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Bontempelli caps stunning season with Sutton Medal

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 01: Marcus Bontempelli of the Bulldogs celebrates as the final siren sounds during the 2016 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Sydney Swans and the Western Bulldogs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 01, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Marcus Bontempelli has claimed his first Sutton Medal.

Western Bulldogs midfielder Marcus Bontempelli has been crowned the 2016 Charles Sutton Medallist, taking out the Club’s best and fairest award on Wednesday night.

The 20-year-old is the youngest Charles Sutton Medal winner since David Thorpe in 1968.

The prestigious Charles Sutton Medal rounds out an exceptional season for Bontempelli, who was named an All-Australian for the first time and was an integral part of the Bulldogs premiership-winning side.

Bontempelli finished 71 votes ahead of Doug Hawkins medallist Dale Morris – who was two votes clear of Gary Dempsey medallist Lachie Hunter.

Bontempelli played all 24 games in 2016, averaging 24 disposals and four tackles.

At 33, Morris had one of his most influential seasons, averaging four marks and consistently beating the game's most dangerous forwards.

Hunter was one of the most improved players in the AFL, undeniably having his best season in 2016, collecting 719 disposals - the sixth-most of any player in the league.

Liam Picken was awarded the Club’s Best in Finals, after a stellar finals series where he averaged 23 possessions and finished fourth place in the 2016 Gary Ayres Award, the AFL Coaches Association’s best finals player.

Josh Dunkley was awarded the Chris Grant Best First Year player after playing 17 games, including Saturday’s premiership, in his debut season.

Ruckman Jordan Roughead took home the Tony Liberatore Most Improved Player, veteran Matthew Boyd was awarded the Brad Johnson Best Team Player and Tom Liberatore took home the Scott West Most Courageous Award.

Jaimee Lambert won the Susan Alberti Award for her consistency across the Club’s three women’s exhibition matches.

Footscray captain Jordan Russell was named VFL Best and Fairest, while AFL-listed midfielder Mitch Honeychurch finished runner up.


Charles Sutton Medal Top 10

1. Marcus Bontempelli (319 votes)
2. Dale Morris (248)
3. Lachie Hunter (246)
4. Tom Liberatore (218)
5. Liam Picken (214)
6. Luke Dahlhaus (201)
7. Jackson Macrae, Caleb Daniel (185)
9. Matthew Boyd (184)
10. Jason Johannisen (165)


Award Winners

Charles Sutton Medal (first place): Marcus Bontempelli
Doug Hawkins Medal (second place): Dale Morris
Gary Dempsey Medal (third place): Lachie Hunter
Best in Finals: Liam Picken
Chris Grant Best First Year Player: Josh Dunkley
Tony Liberatore Most Improved Player: Jordan Roughead
Brad Johnson Best Team Player: Matthew Boyd
John Van Groningen Domestique Award: Dale Morris
Scott West Most Courageous Award: Tom Liberatore
John Schultz Community Award: Marcus Bontempelli
Victoria University Education Award: Mitch Wallis
Footscray Best and Fairest: Jordan Russell
Footscray Best and Fairest runner up: Mitch Honeychurch
Footscray Best and Fairest third place: Lukas Webb
Bulldogs Taskforce VFL Coaches Award: Anthony Barry
Susan Alberti Award: Jaimee Lambert

NB. Senior coach and assistant coaches can award up to five votes to any player on the ground following each match.