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Who Will Take Home the Medals

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 2:00 PM
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As we head in to the Sharks night of nights we take a look at the candidates who could walk away the winners of the three respective club champion awards; the Lynn, Jeffrey and Trott medals.

LYNN MEDAL

Despite struggling for premiership points during the 2017 season, a number of consistent performers, plus a couple of known eye-catching vote getters stand to take away the Club’s most prestigious honour.  We start with Matthew Jupp, the Club’s Vice Captain who played all but 1 game for the season.  The key defender ranked 15th for total marks in the WAFL, 6th for intercept marks, 11th for rebound 50’s and finished an outstanding 2nd for total spoils for the 2017 season.  Week in, week out Jupp was tasked with playing on oppositions biggest forward.

Cameron Eardley, at just 24 years of age but with 74 league games under his belt, played all but the two games he controversially missed to suspension late in the season.  Eardley, the hard inside midfielder, finished second in total disposals for the Sharks and inside the top 20 for all players in the competition.  He finished 9th for average contested possessions per match, 11th for hardball gets.  Eardley led all Sharks for clearance and 7th overall in the competition for average clearances per game and he also finished 8th overall in the WAFL for effective tackles.

Jayden Schofield has certainly taken his game to another level since Rob Wiley’s arrival.  The hard-running half back, with excellent kicking skills was the only Shark names in the WAFL Team of the Year.  Schofield played 19 of the 20 games in season 2017 and led the Sharks for total disposals.  Schofield finished 12th in the competition for handball receives, and 17th for intercept possessions.  Schofield’s ball use and run from defence was critical for the team and his ranking of 7th in the WAFL for rebound 50’s demonstrates that importance.  Schofield also finished 9th in the competition for marks.

George Hampson finished runner-up in the 2016 Lynn Medal despite missing a third of the season and has a proven history of picking up big votes in games he plays well.  Hampson did play less games in 2017 however expect him poll well in round 6 (4 goals), round 8 (36 disposals and 2 goals), round 9 (40 disposals), round 16 (23 and 2 goals) and round 17 (29 and 1).

Jonathon Marsh, who returned to the Sharks from Collingwood at the start of preseason, confirmed many thoughts that he could be a dominant player in the WAFL and that proved correct.  Playing more as the big bodied inside midfielder, Marsh averaged more disposals than any other Shark this season and ranked 10th in the competition for average disposals.  Marsh ranked sixth for average contested possessions and inside the top 10 for hard ball gets.   Like Eardley, Marsh’s strength around clearances was important for the Sharks and he finished 9th in the WAFL for average clearance per match.  Expect the power and speed of Marsh to attract votes.  Marsh was also rewarded with State selection in 2017.

Matthew Watson, in his second year at the Sharks, after been recruited from Carlton in 2016, really came in to his own and was a vital player in 2017.  The durable and versatile Watson has not missed a game in his two years, showing he can play forward, ruck and back.  Watson kicked more goals than any other Shark and finished 6th for total contested marks in the competition.  Watson, despite not being a genuine ruck finished 12th in the competition for hit-outs and 11th for those to advantage. Watson also ranked 1st for inside 50s for the Sharks.

Never discount the “role players” from polling well as they often perform important roles for the team.  Young Tom Marshall played in 19 games this season, playing run-with roles on some of the competition’s best midifelders and quelling their influence.  Same goes with Sam Read who often found himself on some of the competitions most dangerous and elusive forwards.  Or could the retiring Andrew Stephen, who kicked a career high 7 goals against Claremont in round 10, poll well enough over his 19 games to take out the favourites.

JEFFREY MEDAL

Many would think that the favourite for this year’s best for the Shark’s Development League will be awarded to the WAFL’s Prendergast Medallist in Ben Harding.  However, there are always plenty of variables that come in to consideration with the Trott Medal as players often move between league and development league, games missed due to injury and of course the coaches giving votes based on the players’ roles for the team.  In saying that Harding did have an exceptional year and was rewarded with his league debut, playing three games.  In all he played in 16 of the 20 development league matches in 2017, racking up 450 disposals ranking him 4th in the competition (1st for average disposals).  He also ranked 1st for average contested possessions, hard ball gets and clearances.

Alex Montauban was the only player to play all 20 games this year in the development league and despite not being a major ball winner, his speed, hardness and defensive pressure in the forward line was critical for the Sharks.  He laid 42 more tackles than any other East Fremantle player, ranking him inside the top 5 in the competition (1st for forwards).  Montauban was also accurate in front of goal kicking 10.4 for the season. 

