Hors­ley ‘de­serves’ medal

The West Australian - - THE GAME - John Townsend

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.