JUST days after Melbourne’s 2020 campaign came to a close, the club has taken the opportunity to present its Best and Fairest Awards for the season.
Proceedings took place in the team room of the Twin Waters high performance hub, where Christian Petracca was crowned with the Demons’ top honour.
And while the club would’ve preferred to have had a formal ceremony in Melbourne with all staff, fans and loved ones in attendance, that wouldn’t be possible in these times.
So instead, those involved in the 11-week journey gathered to celebrate a year like no other.
Take a look below at those who claimed the prizes on offer.
NOTE: The best and fairest award is voted on by four members of the club’s match committee, with each player given a score from zero to 10 after every game.
Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Memorial Trophy – Christian Petracca
Christian Petracca has been recognised for his break-out 2020 campaign, winning his first club Best and Fairest Award.
Many predicted the 24-year-old to step into the midfield this year after a big pre-season, and he lived up to all expectations.
Showing his worth as a No.2 draft pick, Petracca averaged 23.5 (13th in the competition) disposals and 12.7 contested possessions (third in the competition) in a dominant individual season.
The inside midfielder was a threat all around the ground with 108 score involvements and 15 goals to be a worthy winner of Melbourne’s top honour.
Sid Anderson Memorial Trophy: Runner-Up – Steven May
While Steven May missed out on a place in the All Australian squad, his value was certainly recognised internally.
Claiming three awards on the night, May came runner-up to Petracca in what was a tight vote count.
In just his second season with Melbourne, the former Suns captain made up for lost time, playing every game of the year – a feat he hadn’t previously achieved throughout his career.
With his body in pristine condition, the 28-year-old took to the best key forward each week, conceding just 20 goals (according to Champion Data) in 17 games while becoming a consistent intercept defender.
May took 32 intercept marks, had 90 rebound 50s and was ranked fifth in the league for spoils in a stellar 2020 campaign.
Ron Barassi Snr Memorial Trophy: Third Place – Jack Viney
For the second year in a row, Jack Viney has placed third in Melbourne’s Best and Fairest.
The gutsy onballer, who was nominated by his peers as the most courageous player on the list, has been a consistent performer for the Demons across his 135-game career, winning the top award in 2016, while coming runner-up in 2015 and 2017.
In a year that was challenging for all, Viney had it tougher than most.
The 26-year-old and his wife Charlotte had a baby just eight days prior to beginning the 11-week hub adventure, and the pair couldn’t have handled the situation any better.
Embracing the journey off-field, Viney gave himself every chance to perform on game day, averaging 19.9 disposals, 6.5 groundball gets and 2.2 centre clearances in a dominant midfield display.
Ivor Warne-Smith Memorial Trophy: Fourth Place – Ed Langdon
In his first year in the red and blue, Ed Langdon made a fair impression.
The former Docker was recruited to play on the wing, and he made the position his own, averaging 20.1 disposals per game.
Langdon’s endurance is simply elite and his work ethic was second to none throughout the 17-game season.
At just 24 years of age, Langdon is a mature person and footballer who has settled into the club smoothly, and thoroughly deserved to be recognised with the fourth-place award.
Dick Taylor Memorial Trophy: Fifth Place – Clayton Oliver
After winning the club’s Best and Fairest last year – the second of his young career – Clayton Oliver has polled fifth in 2020.
The 23-year-old had another consistent year in a strong midfield group, benefiting from the tap-work of his ruckman Max Gawn who placed sixth.
Oliver ranked second in the competition for contested possessions, while leading the club in centre clearances (41) and disposals (25 per game).
The former No.4 draft pick was named in the All Australian squad on Tuesday, and with 99 games under his belt across his first five years in the league, his best is still in front of him.
Norm Smith Memorial Trophy – Steven May
The Norm Smith Memorial Trophy is voted by the coaches, and May was determined the most consistent competitor on the list.
May’s sheer hunger for the contest and passion for his side shone through this season, doing anything to help his side win the game week in, week out.
Ron Barassi Jnr Trophy – Jack Viney
After Gawn took the captaincy ranks this season, Viney’s resilience was tested.
He took a step back to become the vice-captain and adapted his game to help the team develop.
Inspiring others through his actions, Viney was a deserving winner of the Ron Barassi Jnr Trophy for displaying the best leadership qualities.
Harold Ball Memorial Trophy – Luke Jackson
Melbourne’s pick No.3 in the 2019 National Draft settled in quickly at the top level, earning a Rising Star Nomination in Round 10.
At just 18 years of age, Luke Jackson played six games for the Dees before suffering a hamstring injury, and won the Harold Ball Memorial Trophy as the best young talent on the list.
Ian Ridley Memorial Trophy – Neville Jetta
There is no man more deserving of the Ian Ridley Memorial Trophy than Neville Jetta, who was recognised for his ongoing work in the community.
In 2020, Jetta used his voice to take a stand against racism, showcased his artistic talents by designing the club’s Indigenous Guernsey, and was a key figure in the Black Lives Matter movement.
James McDonald Trophy – Steven May
A third accolade for May, being acknowledged by his fellow teammates consistently demonstrating the ‘Melbourne Spirit’.
The key defender was a standout for the James McDonald Trophy, proving to be the player you would want by your side on the field.
385 – Christian Petracca
362 – Steven May
311 – Jack Viney
296 – Ed Langdon
291 – Clayton Oliver
234 – Max Gawn
208 – Christian Salem
186 – Angus Brayshaw
179 – Michael Hibberd
172 – Sam Weideman
165 – Jake Lever
154 – Bayley Fritsch
119 – Jake Melksham
102 – Kysaiah Pickett
94 – Trent Rivers
92 – Adam Tomlinson
90 – Aaron vandenBerg
80 – Charlie Spargo
79 – Luke Jackson
72 – Mitch Hannan