NT News

Bontempell­i nabs Leigh Matthews Trophy

- NICK SMART

WESTERN Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempell­i’s Brownlow odds continue to firm after taking out the coveted Leigh Matthews Trophy as the 2021 AFL Players’ Most Valuable Player.

Bontempell­i was the runaway winner off the back of an outstandin­g season, receiving 1176 votes from his peers, streets ahead of Carlton’s Sam

Walsh (426 votes) in second and Gold Coast’s Touk Miller (411). “Marcus is the prototype modern AFL midfielder; tall and explosive with exquisite skills to match,” said AFLPA president and Cats superstar Patrick Dangerfiel­d.

“He’s dominated the middle of the ground in 2021 and also hit the scoreboard so his impact has been far-reaching.

“Put simply, there’s been no better player across the 23 rounds this season than the ‘Bont’ – he’s a worthy Leigh Matthews Trophy winner.”

To cap off his night, the Bulldogs gun was also awarded Best Captain, with Demon Max Gawn coming in second.

“Ever since he’s taken over (as captain) he’s been the focal point and worn it with absolute pride,” said former Bulldogs premiershi­p captain Easton Wood.

Melbourne’s Christian Petracca

(338) and St Kilda skipper Jack Steele (261) rounded out the top five. Steele also took out the coveted Robert Rose Most Courageous Award, ahead of Crow Tom Doedee and Tiger Liam Baker.

Fresh from his 14-disposal, six-inside 50 effort in the eliminatio­n final loss to the GWS Giants at the weekend, Sydney youngster Errol Gulden took out the Best First Year Player Award (299 votes).

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