Could 2017 recruit and last season’s Prendergast Medallist in Tom Omodei poll enough in his 13 games to claim the award. For players who played more than 12 games in the competition, Omodei ranked 7th for average disposals, 3rd for kicks, 2nd for handball receives and 6th for rebound 50’s.  Omodei also ranked second for the Sharks in total disposals despite missing 7 games.

Another to make his league debut in season 2017 was Peter Delaney.  Playing predominantly off half back, Delaney’s hardness and ability to intercept opposition forward thrusts was very important.  He ranked 5th in total disposals for the Sharks, 3rd in marks and second in tackles.  Delaney also ranked 15th in the competition for intercept possessions, more than any other player for the Sharks and for players who played more than 12 games in the competition was ranked 6th for effective ball use.

Joel Kalajzic was another to find a new home at Moss Street in 2017.  Originally from Perth, “JK” played 20 games in total, 7 league and 13 in the development league.  In his 13 games Kalajzic averaged 23.5 possessions, finishing third for the Sharks for total disposals.  He was rewarded with consistent performances at development league level with those 7 league appearances.

Others who could poll big in some games, even though playing some senior football, include Sean Henson (averaged 27 disposals per game, ranked 12th for average kicks per match and on 5 occasions had 30+) or Jye Clements (made his league debut, 4th in disposals and 2nd in marks for the Sharks)    

TROTT MEDAL

The Colts achieve the ultimate success in 2017, claiming the premiership and with only 2 players named in the State squad this year’s count could go down to the wire, with a number of players having consistent seasons.  Let’s start with those 4 named in the WAFL Colts Team of the Year.

Chris Scott: the running half back was one of the two players selected in the state 18’s.  He finished 11th in the competition for marks (5th for intercept marks) despite missing 5 games.  His 77% effective disposal ranked 1st in the competition for those who played 15 or more games.  Scott ranked 3rd for intercept possession for those who played 15+ games.  He also finished 3rd for rebound 50’s.  Scott was also judged best afield in the colts’ grand final.

Josh Ritchie: the diminutive small forward, who struggled with knee soreness late in the year finished 4th on the goal kicking award in the WAFL competition, and outstanding achievement.  Renowned for his forward pressure, Ritchie laid the second most tackles for the Sharks ranking him tenth in the competition.  He also ranked 4th for score involvements in the competition.

Dillon O’Reilly: the key forward also made his league debut at the age of 17, acquitting himself very well.  Despite missing 5 games in the colts, O’Reilly won the leading goal kicking by 9 goals, kicking a season high 7 against Swans in round 16.  He ranked 5th in score involvements, 2nd for marks on lead and 4th for average contested marks per match. 

Jayden Quill:  consistent throughout the season, Quill was a vital member of the Sharks midfield.  Quill ranked 2nd in the competition for total disposals, 8th for tackles, 3rd in contested possessions and 3rd in clearances.  The tough inside mid constantly put his body on the line and his hands from stoppages was a feature.

Liam Rajanayagam: “Raj” was a key contributor in a strong defensive unit for the Sharks in 2017.  His ball use and run from deep in defence would no doubt have caught the eye of the vote givers.  Raj finished 1st in the competition for rebound 50’s, 3rd in marks (8th in intercept marks) and 6th in intercept possessions.  Even though Raj often played deep in defence he was still the third highest possession getter for Easts. 

Zach Jackson: the strong marking half back was strong competition for Scott for BOG in the grand final and had a very good finals series.  Jackson ranked 1st for the Sharks for marks and intercept marks per game.  He had the 3rd most spoils for the team.  Jackson had third most rebound 50’s and intercept possessions for the Sharks.  With an excellent leap and very clean hands Jackson had a very consistent season.

Others to certainly watch during the count:

Dylan Williams: East Fremantle’s 2nd highest possession getter, ranking 10th in the competition and 15th for contested possessions.  Laid the 3rd most tackles for the Sharks. 

Brandon Collard: despite playing only 13 games finished 7th for marks for the Sharks.  6th in competition for average score per game and 5th for score involvements.

Sam Lewis: the livewire forward was the Sharks 5th highest possession getter and 5th for marks.  12th in competition for I50’s, 9th for score involvements and 11th for score assists

Kennedy Sorrell: had an outstanding first half of the season before missing games through injury.  Could poll well enough early. 

Tim Bockman: in games he played ranked 4th in the competition for I50’s, 3rd for score involvements, 5th for goal assists, 5th for goals, 3rd for contested marks.

Dwayne Nevill: ranked 1st for East Fremantle for average tackles per match, 4th for contested marks (13+games).  Kicked 16 goals and on a couple of occasions was the match winner in front of goals late in games.