Throughout the 2017 AFL Finals series, the AFLCA will shine a spotlight on the most outstanding players of each week.
Week one of the 2017 AFL Finals series saw the cream rise to the top, with immense performances from Sydney’s Josh Kennedy and West Coast’s Luke Shuey seeing their teams advance, and earning themselves the maximum votes from the coaches.
Kennedy flexed his muscles in the midfield to overpower the Bombers, leading
Sydney to a crushing 65-point elimination final win. The Swans captain collected 29 disposals (18 contested), eight score involvements and five tackles as Sydney
continued their incredible run, helping set up a do-or- die semi final against Geelong at the MCG on Friday night.
Shuey played the role of the hero in West Coast’s dramatic last-gasp 2-point elimination final win over Port Adelaide. The gun Eagle was everywhere, collecting 32 disposals, 11 tackles and two goals – including a game-winning after-the- siren set shot – in one of the games of the year, with the victory helping secure the club a semi final berth against GWS at Spotless Stadium on Saturday.
Votes for the Gary Ayres Award are issued after every game of the AFL Finals series by the competing coaches, with each coach providing their 5-4- 3-2- 1 for the match.
The award was first introduced by the AFLCA for the 2016 season, and is named in honour of one of the game’s great finals players.
A summary of the 2017 AFLCA Gary Ayres Award votes from week one of the AFL finals can be seen below: