Jacob Hopper Wins Carey-Bunton Medal

GWS mid-fielder Jacob Hopper from Leeton-Whitton has won the Carey Bunton Medal for the best player in the AFL this season based on the votes of the AFL Coaches Association.  He polled 51 votes.

Runner-up is Sydney mid-fielder Callum Mills (originally from the Sydney Junior Club, Mosman) on 42 votes; third is Sydney forward Isaac Heeney (from the Cardiff Club, Newcastle) on 41 votes.

The Carey-Bunton Medal is named in honour of NSW’s greatest-ever two players, Wayne Carey (North Wagga), the North Melbourne dual premiership skipper who is rated by many as the best player of the modern era in the VFL/AFL; and Haydn Bunton (Albury Rovers/Albury/West Albury), the most decorated player of all time with three Brownlow medals for Fitzroy in the VFL and three Sandover Medals for Subiaco in the WAFL.

In announcing the NSW State-of-Origin team for 2021, Society patron Richard Colless, who leads the selection process for the selection of the team said, “This year’s team was selected from the fifty-one players all from NSW-based clubs on AFL lists in 2021”

“Tom Hawkins from Geelong is again captain of the team, and he wins the inaugural Mohr Medal (named in honour of St Kilda goalkicking champion Wilbur (Bill) Mohr in the 1930s.  Bill played in Wagga Wagga with Federals which became Wagga Tigers.  He was the leading goalkicker for St Kilda from 1929-40.  He was selected at full forward in the Greatest NSW Team of All Time announced in 2018, a member of the St Kilda Team of the Century, and inaugural inductee into the AFL Hall of Fame, and 18 times Victorian representative) for being the leading NSW goal kicker in the AFL with 54 goals”.

“Sydney’s Errol Gulden wins the Stiff Medal for Emerging Talent following an outstanding debut in the AFL this season.  The medal is named after former South Sydney player Jimmy Stiff who represented NSW 10 times in the early 1930s.  He was included amongst the best players in every game including best on ground v Victoria at the SCG in 1932.  In the 1933 ANFC Carnival he was awarded the equivalent of the Tassie Medal and was adjudged best on ground in five games including v Victoria/WA/Tasmania.  He also played in the 1934/35 South Sydney premiership teams in the Sydney Football League”.

“We were very pleased to again have the support from the AFL Coaches Association for the voting system for the Carey Bunton Medal, it provided an empirical basis for the award. A big thank you to Alistair Nicholson and his team at the AFLCA”.

We also want to thank all the AFL clubs for their support, especially those who consistently placed updates on the Carey Bunton voting on their website.

“And finally, thanks to the media, particularly the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, but also all the regional newspapers and the AFL clubs for their enthusiasm and support for our awards”.

 

Former Leeton-Whitton Gun Jumps To The Lead

GWS Giants mid-fielder Jacob Hopper has leaped back into the lead for this year’s Carey Bunton Medal for the best player from NSW in the AFL based on the votes by the coaches for the AFL Coaches Award.

Hopper scored seven votes from the coaches for his performance for the Giants in their convincing win over Carlton at Giants Stadium in Sydney.

Hopper is now at the head of the leader board with 40 votes, just two ahead of Adelaide evergreen Taylor Walker.

Meanwhile, three players scored votes for the first time this season, Jeremy Finlayson (Giants), Taylor Duryea (Western Bulldogs), and Luke Breust (Hawthorn).

