The race for the 2017 Shadforth Financial Group AFLCA Champion Player of the Year Award has tightened at the top, with Rory Sloane’s lead cut to just four votes following Round 7.
Sloane’s output was stifled in the Crows loss to North Melbourne in Hobart, with Kangaroo tagger Sam Gibson restricting the in-form 27-year-old to just 18 disposals.
Sloane received no votes from the coaches while 30-year-old Gibson, who collected 20 touches and 14 contested possessions of his own in the 59-point win, claimed three votes for his efforts.
In a week of upsets, the leaderboard’s top three entering into the weekend’s play all failed to register a vote from the coaches, while West Coast youngster Elliot Yeo rocketed to second place following his 27 disposals, 17 contested possessions and a goal in the Eagles stirring victory against the Power at Adelaide Oval.
Yeo received nine coaches’ votes, to cut Sloane’s lead to only four votes.
Gold Coast star Gary Ablett continued his returned to form in 2017, with six coaches’ votes sending him to third place on the leaderboard after collecting 32 disposals and nine inside 50s in the upset against the Cats.
Western Bulldogs superstar Marcus Bontempelli also leaped ahead, collecting nine votes to equal Clayton Oliver and Joel Selwood in fourth place after collecting 27 disposals, nine tackles and a goal against the Tigers.
Four players received maximum votes from the coaches in Round 7, including North Melbourne’s Jarrad Waite (six goals, 22 disposals), Sydney’s Lance Franklin (eight goals, 18 kicks), Melbourne’s Jack Viney (32 touches and 15 tackles) and Fremantle’s Brad Hill (37 disposals, 16 marks).
42 – RORY SLOANE (ADEL)
38 – Elliot Yeo (WC)
32 – GARY ABLETT (GC)
31 – MARCUS BONTEMPELLI (WB)
31 – CLAYTON OLIVER (MELB)
31 – JOEL SELWOOD (GEEL)
29 – OLLIE WINES (PA)
26 – Marc Murphy (Carl)
25 – DUSTIN MARTIN (RICH)
25 – ZACH MERRETT (ESS)
AFL Coaches’ Association votes for Round 7:
st kilda v GWS
9 Ross (StK), 9 Steven (StK), 3 Scully (GWS), 3 Stevens (StK), 2 Shiel (GWS), 2 Webster (StK), 1 Longer (StK), 1 Ward (GWS)
North Melbourne v adelaide
10 Waite (NM), 8 Cunnington (NM), 3 Gibson (NM), 3 McDonald (NM), 3 Thompson (NM), 2 Turner (NM), 1 Wood (NM)
collingwood v carlton
9 Kreuzer (Carl), 9 Petrevski-Seton (Carl), 6 Murphy (Carl), 4 Marchbank (Carl), 1 Adams (Coll), 1 Reid (Coll)
port adelaide v west coast
9 Yeo (WCE), 7 Ryder (PA), 6 Dixon (PA), 3 Barrass (WCE), 3 Sheppard (WCE), 2 LeCras (WCE)
gold coast v geelong
8 Hall (GCS), 6 Ablett (GCS), 5 Harbrow (GCS), 5 Lynch (GCS), 3 May (GCS), 2 Swallow (GCS), 1 Duncan (Geel)
western bulldogs v richmond
9 Bontempelli (WB), 5 Macrae (WB), 4 Riewoldt (Rich), 4 Dahlhaus (WB), 3 Grigg (Rich), 3 Wood (WB), 1 T. Boyd (WB), 1 Rance (Rich)
sydney v brisbane
10 Franklin (Syd), 8 Jones (Syd), 5 Heeney (Syd), 5 Rockliff (BL), 1 Lloyd (Syd), 1 Parker (Syd)
melbourne v hawthorn
10 Viney (Melb), 6 Roughead (Haw), 4 Burgoyne (Haw), 3 Jones (Melb), 3 McEvoy (Haw), 3 Smith (Haw), 1 Frost (Melb)
fremantle v essendon
10 B. Hill (Frem), 8 Neale (Frem), 6 Taberner (Frem), 2 Blakely (Frem), 2 Z. Merrett (Ess), 1 Daniher (Ess), 1 Hooker (Ess)