THE judges were vindicated in their selection of Port Adelaide defender Aliir Aliir as the best on ground in Saturday night’s Showdown L, according to the coaches.
Aliir was given the perfect ten votes from the coaches in the AFL Coaches Association Champion Player of the Year Award, just as he was voted the Fans MG MVP for Round 21 by Port Adelaide supporters and awarded the Showdown Medal by a panel made up of members of the media.
The 26-year-old collected 21 disposals for the night at 81% efficiency, took 11 marks – five of which were contested - and had an incredible 16 intercepts. He also notched career highs of 17 kicks and ten intercept marks – equalling the AFL record for intercept marks.
The rest of the coaches’ votes were fairly evenly split between three Adelaide and three Port Adelaide players.
Willem Drew received five votes after his game-high ten tackles, 23 disposals and seven clearances, while his teammates Ryan Burton and Ollie Wines each received two votes.
For the Crows, Jordon Butts and Chayce Jones each received four votes and Rory Laird got three.
There were six players in all who received the perfect ten votes in Round 21, including Aliir, Touk Miller (Gold Coast), Jack Graham (Richmond), Peter Wright (Essendon), Dayne Zorko (Brisbane) and Christian Petracca (Melbourne).
Wines remains in contention to claim the award with two rounds to go. He is still ranked fourth overall, 13 votes behind the leader Clayton Oliver.
Round 21 – votes v Adelaide
10 votes – Aliir (PA)
5 votes – Drew (PA)
4 votes – Butts (Adel), Jones (Adel)
3 votes – Laird (Adel)
2 votes – Burton (PA), Wines (PA)
Overall leader board
104 votes - Clayton Oliver (Melbourne)
101 votes – Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
95 votes –Touk Miller (Gold Coast)
91 votes - Ollie Wines (Port Adelaide)
90 votes - Sam Walsh (Carlton)
85 votes - Jack Steele (St Kilda)
84 votes - Zach Merrett (Essendon)
76 votes – Christian Petracca (Melbourne)
73 votes – Darcy Parish (Essendon)
64 votes - Rory Laird (Adelaide)
61 votes - Max Gawn (Melbourne), Jarryd Lyons (Brisbane), David Mundy (Fremantle)
60 votes – Jack Macrae (Western Bulldogs), Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn), Nic Naitanui (West Coast)
59 votes – Hugh McCluggage (Brisbane)