VOTES ROUND 14
40 Jacob Hopper (Leeton-Whitton) – GWS Giants (R14 7 votes v CAR)
38 Taylor Walker (North Broken Hill) – Adelaide
24 Callum Mills (Mosman) – Sydney Swans
23 Isaac Heeney (Cardiff) – Sydney Swans
15 Tom Hawkins (Finley) – Geelong
10 Sam Wicks (Manly-Warringah) – Sydney Swans
9 Errol Gulden (UNSW-Eastern Suburbs) – Sydney Swans
8 Lachie Schultz (Moama) – Fremantle
5 Braeden Campbell (Pennant Hills) – Sydney Swans
6 Jacob Koschitzke (Albury) – Hawthorn
6 Dane Rampe (UNSW-Eastern Suburbs) Sydney Swans
6 Jeremy Finlayson (Culcairn) – GWS Giants (R14 6 votes v CAR)
4 Harry Cunningham (Turvey Park) – Sydney Swans
3 Matthew Flynn (Narrandera) – GWS Giants
3 Harry Perryman (Collingullie) – GWS Giants
3 Zach Williams (Narrandera) – Carlton
3 Taylor Duryea (Corowa) – Western Bulldogs (R14 3 votes v GEE)
2 Harry Himmelberg (Mangoplah-Cookardinia United) – GWS Giants
2 Jarrad Witts (Sydney University) – Gold Coast
2 Todd Marshall (Deniliquin) – Port Adelaide
2 Luke Breust (Temora) – Hawthorn (R14 2 votes v ESS)
1 Isaac Smith (Cootamundra) – Geelong

Giants’ Hopper Closing in on Tex

GWS mid-fielder Jacob Hopper scored six votes in the Carey Bunton Medal for his outstanding performance in the Giants convincing win over the Adelaide Crows in round seven at the Adelaide Oval.

Hopper is now on 23 votes for the season and is closing in on Adelaide forward Taylor Walker, who started the season in sensational style, but has not scored votes since round 3.

Walker still leads the award with 28 votes.

The Carey Bunton Medal for the best player from NSW in the AFL this season is based on the votes by the coaches for the AFL Coaches Award.

VOTES ROUND 7
28 Taylor Walker (North Broken Hill) – Adelaide
23 Jacob Hopper (Leeton-Whitton) – GWS Giants (R7 6 votes v ADL)
13 Callum Mills (Mosman) – Sydney Swans
10 Sam Wicks (Manly-Warringah) – Sydney Swans
9 Errol Gulden (UNSW-Eastern Suburbs) – Sydney Swans
8 Lachie Schultz ((Moama) – Fremantle
5 Braeden Campbell (Pennant Hills) – Sydney Swans
6 Jacob Koschitzke (Albury) – Hawthorn
4 Isaac Heeney (Cardiff) – Sydney Swans
3 Matthew Flynn (Narrandera) – GWS Giants
3 Harry Perryman (Collingullie) – GWS Giants
2 Jarrad Witts (Sydney University) – Gold Coast
2 Tom Hawkins (Finley) – Geelong
1 Harry Cunningham (Turvey Park) – Sydney Swans
1 Isaac Smith (Cootamundra) – Geelong
1 Todd Marshall (Deniliquin) – Port Adelaide

New Contenders for Carey-Bunton Medal

              Matt Flynn

The number of NSW origin players in the AFL will increase by three when Giants ruckman Matt Flynn and Swans mid-field duo Braeden Campbell and Errol Gulden make their debuts in round 1 of the 2021 season.

Matt Flynn, who has waited 1944 days for his AFL debut, will have former school-mate Jacob Hopper in the mid-field with him at the opening bounce against St Kilda at Giants Stadium.

The pair went to school together at St Francis College in Leeton where Matt was a boarder and Jacob’s father, James was in charge of the boarding school.

St Francis de Sales Regional College has become a beacon for AFL in the MIA producing a steadily growing number of AFL listed players in recent years including Jacob Townsend now at the Gold Coast Suns along with in recent years, Kurt Aylett (GWS/Essendon)

Matt’s family live in Narrandera where he played junior and senior football before transferring to the Giants in 2016 after being drafted #41 in the 2015 national draft.

Both Braeden Campbell and Erol Guilden played in the Sydney Premier league last season: Braeden played for Pennant Hills while Errol was a member of the UNSW-Eastern Suburbs team that lost to Sydney University in the grand final.

There are now fifty-one players from NSW on AFL club lists in season 2021.

