The race for the 2018 Shadforth Financial Group AFLCA Champion Player of the Year award has hotted up once more with only a star Hawk and Eagle advancing up the pointy end of the leaderboard following Round 18’s results.
Tom Mitchell moved to equal second after polling maximum votes from the respective coaches for his 46-disposal, nine-tackle and two-goal effort against the Blues on Sunday. He now sits only three votes from top spot.
Leader Max Gawn and second-placed Patrick Cripps both failed to poll any coaches’ votes from their clubs’ losses in Round 18.
Andrew Gaff was the other big mover, recording eight votes for his 35 touches in the Eagles’ comfortable victory against the Bulldogs on Sunday. He now moves ahead of Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe into the top five.
Orazio Fantasia stepped straight into form despite missing the last two weeks, collecting maximum votes for his 19 disposals and five goals against the Dockers on Saturday night, while, on a peculiar note, the Power and Giants coaches could barely agree on who were the best from Sunday afternoon’s clash.
Five players received maximum votes from the coaches for their Round 18 efforts, including Mitchell, Fantasia, Dion Prestia (26 disposals, three goals), Tom Hawkins (seven goals, four contested marks) and Elliot Yeo (28 disposals, eight tackles).
The AFL Coaches’ Association votes for Round 18 (see every vote from all the rounds so far at AFLCoaches.com.au):
st kilda v richmond
10 Prestia (Rich), 8 Martin (Rich), 5 Lambert (Rich), 3 Grimes (Rich), 2 Riewoldt (Rich), 1 Cotchin (Rich), 1 Nankervis (Rich)
collingwood v north melbourne
9 De Goey (Coll), 9 Pendlebury (Coll), 5 Adams (Coll), 3 Howe (Coll), 2 Higgins (NM), 2 Thomas (Coll)
sydney v gold coast
8 Young (GCS), 5 May (GCS), 5 Thompson (GCS), 5 Weller (GCS), 3 Wright (GCS), 2 Kennedy (Syd), 1 Parker (Syd), 1 Sexton (GCS)
essendon v fremantle
10 Fantasia (Ess), 8 Smith (Ess), 3 Bellchambers (Ess), 3 Goddard (Ess), 3 Heppell (Ess), 3 Zaharakis (Ess)
brisbane v adelaide
8 M. Crouch (Adel), 8 Greenwood (Adel), 6 Laird (Adel), 4 Gardiner (BL), 3 Witherden (BL), 1 Lynch (Adel)
geelong v melbourne
10 Hawkins (Geel), 8 Oliver (Melb), 5 Dangerfield (Geel), 4 Stewart (Geel), 2 T. McDonald (Melb), 1 Petracca (Melb)
carlton v hawthorn
10 Mitchell (Haw), 7 Breust (Haw), 7 Puopolo (Haw), 4 Worpel (Haw), 1 Hardwick (Haw), 1 Henderson (Haw)
west coast v western bulldogs
10 Yeo (WCE), 8 Gaff (WCE), 3 Crozier (WB), 3 Jetta (WCE), 2 Cripps (WCE), 2 Darling (WCE), 2 McGovern (WCE)
port adelaide v gws giants
6 Whitfield (GWS), 5 Coniglio (GWS), 5 Hopper (GWS), 5 Kelly (GWS), 5 Shaw (GWS), 3 Polec (PA), 1 Simpson (GWS)
71 — MAX GAWN (MELB)
68 — PATRICK CRIPPS (CARL)
68 — TOM MITCHELL (HAW)
64 — SHAUN HIGGINS (NM)
61 — ANDREW GAFF (WC)
59 — NAT FYFE (FREM)
54 — DUSTIN MARTIN (RICH)
53 — DYSON HEPPELL (ESS)
53 — CLAYTON OLIVER (MELB)
53 — STEELE SIDEBOTTOM (COLL)