Speedy midfielder Bradley Hill has claimed the 2017 Doig Medal in his first season as a Fremantle Docker, before more than 900 people in a black tie function on Saturday night at Crown Perth’s Grand Ballroom.
Recruited from Hawthorn in the 2016 off-season, Hill is the first Fremantle player since Troy Cook in 2000 to win the award in his first season at the club.
Senior coach Ross Lyon and four other members of the Fremantle coaching staff were involved in the voting process, with each coach allocating up to five votes per player.
Hill polled 158 votes from his 22 games in 2017, ahead of last year’s winner Lachie Neale on 135 votes, with Nat Fyfe in third on 132 votes.
David Mundy placed fourth with 128 votes while Michael Walters finished fifth – polling 123 votes from his 17 games, averaging more votes per game played than any of his teammates.
Hill polled votes in 18 of his 22 games, with his season highlighted by a 37 disposal and 16 mark performance against Essendon in round seven.
In other awards presented on the night, Nat Fyfe won the Players’ Award, Luke Ryan won the Beacon Award and Zac Dawson was named the Best Clubman.
Acknowledged by the playing group as someone who best displayed the values set by the group at the start of the season, Fyfe earned his fourth Players’ Award in his first year as captain.
Ryan won the Beacon Award as Fremantle’s most promising young player. The 21-year-old defender played 11 games in his debut AFL season and was nominated for the NAB AFL Rising Star Award on the back of his 28 disposal performance against Gold Coast in round 20 at Domain Stadium.
The award follows similar criteria to the AFL’s NAB Rising Star award, with players eligible to win in their first or second year of AFL football.
As the Best Clubman in 2017, Dawson was recognised as a player who consistently put the needs of the team first.
The retiring Dawson played his final AFL game in round two but stayed committed to his football at Peel, working hard to pass on his experience on to the next generation of Fremantle players.
Three people were inducted as life members, including players Hayden Ballantyne and Nick Suban as well as former board member Syd Corser.
Both Ballantyne and Suban reached their 150-game milestones for Fremantle in 2017 and were acknowledged for their significant contributions on and off the field.
Corser was honoured for his long-serving commitment to Fremantle, which started before the club’s establishment in 1994. Corser was appointed to the board in 1994, where he served until 2003 – playing a major role in the fundraising for the club’s original headquarters at Fremantle Oval.
Brian O’Donnell was the fifth recipient of the Con Regan Medal, acknowledged for his distinguished and invaluable service to as board member for a 10 year period.
Recipients of the Con Regan Medal are considered outstanding individuals whose contributions to the club demonstrate leadership and vision widely acknowledged in the greater football community.
O'Donnell joins Peter Phillips, Tony Buhagiar, Chris Connolly and Beryl Regan as recipients of the Con Regan Medal.
2017 Doig Medal top 10
Bradley Hill - 158
Lachie Neale - 135
Nat Fyfe - 132
David Mundy - 128
Michael Walters - 123
Joel Hamling - 119
Michael Johnson - 110
Connor Blakely - 92
Stephen Hill - 88
Shane Kersten - 63