Marcus Bontempelli has enhanced his status as one of the best Bulldogs of all time, claiming his fifth Charles Sutton Medal at Crown on Wednesday night.

The inspirational skipper finished his 2023 campaign with an All-Australian blazer and the Leigh Matthews Trophy, now adding the Club’s fairest and best award to his trophy cabinet.

The midfielder polled 342 votes to finish 64 votes clear of inside bull Tom Liberatore (278), with defender Ed Richards (193) rounding out the top three.

In each game of the season, coach Luke Beveridge and four assistants give each player between zero and five votes.  Players can receive a minimum of zero or a maximum of 25 votes for any game.

Bontempelli, 27, played all 24 games in 2023, averaging 28 touches and eight clearances per game.

Remarkably, new recruit Liam Jones finished fifth in the voting after missing more than two months of football with a broken arm.

Leadership group member Caleb Daniel claimed the Best Team Player, while Bontempelli continued his winning ways on the night with the coveted Domestique Award.

Ruckman and first-time All-Australian Tim English was rewarded with the Tony Liberatore Most Improved Award for the season, with Jones backing up his top-five finish with the Most Courageous Award.

James O’Donnell rounded out his whirlwind season by claiming the Christ Grant Best First Year Player gong, with Adam Treloar winning the Coaches Award.

The night was topped off by the news that key forward Aaron Naughton had re-signed with the Club for a further eight seasons, remaining at VU Whitten Oval until the end of the 2032 season.


Charles Sutton Medal Top 10:

  1. Marcus Bontempelli (342 votes)
  2. Tom Liberatore (278)
  3. Ed Richards (193)
  4. Caleb Daniel (190)
  5. Liam Jones (172)
  6. Adam Treloar (165)
  7. Tim English (160)
  8. Bailey Dale (152)
  9. Aaron Naughton (141)
  10. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (128)

Other award winners:

  • Chris Grant Best First Year Player:  James O’Donnell
  • Tony Liberatore Most Improved Player:  Tim English
  • Brad Johnson Best Team Player:  Caleb Daniel
  • John Van Groningen Domestique Award:  Marcus Bontempelli
  • Scott West Most Courageous Award:  Liam Jones
  • Coaches Award:  Adam Treloar
  • Footscray Best and Fairest:  Lachie Sullivan
  • John Schultz Community Award:  Buku Khamis
  • VU Education Award: Lachie McNeil