PORT ADELAIDE midfielder Travis Boak has finished as the runner up for the 2020 Brownlow Medal.
Boak finished ten votes behind the runaway leader Lachie Neale from Brisbane.
Boak led the voting after the first three rounds, having polled eight of a possible nine votes before Neale forged ahead with four straight best on ground performances between Rounds 2 and 5.
The Lions star then polled the maximum three votes in a further six games to make it ten best on grounds in a single season in his total of 31 votes.
Neale becomes the fourth Brisbane player to win the Brownlow Medal across the history of the club, joining now Port Adelaide Senior Assistant Coach Michael Voss (1996), Jason Akermanis (2001) and Simon Black (2002).
Boak’s 21 votes was the highest number of votes he had polled in a single season equalling the 21 votes he polled in 2014.
He received three votes as best on ground on five occasions and two votes three times.
Boak had 16 votes by Round 13, equalling his overall total in 21 games last season – a club best and fairest year.
He also polled 16 votes in 2010 and 2015.
A group of Port Adelaide players – including skipper Tom Jonas, Ollie Wines, Charlie Dixon and Justin Westhoff watched the count from a small event at Adelaide Oval.
Players from the various clubs were spread out at a number of functions around the nation to take in the first virtual count in the award’s history, set up because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before the count Boak said he felt relaxed and he predicted Neale would win the medal.
“Lachie (Neale)’s the favourite and I think he’ll run away with it by a fair bit,” he said.
“He’s had an amazing year and I think (Christian) Petracca’s had a good year as well and Jack Steele as well but I think Lachie will win by a fair bit.
“We had a really well-rounded year and performances by everyone. Ollie (Wines) had a fantastic year, Rocky (Tom Rockliff) had a good year, Charlie (Dixon), Darce (Byrne-Jones) so I think we’ll have a well-rounded, even count.
“This whole year has been different and challenging and it’s sort of been just adapting on the go so Brownlow night is different again.
“But we’ll enjoy the night, have a few beers – I’d rather not be drinking and be preparing for a Grand Final but we’ll still have a good night.”
A total of 17 Port Adelaide players polled a total of 75 votes.
Tom Rockliff and Ollie Wines each polled ten votes, while Charlie Dixon was next best with nine votes.
In other awards announced on the night, Carlton’s Sam Walsh was awarded the Rebel Mark of the Year for his courageous effort going back with the flight in his side’s Round 7 loss to Port Adelaide and the Coates Hire Goal of the Year was awarded to Collingwood’s Josh Daicos for his classy effort to keep the ball in against Sydney and then bend it home with a remarkable shot from the boundary off the outside of his boot.
The Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award was won by Richmond’s Bachar Houli for his work with young Islamic people through the Bachar Houli Foundation – an organisation he founded to promote social cohesion and harmony. Port Adelaide’s Justin Westhoff was among the four finalists for his work with and fundraising efforts for people experiencing homelessness.
Houli receives $40,000 to be donated to the charity or community program of his choice.
Port Adelaide votes
Boak - 21
Wines - 10
Rockliff - 10
Dixon – 9
Gray – 5
Powell-Pepper – 3
Motlop – 3
Butters - 2
Byrne-Jones - 2
Ladhams - 2
Westhoff - 2
Amon – 1
Clurey – 1
Ebert – 1
Farrell – 1
Georgiades – 1
Hartlett - 1