Melbourne star midfielder Clayton Oliver has been awarded the 2021 AFL Coaches Association AFL Champion Player of the Year.
Oliver’s sizzling performances aided the Demons rise up the ladder in 2021, with Melbourne securing the minor premiership for the first time since its premiership-winning season 57 years ago. The prolific midfielder averaged 31 disposals this season, is ranked first in the league for contested possessions with 17.7, and fourth for clearances with 7.5.
Oliver polled coaches votes in 17 of the 23 matches this season to finish with 114 votes, earning maximum coaches votes in three rounds. The most notable ten came in the Demons’ come from behind win in Round 23 which cemented this award and the Dees as minor premiers.
Second place sees a tie between our 2019 Award winner Marcus Bontempelli and Port star Ollie Wines who both finished on 101 votes. Saints co-captain Jack Steele was next on 100 votes.
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said it was the work Oliver had done without the footy this season that has seen him take his game to another level.
"Clayton has had an unbelievable season and should be proud to be recognised with this Award from the coaches, I believe it’s the highest award you can receive,” Goodwin said.
“He has taken his game to new heights this year, it’s the work he’s done without the footy that we’ve been impressed with, he’s transformed his game and getting the rewards for being a really good teammate.”
Oliver was honoured to be recognised by the coaches as the 2021 AFL Coaches Association AFL Champion Player of the Year.
“I’m humbled and proud to be recognised by the coaches with their Champion Player Award. I wouldn’t be receiving this without my teammates, coaches and staff so I thank them all, and especially to ‘Goody’, he took me under his wing this season and I couldn’t thank him anymore,” Oliver said.
AFL Coaches Association CEO Alistair Nicholson congratulated Oliver on taking out the Award.
“What a sensational season Clayton has had to date, he should be honoured to be recognised by the coaches as the 2021 AFL Coaches Association Champion Player,” said Nicholson.
“We believe this to be the most prestigious of Awards in the AFL, the 18 coaching groups have a unique view on our game and allocate their votes with care and consideration.”
The AFL Coaches Association’s AFL Champion Player Award is an award voted by the 18 coaching panels on a 5,4,3,2,1 basis after each home and away game, acknowledging outstanding effort by an individual player in a season.
Previous winners list: www.aflcoaches.com.au/awards/the-aflca-champion-player-of-the-year-award