Nic Naitanui soars to go back-to-back and win Eagles’ top honour

Nic Nat goes back-to-back. (Photo: West Coast Eagles/Twitter)

West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui has gone back to back in the John Worsfold Medal count, becoming the eighth player, and the first ruckman in the club’s history, to win the award multiple times.

He joins the elite company of Guy McKenna, Glen Jakovich, Ben Cousins, Chris Judd, Darren Glass, Luke Shuey, and Elliot Yeo in winning dual club best and fairest awards.

Going into tonight’s count at Crown Perth’s Grand Ballroom he was the clear-cut favourite, gathering 200 points throughout the season. He polled the maximum seven times, and double-figure votes in another seven games.

READ: Nic Naitanui – The numbers behind an undervalued season

This season, Naitanui was also awarded his third All-Australian blazer, his second in two years.

Behind him was Dom Sheed on 160 votes, with Andrew Gaff (149), Jack Redden (137) and Jack Darling (136) rounding out the top five.

Sheed led the count at round seven but was overtaken by a consistent Naitanui. He accumulated his highest number of votes this season, earning maximum votes in five games, and 11 in another two.

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The ever-consistent wingman Andrew Gaff finished in the top five for the eighth time in his 236-game career, while Jack Redden finished fourth after shouldering much of the responsibility within an injury-struck midfield.

As the fifth most outstanding player of the season, Jack Darling booted 42 goals to also take out the leading goalkicker award for the fourth time in his career.

Developing key defender Harry Edwards was awarded the Emerging Talent award, while Liam Duggan won the esteemed Chris Mainwaring Medal for best clubmen.

The Eagles in the Community award was shared by key forward Josh Kennedy and staff member Jessy Edmunds.

Kennedy was acknowledged for his devotion to assisting communities in WA’s mid-west struck by Cyclone Seroja in April this year.

He helped to raise significant funds and spread awareness about the devastation and hardship faced by the communities in the region, including his hometown of Northampton.

Kieran Hug was also recognised as the top player in a struggling WAFL Eagles side, while first-year Isabella Lewis was awarded the AFLW Best and Fairest earlier this year.

John Worsfold Medal top 10
1. Nic Naitanui (200 votes)
2. Dom Sheed (160)
3. Andrew Gaff (149)
4. Jack Redden (137)
5. Jack Darling (136)
6. Tim Kelly (129)
7. Jamie Cripps (128)
8. Tom Barrass (123)
9. Tom Cole (119)
10. Oscar Allen (113)

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About Rebecca Ruthven 73 Articles
Rebecca is a footy, cricket, netball, and basketball writer for The Inner Sanctum. Based in Perth, she mainly focuses on the WA sporting scene, however, she does enjoy covering sport interstate. Currently studying Journalism at Curtin University.

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