        Braeden Campbell (l)                    and Errol Gulden

GWS Giants have the greatest number of True Blues with 13, followed by the Swans (10), Carlton have five, while Adelaide have four, and Hawthorn three NSW players.

The only clubs not to have players from NSW on their list are Essendon and North Melbourne.

The winner of the NSW Player of the Year award each year receives the Carey-Bunton Medal that honours the two greatest NSW players of all time, Wayne Carey and Hadyn Bunton.

Dual North Melbourne premiership player Carey grew up in North Wagga and played 272 games for the Kangaroos and the Crows from 1989-2004, while triple Brownlow Medallist Bunton was from Albury and played 208 games across the VFL, WAFL and SANFL from 1931-1945.

The votes of the AFL Coaches Association provides a credible and valid voting system to determine the winner. Each coach votes on a 5,4,3,2,1 basis after each home and away game and the votes are aggregated.

Last year’s winner Tom Hawkins of Geelong, who also won the Coleman medal for being the competition leading goalkicker, is expected to again to be a strong contender for the award.

The NSW State of Origin team will also be selected at the end of the season.

History Society launches New Awards for NSW Player and Team of the Year in AFL

                 Swan’s, Isaac Heeney leading after R3

Following on from the resounding success of last year’s selection of the NSW Greatest Team Ever, the NSW AFL History Society has launched two new annual awards to recognise the Best Player in the AFL and the selection of a State of Origin team from players in the AFL.

Society president Ian Granland OAM said, “The inauguration of these awards will add to the rich tapestry of the history of football in NSW, that is this year, celebrating its 140th year”.

“This initiative has been driven by our Patron, Richard Colless AM, who has secured the support of the AFL Coaches Association for the voting structure for the Best Player and the Daily Telegraph to publish the tally board of the votes each Wednesday, starting today”.

“There are currently forty-nine players from NSW on the lists of the clubs in the AFL. The Giants have the greatest number of players with twelve. Hawthorn are next with six, while the Swans have five. There are only three clubs without NSW origin players” Granland added.

The winner of the NSW Player of the Year award will receive the Carey – Bunton Medal that honours the two greatest NSW players of all time.

The votes of the AFL coaches is highly respected and will provide a credible and valid voting system to determine the winner. Each coach votes on a 5,4,3,2,1 basis after each home and away game and the votes are aggregated.

Meanwhile, Colless has confirmed the addition of two of the players selected in the Greatest Team, Wayne Carey and Mark McClure, will join the selection panel. Carey was named as captain of the team.

The cornerstones of last year’s selection panel for the Greatest Team, Mike Sheahan and Gerard Healy have agreed to stay involved. Colless will be the convenor and History Society vice-president Rod Gillett will be the non-voting secretary.

“I’m delighted to have Wayne and Mark join the panel. All of the selectors are currently active in the media and have a very close view of all games in the AFL each round” Colless said.

“To have the very strong support of the AFL Coaches Association for the Player of the Year award is really a reflection of the status that NSW now enjoys in the AFL landscape. I want to thank the CEO Mark Brayshaw and his staff for their commitment to this award.”

“It is a highly respected award for which the votes are aggregated and available weekly” added Colless.

Votes after round 3 are:

Isaac Heeney (SS) 19 (9 votes Syd v NM);
Harry Perryman (GWS) 13 (3 votes GWS v WB);
Isaac Smith (HAW) 8 (8 votes Haw v Rich);
Jarrod Witts (GCS) 8 (8 votes GCS v Ad);
Dane Rampe (SS) 6;
Jacob Townsend (ESS) 4;
Luke Bruest (HAW) 3;
Jacob Hopper (GWS) 2;
Todd Marshall (PA) 2.

The AFLCA award was instituted in 2004 and it is our intention to award the medal retrospectively to all the winners 2004-2019. Some of the previous winners will include Brett Kirk, Lenny Hayes, Taylor Walker, Kieran Jack, and in 2019, Zac Williams.