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Melbourne Football Club

Casey youngster wins VFL award

Bayley Fritsch has won the Fothergill-Round Medal in the VFL

CASEY’S Bayley Fritsch has been awarded the Fothergill-Round Medal for the best young VFL player in 2017.

Fritsch played 19 matches for the Demons this year and finished the season with 42 goals, with only Port Melbourne’s Jordan Lisle (51 goals) and Collingwood’s Kayke Kirby (43) kicking more in 2017. Richmond’s Ben Lennon also kicked 42 goals.

He also represented Victoria against Western Australian in state football.

The 20-year-old, 186cm half-forward flanker is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the VFL.

Fritsch, originally from Coldstream, was also named on the half-forward flank in the 2017 VFL Team of the Year.

Since the medal was first awarded in 1989 – named after football greats Des Fothergill and Barry Round – three players have won it, who have later played for Melbourne. They were Aaron Davey (2003), Shane Valenti (2007) and Michael Hibberd (2010).

Another three players, Bruce Cohen (1994), Paul Dooley (1996) and Adam Fisher (2004) also played reserves for Melbourne/Sandringham (then Melbourne’s VFL affiliate).

Meanwhile, midfielder Goy Lok won the 2017 A. Todd Medal for the best and fairest in the AFL Victoria Development League.

Lok, 19, came from the Sandringham Dragons, where he also had a taste in the VFL with Sandringham Zebras last year.

The emerging Lok will be the last player to have won the award, with the Development League set to finish after this weekend’s Grand Final between Casey Demons and Williamstown at Fortburn Stadium (North Port Oval), Port Melbourne.

In the VFLW, five Melbourne AFLW players were named in the VFL Women’s Team of the Year.

They were Richelle Cranston (wing), Melissa Hickey (centre half-back), Lily Mithen (half forward-flank), Karen Paxman (half-back flank) and Daisy Pearce (forward pocket).

Former Melbourne AFLW player Sarah Jolly was also named in the forward pocket.

Paxman was also the highest vote getter in the women’s best and fairest award. She finished equal fifth with 11 votes.

Katherine Smith polled 10 votes and Cranston, Mithen and Pearce gained nine each.