round 18, was outside the top 10 two weeks ago.
Classy GWS half-back Lachie Whitfield joined the leaberboard after the weekend’s play following his 32 disposals against the Saints on Saturday, registering nine coaches’ votes.
Six players received maximum votes from the coaches in Round 19, including Cripps, Mitchell, Brodie Grundy (23 touches, 10 tackles), Tom Hawkins (seven goals), Ben Cunnington (39 disposals, 10 tackles) and Charlie Dixon (five goals).
The AFL Coaches’ Association votes for Round 19 (see every vote from all the rounds so far at AFLCoaches.com.au):
essendon v sydney
9 Hurley (Ess), 6 Heppell (Ess), 6 Saad (Ess), 4 Smith (Ess), 3 Myers (Ess), 2 McDonald-Tipungwuti (Ess)
richmond v collingwood
10 Grundy (Coll), 7 Pendlebury (Coll), 4 Astbury (Rich), 4 Edwards (Rich), 4 Riewoldt (Rich), 1 Prestia (Rich)
geelong v brisbane
10 Hawkins (Geel), 8 Ablett (Geel), 5 D Beams (BL), 3 Dangerfield (Geel), 3 Duncan (Geel), 1 Gardiner (BL)
gws v st kilda
9 Whitfield (GWS), 8 Himmelberg (GWS), 7 Gresham (StK), 2 Lonie (StK), 2 Shaw (GWS), 1 Kelly (GWS), 1 Steele (StK)
gold coast v carlton
10 Cripps (Carl), 6 C. Curnow (Carl), 6 Simpson (Carl), 4 Murphy (Carl), 2 E. Curnow (Carl), 1 Lang (Carl), 1 Petrevski-Seton (Carl)
adelaide v melbourne
9 Gawn (Melb), 9 Oliver (Melb), 3 M. Crouch (Adel), 3 T. McDonald (Melb), 3 Milera (Adel), 2 Lewis (Melb), 1 Neal-Bullen (Melb)
north melbourne v west coast
10 Cunnington (NM), 8 Ahern (NM), 5 Daw (NM), 3 Clarke (NM), 2 Goldstein (NM), 2 McGovern (WCE)
western bulldogs v port adelaide
10 Dixon (PA), 8 Polec (PA), 5 Trengove (WB), 3 Wingard (PA), 2 Dunkley (WB), 1 Bryne-Jones (PA), 1 Macrae (WB)
fremantle v hawthorn
10 Mitchell (Haw), 5 Breust (Haw), 4 Stratton (Haw), 3 Burgoyne (Haw), 3 Mundy (Frem), 2 Gunston (Haw), 2 Hardwick (Haw), 1 Shiels (Haw)
80 — MAX GAWN (MELB)
78 — PATRICK CRIPPS (CARL)
78 — TOM MITCHELL (HAW)
64 — SHAUN HIGGINS (NM)
62 — CLAYTON OLIVER (MELB)
61 — ANDREW GAFF (WC)
59 — NAT FYFE (FREM)
59 — DYSON HEPPELL (ESS)
57 — LACHIE WHITFIELD (GWS)
56 — DAYNE BEAMS (BL)
56 — BRODIE GRUNDY (COLL)