MELBOURNE has celebrated its historic 2021 campaign with its Best and Fairest Award’s night at Crown Palladium.
There were 12 trophies handed out on the Demons’ night of nights, with Clayton Oliver claiming the top prize.
Take a look below at all the award winners from the event.
Troy Broadbridge Memorial Trophy – Toby Bedford
Best VFL Player
Despite a shortened VFL campaign, Toby Bedford made his mark for the Casey Demons this season.
The 21-year-old small forward, who played two AFL games last year, was ferocious in his attack on the footy and showed tremendous development in a short period of time.
Bedford came runner up to Jimmy Munro in Casey’s Best and Fairest, and he proved that he will be ready for a senior re-call when his time comes.
Ian Ridley Memorial Trophy – Ben Brown and Neville Jetta
Club Ambassador Award
Melbourne has joint winners of the Club Ambassador Award, with Ben Brown and Neville Jetta proving too hard to split.
The pair were at opposite ends of their time at the club in 2021, but their contributions to the community were equally as impressive.
Jetta, who announced his retirement at the end of the season, has been a tremendous role model throughout his 13-year career, while Brown impressed all players and staff in his first year in the red and blue.
Harold Ball Memorial Trophy – Kysaiah Pickett
Best Young Player
Kysaiah Pickett’s impact on matches this season far exceeded any expectations on a 20-year-old footballer.
The small-forward, who has fast become one of the league’s most watchable players, didn’t miss a game in his second year at the level and provided the Demons a spark inside 50 whenever they needed it.
Pickett kicked a stunning 40 goals throughout his 25 matches, but his work without the ball was of equal importance to the side, and his future looks as bright as anyone’s in the competition.
James McDonald Trophy – Steven May
Club Values Player
Very few players in the league wear their heart on their sleeve the way Steven May does when he pulls on the red and blue guernsey, making him a worthy winner of the Club Values Award.
The former Sun’s skipper was a key member of the best defensive side in 2021 and became an All Australian for the first time, with his on-field efforts matching his off-field work.
Ron Barassi Junior Trophy – Max Gawn
In just his second season as captain, Max Gawn achieved his greatest goal of all: holding the premiership cup aloft.
The ruckman’s leadership was second to none, helping his teammates in a playing capacity on gameday and tightening the club’s bond behind closed doors.
Norm Smith Memorial Trophy – Alex Neal-Bullen
In the space of 12 months, Alex Neal-Bullen went from a possible trade option to a premiership player, and to cap it off, he has now been recognised by his coaches.
The 25-year-old has always set the standards on the training track, but he transformed his individual game in 2021, becoming a dynamic half-forward who dominated the finals series.
Dick Taylor Memorial Trophy – Jake Lever
Club Champion Fifth
A fifth-place trophy completes a career-best year for Jake Lever, who earned an All Australian blazer after taking more intercept marks than any other player in the competition this year.
In just his fourth season for the club, the 25-year-old developed his defensive game and continued to lead with his voice, proving to be an invaluable recruit from the Crows.
Warne-Smith Memorial Trophy – Christian Salem
Club Champion Fourth
Christian Salem has always been a classy half-back flanker, but in 2021 he hurt the opposition more than ever, playing a crucial role in sending the Demons into attack from defence.
The 26-year-old, who was one of the best players on the ground in the Grand Final, earned himself a five-year contract extension and placed fourth in the Best and Fairest – a career best return.
Ron Barassi Senior Trophy – Max Gawn
Club Champion Third
While Max Gawn was rewarded for his leadership with the Ron Barassi Junior Trophy, he has also thoroughly earned the Ron Barassi Senior Trophy in 2021 as well.
The skipper’s individual contribution from a playing perspective was outstanding this season, ranking top out of all ruckman for disposals per game and hit-outs per ruck contest.
Gawn, who has won the top prize on two occasions, became a five-time All Australian this year and led the Demons to their breakthrough flag with a goal after the siren in Round 23 and a five-goal haul in the Preliminary Final.
Sid Anderson Memorial Trophy – Christian Petracca
Club Champion Runner-Up
Last year’s winner, Christian Petracca, has fallen just 26 votes short of victory in 2021, coming runner up in the club’s Best and Fairest Award.
The 25-year-old was rewarded with a Norm Smith Medal for his stunning Grand Final display, but his home and away season was equally as impressive, earning All Australian honours after ranking first in the league for inside 50s, fifth for contested possessions and 10th for disposals.
Petracca was the only player on the list to play what the coaches deemed to be a ‘perfect game’ this season, earning 40 out of a possible 40 votes in the Grand Final after a Norm Smith Medal winning performance.
Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Memorial Trophy – Clayton Oliver
Clayton Oliver has capped off his faultless 2021 campaign by winning a third Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Memorial Trophy in just his sixth season of senior footy.
At just 24 years of age, Oliver’s achievements already exceed most, but this season may have been his best to date.
Adding a premiership medallion, an AFLCA Coaches Award and an All Australian blazer to his collection, the on-baller was appropriately rewarded for a year that saw him average 32 disposals per game and lead the competition in contested possessions.
Final Leaderboard – Top 20
670 – Clayton Oliver
644 – Christian Petracca
542 – Max Gawn
522 – Christian Salem
498 – Jake Lever
487 – Ed Langdon
431 – Steven May
421 – Alex Neal-Bullen
408 – Tom McDonald
408 – Kysaiah Pickett
397 – Bayley Fritsch
368 – Luke Jackson
334 – Charlie Spargo
332 – Angus Brayshaw
310 – Trent Rivers
303 – Jack Viney
293 – Harry Petty
277 – James Jordon
264 – James Harmes
242 – Jayden Hunt
The best and fairest award is voted on by four of the club’s coaches, with each player given a score from zero to 10 after every game.