The AFLPA recently held its awards ceremony, and from the looks of it, no one went home empty handed.
It almost seems like one of those microbrew beer festivals, where every brewer who supports the festival gets a medal of one sort or another. “Best Australian Pale Ale Packaged in Bottles Only and Distributed Only in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney Where an Important Thoroughbred Racetrack is Located.”
Adelaide Crows players were not left awardless, as midfielder Rory Sloane won the Bob Rose Most Courageous Player Award. Captain Taylor Walker was given the nod as the league’s best captain.
Essendon Bomber teenager Andrew McGrath received the Best First Year Player Award to bookend the Rising Star medal.
While Sloane is obviously deeply honoured by the Most Courageous Player Award, he would probably swap in for a premiership, but that is something he would never admit. Sloane may or may not have some phobias outside the realm of footy, but those are not taken into consideration.
Sloane earned the award, at least in the eyes of North MelbourneKangaroos defender Jamie Macmillan, who told Fox Footy, “For me Rory Sloane is the most courageous. He’s one of the best marks for a small bloke I’ve ever seen.”
McMillan has 117 AFL games to his credit, so his adulation of Sloane only just borders hyperbolic.
Walker was last year’s Best Captain, beating out Josh Kennedy by 15 votes, Joel Selwood by 40, Jarryd Roughead (who we think was deserving of the most courageous) by 53 and Bob Murphy by 94 votes.
The voting process used by the AFLPA is a two-stage process. Each player votes for three of his teammates for the MVP. That results in a list of 54 players, three from each side. Voting then moves to a 3 – 2 – 1 system not dissimilar to the Brownlow system.
At the time this article was submitted, we did not yet know which player would receive “Best Number 23 on the List of a Team That Did Not Finish in the Top Eight for a Side not Located in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia or Queensland.”
Actually, there would be no award for that this year, would there?