GARY ABLETT WINS CLUB BEST AND FAIREST
By Ben Jensen GARY ABLETT won his first Carji Greeves Medal tonight, beating a quality field including Brownlow Medallist Jimmy Bartel and 2005 B&F winner Joel Corey to the award. The club best and fairest goes with Ablett's AFL Players' Association MVP, and the AFL Coach's Association best player award. Ablett polled votes in every game and was best on ground in seven matches.
After 8 rounds Bartel led Ablett by 11 votes, with Cameron Ling a further 5 votes behind. Gary's father (Gary Senior) won the Carji Greeves Medal back in 1984, his first year at the club. This season Gary junior played 25 games for a return of 358 kicks, 309 handballs, 30 goals, 86 tackles and 20 Brownlow votes.
Ablett polled 691 votes to win by 178 from Bartel. The 23 year old Ablett had a club high 667 disposals and won a swag of awards including the AFLPAs Most Valuable Player, the AFLCAs player of the year and various media awards.
Gary joins Jocka Todd (1931), Tommy Quinn (1937), Bernie Smith (1951), Geoff Williams (1952) and Polly Farmer (1963) as Geelong best & fairest winners in a premiership season. There was no award in 1925.
Bartel finished as runner up for a second consecutive season. The Brownlow medalist missed two games and his grand final effort saw him move ahead of Ling into second place. Ling finished in the top four in voting for the sixth straight season.
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Not surprisingly, NAB Rising Star winner Joel Selwood was named best first year player. All Australian centre half back Matt Egan, who missed the finals series after breaking a foot in the final home and away round, was named best clubman. Corey Enright was awarded the Coach's award.
Best Clubman - Matt Egan
Coach's Award - Corey Enright
Best first year player - Joel Selwood
VFL B&F - Tim Callan
Leading Goalkicker - Cameron Mooney
Community champion - Tom Lonergan
AFL PREMIERS 2007 - GEELONG
GARY ABLETT IN FLIGHT IN ROUND 16