NSW Demons at the MFC Best & Fairest

November 7, 2019 by
Filed under: NSW Demons, Sponsoring James 

by Geoff Wenborn

The venue was great and the setting perfect for the MFC Best and Fairest awards. We were so lucky as NSW Demons to be there (thanks Sally) and had we finished in top 4 I might have really enjoyed it to the ‘Max’.

Yes, at the beginning of the year the anticipation for this night of nights for the players must have seemed to be one out of the box. However, as we all know the results didn’t match the expectation and it wasn’t like we just missed out – finishing 17th (not 9th) but 17th was such a rude shock that the atmosphere was understandably muted.

Fittingly I think the award was shared by our best player and most articulate leader Max Gawn and our most consistent and yet to realise his full potential player in Clayton Oliver. In my view ‘Clarry’ will end up being a very damaging player in the Red and Blue not just the best contested ball getter. The report from the demons website is below. There were various highlights through the evening particularly James Harmes with his favourite fan as well as various speeches from the players.

Images: Harmsey and his mate, Fellow NSW Demons at the table, Random WAGS

There was no doubt it was a subdued event and I would summarise the overriding feeling of the Dees by saying we’re sorry (although they didn’t say it like that). We are really sorry about the season we had and for letting everyone down but we’re not sorry because we did try really hard and the experience and how we let down our fans is working as the biggest spur ever.

On a night which is really about celebrating the efforts of our players over the year it was kind of a sub text. The speeches were relatively brief and full of thank yous for the efforts that were made and players like Jones explained they really wanted the season to go longer so they could show us what they can do. We can win, we will win, we must win.

Of course the only proof for all of us fans will be the performance and in the results so next year looms really large for all of us. There is a cautious degree of optimism for a few reasons, we can’t possibly go as bad as that again, we will be fit and ready to go, our draw will be more preferential, we have learned our lesson on a few fronts, we can now plug some of the holes that were obvious, we are so hungry and we are young and we are not that bad.

The playing group has remained tight and the age is about right. There were quite a few departing coaches and there was acknowledgment and respect for those people as well. Of course, on the night we didn’t know Frosty would be leaving nor Billy Stretch and others.

It is a tough sport, quite brutal and we demand a lot and as a Dees supporter we also deserve some success now and this group of players owes it to us and they think they owe it to us which is good. But together we have to prove it.

Neither the chairman nor the coach said too much outside this script and probably the best speech, most heartfelt and most articulate was big Max. If they can capture his intent and passion it would be hard pressed not to be fired up about the potential. You could tell what a second B&F really meant to him.

It was interesting to be part of a B&F in what I think were quite unusual circumstances of unfulfilled expectations but encouraging to find the players feel the same way.

My colleague Chris and I didn’t pursue talking to many players but enjoyed the sponsors (Johnny Walker) beverage and hearing the players speak. Results and report follow. Thanks to Sally and the NSW Demons to be able to participate.

Final Leaderboard
464 – Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver
323 – Jack Viney
319 – James Harmes
293 – Christian Petracca
230 – Bayley Fritsch
213 – Christian Salem
210 – Angus Brayshaw
204 – Sam Frost
199 – Jayden Hunt
192 – Nathan Jones
167 – Jake Melksham
154 – Steven May
151 – Tom McDonald
142 – Marty Hore
126 – Jordan Lewis
107 – Michael Hibberd
104 – Jay Lockhart
97 – Josh Wagner
87 – Harry Petty
82 – Tim Smith
65 – Sam Weideman
Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Memorial Trophy – Max Gawn and Clayton Oliver
For the first time in the club’s history, Melbourne has seen a tie for the Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Memorial Trophy, with Max Gawn and Clayton Oliver sharing the top honour for season 2019.
The Demon duo both ended up on 464 votes – 141 votes clear of third place – to win the Best and Fairest award.
Gawn’s stunning season saw him earn All Australian honours for a third time in four years, as the ruckman starred against the competitions best.
The Dees big man led the competition in hit-outs per game and averaged a league-high 12 hit-outs to advantage.
Oliver was one to benefit from his ruckman’s dominance, averaging 30 disposals per game.
The 22-year-old had the most contested possessions in the league this season, showing an incredible ability to win the hard ball for someone of his age.
Both Gawn and Oliver become two-time ‘Bluey’ winners after sharing the award over the past three seasons.


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