Matt Priddis a surprise Brownlow winner
West Coast's Matt Priddis has collected the 2014 Brownlow Medal, an unexpected honour for the midfielder, whose season was not considered good enough by All Australian selectors for inclusion in this year's final 22. The prolific Eagles possession winner polled 26 votes to finish one clear of Fremantle's Nat Fyfe, a result that would have brought relief to many - including those at AFL headquarters - because Fyfe was ineligible to win after he was contentiously suspended early in the season.
Fyfe was charged with a level two rough conduct offence after a bump on Brisbane's Michael Rischitelli in round two. Fyfe chose not to appeal the ruling and was suspended for two weeks. His ineligibility means that the official runners up for the medal are the Gold Coast Suns' Gary Ablett and Sydney's Lance Franklin, both of those players finishing with 22 votes.
Ablett missed the last seven rounds of the season with a shoulder injury, a misfortune that almost certainly robbed him of joining an elite group of players to have won three Brownlow Medals, Haydn Bunton, Dick Reynolds, Bob Skilton and Ian Stewart. Still only 30 years of age and with several good years ahead of him, Ablett may yet join that special group in the next few of years. Meanwhile, Franklin's fine season will at least temporarily quieten some of the critics of Sydney's decision to offer the star player a nine-year contract at the end of last year.
One behind Ablett and Franklin was a quartet of four players, Adelaide's Patrick Dangerfield, Sydney's Josh Kennedy, Port's Travis Boak and Geelong's skipper Joel Selwood, with another Cat, Stevie Johnson, finishing on 19 votes. Richmond's Trent Cotchin collected 18 votes to round out the top 10.
Dangerfield was the only player to poll the maximum three votes in six rounds, with Fyfe, Ablett, Kennedy, Johnson and North's Brent Harvey doing so five times. Priddis himself only received four 'three-vote' awards but polled in a total of 13 matches, two more than Fyfe and Selwood. Harvey's fine best-on-ground performances were the only ones for the year that attracted any votes at all.
Hawthorn had an amazing 18 separate vote-getters, a reflection of an even, across-the-board contribution from its players in a premiership season.
2014 Brownlow leaderboard
|Matt Priddis (WC)||4||5||4||26|
|Nat Fyfe (Fre)||5||4||2||25|
|Gary Ablett (GC)||5||3||1||22|
|Lance Franklin (Syd)||4||4||2||22|
|Patrick Dangerfield (Adel)||6||1||1||21|
|Josh Kennedy (Syd)||5||1||4||21|
|Travis Boak (PA)||4||4||1||21|
|Joel Selwood (Geel)||2||6||3||21|
|Steve Johnson (Geel)||5||2||-||19|
|Trent Cotchin (Rich)||3||3||3||18|
Leading vote-getters by club
ADELAIDE: 21 - Patrick Dangerfield, 14 - Scott Thompson, 10 - Rory Sloane, 6 - Sam Jacobs, 5 - Taylor Walker
BRISBANE: 15 - *Tom Rockliff, 9 - Pearce Hanley, 8 - Dayne Zorko, 5 - Jack Redden, 4 - Stefan Martin
CARLTON: 9 - Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy, 8 - Kade Simpson, 7 - Chris Judd, 6 - Lachie Henderson
COLLINGWOOD: 16 - Dayne Beams, Scott Pendlebury, 9 - *Steele Sidebottom, 6 - Jamie Elliott, 5 - Dane Swan
ESSENDON: 14 - Dyson Heppell, 9 - *Brendon Goddard, 8 - Jobe Watson, David Zaharakis, 6 - Jake Carlisle
FREMANTLE: 25 - *Nat Fyfe, 13 - Michael Barlow, *David Mundy, 9 - Stephen Hill
GEELONG: 21 - Joel Selwood, 19 - *Steve Johnson, 12 - Mitch Duncan
GOLD COAST: 22 - Gary Ablett, 13 - Dion Prestia, 6 - Harley Bennell, 5 - David Swallow, 4 - Tom Lynch
GWS: 15 - Callan Ward, 8 - Shane Mumford, 5 - Adam Treloar, 4 - *Devon Smith, 3 - *Toby Greene
HAWTHORN: 15 - Jordan Lewis, 12 - Luke Hodge, 11 - *Jarryd Roughead, 8 - Sam Mitchell, 7 - Liam Shiels
MELBOURNE: 13 - Nathan Jones, 11 - Dom Tyson, 6 - Bernie Vince, 3 - Lynden Dunn, James Frawley
NORTH MELBOURNE: 15 - *Brent Harvey, 13 - Ben Cunnington, 9 - Andrew Swallow, 8 - Nick Dal Santo
PORT ADELAIDE: 21 - Travis Boak, 14 - Robbie Gray, 10 - *Hamish Hartlett, 7 - Brad Ebert
RICHMOND: 18 - Trent Cotchin, 13 - Dustin Martin, 12 - *Brett Deledio, 9 - Brandon Ellis, 7 - Jack Riewoldt
ST KILDA: 11 - Nick Riewoldt, 7 - Leigh Montagna, 5 - Lenny Hayes, 3 - Clinton Jones
SYDNEY: 22 - Lance Franklin, 21 - Josh Kennedy, 12 - Ben McGlynn, Luke Parker, 11 - Dan Hannebery
WEST COAST: 26 - Matt Priddis, 11 - *Josh Kennedy, 9 - *Luke Shuey, 6 - Andrew Gaff, *Mark LeCras
WESTERN BULLDOGS: 10 - Jack Macrae, 7 - Adam Cooney, 5 - Matthew Boyd, Ryan Griffen, Tom Liberatore