Horsley ‘deserves’ medal
Kyal Horsley is poised to improve on his second and third places in the Sandover Medal, according to winners from each of the past six decades.
The Subiaco captain and ball magnet was a nearly unanimous choice to join the cavalcade of Sandover winners when votes for the 98th medal are counted at Optus Stadium tonight.
Saying that Horsley played with “extreme authority”, 2013 medallist Rory O’Brien predicted the left-footer would be a comfortable winner of the WAFL’s most prestigious award. Barry Cable Alan Quartermaine Peter Spencer Ian Miller Steve Malaxos Robbie West Jaxon Crabb Anthony Jones Rory O’Brien
“He imposes his authority on the game when his team needs him the most,” O’Brien said.
“The Subi guys might takes some votes off him but Kyal deserves to win it.”
O’Brien was the only Sandover medallist who had played against Horsley to speak to The West Australian.
But his prediction was matched by seven of the other eight former winners, with triple medallist Barry Cable explaining why the veteran Lion would poll so well.
“The most important thing in footy is winning possession of the ball and Horsley does that better than anyone in the league,” Cable said.
“Then the second most important thing is using it and he is right up there with the best of them in that regard.
“There is a lot of talk about umpires not being the best judges of awards like this but they are out in the middle, they are closer to the action than any other observers and they see what players do.
“They will see a lot of Kyal Horsley and they will see he always has the ball.”
Horsley is a proven votewinner who came second to Luke Blackwell in 2011 and third behind Haiden Schloithe last season. He also came fourth in 2014 with 45 votes and is the only current player with at least three top four Sandover finishes.
Alan Quartermaine (1975 winner), Peter Spencer (1976 and 1984), Ian Miller (1978) and Steve Malaxos (1984) all had WAFL roles this year and were convinced that Horsley would emerge from a group of prolific vote-getters that included previous winners Aaron Black (2014) and Jye Bolton (2016).
Claremont’s 2005 winner Jaxon Crabb was the lone voice suggesting Horsley would get toppled and predicted other Lions would take so many votes off him that Bolton could rise to claim his second medal.
Black’s teammate and 2014 runner-up Shane Nelson is also expected to poll heavily after his 676 disposals this year.
He has polled at least 21 votes in each of the past six years.
Horsley finished with 567 possessions this season, second only to Nelson, but took the ball inside 50 107 times in the most eye-catching of his attributes.
Robbie West has seen mostly West Perth matches this season given his son Conor is an emerging player, but the 1992 winner was convinced Horsley had the traits required to win, as was 2007 winner Anthony Jones.
“He imposes his authority on the game ... Kyal deserves to win it.”
Pic: Sharon Smith
Shane Woewodin coaching the Sharks in 2009.