Second-year Swan, Isaac Heeney has been named the AFL Coaches’ Association’s Best Young Player after a stellar beginning to his AFL career.
The AFLCA’s Best Young Player Award recognises the player who, based on his performance in his first two seasons of AFL Football, deserves to be acknowledged as the best youngster at the top level.
All AFL Coaches’ Association members vote on a five, four, three, two, one basis and there’s no age or game limit to who can accept the award.
Heeney has played 36 games in his first two seasons with Sydney after being picked from the Swans Academy system at the end of 2014.
He started his AFL career as a forward, kicking four goals in only his third game at the top level before injury interrupted his 2015 season. Heeney continued his role in the forward half of the ground in 2016 with a haul of five goals and two bags of four majors, before being moved further up the field in the latter part of the season.
The Cardiff Hawks product produced his best performance of the season in Saturday night’s cut-throat Semi-Final, collecting 32 disposals and five inside 50s, as the Swans won through to another Preliminary Final — the club’s fourth in five years.
Heeney capped off a stunning second season with his maiden 22Under22 selection and overcame 2015 AFL Rising Star winner Jesse Hogan and Adelaide defender Jake Lever to be crowned the Best Young Player by the coaches.
2016 BEST YOUNG PLAYER LEADERBOARD
569 votes – Isaac Heeney (Sydney)
337- Jesse Hogan (Melbourne)
315 – Jake Lever (Adelaide)
285 – Caleb Daniel (Western Bulldogs)
253 – Darcy Moore (Collingwood)
2015 – Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
2014 – Jaeger O’Meara (Gold Coast)
2013 – Jeremy Cameron (GWS)
2012 – Dyson Heppell (Essendon)
2011 – Nathan Fyfe (Fremantle)
2010 – Stephen Hill (Fremantle)
2009 – Cyril Rioli (Hawthorn)
2008 – Joel Selwood (Geelong)
2007 – Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
2006 – Ryan Griffen (Western Bulldogs)
2005 – Adam Cooney (Western Bulldogs)
2004 – Daniel Wells (Kangaroos)
2003 – Chris Judd (West Coast)