AHEAD of Port Adelaide’s best and fairest count on Friday night, portadelaidefc.com.au takes a look at who is in contention for the Gavin Wanganeen Medal.
The medal was introduced in 2006 in honour of the mercurial Gavin Wanganeen, one of Port Adelaide’s youngest ever debutants and premiership players, and is awarded to the club’s best performing AFL player under the age of 21.
11 men have had their name etched on the medal, including future John Cahill Medallists Justin Westhoff, Travis Boak, Jackson Trengove and Chad Wingard. Meanwhile, co-captain Ollie Wines holds the record for most wins, boasting three medals to his resume, the awards only multiple winner.
The selectors will have a tough task choosing this year’s recipient, with several young guns making their mark at AFL level throughout the 2019 season.
Gavin Wanganeen Medal contenders
Port Adelaide’s highest pick in the 2018 national draft burst onto the scene in his debut season.
The number five pick averaged 15.3 disposals and four tackles per game in his first year on an AFL list.
A measure of his impact at senior level, the dashing forward played all 22 games and lead the Power’s goalkicking with 29 majors.
Arguably his best performance for the season came in just his third game, as he was nominated for the NAB Rising Star award for his 21 touches and five goals against Brisbane.
He would go on to finish runner-up to Carlton’s Sam Walsh in Rising Star voting.
Port Adelaide’s second first round pick of the 2018 draft caught the eye of many Power supporters before the season had even started.
The number 12 pick slotted three goals in Port’s first JLT hit out against North Melbourne before racking up 25 touches in JLT2 against the Crows in Port Pirie.
Diminutive in stature, but sizable in courage, the Western Jets product averaged 14.1 touches through his 19 games, and added 12 goals as he quickly became a fan favourite in his debut season.
The hard-running Duursma received plenty of attention this season for his exuberant goal celebrations, but what should not be lost amongst the noise is the brilliant debut year of footy he put together.
The Power’s third 2018 first round selection (pick 18) played predominantly across half-back and the wing and averaged 19.6 touches through his 20 games in 2019.
His shining moment came in Round 6, when he became Port Adelaide’s second Rising Star Nominee for the year.
Duursma finished with 24 disposals (12 contested), eight marks, three inside 50s and a goal in Port’s 16-point victory over the Kangaroos.
The midfield bull from North Ballarat joined Port Adelaide with pick 33 of the 2016 National Draft and had to wait two years for his AFL debut.
However, after a strong preseason, Drew lined up for the Power in Round 1 and held his spot at AFL level through the first eight games adding plenty of grunt at the coalface.
He would bring his tally to 10 games by season’s end, averaging 15.9 touches and 5.6 tackles per contest.
Previous Gavin Wanganeen Medal Winners:
2006 Danyle Pearce
2007 Justin Westhoff
2008 Alipate Carlile
2009 Travis Boak
2010 Jackson Trengove
2011 Hamish Hartlett
2012 Chad Wingard
2013 Ollie Wines
2014 Ollie Wines
2015 Ollie Wines
2016 Jarman Impey
2017 Sam Powell-Pepper
2018 Dan Houston