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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Elliot Yeo caps premiership season with second John Worsfold Medal

Elliot Yeo’s rapidly growing reputation as an elite AFL midfielder was reinforced on Friday night when he won his second successive John Worsfold Medal, easing clear of the field after Andrew Gaff’s late-season suspension.
In a count at the Perth Convention Centre which was held against the backdrop of last weekend’s premiership and the possible imminent departures of Gaff and Scott Lycett, Yeo polled 273 votes to win clearly from fellow midfielder Jack Redden (231 votes) with captain Shannon Hurn (222) third.
Forward Jamie Cripps (218 votes) confirmed his best season in AFL football with fourth placing, while Gaff rounded out the top five.
Gaff’s eight-week suspension for striking Fremantle’s Andrew Brayshaw in the round 20 Western Derby cost him any chance of winning his second club best and fairest.
Gaff’s 216 votes from 19 games before his suspension from the round 20 Western Derby represented an average of 11.36 votes per game.
Yeo’s 273 votes from the full 25 games came at an average of 10.92 votes per game. However no-one will begrudge the 25-year-old his second medal. He won his first narrowly from Jeremy McGovern last year in a season where he split his time between the midfield and defence.
He graduated into elite midfield class this year when he averaged 24 disposals per game and kicked 14 goals for the season, with about half of his possessions coming from contests.
Gaff and Yeo had been West Coast’s two leading vote getters at the 2018 Brownlow Medal count, polling 16 and 15 votes respectively.
Yeo joins a select group of players who have won two or more Eagles best-and-fairests, behind Glen Jakovich and Ben Cousins (four each), Darren Glass (three) and alongside Guy McKenna and Chris Judd (two each).
Redden’s second placing came after what was not so much a break-out season but one which confirmed the Eagles had got what they bargained for when they brought him to WA from Brisbane. He averaged 25 disposals per game, kicked 10 goals and was a critical figure in the club’s finals campaign.
McGovern finished sixth with 202 votes but there were a couple of surprises in the rest of the top 10.
Popular midfielder Mark Hutchings, who played the critical tagging role on Steele Sidebottom in last weekend’s grand final, polled 185 votes to finish seventh despite playing only 20 of the 25 games.
And sparkling young forward Willie Rioli finished 10th after a 28 goal debut season, playing 24 of the 25 games.

John Worsfold Medal Top 10

1. Elliot Yeo 273 (25 games)
2. Jack Redden 231 (25 games)
3. Shannon Hurn 222 (25 games)
4. Jamie Cripps 218 (25 games)
5. Andrew Gaff 216 (19 games)
6. Jeremy McGovern 202 (24 games)
7. Mark Hutchings 185 (20 games)
8. Brad Sheppard 184 (23 games)
9. Jack Darling 182 (21 games)
10. Willie Rioli 176 (24 games)